Scheduling a chance

April 18th. Thats the day I walk into 30 Rockefeller Center in hopes of actually getting a job with NBC. I got an email a few weeks ago letting me know I’d been selected for a final panel interview, and the date has finally been scheduled. Exactly how grueling this interview will be remains to be seen. In fact, I don’t know much about the space between myself and the finish line at this point. I don’t know how many people get to this stage, although out of the 7,000 beginning applicants (they end up taking 60) I do know they are under 1,000 at this point. I’ve been told they may even be down to 100. Regardless, thats a big gap and I still have my work cut out for me.

A little less than three weeks between now and then. Better start brushing up on my NBC knowledge. Can’t hurt right?

As for my backup plan of Teach for America, I find out tomorrow night if I am accepted into that program. If by some miracle I am, I have to make some interesting moves. They would want my response by April 14th if I am accepted. No reason to plot out all the logistics for you right now. If it happens, we’ll talk tomorrow night…


Taking my swing

I got the email last week- an invitation to fly up to New York for a final panel interview to be a Page with NBC. The interview will take place in April and is the last thing standing in my way of coming back to Manhattan for a year, or maybe even longer.

The next month will be focused on ensuring that I’m prepared, and a visit to NYC with some friends over spring break a week or so ago was only a reminder of how much I miss the city. I’ll be back soon enough. And if all goes well, I’ll be back for good.

Now we wait

Okay, seriously this time. I miss writing to no one too much to stop posting on The Empire Project.

In Decemeber I finished up my applications to the Page Program. Hitting send on that file felt impossible. I wanted to make sure everything was right, and every proofread of a resume or cover letter had me second guessing the way I’d written one thing or another. But I did eventually hit send. Then the waiting game began.

Two weeks later I received an email saying I’d been selected for a phone interview. It was on January 6th. The questions had meaning, and I felt like the interviewer was actually engaged with what I was saying. I feel like I gave the best answers I could give. But I haven’t lost sight of the fact that 7,000 people apply for this program every year and NBC Universal accepts 60. I’m not great at math, but I have the odds pretty well figured out on this one.

Regardless, they said they’d let me know if I am selected to move on to the final phase, which calls for a panel interview back in NYC. They said I could hope to hear from them within the next month. Now, every email or unknown number that comes to my phone has me holding my breath.

Cross your fingers.

The Return

A buddy of mine mentioned that he needed to start writing on his blog again. My schedule had caused me to forget mine. But I’m back now, and the timing is good, since I started this with the New York theme. Why? Because I’m currently putting together my application for the page program.

Refresher. It’s a program at NBC in NYC that lasts a year, in which I would rotate to various 12 week assignments. I miss CNBC and New York more than I can explain, so I don’t really see much of an option.

I promise I’ll get consistent with this. Not that you care. Not that i care if you care.

Away from the Empire

It’s a transition I’ve been thinking about- how to continue the blog and part ways with the all CNBC/New York/Journalism talk. So far, I haven’t decided on a smooth way to do so, but I have kept my drafts of some thoughts I’d been wanting to write on while I was still in the city.

It’s been over a week since I’ve been away and I miss it. I have no doubt that ultimately I want to end up there after college and I’m excited to see how it pans out. I miss the interns, I miss the pages and I miss the producers. And of course, I miss the city.

It’s late and I’m tired, but starting tomorrow I look to begin a series of posts looking back on my trip and some all encompassing thoughts on my experience. Until next time….

If you’re leaving New York, you ain’t going nowhere…

…it’s a quote I’ve been thinking about for some time, and while I’m not sure it’s entirely true, there is no better city on Earth.

However, I stumbled across a less depressing, more fitting quote anyway- one I realized the truth in the moment I got here: “One belongs to New York instantly. One belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” A part of me will stay in this city, just as a part of it will stay in me.

My flight leaves tomorrow after work. I can’t believe my time here is coming to an end.

I started this blog to document the experience, and I think I did an effective job. I wish I could’ve posted more, but fortunately the reason I posted less than I would like to have was because I was busy.

The CNBC experience was a great one. I don’t know that business news is for me, but it opened my eyes to television and allowed me to meet some unbelievable people. Maureen, the page, is one of the greatest people I’ve ever met, and gives 100 percent of herself to her work each day. She taught me as much as anyone else in that place and opened my eyes to the Page program.

The rest of the staff in Prime Time Development made a staggering attempt to get to know both me and the other interns. Senior Executive Producer of Prime Time Development Mary Duffy called me to let me know I had gotten the internship, and that full hands-on approach never faded. She let me into meetings, discussed my feelings on my work and made an effort to say hello each time we passed.

While the other interns didn’t arrive until I’d been there for a few weeks, we began to develop a great relationship in the latter half of my internship. I regret that we didn’t get close until it was already almost time for me to leave.

The city was as great an experience as the job. Hundreds of cultures and ethnicities collide on that island, and the rumors of the city being hostile are blatantly false. I was impressed by the effort people made to help others, and had no out-of-the-ordinary negative experience. The city is big, gorgeous and unforgiving. I want to call it home.

The playlist you guys helped me build in early May is playing as I look around a now-bare room that has been my home for the last two months. It’s a bittersweet feeling. I’m beyond excited to be home with friends again, but I may never get an opportunity like this for the rest of my life- a chance to roll into Grand Central Terminal every day and commute to a job with a powerful TV network in midtown Manhattan.

I will continue to use this blog as my personal one when I get home. It’s become too natural to open up on here.

All I can hope is that this internship was a precursor to bigger things to come from this city. My Empire Project is only just beginning.  I’m going to pursue the pageship with all I have and keep my fingers crossed that it gets me up here for a full year after I graduate, and subsequently cross my fingers that it may get me up here for good. No city breathes life into a person like this one.

New York- this isn’t ‘goodbye,’ it’s just a ‘see you later.’

21 in Manhattan

Lucas bought a round at Coyote Ugly

So the weekend finally come. Some of my best friends from home made the trek up to New York City to spend my 21st birthday with me.

Thursday we spent most of the day being tourists, aimlessly wondering around New York and shopping. It was nice, since most of the time I’m hurrying from one place to another.

We visited Central Park and Times Square as I gave them the tour of places where I work and the go-to places for tourists.

Saturday is where the action began. We first had to check into our Hilton in Times Square, then run back down to 44th to see Green Day’s American Idiot on Broadway (scratch that off the bucket list). The show was incredible, and all five of us left feeling pretty much the same.

We then ran to Virgil’s Barbecue to catch the depressing second half and subsequent overtime loss for the US soccer team.

After that had ended we made our way to lower Manhattan to check out Ground Zero and the construction of One World Trade Center. One of the most powerful things we found was the preserved steal-beam cross that had been temporarily relocated to a nearby church.

Then the night began. We went to the hotel to pre-game and get ready before heading down to East Village and bar hopping there. Our initial quest for a bar took some time and we were so happy to have found one that my first legal drink came at Coyote Ugly. We would eventually move on to other bars before spending the final 2 hours of our night at he Village Pourhouse until we closed it down at 4:30.

I’m really not sure I could’ve asked for more for my 21st. It was an unbelievable time with unbelievable people and a memory I won’t soon forget.

Live from Studio 6B…

A lap shot of the Fallon studio. I did the best I could without getting kicked out

So anyone who knows me, knows that I am a die-hard Late Night with Jimmy Fallon fan. I’d mentioned in a previous post that the production coordinator at CNBC got me tickets and tonight I took 3 of the other interns with me to the taping.

It was a surreal experience being a in a building where so much historical television has been filmed. 30 Rock has hosted shows like SNL, Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and many others, and now in Studio 6B, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

We were filed into the studio to discover our seats were in the center of the front row. A comedian then came out and warmed up the crowd before Jimmy’s house band, The Roots, came out and played a few songs before the show kicked off.

The guests for the night were David Spade, Beth Ostrosky Stern and MGMT. Jimmy is as likeable when the cameras turn off as he is with them on, and it’s great to see him coming into his own. He would joke and interact with the crowd, and at the end tried to go around and shake hands with as many people as he could.

I took some pictures, but phones were forbidden, so they were taken blindly from my lap, but it gives you a taste of the studio’s setup and where our seats were.

The stage for the Legendary Roots crew. Great pre-show set

After his intro monologue, Jimmy and the roots informed the crowd they’d be receiving a free copy of the Roots new album, “How I Got Over,” at which point the camera scanned the crowd, and we should most certainly be on TV. We’ll find out for sure tonight. I’m in a black button down and khakis… just saying.

It’s great to have another item crossed off the bucket list, and as I write this, friends are en route for my 21st birthday weekend. Hopefully Sunday will bring an entertaining post along with it.

For anyone reading this on 6/24 before midnight, the episode airs tonight at 12:30 on NBC if you want to check it out or fire up that Tivo. It was a funny one.


Keeping pace

I decided not to let too much time pass between posts, and I have enough to say to warrant a new one.

For one, I realized there is an item from my original New York Bucket List I can cross off, and a new one I’d like to accomplish.

The new list looks like this:

  • I’ve yet to see one of the most famous monuments in the country, the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island.
  • *I want to go to another broadway show. Rolling Stone highly recommended Green Day’s I’d like to see it as well as another couple. (Now also in the works. We’re seeing American Idiot next Saturday. Thanks Dad for the bad ass birthday present)
  • Go to a Yankee game in Yankee stadium
  • *Attend a live taping of Jimmy Fallon (attending a live taping this Thursday)
  • See the Blue Man Group again

What’s crazy is how little time is left. Fortunately a majority of the things are set to be taken care of. I just hope to get to a few others, or maybe even some unexpected things I haven’t even thought to do yet here in my last 2 weeks.

Man, time flies.

The inside looking out

On Monday, I found myself sitting in the Nasdaq studio during the live taping of Fast Money, not watching the quick witted Guy Adami and the gang firing wisecracks at their fellow traders, but instead turning around and looking through the giant glass panel into Times Square. It was there I saw hordes of people huddled outside, some with their hands up to the glass to cut down on glare, others peering up just to get a peak in at the taping of a live show.

Its moments like these that open my eyes. I’m interning at a national news network, sitting behind cameras filming the best in the business.

When I’d first arrived at CNBC I was in awe. The studios were giant, the control rooms hectic, and over time I’d adapted. I’d noticed it in Kara when I first met her, and I remember her smiling at my amazement the first day, telling me it was cool to see someone with the hunger and the humility. As  CNBC, the Nasdaq and New York began to become a daily routine, I had started to grow numb to it, taking it for granted.

I’ve been in constant contact with Jordan since I’ve left home, and if anyone has helped me stay grounded its her. Every little meeting and detail that I’d begun to see as routine, she’s helped me put it back in real-world perspective.

Both Jordan and that Monday afternoon, watching the tourists trying to peek in through the glass to see a live taping, reminded me how lucky I am to be here. Anyone of those people fighting the crowd to see in deserved to be in that room just as much as I did. Opportunities like this come along once in a lifetime, and if I let the giant studios, the control rooms and the big city become routine, I’m not going to be able to appreciate it until I’ve already left.

I have two weeks left here, and while I fully intend to be back (any excuse in the world would be enough to bring me back to this city) I need to make the most of these final days. I have been a part of some great projects and I have an unbelievable week ahead, sure to lead to countless posts on here. Next week I’m taking 3 of the other interns to the Jimmy Fallon taping on Thursday. Kara had given me 4 tickets and I was worried I wasn’t going to have anyone to take. I’m glad I do.

Next Friday, friends are coming in for my 21st birthday weekend, and we are going to spend it in Manhattan. No better time for the wake-up call I’ve had than before this upcoming week.