Post-internship at Apple: a letter to you

Today was my last day as an intern at Apple. Surreal, I know. I’ve learned so much this summer and I felt it wouldn’t be fair if I kept all my learnings to myself. So here we go.

I do not want to talk about how amazing Apple was and how much I’ll miss it, although that is definitely true. Nor do I want to explain what I did all summer, because in truth it was all top secret stuff.

However, I would like to talk about my journey to Apple.

During certain moments in your life, a lot of things never truly make sense. However, chances are if you look back at your life, things start to align. Steve Jobs once said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” On the very last day of my journey at Apple, this quote hit home.

I learned that the dots in my life created a line of lessons. I’d like to share those lessons with you today.

You are capable

Prior to this summer, when the news about Apple would come up in conversations, there were always a variety of responses. Some people would say, “Wow, you are a super genius” or they’d say, “Woah. How’d you get that?!”

When any of these comments would come up, I would just laugh it off. So many people had this idea that I was superhuman or something. And as much as I would love (and I mean LOVE) to have superpowers, I’m going to have to disappoint and say I am, indeed, normal.

I am not a super genius. I did not get a 36 on my ACT. I did not finish top 10 in my high school graduating class. I did not attend an Ivy League or a world-renowned engineering school.

I had a passion for something and ran with it.

I was fortunate to have recieved an internship at what some refer to as the greatest company on the planet. But here’s the thing- so can you. People here at Apple are just like you and me. If I can get here, you can too.

I’m not just talking about Apple, but any dream or goal you have.

Lesson #1: You are capable.

It doesn’t matter where you came from or how you got to where you are — what matters is where you’re going and where you dream to be. Knowing you are capable is the first step- dreaming big is the next.

Please, out dream yourself

Apple had been a dream for quite some time. I spent over 2 years of my life striving for the goal. I remember sticking an Apple logo on my apartment wall and looking at it every single day because I had read somewhere that if you made your dreams tangible, they had a greater chance of coming true.

Now, I’m not saying an Apple logo stuck on your wall is the way to get a job at Apple (although, according to Harvard, people who don’t have tangible goals tend to fail more than the ones who do). However, if you have a goal in mind- make it real, figure out a way to achieve it, and do not be afraid.

Lesson #2: Out dream yourself.

Dream big and know failing is learning. When you’re working towards a dream, know that failure is inevitable and unavoidable.

A closed door is rarely sealed shut

The first time I had an opportunity to interview with Apple, I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have a lot of the skills they were looking for. I was told I had to wait until next year to interview. So, I asked what I could do to have a better chance in the future. I was told I needed more development experience, more reputable projects, and more leadership roles. So, I did just that, and more.

A year later, I knew I had an interview with Apple in three months. I worked harder in those three months than I ever had in my life. I was at Starbucks every weekend reading Cracking the Coding Interview. I was giving it my all for the interview of a lifetime.

3 months and 3 interviews in 24 hours later, I had an internship at Apple.

Lesson #3: A closed door is rarely sealed shut.

If you want something bad enough, you either can find a way or you weren’t mean’t to open the door in the first place.

A progression of dots make a line

In the moment, none of the events I described appeared to be things I would learn from. Life is just a bunch of dots without connections. You never know how things will fall into place; however, you must trust that they will.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” — Steve Jobs

I am super excited to move on with the next chapter of my life. It turns out, life flies by in the blink of an eye, senior year is an actual thing, and I’m not getting any younger. Hoorah for life!

But, in all seriousness, I am very much ready to finish my degree, return to my work at Flywheel, and spend time with friends + family.

Thank you all for your support. I hope this post inspires you in some shape or form. Cheers to your future! Remember your soul is rooting for you.

xoxo Kat