Winter Term In The Windy City

January 20, 2014

RachelMy name is Rachel Dauenbaugh and I am a senior, history major. For my fourth winter term, I am doing a three week externship at Starcom Media located in downtown Chicago. I have to admit that after three amazing Winter Terms, I did not anticipate this professional experience to be as exciting as say traveling to eight different cities in Italy. I decided on the Winternship as they call it here at Starcom because I wanted a better idea of the media buying industry. Aware that I only had three weeks, I expected coffee runs, copying, and all that other “intern” stuff. I could not have been more wrong. In many ways, this experience is becoming my best WT yet. Obviously different from travelling or a class, but exciting and enriching nonetheless.

There are three other DePauw students doing the externship (including two people who live on my floor Freshman year…full circle much?) so that helped with the nerves on our first day. But after about two hours together, our orientation leader assigned us to teams and we left the comfort of our inexperienced peers who like us, had no idea what to expect. Not going to lie, the nerves set in and I began question myself. The inevitable feeling you get whenever you’re taken out of your comfort zone no matter how much you prepared where you think to yourself “How am I going to be able to do this?” or “I’m not even sure what Media buying is!” or my personal favorite, “What if they hate me and tell the world that I was the worst intern they ever had and I never get a job and then they tell my family who disowns me and I live out the rest of my days as the cat lady in the abandoned apartment building?” There is definitely a 10 second panic attack. Then I remember, I love new experiences, I love learning, and I can do this. The beautiful thing about new experiences is that you can make them whatever you want.  You don’t have any concrete expectations and therefore, no limitations. That’s the view I’m going into this Winternship with and I’ll tell you, it’s paying off.

Talk again soon.


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