La vie de stagiaire: my internship at MyFrenchLife – Alex Mealey
I was going about my day job, researching body image, when it showed up in Google search results (perhaps because French women don’t get fat?).
As soon as I read the title I felt as if all my French fantasies had been condensed into three words and a tag line: ‘My French Life. Discover French lifestyle beyond the cliché’. How could I not click?
It just so happened that at the time I was looking to transition out of research and into something more creative. I wasn’t sure if ‘editorial and communications intern’ was it, but I was sure that I wanted to give it a go.
And in fact, I did find the perfect fit. But it wasn’t immediate. And it wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for Judy. She is committed to finding the perfect match between an intern’s passion and their talent. I merely suggested a few creative ways to refocus an article, and from there the focus of my internship shifted more towards the editorial side, and really started to take off.
What I got out of my internship
I came into my internship with an open mind and relatively few expectations, but I feel like I’ve come away with all the stereotypical results – and then some: a new found passion, an improved career trajectory, CV enhancement, new skills, and memories of fun, supportive and passionate people (not to mention evenings with wine and cheese!). Aside from the clichés, there were a couple of things I’ve taken away from this experience that I never would have expected.
What I didn’t expect to get out of my internship
First: to be converted to the digital age.
I was honestly an 18th century pen and paper, snail-mail person at heart. I was quite content knowing that I would never download a single app. I barely even used my smart phone.
Well! It turns out I love learning about technology. On the advice of Judy and Hannah I downloaded my first app (Pocket) to dip my toe in the water. Less than 24 hours later I was hooked – it changed my life! Now I’m using three productivity apps and learning about intimidating digital acronyms like SEO, CSS, and HTML.
“I’ve gained access into a community of like-minded people and, most importantly, I’ve regained faith that there is a job out there that I’m passionate about. Priceless!”
Second: trust in my instincts
My career has actually come full circle. I began my first year of university in a journalism degree, then I second-guessed my ability and switched majors. I guess I should have trusted my first inclination. This has been a theme throughout my internship.
Whether I’ve queried my edit of an article, my approach to solving a problem, or my concerns about a project, I’ve been repeatedly reminded to trust myself and my first instincts. And I’m finally getting it… Or then again, maybe I’m not… Nonetheless, it’s an encouraging notion to leave with.
Aside from these points, I’ve gained access into a community of like-minded people and, most importantly, I’ve regained faith that there is a job out there that I’m passionate about. Priceless!