Confessions of an intern (so far)

Posted on April 23, 2013

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It is now lunch break here and I’m forcing out all of the creative juices I have for this heartfelt blog post about my internship.

I have just started my internship (or on-the-job training or OJT) last week, April 18. On the second week of April, I was hopelessly and tirelessly running around Metro Manila desperate for someone – anyone – to take me in. I’ll work for them for free, shouldn’t they be a lot more accepting? Haha.

This is what I get for looking for an internship that late. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t entirely spur-of-the-moment with my internship hunt. I have actually been preparing for my internship during the second semester, it’s just that my academic life keeps getting in the way. I mean, it’s already freaking April and I still have to pass requirements. The concept of summer is no longer.

My stress level moved to 110 because of this summer internship thing. Internship is most probably every college student’s first encounter with the real, career-driven and competitive world. This is crucial for me as a Journalism student. There is the office environment – imagine being in the same space as the people you admire professionally! I’m “working” with the people who come up with the stuff I buy from the newsstands.  I think it’s also worth mentioning the “big-time” beats that college kids have to cover as if they are actual journalists. I needed to be an adult, even just for the summer.

But first I need these people to accommodate me as soon as possible. I’m not even looking for a job yet but it feels like I am one of those fresh grads knocking on everybody’s doors looking for work. I guess if I had more connections I wouldn’t be this stressed.

I wanted to apply to either magazines or advertising agencies. I wasn’t initially aware that we can apply to PR agencies as well so my choices were those two. I honestly do not want to intern for news organizations. I would still probably consider it if it wasn’t election time where media coverage is just…kapow. Yeah I’ll probably consider it as a second option. I’m totally cool with covering Flores de Mayo or the next EDSA vehicular accident or something. But my heart is just not for hard news. I also have this constant fear of saying something stupid about hard-hitting issues like politics. See, I’m as opinionated on national issues as the next quasi-nationalistic girl but I think hard news is just plain stressful. It’s not like college isn’t stressful enough. Sometimes I wonder why I took up journalism.

I’m more of a magazine kind of girl. I loved to read magazines as a little kid, just ask my family. I’d collect them and sometimes bring them with me to school so I can have something to read aside from pocketbooks. I even made my own magazine in fourth grade – some pieces of intermediate pad paper stapled together. I was already a pop culture fiend whose magazine-ish style of writing comes naturally, if I do say so myself.

Which is why I applied to Summit Media and ended up here. I also applied to another magazine but I didn’t get a call back from them. Guess they were too high fashion to the point that my thought bubble during the interview goes something like: “what the hell am I doing here what are they doing what on earth is that guy wearing omg”

I got a call from the HR of Summit while I was on a bus going to Cavite and there are people who are already standing in it. It was kind of a funny situation because the blessed call came when I least expected it – nearly evening and during a commute. I was also feeling down because I knew that my interview (plus writing exercise) with the other magazine I applied to did not go so well. I was already thinking of other options. Fate is a funny, funny thing.

Fast forward to the internship. I guess I should consider myself lucky that it wasn’t my first time stepping into the Summit Media offices. I came here sometime during the second sem with my groupmates for a Journalism Ethics case study. It was for one of the Summit sites.

Tidbit: Summit Media, founded on 1995, is the Philippines’ leading magazine publisher headed by Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng. It has more or less 20 titles under it including Candy, FHM, Entrepreneur, Cosmopolitan and PEP.ph.

So yeah me and my co-interns were toured first around Summit Media (the sixth and seventh floors) and I couldn’t help but take it all in. There were people typing furiously, people putting together beautiful pictures on a board, people who haul in clothes and mannequins – there was this gut feeling told me that this is definitely where I’m supposed to be. The magazine world. As stressful as the news counterpart except that for me that stress will be rewarding. I’m passionate about this stuff.

So you’re probably wondering why I put that Confessions of a Shopaholic picture there. It’s because I kind of feel like the title character, Rebecca Bloomwood, in this internship. In the movie, Rebecca works for a gardening magazine. She then applies to Alette, probably a Vogue shoutout, her dream. But unfortunately, no spots are open. She then applies to a sister magazine, Successful Saving, to at least get her foot in the door. She then shines in her own right there.

Okay, I was assigned to a food magazine. Site, actually. Yummy.ph. Only because that magazine I wanted to apply for is not open for interns and I don’t want to end up in a celebrity site, a men’s magazine or an interior decoration magazine. But at least my foot’s in the door.

Yes I am nervous about this internship. I’m not even a food aficionado. I think I even exaggerated my supposed Photoshop skills in my CV. So far, I have been looking for pictures of food stocked in the database to send to the “techies” so they can edit them. I’ve been doing that for hours in two days. I’m worried that I might not do actual journalistic work.

But I believe that the road ahead is still long (it’s only been 3 days since I started) and that God put me here for a reason. Writing about food seems fun. I’ll take it over election coverage any time. I’m looking forward to what else I will be doing. Here’s to a yummy internship!

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