An Intern's Reflection on the Hub Islington
29 July 2013 - Impact Hub

Two months ago I made my third excursion to London to undergo an internship that at the time represented a risk. The idea of interning at an international co-working space went against every norm for an American university student entering his final year of schooling. Your last student internship is meant to be an audition for your eventual job post-graduation. I however was hopping across the pond to do something that wasn’t going to get me an immediate job. It was a gamble that most would shrug off as being ludicrous. At the same time it was a gamble I needed to a take, and a gamble that ended up paying off.
As I sit here on my last day as an intern I look back on my time at the Hub with peace of mind. I did what I came here to do, I learned what I came here to learn, but best of all I saw what I needed to see. People creating change. It’s a concept that can be hard to grasp in a world where many are afraid to challenge a status quo that was established by the few. However that is what makes the Hub such an incredible place. People are challenging the world not just because they can but because they believe in the change they are creating. The problem right now is that we are letting the beliefs and interests of the aforementioned few represent those of the entire population. While I wouldn’t call Hubbers vigilantes of the world they want, I believe they are advocates of the world we all need. To be surrounded by those kinds of people multiple times a week inspires you in ways that are impossible to describe. The best I can do is leave all of you with 5 pieces of advice for engaging in the world in a way that makes not just it better but you as well.

  1. No language, cultural or socioeconomic barrier can withstand the common connection that people have with smiles, laughing, food and a good cup of coffee. Always keep that in mind.
  2. Never let anyone tell you that the work of one person is pointless. It is always the diligence of one person that eventually becomes the spark and inspiration for anything worth fighting for.
  3. Believe in what you do. The easiest way to fail is to fail at something you don’t care about. There will eventually be someone waiting to challenge your conviction to your cause. Don’t doubt yourself when it eventually happens.
  4. Stick to your path and your path alone. People are always going to be pulling you in every direction possible when it comes to your career. All you need to know is all of them are wrong and only you are right. If they truly love what they do then they will advise you to do what you love to do. It’s that simple. Otherwise they are more then likely looking for someone to justify their own path before going any further down it.
  5. Take risks, mess up and fall flat on your face. This is by far the hardest piece of advice for me to follow and is easily the most important piece I can give anyone. When you look back on your life’s successes you will more then likely find that it was your failures that paved the way. You’ll never know how much you truly believe in your choices until you fail doing them. I looked for a great quote on this but I couldn’t find one that sums it up the way I see it. So I’ll finish with this. Fail brilliantly.

And with that I say good bye. It was a great summer here. More then that though it was a summer where I saw something I had earlier thought impossible. People taking their passions and finding ways to change the world with it. I just hope they never stop. Who am I kidding though? Anyone who has been to a Hub knows they wont.
– Sam McClenney
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