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.
It’s ironic that as I’m finally beginning to acquire some grasp on the world of finance I find myself in the midst of a personal financial crisis. What I affectionately refer to as my shopping “addiction” has finally reached a point where it can no longer be ignored and I find myself in the same state as the city I’ve grown to love so well this summer — on the verge of financial ruin. And like Detroit, it’s time to dig deeper and rebuild the infrastructure that supports my personal economy.
I’ve been assigned my second big story, and I’ll be doing a piece based on my TechTown visit last week (see Closing on Your Opportunities). My original excitement about this “business accelerator” was somewhat dashed by all of the stress I was under trying to figure out my own finances; I was not in a place to try to analyze someone else’s financial endeavors.
Either my natural journalistic tendencies or my recent personal investment in financial health led me to pass up what I originally pegged as the obvious story idea – a profile of some of the crazy futuristic bio tech companies right here in Detroit. Instead, as I sat in a coffee shop (feeling like a jerk because I couldn’t even afford to buy a $3.78 coffee) interviewing TechTown’s PR head I realized that the story had switched into a profile of TechTown itself and all of the initiatives it houses to help entrepreneurs get their start and inject a little life (and a lot of capital) into Detroit’s economy.
As I’m getting farther into it, I’m realizing that this is not just a uniquely Detroit story. One of TechTown’s programs is specifically geared to helping CEO’s and corporate big shots who have tumbled down the economic ladder into unemployment. It’s not lack of talent or even intelligence that has these giants cast out of their former glory and into financial ruin, but rather a side effect of the recession that has turned the nation’s financial forecast on its head.
To get them back on their feet, TechTown is completely retooling their skill set, something I need to apply to my personal finances after a very stark discussion with my father over lunch today. So after some consideration, I’ve decided to apply TechTown’s aggressive budgeting strategy to my bank account, and hopefully find myself just a bit more business savvy.