Defending Your Acievements

I was put in the position during an interview where I had to defend my experiences. And considering there really wasn’t that much to defend, you can imagine the boiling pot of rage I had to keep at a simmer until I left the vicinity and could call my friend to boil over too.

Let me paint you a watercolour picture; The position was for a traineeship that I had applied to in the late months of 2015. Between applying and my interview, I had since had a two week work experience placement and was in talks for potentially starting another. For me 2016 had started with a bang, and considering I had graduated in 2014, I was elated.

Was being the operative word.

The only reason the work experience and the newest potential position had gotten brought up was because they asked; do you have any other experiences that isn’t listed on your application?

After a brief explanation where I laid out the skills I had learnt and how it could tranlate to the position I was applying to, one of the two interviewees told me;
“It seems like you don’t need this traineeship, you’re doing pretty well by yourself.”
If this was said in a high pitched uplifting tone with a polite laugh that everyone echoes in response, then it wouldn’t have come across as badly as it did. Unfortunately their dismissive tone threw me and in that instant I knew that I wouldn’t be called in for a second interview.

There were a few beats of awkward silence as I composed myself and explained the following; Yes I had just done two weeks and was in talks for potentially doing another, however, the former was unpaid and the latter was so far just talk . Since graduating two years ago, I had no paid experience and  this was the first time things were falling into place for me, and the traineeship would allow me to gain experience in a pivotal role for the next step up from being a Runner. (I was hardly over qualified for the position and heck, me turning up to the interview surely should have been proof enough that I wanted to take part.)

It was difficult trying to sound like I wasn’t begging, as one thing in life I never do is beg. I fought to keep my voice light like they hadn’t slapped me across the face with their words and I stuck to my guns, and my seat even though the elephant in the room with the words ‘This traineeship isn’t for you!’ painted across it’s flank was screaming at me to get up and walk out with a witty one liner.

In fact during one of our numerous awkward silences I actually said: Is it okay if we still finish the interview? Legit. You can’t make these things up!

So the interview went on.

Although they explained a number of workshops one would be able to complete as part of the programme, and the connections they had across the television industry that I otherwise would not have access too… This traineeship wasn’t for me. Despite having Alumni that had gone on to work in my field of interest in well known companies… This traineeship wasn’t for me. Despite expressing my enthusiasm and interest in these opportunities they shut me down by telling me,  if I didn’t get onto it this time around, I could apply for the second round they ran later in the year…Even though the traineeship wasn’t for me.

Their logic and reasoning was contradictory and as such I couldn’t help but wonder if there were other reasons that deemed me unsuitable for the role.

After I left I went through a range of emotions; Anger, Anger Anger, Defeat, Anger at them for making me feel defeated, and then finally Anger before I settled back to my equilibrium of content. I realised that at the end of the day anyone who tries to make me feel small or apologetic for knowing what I want and going after it, is not someone I want to be around. People in life, and I think especially in the media industry should be fighting to encourage, not discourage, those trying to start out. As you can probably tell I happen to be filled with a lot of rage, luckily having that fire to warm my belly means that I just keep pushing forward to accomplish what I know I am capable of, even if that means I have to do it on my own.


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