Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

Hello everyone! Today we spent our morning touring the European HQ for Workday Inc. This company sells cloud-based applications for human resources and finance. They provide software as a service (SAAS) model, allowing many different functions to be housed under one roof. Their Dublin office is extremely diverse with about 1000 employees and more than 50 nationalities. Although our entire group was fatigued from our trip so far, I thought Workday was one of the best company visits we have toured this study abroad. Workday started off with a presentation, providing information about the company. After the initial slideshow, we were delighted to a panel consisting of three Workday employees. Each one works in a different field: Mathilde’s job is sales and marketing development, Killian is an automation engineer and Alan works as a senior talent acquisition partner. Overall, we gained a lot of valuable information about different roles within the company and its culture.

A common term that has popped up during multiple site visits is “imposter syndrome”- a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. During this trip, we have visited many global giants like Google, Workday, and Bank of America; on Friday we will also Microsoft. Although these are renowned companies, the employees we have met are down to earth and seem like everyday people. At Google and Workday, our tour guides said they experienced “imposter syndrome” because they felt like normal people working for extremely famous companies.

In my life, I do not think I have ever experienced “imposter syndrome” or if I have it was so minor I cannot remember. I do believe I might have my first encounter with this phenomenon over the summer during my internship. After I return from Ireland, I will start a marketing internship with the West Virginia Black Bears, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates. I bet there will be times during the summer where I feel like “how did I get here?” or “I do not belong…”. I will deal with “imposter syndrome” by reminding myself that I earned a chance to chase my dream of working in major league baseball. Over my college career, I have worked hard to obtain good grades, participate in extracurriculars, and look good for employers after college. One of the best pieces of advice I have received from all of our site visits is to not be afraid to fail or be wrong. A part of innovation is failing and growing from those mistakes. I also will keep a positive mindset because days can get stressful and lead to burnouts.

If a colleague or friend of mine was experiencing “imposter syndrome” I would give them similar advice to what I would tell myself. Also, if they were hired for a position then obviously their employer believes they are qualified for the job. Otherwise, they would not have been hired for the job. Another tactic I would use is reinforcing confidence in my friend or colleague. If they were really down in the dumps, I would try to take their mind off the situation. I would bring them out to do something fun that does not involve their job and relieve their stress.

“Imposter syndrome” is a very interesting concept because everyone seems to experience it. It does not matter if your working for Google or just a college student starting an internship. I really enjoyed the visits to Google and Workday.

Thanks for reading my post for today. See you all tomorrow!


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