Week 2 of my internship at Pitch. What a week this has been!
New experiences, changes, lessons learnt… and if you are patient enough to get to the end of this entry you will also understand why I have chosen a picture of NBA legend Reggie Miller to represent this week!
Over this first month at Pitch I have experienced for the first time in my life what it means to live in a office. Spending 44 hours a week in the same place is not easy for someone used to spend his days outside in the Italian countryside… I have to admit that before starting my internship I questioned myself many times over this aspect of the working life. Well, this week has marked my first month at Pitch and, honestly, it has flown away. I have not felt constricted or inadequate for a single moment. On the contrary, I have felt more and more stimulated, excited and motivated every single day. I admit that it is tough when the thought of my friends back home lying on the beach crosses my mind, but this is the life I have chosen. I have to be strong and bite the bullet to achieve my goals. Getting used to living in the office has been a long process (which I think is still going on) that in my case has been eased by the lighthearted atmosphere that reigns at Pitch. Every Monday and Friday the whole office takes part in a meeting during which objectives and accomplishments are informally discussed over a cold beer. I remember my first Friday at Pitch. It surprisingly was a sunny day outside and we took a break from work to enjoy a beer on the roof of our building. I truly believe these social moments within my company contribute to creating a very cooperative atmosphere, thanks to which people tend to help each other out all the time. I think this is what makes the difference between a good office and a bad office. If you know you can rely on the people around you, then the office becomes a cohesive and harmonious team that, as a result, performs better.
Plus, a major improvement has occurred this week. My teammate Emily had the great idea to finally change the radio station in the office. In a nutshell, I am now working with the music of Green Day, Blink 182, Sum 41, Foo Fighters, Guns’n’Roses and other amazing bands on the background! I don’t know the name of this radio station, but I highly recommend it!
Work wise, I have had my first brainstorming session this week! Allow me to make a little digression. I have always loved the word ‘brainstorm’… from a foreigner standpoint, it perfectly enshrines the whole concept of striving for gathering ideas. Sorry, but holding a degree in Interpretation and Translation, I have studied the English language for all my life and I still love this language. Back to the point now! Brainstorming session. My team gathered in a room to come up with ideas for a possible future client. I have definitely enjoyed this experience. I didn’t really know what to say or how to behave in the beginning. “When do we begin?”, I was thinking, without even realizing that I was half way through the session. Yes, because this is what is fun about brainstorming sessions: you don’t know where you start from and you don’t know where you end up! One thing I won’t forget about my first brainstorming session at Pitch is the amused look on my teammate Jack’s face while writing on the wall of ideas!
A recent addition to Pitch’s client list is the prestigious Spanish football league, La Liga. Being an international client, La Liga falls within my team’s range. In fact, this week I have had the opportunity to help my teammate Jack to sell a story for La Liga. Selling a story is not easy at all. I would sum up the process of selling a story in three steps:
- know what you’re selling – you need to know what you’re talking about when you’re talking to a busy journalist
- know whom you are selling your story to – what is the point of trying to sell a sports-related story to a journalist covering fashion?
- make your story appealing to the journalist you want to sell it to – why should a journalist be interested in what you’re trying to sell him? What is unique about your story?
As you can imagine, it is a long process that involves research, confidence and knowledge.
I’ve even had the chance to make some calls across the pond, to my favourite country in the world, the US. Just hearing the New York accent on the phone and flying with my fantasy over the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and Central Park, well… it made my day.
Speaking of the US… Are you still wondering why I have chosen a picture of the great Reggie Miller this week? Here is why! But I should probably start this story from the beginning.
It was the year 2000 and the world had recently been invaded by what can be considered the most popular video game console of all times, the PlayStation. I did have one as well (I was sharing it with my sister!) and one of the first games I have had (if not my first one ever) is NBA Live 2000. I would play that game day in and day out and that game made me fall in love with the NBA. At that time, Reggie Miller was playing as a shooting guard for the Indiana Pacers and he was easily one of the best 3-point shooter to ever walk a basketball court (to me he was the greatest of all time). I would always pick the Indiana Pacers when playing NBA Live 2000 just to have him in my team.
Well, now, in my internship, I have been lucky enough to support my team with some NBA-related work and that is always very exciting. However, what has happened this week is absolutely incredible and surreal. The one and only Reggie Miller held a media conference call alongside another former NBA player Chris Webber (read more about it here) and I was asked to be a part of it! I’ve had the immense privilege of spending some time on the phone with my favourite NBA player of all time! At the end of the day I didn’t have to say anything during the call, but still, hearing his voice on the phone, and hearing how he naturally speaks and reacts to questions without any filter was surreal.
Let me leave you this week with something he said during that call that enshrines what Reggie Miller is, and with a video about his phenomenal career.
“Me at 70 percent was better than a lot of two-guards at 100 percent!” – Reggie Miller
You most definitely were Reggie, you most definitely were!