The beginning of the workweek presented itself with difficulty at first. I felt as though there was a lack of clarity in what was expected of me, and this wasn’t all that surprising considering that my position was never a solidified job to begin with. Instead, I was employed as the first-ever intern for MONA, although I work closely with BerlinArtLink. This week was also the week that I learned I was expected to contribute mainly to the social media platforms of BLA and MONA, which was something I had previously stated during the interviews that I was not interested in. Within my major, Britta (our Intrax contact) told me that students are typically expected to intern with the intent to help with social media and marketing. While my major does include professional communications, my electives and course load at university have more often than not reflected the media aspect of my major, with classes focusing on production and creativity. While I was initially disappointed to be given so much responsibility in a field I found uninteresting, I understand that social media is vital to a company’s success and is nowadays considered standard practice.
When being sent to galleries or other art events, it was unclear what they wanted me to take pictures of and in what frame size, angle, etc. I found that it was up to me, but because there were no clear guidelines or expectations, the content that I had gathered was not what they were looking for. To be candid, I felt pretty insecure about the work I had done and felt like I was incapable of delivering what they were looking for. I decided the next day I would ask more directly what it was they wanted from me and my position.
Following that Monday, things began to get better. I was able to get a more clear idea of what they wanted from me in terms of content, but also established the ambiguity of the position itself, which I think was important to clarify for everyone in the office. There are only about six of us who rotate days in the office, but my boss and I are both present every day of the week. Something that they wanted me to contribute to was brainstorming ideas to increase our social media engagement, and after some discussion, we decided I would film and edit my own videos highlighting events/openings that I had attended the week prior. At the beginning of the week, BAL sends out a blog post and newsletter with a curated weekly event list of performances, art openings, artists’ talks, and more. My weekly videos will include me selecting which events I find most interesting, gathering content for the video, and then editing it together. I think this task is a great fit for me and allows me to make the best out of a less-than-preferred position, seeing that I get to employ my creativity, and attend events I enjoy, while also trying to appeal aesthetically to a larger audience.
A highlight of my week was a gallery tour that my boss took me on accompanied by her boyfriend and his brother. I was able to visit some of her favorite galleries in the area we work in, Mitte, and the sun was shining (for the first time in a while) and we stopped and got cappuccinos. I was also able to have conversations within a less formal setting and establish a better connection with her. Along with the gallery tour, I also went to the Helmut Newton foundation for their press tour of their Hollywood Exhibit. One of the perks of my job is being able to go to openings before they’re available to the public and get an in-depth tour, typically by the curator. I also went to an opening at the Tchoban Foundation, the art museum for architecture which was featuring an exhibit on the images drawn for the film Akira. A fringe benefit to the already existing perk is that these openings frequently have complimentary food and beverages.
Alongside the art events I went to I was also able to enjoy some recreational activities this past week, including a night rollerskating, a day at a lake in Wannsee, and a trip to the zoo and aquarium. I hadn’t roller-skated since I was less than five feet, but I’m already tempted to buy a pair once I return to the states. The lake was also much nicer than I was expecting, and although crowded it satisfied my summer needs for beaching, although I hope to take a trip up north to the beaches on the Baltic sea if possible. This coming week will also include lots of art events for work, hopefully, a flea market, but I also hope to return back to some cultural events like historical museums.