It was the summer before her freshman year at the University of Southern California when Kastalia Medrano found herself backpacking through Greece with a friend. Taking a moment to rest among the runes, they talked about travel, writing and archaeology. That was when her friend mentioned Kastalia would fit perfectly at National Geographic.
“When he said that, it occurred to me that was something I could really do with my life, and I got excited,” Medrano said. “But I’m usually one of those people who gets really excited about something and then it fades.”
After that summer abroad, Kastalia was back in the States, making the most of a journalism education and working for the Daily Trojan, her campus newspaper. There, she has held positions as a columnist, online editor, editorial director and associate managing editor during her various semesters. She interned for Pasadena magazine, and even spent another summer abroad, working as a copy editor in Dublin.
While those experiences continued to develop her skill sets, National Geographic stuck in the back of her head—her interests always seeming to revolve around scuba diving, archaeology, environmentalism and photography.
“But my writing and projects were always very organic,” Medrano said. “I never specifically tried to tailor my resume to fit what I thought National Geographic would want.”
Three years later, though, that’s exactly where she is. Medrano is the latest ASME intern working at National Geographic magazine. And while, three years ago, she had wondered if that excitement her friend stirred up within her might gradually fade, she knows differently now.
“I had never been so sure of what I wanted to do than I was that day,” she said. “Three years later, I’m still that same excited.”
By Emily Inverso, ASME Intern, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance