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.