Last week while I was having a drink, and playing poker with a few of my friends from high school the biggest value of my internship finally sank in.
My high school was in the bottom 5% of the state of Michigan. It’s gotten better since, but even today it is being considered as one of the schools to be taken over by the government.. or shutting down completely. I was with 2 friends, Boom and Kenny. Kenny didn’t finish college, Boom never went. It’s been 5 years of odd jobs, monotony, and regret.
To be working at WME, in Beverly Hills this summer thanks to the University of Michigan was literally something I couldn’t fathom 2 years ago. The experiences I was able to have on and off the field were remarkable and will lead to even better ones in my near future. It will likely be the pinnacle of my 2 years at Michigan. Reflecting on it while playing cards allowed me to reflect on my entire college experience the last 2 years in comparison to theirs.
Constantly being in academia doing tests, and papers helps to keep the brain sharp. What struck me the most was how capable and smart both of them still were without it. I knew they could be successful at WME had they been there and had the prior information I had. As I explained the depths of my internship they listened, quickly gained a knowledge of the industry, and weighed in on how I played my cards at WME.
Kenny noted how my meeting strategy at WME was similar to a slow play in poker. That’s when you catch a great hand early, but decide to play it very slowly instead of betting big right away to keep everyone around. It’s more impactful because you catch players off guard. I went into meetings at WME with quite a lot of professional experience in the film industry so far. I have my own production company and have produced award winning projects and television episodes. Instead of announcing this at the beginning of every meeting, I took it slow and let the information come out over time more naturally. The “slow play” of information made for a bigger, more genuine payoff. This sort of analogy from them shows the depth of understanding and intellect they both have.
Boom said he regretted his decisions in life thus far.
He said he wished he was further along in life. Making more money doing more things. Yet sitting there have a good time with them wasn’t much different than having a good time in Beverly Hills after work, or Bel Air. Sure there’s different activities, but the pinnacle of life isn’t academic, career, or material success. Physical Security, Mental Security, and Good Times with Good People are more important.
No matter how bad our cards may have looked coming from Clintondale High, we were dealt some of the best cards in the world. There are billions of people in the world who don’t have those things that are essential in life. Our physical security was intact, we were having a great time together, and realizing the value of all those gave Boom more mental security about his life at that point.
It was there I realized that the biggest value of this remarkable internship.
The culmination of all the skills, new work ethic, insights, and connections I gained was to combine them all…
And everything else I have…
To go all in on helping others gain those things that matter the most!
– Kenny won the poker game.