Discovering Discovery (cheesy I know)

This week is the week. The end has come. The beginning of the end of Summer, and the actual end of my internship at Discovery Communications. Sadly, but gladly this post reflects upon my time at Discovery. From the people that I’ve met to the countless topics shared over the “lunch table” it was a wonderful run. I can’t go too much into detail because my thank you notes would be exposed before recipients even get to read them. With this post, I’ll touch upon the aspects of this program that made the experience incredibly enriching.First thing first: the company. Discovery is a company that looks to innovate, inspire and disrupt. They don’t simply adapt to change but they challenge it. How do we become part of this? How do we make it our own? How do we make it better? From the words of Discovery’s CEO David Zaslav, “we cannot be ahead of the game unless we disrupt ourselves.” The company is constantly thinking forward in how they could evolve their brand in ways where their audience is constantly engaged and able to reach other audiences that may not have known of. The people at Discovery hum with passion and humbleness at the same time. It’s actually pretty hard to miss. It’s easy to say that a company can “make you feel like you are part of a team,” but at Discovery you’re really part of a family. A family that cares, encourages, and uplifts each other– much like any family should. With a company that is aware and embraces the shift in it’s industry, paired with it’s people supporting its mission to the best of their abilities makes the employees want to stay and become better together.

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Secondly: mentors. This for me is the biggest part of an internship– in fact for any role. The mentors that have participated in the Discovery Intern program are genuine and dedicated to their interns. Our manager, Allison is incredible. This isn’t said lightly, and I genuinely mean it. She was able to connect with each of us on a personal level and understand our work ethics (yep, all ten of us. Woo Ad Sale!) She made sure that we were able to meet with countless people within the company from varying departments and titles. She wanted this experience to be a Discovery experience not an Ad Sales one. With her endless supply of spunk and honesty she has pushed us to be the best intern we could be this Summer. Nevertheless, she didn’t stand alone. Our time with the Partnership Planners (hey guys!) have become personable and authentic. Although we were all assigned on varying networks  there was never a time where someone said “no” because it was not their network. On top of that, our intern program manager, Carla has been patient with us even though we have made her cry once or twice. She is sincere and cares about every single one of her interns. Our mentors this past Summer are truly irreplaceable.

Thirdly: other interns. This Summer I have worked with the most interns ever. There is a total of ten of us in Ad Sales under Allison. Fifty of us in New York. A hundred in Silver Springs. A handful in Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles. And one in Detroit (oh Eric.) Although we may not have had direct interaction with other interns from other offices, the ten of us had each other and 40 others in the building. But this post will be about us ten, #Allisons10? #AdSales10? We’ll figure it out a team name later on. But these nine other people have made this Summer even better. Each of our own unique personalities tossed into a melting pot has really brought out the best of us. We were able to collaborate, teach, and support one another personally and professionally. I wish my colleagues the best at school and could only hope for a reunion in the near future!

Lastly: L’Oreal‘s GoogliestHut Night Ever. Dear Companies, let your interns own something. No, not free swag– although it is highly appreciated and welcomed with on objection. I’m talking about work. A project. A deck. A presentation. SOMETHING. I’ve found for myself, and I think others can agree is that as an intern you want your work to matter. The work that we do by the end of the program we want to be proud of it. Shadowing and updating the internal database is great exposure, but when we create ideas, develop projects, decks, presentations? That’s when we are the proudest, for three reasons. One, we want to make our mentors proud. Two, we want to prove to them that we can do it. Three, we are proud to prove that we can do it. It does not only gives a confidence boost, but gives us ownership. To me that is the most important part of an internship. A place that encourages me to be the best employee I could be, gives me the space to create work that I can take ownership of and be proud of, all while working with different walks of life to make the experience even better.

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I wanted to truly take the time to thank everyone at Discovery for making this a fantastic experience. It has been a great ride, and I could only wish the best for everyone I’ve met there. Even though this week closes the program I have to say all is swell.

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