Friday, May 25, 2012

Introducing..The Post-Grad Entertainment Intern Ready To Pay Her Dues

This past Monday was unlike any other Monday before it. It marked the beginning of a new, positive change in my personal evolution: I started my summer internship with an entertainment magazine. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to work for one. When I was growing up, instead of learning makeup tips from Seventeen, I was absorbing pop culture analysis from Entertainment Weekly.

I began my day at the crack of dawn for the long trek across town to my internship. Rather than heading to the freeway to journey into the heart of Los Angeles like other commuters, I boarded the early morning light rail train. I want to arrive on my first day not only on time, but also early enough so that I can scope out the amenities of the area. Luckily, I found a Starbucks in the same vicinity as the office.

Fortified with invigorating caffeine, I held my head high as I entered the building. The magazine office is sparse, yet trendy. The space reminds me of a converted art gallery, with wide airy windows and bare concrete floors that echo everyone’s footsteps. The lady at the front desk (not sure if she was the receptionist or just someone filling in) instructed me to have a seat while she summoned my editor. Waiting in the lobby, the seconds felt like hours. 

I politely greeted the employees that started to trickle in the office. Suddenly, one walking by stopped and went up to me. To my amazement, she hugged me, and I recognized her immediately as a former classmate. Seeing her again stirred up a bubbling cauldron of turbulent emotions. I felt so elated to see her after losing touch so long ago, yet a tinge of shame and embarrassment at being recognized coming in to the fold as a mere intern. It was weird that we started off from the same school, on equal footing, but now she’s the established successful one while I’m the one who’s on the bottom of the totem pole. I just hope I can shrug off my awkwardness and prove myself worthy enough to earn a permanent spot at the magazine; I’m ready and willing to pay my dues. 

My current internship is not the first time I’ve work in media. My very first internship was with the film division of a cable network during the summer after I graduated high school. That initial experience gave invaluable insight into the entertainment industry and also sparked my desire to pursue journalism. Since then, I’ve had two other internships after I graduated from college, one for another entertainment trade magazine and the other for a local newspaper in my hometown.

While these past experiences have been great learning opportunities, I still feel like I haven’t maximized my full potential. Compared to my former classmate, I’ve taken the road less travelled in my quest to find success. Although we both graduated college at the same time, she’s steadily moved up among the ranks of various magazines while I’ve struggled through bumps along the way. So this time around, I vowed that I would prove myself no matter what; my motivation wasn’t money, but working hard for the experience to gain the skills needed to sustain a career. In this ever-changing world, I have more to learn now than ever, not just the basic print production, but also how to use social media tools online.

Aside from the blast from the past, the rest of the morning progressed fairly quickly. I meet the head editor who quickly brought me up to speed. I learned, most importantly, I was the first and only intern so far, but that more would be coming on board next week. I thought to myself, between now and Friday, I really have to make a lasting first impression to set myself apart and stay ahead of the pack. I wondering if they would be current students or post-collegiate aspiring journalists like myself.

Have you met the other interns yet? 

See you next Friday!
Entertainment Intern

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