words: Mary T. Walsh

WHEN I WAS 20 YEARS OLD, I sent a cold email to a generic info address I found on Rome Snowboards’ website, asking if I could be an intern for the summer. At the time, I had only recently even heard the term “intern” and was attending a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts—i.e. a place you go to study theory instead of application and graduate wondering what the hell you’re going to do with your anthropology degree and student loan debt. I had designed my own major based in writing, watching movies (something I learned was called “film studies”), and snowboarding. In short, I had no applicable professional skills and no specific direction I knew to take. I just wanted to be around people that shared my obsession with snowboarding. I wanted to just sit in the real office of a real snowboard company and listen to what real snowboarders talked about. Because I had read about real snowboarders in magazines. I knew they existed. And they definitely weren’t walking around the campus where I was spending most of my time.

This story originally appeared in issue 19.1 released in October 2022.
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