Musings – Jeniffer Abdullah, Data Analyst

From Intern to Staff Member

The same day that I walked across the stage and celebrated earning both a Master of Social Work and Master of Business Administration, I accepted a new role at the Florida Network. The following weekend, I went to the beach and then drove home with my cousins to Lawrenceville, Georgia.

One week after graduating, I returned back to Tallahassee to begin my new role at the Network as Data Analyst.

In some ways, I felt like I was continuing my internship. Kirk was still my supervisor. I still viewed Lauren and Tiffany as mentors rather than coworkers. I was still working with data. In other ways, the stark contrast between the roles of intern and young professional was evident. In a short period of time, I went from sending emails to the Network team to responding to agencies that were now asking me questions and answering the phone. I went from going to class after my weekly 32-hour internship to now going to the gym and joining an Ultimate Frisbee team after work.

Advancing into a new role has also introduced a few steep learning curves, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to overcome them and be able to strengthen my ability to be an asset to this team with time.

As I reflect on the musing that I wrote as an intern, I realize how many opportunities for success the folks in this office have given me. On the surface, I was afforded the chance to work here. On a deeper level, though, the Florida Network team has given me invaluable support and created an ideal environment for my personal and professional growth at this stage of my life. From conversations with Celia and Michelle about my goals to Megan, Jess, and Terry answering 1,000 questions about JJIS, I’m very appreciative to be here.

Issa Rae tweeted this morning that she “didn’t become a morning person until [she] started doing what [she] loved”, and that is my goal as I continue to grow in this role at the Network.