by Ruben Kimmelman
First and foremost, this project was a test of my time management skills. Being on such a limited work schedule and having such structured and immediate deadlines is something that is not usually characteristic of academic learning and is more reflective of the professional world. It was great to get this experience. Moreover, this test of my time management skills was compounded by some personal decisions, returning from a week and a half trip home right before the start of the project, and some professional commitments, leaving to D.C. for a month the day after the project is complete.
This project was also a test, and a curbing, of my ego. I know that I struggle with accepting criticism. I also know that I really like to assume ownership of my projects. Having not just a mentor but also various editors and other project mentors and mentees critically examine my project and suggest edits was difficult for me. I am glad I had this experience, however, because I know this is something I really need to work on and is likely something I will encounter much more in the professional world. I definitely still have a lot to work on when it comes to this. In my younger years, I definitely had problems with authority and I have tried my best to move past them, however, I still have trouble with my perspective on criticisms, concealing some of my emotions, and expressing myself in a way that is appropriate, and I recognize this. This project has definitely assisted in recognizing that I still struggle with these things and was good training for the future.
Lastly, this project was a test of my emotional fortitude. I became very emotionally involved in Rawdhah’s story and wanted to really represent her thoughts and feelings in a way that was completely fair and exactly how she would want them represented. Sometimes, this presented me with a challenge, due to my ego and due to the fact that I believe that I had a superior understanding of Rawdhah and her story. Also, I received news the Thursday morning of this project that my grandma had passed.
After completing this project, I will be going to Dallas, Texas to celebrate my grandma’s life before continuing on to D.C. to work on the press team of Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto. I would like to dedicate this project to Rawdhah and her family, immigrants struggling to come to this country and improve their lives today, and my grandma, who was a first generation American and whose parents came to this country from Romania in search of the American dream.