Internship Diaries: The End
When I first started this internship, I had high expectations. I knew that it would be different than the other internship I had; I could tell from the interview alone that this one would be a little bit more exciting, a little bit more hands-on, and was definitely about a subject matter that I enjoy. And I have to say, I was pretty much right.
I think that my experience has been exactly what an interning experience should be: there have been highs and lows, exciting moments of feeling like an actual journalist and those back-to-earth moments of feeling like the lowest person on the office food-chain. There have been frustrating moments when I’ve felt like I just want to walk out and never come back (like a 12-hour day where there was absolutely NOTHING to do), and there have also been moments where I wouldn’t give up the job for the world (like when I got to interview Derek Jeter). I’ve had to deal with some rude people, but I’ve also gotten the chance to meet some really amazing people. And probably the best thing was seeing my name in a national publication several times, and knowing that my hard work in school was finally starting to pay off a little.
But now it’s almost the end of August, and as much as I’d like to stay at this magazine for the next few years, it doesn’t seem possible. Never mind the fact that I’ve been interning for close to 8 months and it’s starting to look a little pathetic, but I think this is the best time to move on and learn about other areas of the industry, meet new people, and get even more experience. So in a week I will be going to another publication, and yes, it’s another internship. I may not be getting paid for what I do, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had a big, bitter taste of the real world.
Here’s what I’ve learned from my all-you-can-eat buffet of real life:
1. Some people are not going to be that nice. You always hear people say, ‘in the real world, no one’s going to be nice to you.’ And while there are definitely some amazing people out there who WILL be nice to you, there are also the people who won’t be. And that’s fine. As long as you know it has nothing to do with you, the experience will only make you stronger. A little quicker to fire back.
2. Celebrities are not as intimidating as I thought they would be. My first celeb interview was with Katharine McPhee, and I was terrified. I had never really had a conversation with a star before, and had no idea what to expect, visions of crazy, snobby celebs going through my head. But McPhee couldn’t have been nicer, and after a few months of meeting even bigger celebrities and interviewing them, I found out that they weren’t as intimidating to talk to as everyone thinks they will be (the worst part is standing in front of them seeing exactly just how beautiful they really are). Now I feel like if I could interview celebrities, I can interview (and be interviewed by…) anyone.
3. You should be nice to EVERYONE. One day when I first started my internship, I had a quick chat with someone who worked there – only to find out later that it was the editor-in-chief (I immediately panicked and went through the entire convo in my head about 50 times to make sure I didn’t say anything dumb). When you’re working within the industry of your choice, you might not know who everyone is and the best thing to do is just be nice to everyone, regardless of whether they deserve it or not. No one likes the snobby intern who thinks she’s better then everyone else. And, trust me on this one, people talk…a lot; whatever reputation you have will spread quickly.
4. Always do the tasks no one else wants to do. If I was asked to stay late, I stayed late. If they needed a volunteer to get a ridiculous amount of coffee for the entire office, I did it. And any other small and annoying task that had everyone rolling their eyes, I did those too. It’s a great way to stand out, because it made my editor see I wasn’t just there for the cool stuff, that I was there because I really wanted to get ahead.
5. What I really want to do is write. This internship has been amazing, but the only negative is the limited opportunity to write. At first I thought I could handle working at a magazine like that, but after a few months, I know that’s not true. I graduated with a degree in print journalism because I love writing, not because I wanted to stalk celebrities. No matter what else came out of my 8 months of interning, figuring out exactly what I want in life was definitely the most important.
Here’s hoping to getting a job soon and leaving interning behind!