Genevieve Rice is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An English Literature major at Anderson University, she is studying abroad in London this semester.
In this week's post, Genevieve highlights her first two weeks at her internship with the editorial team of a magazine in London, and outlines a few of the goals she set for herself this week.
This Tuesday marked the completion of two full weeks at my internship. The past week was full of surprises and growth. Like the first week at any new job, the learning curve was immense. I am working with the editorial team of a nursing magazine. My internship description (we had to write a learning agreement, so I actually know this one) is working alongside the editorial team, writing news articles, and assisting on any project that I can. This is an experience that I count as invaluable. I want to pursue journalism after I graduate, so having hands-on experience with a well-known magazine is a huge resume booster and an amazing learning opportunity—thank you CAPA! Despite the fact that my internship is tailored to my future aspirations, I feel an enormous amount of pressure for this to go well. I have always been exceedingly hard on myself and in short, am a perfectionist. Therefore, my internship contains several self-appointed tasks to complete before I can feel like I am comfortable in this new environment.
Don't let the bright windows and tile work deceive you, the kitchen is complicated.
First task: braving the kitchen.
This might seem simple, but it holds the potential for so much error. At the office where I work there are about six other magazines based in and using the same space… and the same kitchen. Plus, my team always gets everyone coffee or tea whenever they get some for themselves. In this one tiny space, I have the potential to embarrass myself not only in front of my team, but also in front of people that work for other magazines that I might want to work with in the future, you never know. I managed to avoid the space all last week, but on Tuesday I was working all day, so it was now or never. It took me a few minutes to build up the courage to go and get everyone coffee or tea. And… I did it! Complete success! This might sound extremely silly, but in a new environment and in a new culture—where tea is very important I might add—I have the amazing ability to work myself up over the smallest things, that looking back, are actually quite humorous. Fears are made to be conquered, no matter how small they may seem.
The building where I am spending over 200 hours this fall!
Next task: acquiring a name tag.
This one has actually proved a little difficult. It wasn’t at all hard to walk up to the front desk and introduce myself as the new intern for the magazine. No, what has been difficult has been activating my nametag so that it will open the doors for the building so I can go to work in the morning. The whole task has been an ongoing process of continual delays. It only took about a day to acquire a nametag with my face on it, but the activator machine thingy was believed to be broken—it wasn’t. They then determined that it was the cord connecting it to the computer that was broken, and this will apparently take a few days to replace. It has been two weeks and I’m still waiting, but hey, there is always tomorrow.
Where all the wonderful research, writing, and emails that go into my internship happen- My desk!
And the final task before I can count myself a useful member of magazine society? Write a decent story.
While I have been writing stories for the magazine since day one—which is a feat all on its own—I feel that I have yet to write a story that is worthy. This has nothing to do with the material that I am writing about, but all to do with my ability to write news stories. Writing news requires a unique style of writing, and I don’t have much experience with it. However, I am learning, practicing, and making mistakes. That is a goal I have for myself—a goal, not a task, mind you. A goal to continually seek to do better, to learn and grow and take as much away from this internship as I possibly can. Everyday allows me to step closer to my task of writing a decent story, because each day I write a new story that was better than the story of the day before.
The lovely walkway to our front door.
The relationship between growth and fear is the glory of an internship. Internships are places that should stretch you and push you to be something better. While it is scary to step into the unknown, it is also exhilarating. That is what I have seen my internship do for me in these past two weeks. My internship has taught me that mistakes are okay, just try to fix them. It has taught me that being unsure is normal and help is often required. Fear is a regular part of a new internship, and that feeling of overcoming it and seeing what it has taught me is what makes pursuing the future worth it.
Genevieve's journey continues every Monday so stay tuned.