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Closing in

So my interview is in a week. I don’t know when I will know the result, but its relieving to know that in a few short days, I will have done all I can do to get myself back in NYC and NBC.

Butets not forget the smaller, more instantaneous reward- a brief return to the Big Apple.

PS- I got a new WordPress app on my phone and this is the first post from said app. Seems like it was a success, no? Hopefully the newfound ability to update on the go will help me stay a little more disciplined with this bad boy.

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….

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.

First bout in the War Room

You see it in movies and TV shows- the conference rooms where high powered agents and executives meet to discuss important matters at hand.

At CNBC, each individual show has its own War Room, where producers discuss that particular show and brainstorm on ideas for upcoming episodes.

I have the good fortune to be working for the station at a time when it is on the brink of launching three new shows.prototypical intern, knocking out the busywork that no one else wanted to do. She promised hands-on experience, and today I got it.

I mentioned in that meeting with Mary that and upcoming show, which deals with technology’s role in the future world, would be something in which I would be suited to contribute. Mary heard me.

Today while I was at my desk working on stock picks, Mary approached me with an outline of the show in hand and told me to follow her to the War Room.

The room’s light, wood-paneled walls were broken up only by the massive dry-erase boards that hung on them and the 5 flat screens showing various other news outlets. In the center of the room was a massive round table featuring four computer terminals,  and ten chairs that surrounded it. Mary and I sat down and she quickly briefed me before the other producers began to file in.

Then it started, too fast for me to summarize what was said. Essentially they needed to rework one of their blocks (the segments between commercials) and discuss applicable poll questions to supplement the show for their website.

I wasn’t a wallflower either. Creating a show dealing with technology, the room acknowledged that my youth brought a perspective they hadn’t had, and after many of the debates, Mary singled me out to get my opinion. I started to feel out the rhythm of the room, and by the second half of the meeting, I felt like I belonged in there.

I don’t know if I’ll get to experience something quite like that again, but I certainly hope I do.

Tomorrow, rather than report to CNBC headquarters, I will be going with a producer to a book Expo in Lower West Manhattan. There, we are splitting up to find books, authors and topics CNBC can use in its upcoming shows. Its been a ridiculous week, and it’s only Monday….

First bite of the Apple

Hanging out by NBC headquarters at 30 Rock

So today I went into the city to scope out how my train in to Manhattan would work, where to meet my shuttle and other various business items on my agenda. However, spending 6 hours in the city, I took my time to wonder around and take it all in before I start work tomorrow.

I took pictures (granted, they are taken with my Palm Pre, so nothing fancy. It got the job done) and they can be seen throughout the post… obviously.

It was a cool experience to be able to aimlessly wonder around one of the biggest cities of the world and take it all in. Time restrictions kept me from making t down to the south end of Manhattan, notorious for being the business district, where Wall Street and the like can be found.

It’s a unique city in the sense that everywhere you turn is somewhere more famous than the last. Whether it be from a TV show or a movie, each place has a familiarity, despite never having been there before in most cases.

I found the most important thing of all...

My biggest find of the day… Chipotle. I found it just a block from where my shuttle picks me up outside of Grand Central Station. Can you say Burrito for the ride home?

In fact, I actually found two Chipotles, but I figured taking a picture of one would get the message I wanted to get across. Plus, this one is the closest and the one I will most frequently visit. What was even better- I didn’t see any shitty Moes or Qdobas

Here are the rest of the pictures from my day. If you want to see the larger version, just click on the picture. Hopefully I’ll be able to post more and more pictures as time passes. Today was a good start.

Grand Central Station, where I'll be coming into Manhattan every day

View from Central Park

Another shot from Central Park

And a final shot from Central Park, looking out to the Upper East Side

The rivals, CBS

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Yeah, so I like True Blood. Bite Me (no pun intended). I liked the poster for the new season in Times Square

It was a long, hectic day, but I know one thing for sure- I can get very used to a place like this.

Learning the Ropes

After a solid afternoon nap, I feel like I’m finally ready to write something comprehensive about my first day up here.

The flights in were uneventful, totaling at less than two hours. That’s always good news. Waking up at 4am on the other hand is not.

Due to exhaustion I was a little out of it when I first got to the Ryan’s house. I was beyond thrilled to see the family again, but sleep was on my mind. I struggled to stay awake eating Panera (lunch at noon seems super later when you’ve already been up for eight hours at that point) and eventually got to take an hour nap. It wasn’t much but it did the job.

I finally got time to sit down and plot out my work day. I will get up at 6am Monday through Wednesday and catch a 6:57 train. It’ll take me into Grand Central Station, where I will in turn take a shuttle to CNBC. My workday ends around 6pm and I will be catching a 6:10 shuttle back to Grand Central station where I will take a train back to Darien.

Now, many people have been asking me exactly what it is I will be doing with CNBC. I finally received my contract back today, outlining what my specific responsibilities and tasks will be.

My responsibilities are as follows:

Learning Objectives:

1. Control Room functions and positions needed for both live and taped shows

2. Full understanding of all live, daily show elements

3. Difference between live shows and taped specials

4. Understanding of the news process and staying current with relevant news and events


Specific duties/tasks:

1.  Attend creative meetings

2.  Work with editorial teams to gather tape

3.  Research potential guests and topics

4.  Assist our talent with pre-production needs


Tangible outcomes of internship

1. Research skills

2. True, in-studio Production Assistant Experience

3. Exposure to Producer work – everything that goes into both live, daily shows, and taped TV specials

4. Understanding of business news and markets

It all sounds pretty incredible to me. I can’t wait to start on Monday. Tomorrow, however, will be spent figuring out exactly how the hell I’m going to get to work everyday.

Planting roots

I woke up at 4 am this morning, so bare with me. I debated putting off this post because I’m so tired, but I have no choice. This is supposed to be a blog that follows my experiences, and neglecting to discuss my first day would be counterproductive to the entire project.

After my flight this morning (two flights really, one into Philly and a connector into New York) I was already tired. I could’ve sworn it was 6pm, but after looking at my phone in the driver’s car only to realize it was noon, I realized I was in for a long day.

It was great to see the Ryans again. I taught their middle kid, Jackson, guitar lessons back in Cincinnati, and their dad received a promotion that moved them out to Darien, CT. They were kind enough to let me stay with them for the duration of the internship. Free room and board in an upper-class Connecticut home- I’ll take it.

Tomorrow I go to scout out my train route and figure out exactly how I’ll get to work every day. When I muster up the energy, I’ll post a picture of the house in which I’m staying as well as the CNBC headquarters at which I’ll be working.

For now, it’s nap time.

The art of the playlist

I have a good starting selection of songs for my New York playlist, but I still need more. It is an ongoing project until the moment my flight leaves Saturday morning.

My current playlist is as follows:

Empire State of Mine- Jay Z (ft. Alicia Keys.)

New York City Serenade- Bruce Springsteen

An Open Letter to NYC- The Beastie Boys

The Only Living Boy in New York- Simon and Garfunkel

Who Says- John Mayer

Bright Lights- Matchbox Twenty

NYC 25- The Olivia Tremor Control

New York, New York- Frank Sinatra

Cab- Train

City Love- John Mayer

Almost Honest- Josh Kelley

NYC- Interpol

New York, New York- Ryan Adams

Hard times in New York- Bob Dylan

Motorcycle Driveby- Third Eye Blind

Empire State of Mind Part II- Alicia Keys

Those are the 16 songs that look to be the soundtrack to my trip into New York. I’m still looking for suggestions, and I know there are plenty more out there. Please keep leaving suggestions in the comment boxes. It’s been a huge help.

3 more days until I’m outta here.

Persistence is key

I’m resilient. Here I am, posting two days in a row. I can’t start off any better than that. Now I just have keep it up for 8 more weeks, particularly once I’m actually out of Cincinnati and in New York.

There’s not a lot of action here now. The various school years have staggered endings and the majority of my friends get home just a few days before I leave. It’s a bittersweet feeling, leaving is. It’s my last summer before I’m an adult, and it’ll be strange not burning the days away with old friends. I have a feeling being in New York will take away any of the potential sting.

I’m as excited about the culture of the city as I am learning from NBC. I want to see shows and go to the bars. I want to see a summer night in Central Park. I want to complain about traffic and lines.

My flight leaves at 7 am in seven days.

The Empire Project

Sometimes my fingers hover over the keys for minutes. The start is the hardest part. I’ve always been the type to get a good idea once it’s too late. Not this time. When you’re an unworthy 20-year-old kid getting ready to tackle an internship for NBC in New York, its easy to realize that’s something worth documenting. That’s what the Empire Project is for.

I have another blog. I debated whether or not to create a separate one solely for my NYC experience, and decided if I didn’t create a project simply for this, I wouldn’t stay disciplined enough. I’m not sure what this will become, if anything other than my own self-indulgent writing. This may be the only post I ever put here. But at least I started at the beginning.

The internship is a great opportunity, but it is just one of a handful of variables that make this summer a chapter in my life worth writing about. In a lot of ways, this summer is my path to adulthood. It’s my last summer before I graduate. I turn 21 in June. It’s an opportunity to make headway in my professional life. But most importantly it’s a chance to learn, not only about journalism, but about myself.

I’ve been to New York before, but only for 3 days. I loved it, but it could have just been a honey moon period. It’s sort of like the way food tastes so much better when it isn’t your own. Maybe when I’ve been in the city for two, three, four weeks, monotony will take over. I doubt it.

It’s Thursday, May 6. I leave in 9 days. For now I’ll make due listening to the Eagles in my suburban Cincinnati home.