Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oh, and your apartment is the size of a closet, too.

"Hi. May I please speak to _____?"

"I'm sorry he's in a meeting/on another call/not available. Can I take a message?"

"Sure. My name is Shane Ferro. I am a reporter from Real Estate Finance & Investment. I received a press release about ____ and I'm calling to follow up and perhaps ask a few questions to whomever is available."

"Right. Well let me get your contact details and I'll have him call you back [in a week, or a month, or never]."


That's a cold call right there. An endless series of Hello, and My Name Is... That's what you do when you are a new journalist. You make cold calls and you wait. You wait sitting by your phone and wondering what you should be doing. Your list was so long an hour ago, and now that you've got ten calls into ten people, none of whom actually were available to talk, your list is gone and you are left with a blank word document and an abundance of time.  

That is, of course, until they start calling you back and then you've got three interviews for the same two hour window. Then you have three stories to write with only an hour left until you are supposed to go home, knowing if you leave it until tomorrow you are going to forget half of what they said that was important. But you go home anyway, because after all, you are just an intern and you don't get paid enough to stay longer. So then you go into work in the morning and you in fact, have forgotten most of the juicy stuff that was said, and then you feel like a bad journalist until you remember that you are, after all, just an intern and not a journalist at all.

And then, just as you feel like you are getting a grasp on what this is all about. You actually understand the meaning of CMBS and you know a guy at Prudential and a guy at CBRE and a few guys in London. Someone actually CALLS you for once. Well then, that means it's over. It's September. Time to go back to school and forget everything you learned and file this away on your resume as an "experience" with a reference and a phone number and that's it.

That's it. You're done. No more.

Welcome to summer in New York. 

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