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.

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I have to say, being in the motor city over the windy city for the summer has its advantages. Aside from having the opportunity to watch a former glittering metropolis raise itself from the ashes, we have a lot of cool cars.

Thanks to the fruits of my networking labors, I was invited to a GM Ride and Drive event downtown this week.

The event itself was pretty cool because it was completely put on by interns for interns. When reporting on my first story, I met with one of GM’s Chief Engineers as well as a PR rep for GM and one of their interns. After a little intern bonding, she invited me to this event she was coordinating with the other GM interns designed specifically for the local media interns.

May I just note: your fellow interns are a gold mine. They are your future coworkers, resources, partners and competition, and if you connect with them now you will have built yourself a nice foundation to expand upon the moment you step out of academia and into the work force.

The intern in the cubicle next to you may now be your go to person to vent to about menial intern tasks, but might one day end up running a company or having access to the capital, sources, or insider knowledge that you’ll one day need. If you wait that long, that will be difficult connection to make. But with your intern “in” it’s as simple as maintaining the bonds you’ve already made.

This single event alone connected me with interns in marketing, public relations, advertising, finance, engineering, computer science, and every branch of journalism.

And yes, today we were just a bunch of college kids really excited to drive the new Camero and open up a Corvette on the freeway. But tomorrow the engineering intern I met might be the new Chief Engineer of one of “The Big Three,” (very likely considering he has already come up with the idea for GM’s newest small car and begun to develop and design it…as an intern), the marketing intern may be the head of the PR firm planning the city’s hottest events and the media interns will be my future colleges and therefore greatest resources.

Fourth lesson learned: spread a little intern love (professionally of course).

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