Please Welcome Our New Editor, Danae!

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Negotiating International Internships Blog is excited to announce a new editor, Danae MacLeod. She has studied abroad for two consecutive Winter Terms and is the Public Relations and Marketing intern at the Elon Global Education Center. The images above show Danae during her time abroad in China and Turkey, respectively! Please join me in welcoming Danae to the blog!

Please continue to send in posts to internationalinternshipsblog@gmail.com! Thank you!

Margurette Awad

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The biggest challenge was probably making sure my internship counted towards the requirements I needed at Elon to complete my minor. I had to request work from my supervisor and to make sure it was in-line with current course requirements. Sometimes internships are more about tasks that supervisors need completed, which is fine; however, you have to make sure that your internship is beneficial to you as well and that you’re learning skills necessary to receive class credit as well as real-world experience when looking for jobs after you graduate. Don’t just think about your internship in terms of the next 6 months, think about how it could help you within the next year.

Also, it wasn’t hard to negotiate with my supervisor. We sat down at the start of the semester to outline goals and checked in periodically to make sure everyone was happy with the work completed. As long as you have an open dialog, it’s not really a negotiation, but rather a conversation.

Journaling on the Job… Caroline Anderson

“My study abroad experience was a great educational booster, not only in the sense of academics or traveling, but for the workplace, too. I have a six week long internship with an event planner and we travel throughout London for meetings and other events. I did a lot to boost up my resume. Having study abroad experience on a resume already separates most from the other applicants in the sea of job applications, but to work abroad as well is even better. It says that you have the skill set (emotional passport) to survive in another culture and that you have had worldly experiences that add to future employment opportunities.”
-Caroline Anderson
London fall 2013

Caroline Anderson

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When I did not know what to do in certain situations, I, honestly, pretended like I knew what I was doing. My logic was, if I was confident what I was doing then that was better than looking like a fool who had absolutely no clue as to what I was doing.  So by observing what others were doing around me in my internship with an event planner, I could make an educated guess on what I should probably be doing.

I had to sit in on several meeting for my boss, so I would take notes, but my boss would take her own notes and cross check with mine to see if she missed anything. One day, my boss called me and told me that I needed to go to a re-branding meeting for her because she was sick and there was no possible way for her to make it. The meeting was happening in 30 minutes and I was on the other side of town—and it was pouring rain, naturally. I sprinted my way through the tube to the cab where some co-workers were waiting on me to speed off to the meeting. We arrived at an office building and were all ushered into a conference room.

Me being the lowly intern, thought that I was going to be given a chair in the corner to take notes on my laptop. That was not the case. Since I was representing one of the brains of the company, I was to sit at a prominent spot at the table to share the thoughts and ideas of my boss. I was so nervous. I had never had a place at a conference table, nor been asked to join in on a conference! Afterward, it was a great and eye-opening experience that I am grateful to have had. It taught me a lot about the business my internship placement was in as well as what goes on in re-branding meetings.

 

Victoria Webster

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How did you form a relationship with co-workers? Over drinks after work? Over tea in the office? Not at all?

I am Victoria Webster and I studied abroad in London in the spring of 2013. I worked at YATI, young actors theatre of Islington, a theatre and talent agency for young actors. In theatre, you work non-stop to create art. I was fortunate that this internship fulfilled all of my hopes in relation to working abroad, as well as being fully concentrated on my major. I worked with an array of different characters, ranging from the theatre’s artistic director to 10 year old actors.

Therefore I had many different kinds of relationships. I had to be a relaxed co-worker, a dutiful assistant and friendly child ring-leader, depending on the day. I found myself bonding over meals, drinks post show and tea time breaks.

I found that one needs to be open at all times to new people, experiences and to never EVER judge another person in a new situation.

Studying abroad is a magical experience! I found that if you are open and proactive in learning about another’s life you will find events and ways to bond. This will form a deeper relationship in your abroad internship than you ever expected.

Kelsey O’ Connell

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What was the biggest challenge in your abroad internship? How did you negotiate it?

As an Editorial Intern at shots Magazine in London, I encountered a myriad of challenges. Shots Magazine is the world’s leading authority on creativity in advertising. They produce a magazine, website, and DVD. Their readership is extensive and subscriptions cost around 1,200 pounds per year.

I didn’t anticipate many communication problems because I figured that, as long as everyone spoke English, I’d be fine. However, I learned quickly that I would need to adjust to a new situation and a new audience. These adjustments included:

–       Spelling: As I started to write copy for the magazine and the website, I noticed that the edits I was receiving had a lot to do with my way of spelling certain words. Luckily I had a great rapport with the editors and writers, we would joke about how Brits stick “u”s wherever they want and Americans “put ‘zed’s all over the place.” However, after making a style sheet for myself that had both the American and British spellings of words, my work improved immensely.

–       Puns and phrases: When writing for the website, I learned that each small story had to have a funny or ideally punny headline. After I transitioned from news writing to puns, I learned quickly that the Brits don’t have the same funny phrases as Americans. I found myself explaining American jokes, promising that they were funny. This one we had to deal with on a case-by-case basis, which was fine because it was always fun to see the other writers look up American jokes and start laughing.

–       Technology: Coming from Elon, a rather tech savvy institution, I was so surprised to find that the magazine was running on older versions of software. There wasn’t much attention to updated software even though they were running a highly sophisticated magazine. I had to adjust to their editions of Office and remember that I couldn’t send them .docx files.

–       Accents: Part of my responsibility as the Editorial Intern was to transcribe interviews that editors conducted with directors, producers, and any other featured artists. Even though all the interviews were in English, it became difficult to transcribe the artists with accent. The magazine features advertising all over the world, so on any given day I would encounter an Italian, Spanish, and Scottish accent, all before lunch. To adjust to this, we decided that I would transcribe as much as I could and mark the times when I couldn’t figure out a word. Then the interviewer would go through and put in the missing words.

Working at shots was an invaluable experience and I think that every student should have an internship abroad before graduating. I learned so much and am still in contact with the writers at the magazine. Interning abroad is an amazing addition to your resume, especially if you come back with concrete evidence of your work. Overcoming the challenges of interning is one of the biggest learning opportunities of all.