A 19-year-old woman walked along a five-star hotel last Friday wearing a semi-casual slash semi-formal looking outfit, she was fidgeting with her head uneasy and was alone amid crowds of professionals in their dresses, suits and tuxedos. No one to approach or talk to, trying her best to pretend she was one of them or maybe part of the event as to save herself from public humiliation. She stood still for already 20 minutes and had some people’s eye’s glued on her, she wanted to go home and cry until she finally received the message she long waited for. “Proceed inside the hotel’s grand ballroom, our table is located near the door,” her mentor texted. From that moment, she sighed and regained her lost confidence. That woman was no other than me and that story was about my first day of internship.
Mam Shiela, news writer of Philippine Star will be my mentor all through out this whole summer internship. Last Thursday, she texted me that my first task is to attend a press conference about Dengue Summit in heritage hotel, 10 a.m. with her. so that was Friday, April 13!
Friday– April 13
I woke up at around 8 a.m. and I was aware that I should leave our house earlier so I will not be late for our 10 a.m. scheduled meeting. But as usual, I’m lazy and slow…so I left the house at 9:20 a.m. (Take note: 40 minutes travel? I don’t yet know how to get there, I don’t know how long will I be travelling) All I know is that it will require me at least an hour to reach the heritage hotel and I know for a fact that I will be late and I hated that feeling. But I cannot do anything about it anymore because I cannot move back time, how I wish I can. I was one hour late, I arrived at 11 a.m. and It’s a relief that my mentor was also late and maybe she thought I arrived on time. First impression always lasts and I should gain a positive feedback from her.
But I am never really lucky! From the time I arrived in the hotel, my mentor just texted, “where are you?” and oh no! I was out of load. From then on, I don’t know what to do, I haven’t met Mam Shiela yet and I don’t have any idea how she looks like. I kept on walking until I reached the press conference room, I stood there hoping that she might approach me and ask if I am the trainee, but no one even come near me. I also tried to look at the press I.d of each media practitioner and hoping I could see, “Philippine Star: Shiela” but also failed. The last and most humiliating option I had, to ask for favor and used other people’s cellphone so I can text Mam Shiela. Amid busy people, I saw a lone camera man standing, I dared get myself near him and ask the favor, “Hi can I borrow your phone and just text for a while? I’m out of load and I really need to see someone now,” I said in Filipino. I was lucky he was kind and I was able to text and I just thanked him afterward.
Message sent! but still, no reply. I was already waiting for twenty minutes, I was alone and I don’t know what to do. It was my first time and I hate to look stupid. I just stood alone waiting for a reply and I was helpless. I wanted to go home and cry until finally, she replied. I felt a sign of relief and went inside the function room. And that was the first time I met her personally. She looks serious and quiet, I was sitting in a table filled with journalists and I first felt uncomfortable and shy. But we did not stay there for long, we left after an hour or less.
Afterward, we proceed to their office in Intramuros and in there, she tasked me to write a news and interpret the statistical data about dengue cases and dengue fatality rate. I honestly find it hard to interpret a statistical data and since I’m challenged and pressured, I was able to make it. Thank you Lord! I am looking forward to learning more and improving my writing skills.
Now I know how it feels like to be a writer, the pressure and everything. It’s fun but never easy! DETERMINATION AND PATIENCE IS NEEDED