Emilee Drost took this photo for a Mercedes advertisement placed in the July issue of Nashville Lifestyles Magazine. Photo courtesy of Drost
Emilee Drost took this photo for a Mercedes advertisement placed in the July issue of Nashville Lifestyles Magazine. Photo courtesy of Drost

Throw fear behind: My magazine internship in Nashville

By Emilee Drost

Year in School: senior

Major: advertising

Internship: design/photography intern, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine

“What if they don’t like me?”

“What if they think I have bad ideas?”

“What if I am stuck doing something I don’t like?

“What if I made the wrong choice?”

Many thoughts were flying back and forth in my head day in and day out as I took my scary step towards Nashville. A city I didn’t know my way around, a city where I didn’t have someone to lean on when life gets tough. A month later, I realized that moving to an unknown city by myself is exactly what I needed.

I arrived to the internship on May 20 and was very nervous as I had to get escorted by security up to the 16th floor of the building. The room had a beautiful view of Nashville and was filled with a group of ten people and only three interns. A room filled with intelligence, organization and efficiency. How was I, an overly excited yet fear-filled intern, supposed to make myself known? How could I make an impact in a short amount of time to the professionals around me?

As they sat me down and went through what I would be working on for the summer I realized I wasn’t getting my full potential out of this internship. Something was missing, I was hired to this internship for photography and hadn’t heard that word come out of their mouths. I had two choices, I could either sit back and let fear consume me, or I could take a risk and give my input.

When I received the first issue of Nashville Lifestyles magazine, I saw a lot of my photos inside the magazine. That would not have happened if I didn’t speak up.

I have learned two major lessons moving to Nashville and starting this internship within this past month:

Building a relationship with those around you is a very important key to a career.

You can go in and act like you know everything about a place as much as you want, but in order for those to listen to you, you have to listen to them first. Leave your ego at the door, and be curious for more. Building a relationship and trust with everyone in the room is far more valuable than trying to run the show.

One small step leads to a bigger one. If there is something small to be done, even if you don’t feel like doing it, get out there and show the place how hungry you are. This could involve going out of your way on a Friday afternoon to complete a task, or leaving behind what you had planned to complete one as well. Curiosity and determination are valuable tools to set yourself apart from the rest.

I have enjoyed my first month at Nashville Lifestyles and the opportunities it has given me! I have been able to take photos of brands, people, etc. I would have never imagined taking photos for.

It wasn’t these photo opportunities that stuck out to me though, it was the relationships behind them. This internship happened for a reason, and I have learned to slow down and leave my fear at the door.

Vote for this blog post in Round 1 of the 2019 Greenlee Summer Intern Blogging Competition. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. CST on July 15. The author of the post that receives the most votes will receive the $50 Amazon gift card.