Internships are critical for professional development and that is a fact. They teach us different skills that help us enter the professional field. Although, I think we can all agree that there are some internships where we do not feel the professional not personal progress. In other words, we feel as though we do not learn the skills crucial for that field, which makes us think that we have wasted our time at a job that taught us little to no skills. However, even in these types of internships we learn what we like and dislike regarding the job itself.
Before this internship I interned at an online magazine where all of publications were published. They gave me the liberty to write about almost anything that interested me which made me happy to work for them. Despite the work being challenging, I enjoyed this very much because I wanted to place my writing skills to the test to truly understand my capabilities. However, the downside to this internship was the communication within the workplace. In other words, when I would reach out with a question via email to my boss or colleagues, I would only get a response after weeks had passed. Even though it was not the best work experience, I felt that this internship helped with my professional development because it taught me the importance of communication!
However, this internship is thankfully different and better because I feel as though I am learning a lot of soft and hard skills!
For example, a soft skill that I have learned is open communication with colleagues. Now, this was a soft skill that I lacked at my previous internship. Although the language barrier can get in the way of proper clear and professional communication, it is an interesting way to learn cross-cultural communication, which I think is just as important to learn, considering the global and connected world we live in today. That is, while in Paris we are learning both a foreign language and work environment, it teaches us to communicate professionally in different ways so our foreign colleagues can understand us. Overall, I think this is an important soft skill to have because open communication about tasks via email or in person is the crucial for the growth of a company. In addition to that, I have learned the importance of teamwork and how to cooperate with my coworkers. In other words, when Violette and I are given a task with a deadline, we generally divide up the work. We have to communicate and collaborate with each other to finish the assignment given. We have to make sure that the writing is cohesive and that our ideas flow well together. This has been a skill that I have tried to perfect because of its importance in the professional field.
I have also learned some hard skills during these past five weeks! For example, I have learned a lot about journalistic writing. In school, I do not think we delve deeply into journalistic writing because there are just so many forms of writing. There is non-fictional, fictional, research, data writing, etc. I understand why professors want to teach us these different forms of writing, but I wish we focused on journalistic writing more. Here, I have learned about the importance of factual, short, and clear structured sentences because that is what journalistic writing is mainly comprised of. In addition to that, I would count basic knowledge about France’s politics, history, and culture as a hard skill since it is a big part of journalism. Thus, during my time here I have also absorbed that skill which has helped me write articles quickly and understandably.
In general, I think these skills that I have learned will help me obtain my dream of becoming an international journalist. I think by exposing myself to a foreign language and work environment I have truly put my skills to the test. In other words, I believe I have placed myself in a significantly challenging situation where the main language spoken is French and not English. With that being said, when I leave this internship I think I will have obtained the necessary hard skills as well as soft skills. I also think that the fact that I worked in an environment that was challenging, that other job opportunities will not be an as big of a change for me. In other words, I will be more comfortable and flexible when adapting to new jobs.