Well, I’m about three and a half weeks into my internship. Let me tell you—I absolutely did not belong in a classroom. For anyone feeling like school is a waste of time, pulling you every and each direction that you don’t care to go, understand that it all gets better and that it will all pay off.
I show up to work everyday at 8:30 a.m. at the latest and love getting to work. Each day is a new challenge, a new person to try and impress, a new task to try your hand at. I’ve got a phone with an extension, a collection of highlighters and Sharpies, and a copy of The Fact Checker’s Bible. I am the intern: socially awkward around my superiors and socially accepted by my fellow editorial interns.
It wasn’t all easy, though.
I shot out of the gates with a couple of fact checks, quick-hit writing, and a beer blog assignment. I thought that the rest of the term was going to be fast-paced fun, constantly running around the city tasting beers for the blog, calling sources to confirm facts, and finding stories around town for the next issue.
I pitched a couple of ideas, researched them, developed them, and came back with confidence. Sure enough, none of them got picked up. I even pitched a beer story for the beer issue. That one getting rejected kind of hurt.
It took a weekend of recovery to realize that I was, in fact, the intern. My generation, the “Millenials/Generation Y,” is always looking to be the best and striving for the ever-so-cliché “instant gratification.” I thought that if I started hot right off the bat, the world would be handed to me and I would get hired on with no questions.
After the weekend, I came back fully aware that I was the intern, and okay with that. I am actually doing work that, although a bit mundane at times, is absolutely important. I’m not even out of college yet—I’ve put in no time with this industry. So, yes I will gladly check over my superior’s work and make sure that their facts are straight. I’ll work with my editors and get a piece published. I will continue to show up at 8:30 a.m. and leave at 1:10. My assignments will continue to come in as early as possible.
There is so much to lose or gain from an internship. If I keep doing what I’m doing, we’re talking references, clips, and potentially a job. If I go the opposite, entitled route, throw all of that out of the window.