“It’s just, I haven’t left Philly yet.”
This quote, from the ever-relevant “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” character Charlie Kelly, admitting to having never left Philadelphia, has a certain relevance to my own life. His confession was prompted by debating whether or not to road trip with his friends to the Grand Canyon, thereby forcing him to leave the confines of his home turf.
Maybe it’s for a different reason than Charlie’s, but I can relate his homebody nature to those native Philadelphians whom I’ve encountered through my internships in the city.
When I first started interning in New York City while attending classes at Temple, I felt sure I had the longest commute to and from the West Village twice a week. As a Philadelphian myself, I grew accustomed to believing that the majority of people, with a few exceptions, choose to live in the city they work in.
After struggling through crowds of people for expensive Big Gulp sodas, I learned first-hand that there isn’t enough room or money for everyone to happily live and work together in New York City. In Philadelphia, however, the cracked bell rings brotherly love. At every internship I’ve attended, toured or interviewed at, I have always either spotted Temple pennants or met with Temple alumni. People like to hire their friends.
Maintaining strong current and future professional relationships with your classmates and professors here at Temple is paramount. From my experience, it seems that the majority working in Philadelphia were born, raised, attended school and live in Philadelphia.
And what better way to truly experience that love than to have had the opportunity to experience Philadelphia sports first-hand this summer? I was lucky enough to do just that as an intern with Fox 29 WTXF-TV located in Old City.
OK, so our city’s teams didn’t actually do that well this summer, or even for the past couple years. Nevertheless, I was excited to learn how the fourth largest media market decides what sporting news is important and how it conveys the important news to its public, especially given that a losing season isn’t something that boosts citywide moral of Philly sports fans.
I should preface the aforementioned by stating that this was my first internship with a local news station. While it doesn’t necessarily matter what order you do your internships in, I decided to start interning at the network news level first to observe how news stations are run. I chose to pursue that before an internship with a local affiliate in order to gain hands-on skills that can better prepare me for, yes, the real world.
My shift as a sports intern would start at around 5:30 p.m. and would go as late, or early, as 1 a.m. It’s not that we were airing our show that early but rather we had spent all day gathering sports footage and didn’t want to leave the station until we had edited our package. Again, it’s the passion that drives the people in this industry to put in the long, overnight hours.
“In order to be better informed to fully experience and analyze life outside of the classroom, we must have the drive and energy.”
It’s great to experiment with bizarre hours as an intern to see if you can handle working the night-shift without committing to a long-term contract. We are college students, so employers tend to understand our relationship to short term commitments rather than long term – although interning will help you to adjust to working straight through, rather than taking those college naps or gym breaks throughout your day.
So when it came time to decide on my fall internship, I decided to continue with Fox 29 to work the morning shift. “Good Day Philadelphia” interns are expected to be at the studio at 3:30 a.m. for a 4:30 a.m. morning show start time
As college students, we’re taught critical thinking skills in the classroom. Yet in order to be better informed to fully experience and analyze life outside of the classroom, we must have the drive and energy.
Once starting an internship, whether or not you plan to continue for more than one semester, make sure you are distinguishing yourself from university to workplace by going out of your way to meet and sit down with people at the company.
This will also expose you to experienced professionals who can help you network for a future job. Becoming a familiar face in a workplace creates open doors for the future, particularly during a conversation with your internship coordinator about continuing with the company for another semester. If employers can speak for your good work, then there’s a chance that they will allow you to stay, since your experience is now valuable to them.
Just make sure that there’s still room for you to grow as a professional at your current internship. If it’s a small company and you know how to do the job, then expand into a medium-sized company.
Esther Katro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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