For a few months each summer, BrightHouse grows by a freshly minted grad or two. So what’s it like to be the newest member of the House? We caught up with Lee Schurlknight, our strategy intern this summer, to get the low down.
What surprised you the most about BRIGHTHOUSE?
I was surprised by how much I was valued. The first week I was there, for example, the office held a lunch in my honor. They seated me at the head of the table. At BrightHouse, you aren’t just an intern; you’re a member of the family.
What has work life taught you SO FAR?
I’ve learned you have to ask for what you want. And what you don’t. The real world doesn’t have grades or syllabi. If you want feedback on your work, ask. If you have too much on your plate, tell someone.
Any advice for next summer’s intern?
As my mentor taught me, it’s a marathon not a sprint. The real world is a semester’s end that never ends. You’ll always have a lot of work. Pace yourself.
What’s your favorite example of purpose in the news today?
Emma Watson is a great example. Her powerful speech at the UN and launching of the HeForShe campaign is a bold stance against gender inequality. Emma is using her unique talents to address a need in the world. And as Aristotle tells us, “Where your unique talents and the needs of the world intersect, therein lies your vocation” — your purpose. So keep shining your light, Emma. Or, as Hermione would say, “Lumos Solem.”
What’s one skill you wish you’d had coming in?
I wish that I learned not to procrastinate. In college, I was great at it. I had no problem burning the candle at both ends. But that doesn’t work anymore. It only burns you out.
What are your favorite things to do in ATLANTA?
I grew up in a town where you had to drive thirty minutes to go to the movie theater. Dirt roads were more common than paved. When I went to college, I graduated with less than 400 people. Small is very familiar to me, and my favorite thing about Atlanta is that it’s not familiar. It’s refreshing to go to a restaurant and not know anyone, or walk 500 feet from my apartment and be inside of Target. But if I had to pick something more tangible, I’d recommend Music Midtown and brunch at Canoe.
What does purpose mean to you?
When individuals find and express the truest versions of themselves, they have purpose. Purpose is authenticity coming alive. But authenticity takes introspection — a deep examination of the soul. Without that examination, purpose cannot exist. Without that examination, life is, as Socrates boldly put it, “not worth living.” Purpose, then, means everything. Purpose means having a life worth living.
Now, after reading about Lee’s fantastic summer, you probably have two questions in mind:
WHY IS YOUR INTERN WEARING A SWEATER DURING THE SUMMER?
Busted! We like him so much he’s still with us this fall. And yes, Atlanta does get cold once in a while. Update: Lee was hired as a full-time strategist shortly after we posted this interview!