ATL BBY

14 04 2014

I’d be lying if I said that I rarely stress out about my future. I’m actually 5% water and 95% stress-induced panic. And one thing that has been especially pressing is the inevitable summer internships that young and competitive journalists vie for to round out their education. I was no exception. I was applying to all the major places I imagined myself: New 1377177_10201998566476494_803836019_nYork, Washington D.C., Atlanta. I could just hear the phone call that would uproot me from my Tennessee home and whisk me away to a place of big city news. And I waited. And waited. Waited some more.

Before long, spring break had come and I just knew that my phone call was coming.

Picture it: Monday of Spring Break. Out with my grandmother shopping. Look down and check my phone: missed call from Atlanta.

My heart dropped. I called the number back only to be directed to the CNN main hotline where they couldn’t direct me to whom had called. The rest of the break was spent in a sulk waiting for another call that did not come. And then more waiting occurred.

Flash forward to last Friday: prepping to do our sixth show of UT Today and sitting on the couch after just having a conversation with Dr. Swan about alternative places to apply for an internship. As the show went into commercial, I looked down to see my phone ringing with the caller ID: Atlanta, GA. I jumped up and ran out of the studio, waving one arm behind me and turning just enough to see Rilwan mouth “CNN?” and me nod.

It was the Newsroom calling and subsequently interviewing me via phone, causing me to pretty much freak that I had not prepared. The questions weren’t ridiculously difficult, to say the least. As she offered her three important traits, I tried to offer just as equally important answers that could shape her opinion of the kind of journalist I strived to be. [Three traits?: Proactive, Common Sense, Prioritize.] She then asked if I had any questions, which I subsequently offered two or three that popped off my head.

Then she said she had one last question for me. If I had the right answer, she would hire me on the spot. Oh, and by the way: only four interns in her seven years had ever gotten it 1381438_10201998566756501_467516068_nright.

I won’t offer the whole situation, but the gist was a scenario with multiple options where we had to offer an order to do them and why. Not surprisingly, I missed it and I instantly saw the “We’ll be in touch” speech quickly approaching. I tried to be personable and interactive, hoping she wouldn’t hang up without offering a time frame of me knowing.

She did me one better.

She offered me one of the eight Newsroom Intern positions. Although I had always imagined I would be professional and not get giddy – well, I got giddy.

“Oh my God! Really?!” was out of my mouth before I could help it and after a couple of very quick consultations, I accepted the job.

Knowing where I am going to be this summer [and even having an apartment already!] is such a relief. Atlanta is close enough to be almost convenient, and I’ll even have my car. I’m too excited already.

Visiting CNN back in October was one of the first slap-in-the-face moments I had in broadcast. I rocked my world seeing the huge Newsroom, the studios, the technology and people hard at work to keep the network on air literally 24 hours, 7 days a week. And now, I’ll be spending 40 hours a week in the summer helping make it all a reality.

Tot ziens.





Flashbacks

9 04 2014

running shot 2Although it is safe to say that Utrecht is always on my mind, this past week has been especially prevalent with thoughts of stroopwafels, bikes and the Dutch. Every little thing seemed to be pointing for me to remember some minute detail of my time there, and luckily, today it hit me. While abroad, I would occasionally take runs [I use the word lightly] around my neighborhood of Tuindorp. My first time going out, I had no plan and just thought I would run as far as possible and hopefully maneuver my way back. The run would go past my student housing complex along the road I would bike to school until I would come to a bridge near a playground with a white bench [where I would rest if it were especially hot]. There, I would make a left and run along the road until I made another left at a brick wall only to run until I saw a mini park with a pond. At this point, I would only be about 15-20 minutes in my run, but the park was so pretty that I decided to sit in the grass. That first time there, I can remember laying back in the grass, a sweaty mess, listening to my music, smelling the fresh cool breeze and hear the unique sound of bikes on cobblestone all around me. I loved that little place I’m pretty sure was next to a church. I’m not sure why, but every time I would run I would take solace in knowing I would eventually take a break from the run and from the ever-coursing thoughts of terror at being in such a foreign place.
running spotToday, I decided to walk to the UC to get dinner. The sun had barely started to set; it was cool and the air smelled different. Clean, even. And while waiting for the light to change, I took a half-second to close my eyes, hearing a biker whish past me, my music playing in my headphones. Instantly, I was back in that park, so vividly as if I had literally run into a pole [which I promise you did happen while riding my bike a few times]. I was surprised that I wasn’t overwhelmed with a sense of sadness – but a feeling of just being at home. So much so that once I had my dinner and made it back to my apartment, I got on Google Maps and followed my old running path until I found the street view of the park, sunny and filled with liveliness.
I’m not sure what this feeling is yet. I honestly have no idea. So often I’ve been sad at being away from the Netherlands and from that life, but today I was happier. I smiled at the images in my head and instead of desperately clinging to them, I waved as they passed and inhaled deeply, still smelling the air.
I’ve applied to be a UT International Guide for the fall semester. Something similar to Erasmus, I assume, where we serve as tour guides, welcome leaders, and peer mentors to international students for the semester. I hope to get the job. Maybe my incessant need to talk about studying abroad can come in handy now!
Tot ziens.