An Identity-Building Internship

By Kristen Lott
Special Contributor

Editor’s Note: Kristen Lott is an intern for The Voice-Tribune. 

Kristen Lott

Kristen Lott

As a child, your identity is simple yet capricious. You may be a ballerina on Monday, an astronaut on Wednesday and an Olympic swimmer after a Saturday afternoon swim. When I was six years old, I sat at the kitchen table with my dad to my right and announced that I was going to become the president of the United States. My parents always perpetuated a “you can be whoever you want to be” philosophy in our household, but I distinctly remember my dad looking me in the eye and telling me he would do whatever he could to fulfill my dream. It didn’t matter to him that I was only in first grade or that I really had no idea what the president actually did. My dad taught me to pursue life with enthusiasm, because even if I failed he’d be there to catch me.

Due to his outgoing personality and endearing spirit, I followed in his footsteps by creating a true identity that would last beyond the years of wanting to be a politician, lawyer or cardiothoracic surgeon. I became an enthusiast. Whether I’m cooking or rambling about Mad Men, I possess an energy and ambition to share my passions with others. For me, the easiest way to do this is through writing, whatever the topic. I want to affect others how Lois Lowry captivated me with The Giver for hours in fourth grade. I wish I could elucidate my relationship with food like M.F.K. Fisher and intelligently explain business and finance like my mentor and former AP editor, Dan Caterinicchia. However, I am a natural editor and believe that preparing a piece to its full potential is just as important as writing it in the first place.

As a writer, reader or editor, I simply want to connect. From newspapers and magazines to Twitter and gossip columns, each of these mediums affects – and now interacts – with an audience. Contributing to such an entity is fulfilling due to the people it reaches and also for how it entertains or enlightens. The Voice-Tribune not only provides a venue for me to partake in a publication that reaches others, but also to immerse myself in the social and economic lives of Louisvillians. Considering I have lived in Louisville for a short time in my life, it’s a culture I feel that I missed out on as a naïve high schooler. From the Kentucky Derby to local little league teams, the Voice represents the identity of a city and its people. I want to explore every locally relevant event and issue for what it’s worth.

Louisville is part of my identity that I strive to enrich. It’s one piece of a larger mosaic that represents my varied and even outlandish interests. The Voice also will develop my editorial skills and teach me how an outreaching publication truly comes together. At some point a dream job stops defining “who you are.” Instead, it should be a venue to discover and develop who you wish to be.