Discovering the World With National Geographic

It's fuzzy and far away, but it's James Cameron I swear!

This week has been more exciting than usual, it seems as if each and every week I grow more comfortable in my work environment and every day I get to learn something new and interesting about the business. However I guess I must admit that the Explorer’s Symposium that began this past Wednesday played more than a minor role in the excitement of this week at National Geographic. Encouraged by our supervisors to take in as much of the panels and discussions from a collection of National Geographic’s finest, bravest, and most engaging explorers from around the world, including director James Cameron (!!!) who showed us a sneak peak of his film that documents his recent descent to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, I managed to attend 6 out of the 8 panels. The panels were engaging, fascinating, and most significantly: inspiring. I’ve never wanted to just get up and explore the world more so than sitting in that auditorium with those few lucky individuals whose jobs are to experience adventure each and every day. It was truly a special event and opportunity that I feel very privileged to have been a part of and it will definitely stand out as a highlight of my summer.

Because of the excitement of the Explorer’s Symposium last week I really did not feel as if I had much downtime as I had in the previous weeks. Monday, however, did start off slowly so with nothing assigned to me. Generally I have learned that some days are just like that and if there is no work to go around then you must keep yourself busy or ask to share the tasks your fellow interns have been assigned. But what I have also learned is that the flow of work can be unpredictable, because no sooner than I had returned to my desk back from lunch, I had received a task from a producer and in the subsequent hours would be assigned at least three more things to do and in fact ended up being the last intern to leave that night. So what I have learned so far is that the unpredictable flux and nature of the work load in this office, and probably the television business in general, is something you have to adapt to quickly in a sort of “go with the flow” attitude.

2012 National Geographic's Emerging Explorers

Some of the tasks I get assigned would probably be considered boring or menial to most, but I choose to learn whatever I can from them. For example, when filing or shredding papers I take some time out of my task to actually read the sometimes hundreds of papers that I am dealing with, and some of the papers can be insightful to the business and interesting at the same time. Looking at scripts, release papers, and the questions from this year’s National Geographic Bee have proved to be both informative and interesting. Transcribing is also hard and monotonous work but somehow at the same time one of my favorite tasks to be assigned because I get to see the rough cuts of shows and also by focusing so intently upon listening to the dialogue and camera movements, it gets my mind thinking about how and why the producer chose that angle, what it would be like to shoot the show, why they chose to edit it that way, etc. I find that transcribing really helps me get into the mind of a producer and I think that’s what I enjoy most about it. Each week gives me an introduction to more and more different tasks so hopefully since this week isn’t quite so exhilaratingly busy with such a major event, I will get to discover even more aspects and avenues of the business.

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