Change of Venue

What started out as a lunch date turned into an opportunity for a day working in the main office of Time, Inc. As I reflect on yesterday, I realize how valuable it will be in the future.

I was getting lunch with some of my coworkers in the bureau, and they suggested I take a day and work in the NYC office, where the majority of TIME’s staff works. I’d be able to see how the the larger organization functions, and I’d get to meet people I’d been working with only via email until that point. It was a great idea. One should never underestimate the advice of coworkers. If you can get some social time outside the office, go for it. It really gets the ball rolling on some notions that may come to fruition.

A few conversations, emails, and phone calls later, I had my trip planned to the Big Apple. The timing worked perfectly, since I was able to simply detour on my way back from vacation. I immediately realized how glad I was to have figured out all of the travels ahead of time. Anything I had planned meticulously, including train schedules and such, worked marvelously. Anything I left to chance was usually a little more difficult, like figuring out the NY Subway system (DC Metro may be unreliable sometimes, but it’s easy to navigate. From my experience, NY Subway is the complete opposite). I’m glad I gave myself a little extra time to get to this new office on time. Had I been late, it would not have made a good first impression to many of the people who worked there who I was only meeting for the first time. Spontaneity is great, but yesterday reminded me that it doesn’t always lead to the best situation.

The rest of the day, I got to work in the bullpen alongside other reporters as well as sit in on a meeting with all of the associate editors. It allowed me to see how the magazine was organizing all of its various departments to make one, cohesive news organization. On top of that, many of these editors were discussing current events and giving their own take on it, trying to predict where the stories may go so they would be prepared. It reminded me just how much I need to study before I can get to their position. Their general knowledge of how the world works was really admirable, and I was humbled to be in the same room and working for them. In due time, maybe I’ll be in their shoes.

In the mean time, I had to keep doing my work. I ended up writing three articles that day, all published online. On top of that, I helped some reporters finish a photo essay. They were looking for a particular subject but were having trouble locating the right pictures. The newsroom was quiet at that point, so I was able to hear them. I leaned over and told them about an event I knew about, and I knew where to get pictures. In an instant, I was helping to create this photo essay. While I don’t support eavesdropping so to speak, it’s definitely worth it to keep your ears open to observe (it really is a great tool in a journalist’s tool box). Who knows? It worked for me this time around. I was able to work on another project and get more experience using my own expertise. If you have something to contribute, it never hurts to speak out and lend a hand.

One last thing I realized yesterday? Names. Boy, do I need to work on remembering names. With all of the people I was introduced to, I probably should have made flashcards. When you learn a person’s name, repeat it over and over and connect it to the face. It helped a bit for me, but I’m only human…There were a lot of new faces.

You never know what might happen. If your internship offers an opportunity to travel, take it. And if a remotely plausible idea comes out of a lunch meeting with friends, go for it. You just never know.