The Intern Chronicles: Chastin’s First Business Trip

Journal Entry #2: Platform Summit 2013…My First Business Trip By Chastin Gammage

I could not focus. I just sat in my desk at summer school in my own zone bewildered by the trip that lay ahead of me. What began as an idea several months prior was slowly becoming reality. I had never taken a business trip or traveled to the east coast so I knew that this was a rare opportunity to experience both.

Chastin Plane photoMy dad dropped me off at the airport and I quickly proceeded through security and slipped into a seat by my gate. As I stared at the large Boeing 757 from my seat in the airport reality finally caught up to me. This trip was no longer just a topic of discussion with the team in the comfort of Tom’s house. However, I didn’t have too much time to sit in awe as my plane began boarding.

From the time I boarded the plane until I returned home I encountered and held conversations with successful and powerful people. For example, I sat next to an engineering executive from San Diego who was taking his son on college tours. Ironically, throughout the remainder of my trip many people believed that I was still in high school and touring college campuses as well. He actually gave me some great advice and set a precedent for my interactions with other individuals throughout the trip. I finally arrived that evening at 1:00 AM Eastern and instantly began to feel the effects of jet lag. I was wide-awake in a world where everyone else was sleep! I was bright-eyed and bushy tailed walking off that plane while everyone else was struggling to get to their feet. My mom warned me about that so I caught a cab to the hotel and knew that I was going to have to force myself to get some rest. Once I met up with Angela to check in I couldn’t help but give her a giant hug and instantly felt more comfortable. It was my first time in Boston and growing up along the west coast I had no clue what to expect but I knew with Tom, Angela, and Danelle everything would be okay. At ease, I forced myself to get a few hours of rest before what ended up being a hectic weekend.

The next morning I woke up early and met up with the rest of the team including Tom, Danelle, and my fellow intern Jade. After Breakfast and introductions we went to the Platform summit, which was surreal and admittedly frightening from the moment we entered. This was an opportunity to interact with powerful brokers in various industries throughout this country. A chance like this is almost unheard of for a student or anyone my age. I was surprised to see how inviting and kind everyone was. The speeches were indeed complemented by their humility and selflessness.

Tom’s speech on taking risks and not being afraid of failure truly resonated with me. I couldn’t help but admire his development from the initial outlining phase of his speech to finally delivering it. Some of the most successful people in business, entertainment and sport have failed. Many have failed numerous times but they have never given up. Successful people are able to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and carry on trying. Every experience of failure increases the hunger for success.

After a hard day in a strange city, I felt very tempted to to just throw myself into the hotel bed and call it a day. Instead I spent the remainder of my time going on a home made tour of Boston with Jade and a few other people we met at the summit that truly made this Chastin Blog 2 photosan experience to remember. I found my interactions with each individual to be valuable. I ranged from networking with the first African American woman in space to meeting friends on the street like Devin. Nonetheless, every encounter was meaningful to me and made my experience in Boston unforgettable.

I was ecstatic to intern this summer and contribute to the Thomas Adams Project. As an intern I assisted and supported the executives of this project from the beginning stages until the end and I am certainly proud of that.  Above all, I am extremely pleased to take away the bonds that I have created with the four other amazing people on my team (Tom, Angela, Danelle, and Jade) and I am definitely looking forward to our next adventure!

Until Next Time!

Chastin is a sophomore engineering student at San Jose State University and is an intern for the Thomas Adams Project. Stay tuned for more behind the scenes stories and experiences as Chastin continues his journey as part of The Intern Chronicles.

 

The Intern Chronicles: Jade Discovers Boston

Journal Entry #1: My 1st Business Trip By Jade McNorton

Let me start of by saying I am so thankful I was able to accompany the Tom Adams Team (Angela, Danelle & Tom) on this trip to Boston. It was my first “business” trip so I literally had NO idea what to expect. After planning out way too many outfits, packing half my closet, and probably annoying Angela with question filled emails I was finally ready.

A car came to pick me up around 4 in the morning, which is an hour I never like to see. I was so anxious for the trip I hardly got any sleep, so waking up was not fun. I did feel pretty official getting picked up by a car service; the standard has been set pretty high for future business trips.

Once we picked up Angela I started to feel more relaxed and excited for the trip. It would be my first time in Boston and all I really knew about it were the Red Sox and Boston Baked Beans… so I had no idea what to expect.

We were meeting Danelle at the airport so I got anxious again for when the time came that she would be joining us. I didn’t know what to expect from her, but I now know to trust Angela when she says people are great. Danelle instantly put a smile on my face as I met her and she began telling us the story of her morning and how she’d gotten half way to the airport without her cell phone and had to turn around.

Danelle’s stories would continue to entertain me throughout the trip.

Our flight takes off and I’m asleep before we even start taxiing on the runway. My mom had warned me that this was a business trip so I shouldn’t sleep the entire flight, but that 3 AM wake up made that very difficult. I alternated between sleeping and playing Candy Crush on my iPad, but 6 hours is a big chunk of time so sleep prevailed.

Along with it being my first time to Boston it was my first time flying Virgin America so I was pretty excited for that as well. I even got a special shout out from the folks at Virgin America via Twitter so that was pretty cool too. (And great PR I might add).

 

 

 

I was having a lot of fun with Angela and Danelle as we arrived in Boston. We checked out the venue of the summit, made our first of many appearances at the hotel restaurant Champions, and made an awesome new friend while making business cards at FedEx Office.

Making my first business cards was a fun experience and Angela and Danelle were super helpful during the process. I had no idea what I should put on them but they totally helped me come up with a legit title to add. Jade Biz Card

That night we made our second appearance at Champions for a late night snack since we were still on West Coast time. When I woke up the following day the whirlwind of the weekend began.

I knew Tom was arriving soon and was again anxious for how he would change our fun little group dynamic. I figured as just the intern he probably wouldn’t want to talk to me much or care about my input, but that was the furthest thing from the truth. Tom asked my opinion on how we should conduct social media and gave me a chance to really gain experience.

I think more than listening to the awesome speakers and meeting key people in technology world, what I loved and learned the most from this trip was the Tom Adams Team. Angela, Danelle, and Tom provided so much for me to learn from and were totally okay with me picking their brain about anything. They listened and appreciated my suggestions and never made me feel like what I had to say was unimportant.

The Thomas Adams Project Team

The Thomas Adams Project Team

 

I was also relieved that Chastin, the other intern, was cool. We got the chance to spend an afternoon exploring Boston and I even rode my first subway! I didn’t see any rats so I’d say it was a positive experience.

Tom’s speech on taking risks and not being afraid of failure resonates with me even more now that I’m writing this blog. After returning from the trip I interviewed for an internship that I really, really wanted but I wasn’t chosen. I was super upset about it, but then I remembered Tom’s speech and how he said to have done something and failed was better than to have not done it at all. It’s so ironic that he just spoke this message and it now sits with me in an entire different way than before.

I had an amazing experience on this trip. I accomplished the great task of getting Tom (@Tom_Adamsway) on Twitter and I made some great contacts that will hopefully help me in my continued job search. Most importantly though I learned a ton about how successful people operate and formed unforgettable bonds with the Angela, Tom, Danelle, and Chastin (who I’m positive is missing me by now).

 

 

Can’t wait ’til the crew is reunited!!!

Jade is the PR/Social Media Strategist for the Thomas J. Adams Project and NetWorks Sports Consulting. She is a 2013 graduate of Pepperdine University where she competed on the women’s basketball team. Follow Jade on Twitter!

 

The Intern Chronicles: The Beginning of a Journey

Journal Entry #1 By Chastin Gammage

April 9, 2013 marked the beginning of a journey and an amazing opportunity.

As I venture into the real world of business and marketing it’s amazing to see the amount of time, effort, and thought that goes into each individual process. Up until this point, I’ve been a consumer and even a retailer but now the tables are completely turned. My primary focus before was investigating an item before I actually purchased it or to understand the product so that I can sell it. Now I will be along for the journey from the initial developmental phases until the product release. I have the chance to see first hand what it is like to start a business from scratch and observe its manifestation into reality. I must admit it is quite intriguing to be a part of the behind the scenes work that attributes to a successful business in our global economy.

Being in the presence of four accomplished, astute and affluent adults already felt surreal but holding an educated and pertinent conversation was simply astounding. These are people that I admire, they are currently living at the peak of my highest aspirations and I have the opportunity to work and learn from them at the age of eighteen.

internship-pictureAs a college intern, I’m not here to just fill a vacant position. My ultimate desire is to contribute and add value to this company in any way possible even while it is still in the developmental phases. I’m definitely eager to display the various skills and knowledge I have to bring to the table. I hope to provide a unique and different perspective that will help relate this product to younger generations. Everyone in the room brought a certain skillset and on top of that multiple years of experience. I recall sitting back in awe as the group listed their life and career accomplishments. Society enforces that success is a function of opportunity and drive but what I learned from this meeting is that the most key ingredient is in fact time.

Over time, each individual experienced trials and tribulations that helped develop their full potential. These daunting occurrences put them on the proper track from success. It is clear; the adversity they face instilled a sense of resiliency rather than delaying their professional progression. Collectively, the group appeared to have a strong team oriented dynamic from the very beginning of the meeting. I personally found that I connected with every single person in the room on multiple levels.

For example, when I moved to San Jose I had no intention of meeting someone from my hometown of Irvine, California, engaging with a caring companion of my uncle’s, nor establishing a connection with one of Silicon Valley’s most influential African American men in the technology field. Yet, lo and behold, I was blessed with an opportunity of a lifetime. I spent a total of six hours there and left feeling as if I had known these people the majority of my life. Nothing could possibly parallel the experience of being in a room full of likeminded, college educated, and passionate people. I like the team approach that this project embodies. I work well in this kind of system. I am extremely excited about all the possibilities with The Thomas Adam’s Project!

~ Chastin Gammage

Chastin, an intern with the Thomas Adams Project, just completed his first year at San Jose State University and is studying Engineering.