“I don’t belong here”
“I feel like a phony”
These are common phrases that you may tell yourself in a room full of professionals. This is known as impostor syndrome and can be explained as “an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be.” It's a feeling I’ve experienced on multiple occasions. Starting at my first week at Arcurve, being assigned a Project Management role, I couldn’t help but feel that I wasn’t competent enough to manage someone the same age as me. This feeling was increased when we were in meetings with several developers, and as a PM/BA, I didn’t understand the developer lingo and couldn’t answer all the questions. I had to tell myself multiple times that I was hired because they felt as if I would be the best fit.
I spoke to Joel, a senior student, about his experience with impostor syndrome. He explained that when he first started with the company, he was always afraid to mess up and felt as if he didn’t know how to do anything. He quickly realized that any mistake he made could be easily fixed and learned from, and that mistakes are inevitable. At Arcurve, you have mentors that are always present to help and teach. As you get comfortable with your assigned work, you'll start to feel like you belong, but as soon as you begin doing more challenging tasks it goes right back. Joel taught me that no matter how unsure I may feel, there are people at Arcurve who believe in me. I will feel this emotion as soon as I do anything new, so I just need to embrace it.
Next I spoke to Dina, a long-term employee at Arcurve who has worked in many different fields throughout her time here and is now the Director of Service Delivery. Most of the roles that she's held were created for her. Dina started at Arcurve with no formal training on any of the roles she worked and no background in business. So for her, the feeling of imposter syndrome was especially elevated. However, even when she felt like she wasn’t cut out for the job, everyone around her thought her work was so good that they kept advancing her. Dina explained that she learned to filter out the noise and believe in the people that believed in her. Upper management helped build her confidence.
Now that I'm nearly done four month internship at Arcurve, I feel as if I belong at Arcurve more than ever. Whenever I am feeling unsure of my work, I have mentors supporting me throughout my journey. I also realize how common impostor syndrome is no matter your position. Whether you are an intern or a senior staff, you may feel self-doubt. To help with these thoughts, it is important to constantly remind yourself you were hired for a reason and not to focus on doing everything perfectly. You can check out our student feed and blog posts to see how other interns are enjoying their time at Arcurve. As well check out our Arcurve careers page for opportunities to join our team!