Hello Nice to Never Officially Meet You Both!

23 May

If you have read any posts on this blog from the Spring 2020 – Spring 2021 interns, you will be well aware that this year our internship experience was virtual. Meaning wake up in your bed, walk 10 feet to your desk and voila there is all of 890 Broadway at your fingertips – your ABT internship awaits. However, the virtual nature of the internship is not entirely what this post is about. If you would like to hear about that, just scroll down a couple posts.

When I interviewed for the position of Executive Office Intern, I met with Meredith Shell, the Executive Assistant at the time and immediately felt a connection with her and dare I say, had a pretty successful interview. Everyday I was waiting by my computer with my phone in my hand to hear back from her about whether I had gotten the position. I knew this is where I was meant to be for the next semester, but had Meredith known too? Turns out, she did! (Yes, I know you all knew that considering you are reading my post, but I threw it in for dramatic effect, ok?)

Very swiftly after the offer letter, the first days on the job arose. I worked effortlessly hand in hand with Meredith on everyday projects and tasks related to managing the Executive Director’s time and schedule efficiently. Meredith also introduced me to other departments in ABT that I had the pleasure of working with collaboratively and creating amazing content. The most notable would be the ABTalk series, which is a series of interviews with distinguished ABT community members who work in adjacent fields. I took a couple episodes from the idea to produce content, which was incredible to be a part of.

As soon as I got my bearings and was navigating the virtual internship seas, about 3 months in, with my incredible mentor/supervisor Meredith at my side (virtually), the boat tipped over and Meredith took her graceful leave of the company to pursue another opportunity. I was more than ecstatic for her, as I had seen day in and day out the hard work and dedication she puts into everything. But I was also scared for my future. What would I do without Meredith? I had only put three months into the position, and I was not sure if I could swim on my own.

However, I had no choice, so when Meredith left, another wonderful Executive Assistant, Johanna Kepler came in. She was new and wide eyed and knew less about the company than I did. So, for the remaining month of my internship experience, I told Johanna everything I knew, and we explored the vast depths of her responsibility together.

I have learned many valuable lessons from this internship, but the most important, I learned from Kara Medoff Barnett, the Executive Director, herself. During the beginning of my internship experience, Kara’s advice to me was to lean into the unknown and say yes to opportunities as a woman even if you’re scared. Be scared to do the things you don’t think you can or don’t feel prepared for, because at the end of the day, your success lies within you. You can do anything you put your mind to. Even going from intern to mentor in a virtual world for someone you’ve never met in an office you’ll never see.

Deja Robinson

Executive Intern

Spring 2021

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