It has officially been a month since I’ve moved to Alexandria and started my internship at USA Today. So for those who I haven’t yet had the chance to explain everything, here’s a bit of what I’m doing in D.C. and how it is going.
The tale of two cities
Often I find myself comparing Washington D.C. to Buenos Aires. Can’t help it. BA was my first major city, so naturally, it is my basis for everything.
Though I’ve been home for a few months, it’s still a luxury not having to guard my possessions with my life. I can take my phone out in the metro to change the song, instead of rummaging through my purse trying to discreetly locate my iPod (Buenos Aires is know for its pickpocketing). When I get on the metro, I think how nice it is that they announce the stops. Or when I look up at the schedule of trains, I think how convenient it is that they let me know when the next one is coming.
It’s nice being back in America and it’s very nice no longer being the foreigner.
Bottom of the food chain: the life of an intern
Intern jokes have been around since companies realized they could get a 20-something kid willing to work her tail off just to get a foot in the door. “Will do anything” should be the sign she wears on her shirt.
No, I don’t fetch people coffee. Nor do I run errands for my boss or am forced to do tasks no one else wants to do (…OK, maybe I get stuck doing the stuff that nobody wants, but hey, comes with the territory).
Luckily, I don’t have that stereotypical, awful internship that people often assume. Yeah, I’m at the bottom of the food chain, but this isn’t my first rodeo and I like what I am doing.
Guess I got lucky. Especially when at this time in our economy, so many of us willing to do anything. (If you want to be really discouraged, read this New York Times article about our generation of cheap labor. It’s scary how true it is.)
For me, just being at USA Today is an honor. I work for the editorial page and my responsibilities vary from fact-checking, to posting to social media, to updating web features. I’m in the midst of a putting together a video project and soon will get to edit videos. It’s an awesome opportunity to explore the editorial and online side of journalism.
I’m also constantly reading. Geek alert — I love that I have access to other newspapers. I come home almost every day with at least four that are left over from the day.
To DC I go
Twice a week, I make my way to the infamous Watergate Complex where I attend a seminar, as apart of the Washington Center for Politics and Journalism. There are six other interns who are in the program from different parts of the country and interning at different bureaus.
Each seminar has a different topic, varying from campaign finance to immigration reform. With the different speakers, I’ve met people involved in D.C. politics, from former national committee directors to journalists.
It’s definitely exciting to be in the nation’s capital. Though I only am down there twice a week (after I go straight out to McLean, Va., where the USA Today/Gannett building is), it’s fun getting into the city every once and a while.
In my spare time…
Luckily I found an affordable apartment with great roommates (thanks to my awesome cousin). Living in Alexandria is a bit out of the way, but I like it because I can drive my car to work but can take the metro downtown.
I’ve been trying to get into the city and explore some places on the weekends. I’ve toured a few museums and landmarks, including National Museum of the American Indian, the National Archives (definitely my favorite), and walked around a Nordic fair at the Kennedy Center (which, has an awesome view. See the photo below). Revisiting the Newseum is next on my list, and I can’t wait for the weather to get warmer so I can walk down the mall without feeling numb.
To my followers who are used to interesting Argentine adventures (yes, I’m going to assume I was that interesting), this time around may not be as enthralling. But I can assure you that soon, I’ll find myself in some comical situation that deserves a blog post.
Your favorite blogger