Thursday, July 19, 2012

Knowing all the right people

One of the first things they told us at the ASME orientation was that this industry is all about your connections. As a journalist not knowing anyone in the city, that was intimidating. I felt that I had entered a mad dash to get to know everyone who is anyone in the magazine industry.

I tried to stock-up my contact list with emails that ended with all the names you see on a newsstand. I bulked up my LinkedIn. I sent out emails hoping to get a nod back.

And all of this is important. Because this industry and this city is a lot the people you know.

But the most important people that I met through this internship are my roommates.

Nothing is more refreshing and encouraging than to come home to a group of friends who are eager to listen to your day, no matter how tedious it was. Knowing that I have people at my apartment who are ready to laugh at the stupid things I did that day, or celebrate when I do something right, keeps my head up. It feels good knowing that someone in this city has my back.

And each day I get to hear about all the amazing things they are doing at their internships. I get to hear the stories that detail all the hard work they are putting into this summer. When the week is over, I get to celebrate all their triumphs with them. 

I did fear that living with people with my exact same aspirations was going to turn into a huge competition. And fortunately, I was wrong. We all have such different goals and different paths to those goals, that we really can’t compare our experiences. We can just appreciate how much work we are all doing to get there.

So, yes—it's all about meeting the right people. I guess I’m just lucky I’m living with them.

Alexandra Engler, Sports Illustrated

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