[I’m INFECTED: Life As a Virus, Inc. Intern] Hey Young Bloods, How Does It Feel? (Or, the blog about the redheads of strat.)

4/5!  We’re nearly there!

It wouldn’t be a complete record of my Virus internship if I didn’t blog about the new blood we got this summer.  After months of being the sole intern of the HQ,  this summer I–along with the rest of the team–was very happy to welcome Nicole and Gerard in the Creatives Department (Kitchen), and Dani, Pao, and David on the BD/Strategy (and, coincidentally, UA&P) front.

As my newfound lessons in socializing hadn’t kicked in by then, I have to admit I pussy-footed my way around the new blood.  I didn’t quite know how to treat them: we were united by our status as interns, and in Dani, Pao, and David’s case by our school, but at the same time I didn’t know them very well, and was worried that any overtures would end up looking “plastic” and fake.  I even felt reluctant asking my fellow BD/Strat interns for help, because I didn’t want to make it look like I was “bossing” them around due to my more “senior” status (having been in the company for several months).

Referencing another internship–which coincidentally also happened in the summer–meeting my new co-interns for the first time felt a lot like meeting my Project TALK-mates, only with the added pressure of being known–at least by association–as one of UA&P’s “crazy ViARE kids”: a distinction confirmed when Dani was asked what her first impression of me was.

For the most part, though, my worries were unfounded.  First, on the Creatives Front: I sort of expected never to get to know the interns here, because I spend most of my days on the other side of the office (with their own interns, the Kitchen no longer has constant need of the #CrossFunctional one, *cue sadface*), but while I didn’t get to know Nicole very well, I did get to chatting with Gerard due to him being, like me, a music-geek and band-boy, which led to a ukelele jam session where I learned how to play “La Vie En Rose” à la “The Mother” in HIMYM.

On the BD/Strat front, there was a bit of pressure because I was expected–by the members of SMN, no less–to “take care” of the new interns, since I was from UA&P and, in the case of David and Pao, from the same institute.  In this case, I had to play “ate,” no mean feat for a girl used to being the “bunso.”  Thankfully, Virus duties gave me an out–as I’d previously trained as BD intern, I was tasked to instruct both David and Pao in the drafting of prospecting emails, while fellow redhead Dani, being Strat, sat in with me on brainstorming sessions and, guided by Rashmi’s instructions, we eventually started working together on pitch decks, with Dani doing much of what I’d first started learning when I began at Virus (drafting content and researching data, among other things).  Work became our initial bond, and when Pao left and David, due to summer classes, deferred his official start date to the 24th, it continued to be the connection that kept conversation flowing between Dani and I.  As in theater, a shared duty made speaking easier, and while I was an awkward “ate” (Dani, if you are reading this, I am sorry for all the motherly nagging and weirdness.), I appreciated Dani’s quiet strength and quickfire mind for content, as well as her fast and (relatively) silent work.  I also admired how she got on much faster, and with more casual-ness, with the other Virus people–an easy sociability that I tried to learn by osmosis.

As Dani came from IMC, she was invaluable in the more complex pitches, as her marketing/advertising knowhow, let’s be honest, far outstripped mine.  The concepts of insights and big ideas–things I was still grasping at straws for, on occasion–came naturally to her, and she was quick to confirm or deny the validity of my attempts at hitting the mark.  There were still many times when I felt apologetic for asking her to do things for me, or not being able to answer her questions fast enough–my frazzled mind, dealing with the BAP project post-thesis, became a bit erratic–but thankfully, she took it all in stride and never faulted me for asking for help.

Most of all, it was nice, having someone who could relate to both my student life and intern life, around, and sometimes it was very hard to remember that she hadn’t been around for only a few weeks–she was such a steady presence that very early on it felt like she’d been around forever.

Only she hadn’t been, and wouldn’t be.  Which leads me to update 5/5…




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