Saturday, July 7, 2012

Take that, Carson Kressley

At the end of our ASME lunch at Glamour on Thursday, Sid asked if there was anything he could change about the program to make it better for next year's interns. I tend to think every single thing about this program is pure magic, so I didn't say anything. But after further consideration, I do think there's something that can be changed. 

Applications were due December 1. Decisions were released in the last week of March.

I'm not looking for a one day turnaround here, but four months of waiting was plenty of time for me to go a little crazy. I knew I was losing it when Carson Kressley showed up in a dream, destroyed my application and told me I'd never get in. Why Mr. Kressley had to deliver that news I'll never know, but I think a simple rejection email would have sufficed.  

I had barely recovered from the initial shock of being accepted when I found out that I was placed at Money. I would have been excited to work at any of the participating publications, but Money was among my top choices. All that ASME-inspired, Carson Kressley-defying confidence lasted right up until about a week before I started my internship. In other words, it lasted right up until I actually needed it. I began to wonder what in the world I had gotten myself into. I'm no finance expert, and that seemed like something of a prerequisite for working at Money. I read books and blogs and back issues, and I still wasn't sure how I was going to pull this off.

Carson didn't make any appearances this time around, but my nerves did make me temporarily forget why I wanted to work at Money in the first place.  In the fall of 2008, I devoured story after story about the economy and watched, both riveted and a little terrified, as it plummeted during my senior year of high school. Two years later, I left class to run home and buy shares of a stock I'd been watching after I saw it hit a rare low point during the day. I started saving for retirement before I was old enough to consume alcohol.

Clearly I wasn't a complete stranger to personal finance, but I was focusing more on what I didn't know than what I did know. I even had two different mentors tell me that my lack of expertise in personal finance wouldn't be an issue. I was apparently so determined to worry about it anyway that I didn't really believe them (thanks Marnie and Amanda, at least you tried). 

It turns out they were right, and listening to people who have been in the industry much longer than you is generally a good plan. Shocking, I know. I'm learning a ridiculous amount every day in my internship, both about finance and about the magazine industry. In fact, I'm learning so much that I think I'll be able to keep Carson out of my dreams from now on. The real test of that will come in six months when I graduate from college and enter the job market. For now, though, I can't think of a better place to be spending this summer.

On that note, Sid, if you'd like to do something about this whole leaving in August thing, that would be fine with me.

Laynie Rose, University of Georgia, ASME intern at Money

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