Earning My Stripes

FrancavillaPhotoBy Dean’s Intern Alexandra Francavilla at Discovery Communications

Around this time last year I was applying for the year-long Dean’s Internship at Discovery Communications. I applied because I thought it couldn’t hurt, and what an amazing opportunity it would be if I got it! I remember coming home after my classes in Prague and working on the application. I also remember the deadline being on my birthday, and how I took that to be a good luck sign. A few weeks later I got a response; that they had moved forward without my application. I was disappointed, but continued to apply to other internships. However, about a week after that, I got another email requesting an interview. It turns out the “rejection letter” was just a mistake. I eagerly took the interview at 7:30PM in Prague while the sun was setting. But the interview didn’t feel like a typical interview, it felt like a conversation.

When the interview was done, I immediately called my mom and various friends because I was so excited. It felt like a conversation, but was that normal? Was it good? Was it bad? I could see this as a place I would want to work, not just as an intern but as a future employee. Suddenly it no longer was a matter of “it couldn’t hurt to apply,” it was a matter that this is my dream internship and I would be crushed if I didn’t get it.

Well, clearly I did get it (as is proof of me blogging about it here), and I am now on the third leg of my rotational internship, in my fourth department at Discovery. I am on a team that is called “Accounts”. Essentially, they are an internal ad agency for all of Discovery’s domestic networks and corporate communications. What makes this leg incredible, is it is pulling on all my past internships here. I started off on the Insights team in the summer, and then in fall I worked on Corporate Communications in addition to the Interactive team. This built the perfect opportunity for a project that Accounts had already begun working on.

In November, Discovery Communications launched an initiative called Project C.A.T. (Conserving Acres for Tigers). Now they are pushing that initiative even further and I am getting to help! Animal conservation is a topic I am passionate about, and my internship this spring has culminated in all my prior internships merging into one. I get to see people I have worked with over the past 6 or so months in meetings, so I feel more comfortable sharing ideas with them – and I also get to pull on skills I developed in said internships. (Oh…and I am making gifs.)

Discovery has become my home, and I honestly cannot believe it is coming to an end in just 2 short months. Yet I know Discovery has become my home, so I doubt I will be away for too long. I cannot wait to see how Project C.A.T. shapes during my time remaining here, and I hope I will have earned my stripes by then!