Intern Diaries

l felt like I just stepped closer to my dreams. I felt like a door of opportunity had just opened and I was prepared to walk through it. I was so excited to finally gain an internship for the 2007 Fall semester. The prior summer, I sent my resume to many prospective companies but heard no word back. So, when a professor of mine informed me about this opportunity in the bright-lighted Times Square, I jumped right on it. How could I resist the privilege of being a part of the chaos of New York!
The internship was at Conde` Nast for magazine X. At the time I was contemplating whether or not writing was what I wanted to pursue as a career, so I expected that this internship would help me come closer to deciding. The idea of interning at a magazine so excited me that I began fantasizing about what this opportunity would offer, pictured sitting in on meetings discussing articles and issues, having quick conversations with the writers when I got the chance, all with constant phones ringing and the voice of the “boss lady” reigning over everything, shouting out five orders at a time. I’d smile because within all this chaos I would consider myself lucky just to be there. At least I thought I was lucky.

My experience wasn’t exactly what I expected. My days were spent sitting in a cubicle watching the time pass with nothing to do. My tasks included organizing the boss lady’s pile of outdated newspapers and magazines, putting together her personal magazine rack, and random, mundane one-minute duties. I never got to sit in on a meeting and only two of the writers for the magazine were stationed in the NY office. The rest were in the LA office and I never got the chance to converse with either of the two. Being a writer myself, I was bursting with enthusiasm to be able to see how creating a magazine issue works. I wanted to experience the process of an idea transforming into tangible reality and then on to paper. But that never happened.

I quickly lost my interest and my excitement digressed to disappointment. But maybe I set myself up for disappointment by expecting too much. I understand that I wasn’t going to be at the same level as the staffers, but I certainly didn’t think I’d be doing the nonsense I was. However, if I hadn’t got the opportunity at all to intern there, I wouldn’t have made the contacts that I did, and this industry is all about who you know. So all in all, I did gain something!