Friday, May 4

College student - part 1

When I write in my blog, I like to pretend that I'm not a college student. "Good writers aren't this young and inexperienced," I think to myself. So I like to pretend I'm not young and inexperienced, because I don't like to think I'm not a good writer. I try to write thought-provoking posts that are hopefully humorous. Or maybe more often humorous posts that are hopefully thought-provoking. But I usually stay away from posts that are purely academic. I hate those blogs. I read for entertainment, not learning! (As if learning can't be entertaining, too. How sad.)

But, I'm going to come out and say it: I'm a college student.

See? I knew you'd still love me.

So, it's finals week. At my school, finals week means anything from actual finals (1) to screenplays (1) to oral exams (1) to 20-page papers (1). And no, "oral exams" does not mean giving oral sex for a grade. Though we all know what grade I'd get.* ;-)

So, technically I'll be posting about my life, since my life is paper-writing. I'm going to post the memoir I wrote about my internship. I'll do it in segments so you can take naps in between reading.

* An incomplete - I've never given any of you head!

"Look What I Can Do!" - Competing for Approval - part 1

Getting the internship itself was a competitive process. Each year, several thousand hopeful students email their resumes to [Company]. On [Company]’s website, there are 74 intern positions listed in the New York area. There is only one East Coast internship in entertainment development.

During my interview, [Supervisor] told me that I was their eighth and final candidate. I left after a quick tour of the office in a rush of nervous energy. There were going to be two development interns, so I had 1/4 chance of getting the internship. “We really like the fact that you’ve already worked at [Company],” [Supervisor] had said. That had to be a good sign.

When I got the phone call offering me the internship, I asked [Supervisor] about my schedule. “Let us know what days you can come in; we’ll select the second intern based on your availability.” Apparently, I was their first choice. I was ecstatic.

On my first day at the office, [Supervisor] gave me a tour. My “office” was the dub room, which housed two computers, three TV monitors, two DVD burners (or dub machines), and other equipment that transferred DVDs to VHS, VHS to VHS, and so on. [Supervisor]’s desk was just outside the door of the dub room, in a group of four workstations with green partitions on three sides. At these cubicle-like groupings sat the assistants; lining the walls around them were actual offices occupied by [Network] executives. Down a hallway and in a corner office was [Supervisor]’s boss, [Head Honcho]. The vice-president of development, [Head Honcho]’s space came complete with a couch, two armchairs, and a tiny wire frame table that looked purely ornamental. The office next to hers was occupied by [Number 2], whose Director title made him one rung down the executive ladder. [Supervisor] reported to both [Number 2] and [Head Honcho].

Back in the dub room, [Supervisor] talked me through my regular duties: I would be maintaining the DVD library, which consisted of five large binders filled with episodes of all of [Network]’s current series; I would be uploading video files to a website called [Website], where people could watch clips from the comfort of the Internet; I would be dubbing DVDs as requested; and I would be entering information from pass pitches into the computer. Pass pitches were proposals for new shows submitted to [Network]’s development department that had been turned down, and the database I used was called the pitch log.

“I’ll show you how to do [Website] today,” [Supervisor] explained, “But I’ll let [Willa] explain the pitch log to you on Monday; she has a system.”

I was disappointed to find out that I had started working a whole three weeks after the other development intern started. She already had a system? I felt a little behind. I’ll catch up, I shrugged. Still, it stung a bit: [Willa] already had seniority.

The instant [Supervisor] left the dub room, busy preparing for his two week vacation, a young woman entered.

“Hi, I’m [Claire],” She said right away, offering her hand. I shook it. “Would you mind helping me with an errand?”

We left the building on a mission to Staples. On the way there and back, [Claire] mapped out the office for me in a way that seemed comically similar to Cady’s orientation to high school in Mean Girls, where her newfound friends explain which tables the cool kids occupied in the cafeteria.

[Claire] was a fellow intern, but worked for [Tim], who was the executive assistant to the network president. She had been [Supervisor]’s intern last summer, so she knew exactly what I would be doing and who I was working with. Even if it was a bit of a stereotypical welcome, it was great luck that I was getting along with someone so well on my first day.

On Monday morning I arrived at the office and had to call [Willa] from the elevator bank to let me in, as I still hadn’t received my ID badge. I watched through the glass doors as a shorter, slightly overweight, pimply Chinese-American girl greeted me.

“Hi, you must be [TAB]. I’m [Willa].” She sounded perky and kind.

[Willa] and I walked to [Supervisor]’s desk, and she guided me through a checklist that had been printed: “While [Supervisor] It Out,” it was titled. However, I soon became less annoyed by the typo than [Willa]’s guidance: she was reading me duties that [Supervisor] had explained the week before. I tried to tell her that I had already gone over the responsibilities with [Supervisor], but she continued anyway, “Just in case”.

After a few polite questions (“What college do you go to?” “What year are you?”), [Willa] and I stood speechless at [Supervisor]’s desk. What now?

“Where do you want to sit?” [Willa] asked.

[Supervisor]’s desk was the obvious choice: it was out in the open, had a better version of Windows, a flat-screen monitor, and the great responsibility of filling his shoes. Don’t be bossy, I chided myself. “I don’t really mind, either way,” I countered in an agreeable voice. “Where do you want to sit?”

“I’ll sit at [Supervisor]’s desk today,” [Willa] replied cheerfully, as though she were doing me a favor.

Well, you didn’t say anything, I grumbled to myself as I carried my coat and purse into the dub room. It would have made sense to sit there, so that I could be more prepared to fill in for [Supervisor] alone the next day. Too late now. Next time don’t be polite.
* * *

Stay tuned for... backstabbing, catfights. Possible nudity.

7 comments:

crystall said...

It's okay to be young and a college student! And a possible to be that, and a good writer, which you are.

Congrats on your Internship.

Dropout! said...

"And no, "oral exams" does not mean giving oral sex for a grade."

Speak for yourself.

Wanderlusting said...

Many good writers are made in college - why do you think journalism schools make you take writing tests before they let you in?

Of course, I fooled mine, ha ha!

But in all honesty, all of my writing experience was crafted (and occasionally de-crafted) in college (of course, having a mess of shitty life experiences helps too) - and since then I have written - and once again will be writing - for a living (yay!).

Give yourself more credit TAB - you know people love your writing.

Martian said...

You're a college student? Oh, well, forget this. I'm never reading again.

Oh, wait, did you say nudity?!

Sarah said...

The anxiety over getting a job/internship! So much harder than getting into college I tell you.

And you haven't fooled me one bit. Always knew you were a college student TAB.

Ripsy said...

This is old news. I still say you stab her. The end.

kittenpower said...

TAB vs Willa. YES!

babes, I wish I was still in college... enjoy while you have it!