My first day walking into the building of the large newspaper organization, I couldn’t hide my excitement. Even the prospect of being issued an ID card got my heart beating faster. For me, a photo ID card (a washed-out, DMV-style photo, nonetheless) was a sign of legitimization: I was starting a real internship at a real, respected news organization. There were times when I fantasized about this moment, with images of Rory Gilmore flashing through my head.
I was introduced to about 30 people—some of whose names I can recall at a moment’s notice—and to my cubicle desk. I count myself a lucky intern, since I have a beautiful view of the KOIN Center from my fourth floor window.
Upon settling into my home for the next couple months, I learned a few important lessons—one of them being that connections are everything.
The first few days of my internship, my supervisor was away at the 34th annual International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference in New York City, where she was able to do some networking with high-profile foodies from around the nation—from renowned restaurant owners to food magazine editors to cookbook writers. Having just co-written a cookbook, she found the writing workshops especially beneficial. My supervisor told me that although it’s expensive to attend these conferences, it ends up being worth the price since the networking opportunities are priceless.
I realized that through her, I am now part of an extended network of these people—sort of a “six degrees of separation,” if you will. This realization just gives me all the more reason to make a great impression at my internship and make it possible for my supervisor to give a positive and honest review of what I can do in the workplace. Now I’m looking forward to creating relationships here that will last long after my graduation in June.