Long gone are the days of summer filled with poolside afternoons and umbrella drinks. Instead, I’ve traded in my flip-flops for heels, and my swimsuit for a power suit. This summer will chronicle my journalism internship in a field that’s slightly out of my comfort zone, and test my abilities to become business savvy in the big city.
By week three it was back to business. The air of frenzied excitement that had possessed the office prior to the Best of Detroit party had ceased and the stories recounting the evening were beginning to die down.
I had finally finished my first story and was waiting eagerly to get some feedback from my editor who was annoyingly out of the office all day. And so I was left alone with my least favorite part of my chosen career. Fact checking. Not only is it tedious work, but it involves dozens of phone calls in which you inevitably end up getting transferred, disconnected, or talking to a voicemail box.
After a complete history of the national Baptist hymnal, accompanied by some lovely instrumentals, I found myself faced with yet another answering machine and yet one more reason why I would be chained to my desk all day, perusing Facebook and waiting for return calls.
Desperate for an escape, I decided to take an early lunch and stumbled upon yet another reason to love my job. On my way out, I passed through the rows of cubicles, the same cubicles that my apparently unobservant self passes through daily, only to run into Ally, a friend I used to dance with and have known since our Backstreet Boys obsessed days.
As it turns out, she’s been working in the advertising and marketing department this whole time. We spent our lunch hour catching up on school and laughing about our serendipitous meetings (we also ran into each other a few months ago in Union Station oddly enough).
I’m starting to really notice the importance of making connections. In fact, a lot of the people I work with have told me that they got their job here in part thanks to some acquaintance or another – something that surprised me as I have always thought that hard work was for the truly successful and being handed a job was for, ahem, fraternity gentlemen.
Second lesson learned: networking is hard work. Once I thought about it I realized that the number of connections I have on my LinkedIn account has doubled in the three weeks I’ve been here, and when I start to look for a new position in the fall I have over 100 contacts just to start with.
By the end of the week my first article had been published, and I’d established a strong enough relationship with the PR department of one of “The Big 3” to land to my next story and the key’s to a new concept car to test drive. Thank you networking.