The process of having a supervisor leave is a valuable work experience, I think, and it's had some very poetic moments. Here she is at the end (or at least the mid-point where it's time to take a bit of a break) of her 17-year journey with one company, and here I am at the very infant beginning of my own.
I almost always have words for a situation, and I'll try my best here, but the feeling I had at her going away party really is hard to describe. First off, I was just so flattered to be invited. I feel like I am just a blip on the radar that is her career at NBC.
I received an e-vite for the party and read through the list of invitees. I read over names of people I sit with at work every day, and names of people I've spoken to on the phone but had little idea who they were and what they did. I was excited to meet them all. I work with a producer named Victoria who is 27 years old, and across the room sits Lindsey, age 24. I knew the three of us would stick together amongst the crowd of 40-something professionals, and a joke that we were the "Kids' Table" did stick through the night.
I had permission to leave UMTV's NewsVision early to attend the party, so I did. I was wondering what the parking situation would be like, what I'd tell the hostess when I arrived (was I looking for the 'NBC' party? AJ's party?) and if I'd be the only one who didn't bring a gift. I was going to bring a gift, of course, but realized that my boss has just sold literally everything she ever owned, and I didn't want to burden her with one more thing before she left. I instead wrote a heartfelt card thanking her for everything she had done for me at this internship, and I truly meant every word of it.
I arrived at the party about 15 to 20 minutes late, but I knew it wouldn't be a big deal because I didn't think this party was as rigid as a business meeting, and I was still one of the first 10 people there. I did find Victoria and we did stick together. Victoria was in the NBC News Associate Program and has been at the bureau for about 2 years. She introduced me to many people by telling me their name, if I've probably/might ever interact with them and what they do at NBC.
My mom pointed out to me that maybe three years ago, I would've been too anxious, unsure and insecure to even give thought to attending this party by myself. But I did. I went alone, and I really did feel like I belonged, which is what I think 3-years-ago Jordan would've been most concerned about: belonging. I think the shift is due in part to my growth and newfound comfort in my own skin, but even more to the amazing people I work with who always, always, include me in every NBC task. A producer from the TODAY Show ended up next to me at one point in the party and told me that she was so glad I went. I hadn't thought about it at that early point in the night, but I was really glad I did, too. I felt like a dream had been realized: I have wanted to work with or for NBC for as long as I could remember, and here I was doing it, and it was every bit as good as I dreamed it would be.
I loved the chance to see my co-workers outside of work, and I was so impressed and intrigued by the conversations we had. They ranged from topics of news coverage to television to travel and just life in general, and I was so pleased with how enriching each one was. Sharing a room with people who are fundamentally similar to you, value the same things that you do and work hard to include you is truly wonderful. I don't know how other internships at other networks work, and I'm glad I get to find out at CBS this summer, but I will always look back on this semester with NBC with only the fondest of memories. It has been every single thing I wanted and more.
I can't find who said it, but one of my most favorite quotes is, "Create a life that feels good on the inside, not just one that looks good on the outside." It means it doesn't matter how gorgeous your house looks on the outside if it doesn't feel like a home to you on the inside. It doesn't matter if your nails are manicured and your hair is highlighted is if you're not truly a person you want to go to sleep as at the end of the day. This NBC party was another example of that. The party felt good on the inside. The television looks good on the outside, well, most days we hope. The organization functions on the outside looking in, and to some people's surprise, it feels good, too.
I knew early on in my internship with NBC that I would miss it when it was over. I'm lucky to have at least a month left at work. Though it is only an internship and it is only three days a week, I can imagine working being such a fulfilling part of life, and an important one. I am so grateful for the glimpse I get into that part of life every time I'm at NBC.
I'm glad to work for a company and in a bureau that never treats me like "just an intern." They don't give me tasks to do just because I am an intern, and they don't designate tasks for me because they themselves are above them. For what I sometimes feel I lack at UMiami, NBC has made me feel valued and important, and like I have a long lifetime of work -- and work parties -- to look forward to.
At this party, I realized the reason my stepdad returned to NBCUniversal 8 years ago after working there for 10 years and leaving for a brief 7. (That's a total 18 years with NBC.) My departing boss probably said it best when she said you don't expect such a big corporation to be such a family, yet it is.
We went outside at one point in the party to take a group photo. Someone made a joke about how one of our cameramen would find the best lighting for us. Initially, I felt awkward, as this seemed more like a family photo that would capture the stories and memories of AJ's 17 years at the network. I didn't want people to look back at it ten years from now and wonder who I was and why I was there. But with some convincing by Victoria, I did step into the photo.
And I'm glad I did, because they are, after all, my family, too.
You heard it here first,