Generosity was a key value inside these walls since day 1. The emotional and intellectual intelligence of people I worked with was beyond what I could even start to imagine in a workplace. Everybody thinks about how to best show up and interact with one another and every single person puts their heart in their work. The talent team did such a remarkable job at immersing us in the culture. We had multiple share-outs and thoughtful moments to discover every facet of SYP. I haven’t felt any hierarchy or ego from anyone during these 10 weeks. And I was also particularly surprised with how much teams are in tune with their feelings. For example, work sessions start or end with short open reflections, creating a safe environment to grow right away.
As a structure, SYP provides multiple fridges and shelves with organic food for everyone. I grew up in a house where our fridge was always full and open for anyone who wanted to grab something. This heartwarming detail made me feel home. The space itself is also designed in a way to make you feel home. I will definitely miss the showers that are bigger than my room in NYC and the meditation room!
Additionally, the company encourages people to meet up during 1–1 moments by simply offering a Mastercard to every employee to cover up their expenses. I had 45 1–1 in 10 weeks. I met the most extraordinary and talented people with multiple lives. Meeting them inspired me to organize experimental 1–1 drawing sessions. We would take a moment to breathe, let go of the day-to-day pressure and talk about anything while doodling and connecting in a meaningful way. I made a multilayered and joyful book to celebrate these beautiful moments. It is now in their library forever. Yay! I genuinely hope that someone will continue these drawing sessions as they felt very freeing on both sides. It was a break from the pressure of actively seeking greatness. The greatness was actually in the moment.
About that pressure. Funny how everybody openly thinks that they are constantly at the edge of incompetence. Since SYP works with C-suite and game changing leaders, the day-to-day work is hardcore challenging across all levels. It is rough but the process of growing is put on a fast-forward button. No one knows how we will make anything happen but we all trace the map together to get to our destination. The steps reveal themselves little by little—requiring a lot of trust and patience to embrace ambiguity.
A couple of things changed in me during that process: I used to think I couldn’t design anything if I didn’t create the content for it. Wrong. I used to think I needed a plan on a spreadsheet for everything. Wrong. I used to think I had to do it all myself to ensure the best possible outcome. Wrong. I used to think I needed to be the smart pants in the room to prove my value. Wrong. I used to believe in the big idea. Wrong. All of these elements taught me to not be precious about what I design anymore. How fucking freeing! To be honest, if I had to do anything differently after these 10 weeks, I would have told myself to let go of the pressure of showing my worth and being okay with walking in unwise. I spent too much energy doubting myself and what I had to offer—like everybody does there during their SYP journey. The truth is, getting our foot in the door is already enough. We are the persons we are, not the version 42 of what we design. In other words, we are worth all of our human experience and what makes us who we truly are.
My journey has been a deeply transformative one. 10 weeks is a short time but enough to learn priceless lessons to carry with me in the world and my practice. I am grateful for every moment I had in SYP, grateful for every human I met there and grateful I found a place that allowed me to be me. I feel ready for what is coming next—back to the family I chose, grad school and teaching. NYC, my home and love, just like last summer, this is not an au revoir. It’s a see you later. Let’s end this reflection with a happy picture of all the interns on our last day and the fabulous talent team. Retweet!