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Nelson Helm

Food Network Magazine, Hearst
Salem, Virginia
Washington & Lee University

   It started with a chance encounter at the Starbucks across from Hearst Tower. It was the first day of my internship at Food Network Magazine, and I was early—way early. I had the nerves you get before you start something new. That feeling of the unknown. I didn’t want to be late, but I found myself aggressively early (30 minutes to be exact).

   A quick stop in the Starbucks across the street for a venti sweetened iced coffee with light ice was when I saw her—a fellow ASME intern. I had sat next to Erica during orientation, but didn’t really know her name. Putting names to faces isn’t my strong suit.

   But there we were. Standing in line at Starbucks preparing ourselves for the unknown, figuring out how to navigate the adult world. I got her number, as people do, and asked to get lunch that day. A text came at 12:30. “Hey! Lunch still good?” That day started a tradition. A standing 1 PM lunch reservation with the only other ASME intern.

   We added the two other colleagues from Food Network the next day, and slowly turned into a lunch bunch. The lunch bunch did everything together (or at least tried to). When one of us wanted to venture out of the Hearst Café—which, side note, is one of the best work place café’s in America—we all went. This usually meant a trip to the Melt Shop (highly recommend the Maple Bacon sandwich), as we generally craved grilled cheese, something that tasted homemade. 

Nelson is a journalism and psychology double major from Salem, Virginia. He is passionate about social issues, gender development and RuPaul’s Drag Race. When not in the newsroom, you can find him talking about BeyoncĂ©.

As I walked into the unknown at Hearst Tower, I thought I was the only intern at the media company. That I was the only one from the program going into Starbucks on their first day of work. I am glad I was wrong about being the only one.