David Wedderburn: Finding Purpose and Balance during a Virtual Summer

This summer, I have encountered a numerous amount of challenges and obstacles. Through
these challenges, I learned a lot about myself, my goals, strengths, and weaknesses. At the
beginning of my internship with Tampa Bay Wave, I was unaware of what I wanted. I was
unintentional in my actions. I knew that I wanted to learn about building a startup but didn’t know what I wanted to leave my internship with. This dilemma was mainly because of my lack of prior experience in the entrepreneurial industry and that I didn’t understand the first thing it took to start a company. My ignorance led me astray.

David Wedderburn, Business Marketing major

Throughout the first half of the internship, I struggled with being proactive due to not
knowing what I wanted to get out of this experience. Tampa Bay Wave is a small team that has been known to accomplish big things. So, there have been times when they didn’t have
assignments for me because they were preoccupied with their workloads. It also didn’t help when I didn’t know what I wanted to do or work on. Nevertheless, as I learned what I wanted, my experience became more fulfilling, and I started seeing growth in myself and my abilities. I realized that this internship opportunity is the perfect time to study for my excel certification and revise the company’s outdated spreadsheets to hone my excel skills. This was my first step towards being a more proactive intern.

https://www.tampabaywave.org/

Another realization that I had was my passion for conversing with successful people. I
have thoroughly enjoyed gaining research for my project because it gives me the ability to sit down with people in various individuals who are striving to positively impact their community. During these conversations, I always have the pleasure of leaving with a different perspective and more knowledgeable than when I entered. The kindness, compassion, and acceptance that I’ve received from the Tampa Bay community are priceless. During a time of struggle and helplessness, one could say it’s “just what the doctor ordered.”

Dealing with work and school is a lot to handle in its own right, but familial
circumstances piled onto my situation sometimes just felt too much to handle. I didn’t have to join operation calls while driving to and from the hospital, but I did. I wanted to let my team understand that I wasn’t a regular intern who didn’t care about his position or the company. Balancing school, work, and my personal life never seem to get easier, but it’s on me to find a way to make it all work out.

Overall, this summer has allowed me to do significant self-reflection and has caused me
to grow as an intern, student, and person. I am incredibly grateful for Tampa Bay Wave allowing me to work on their team this summer. It’s been a surreal experience!

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