12 weeks. It has been 12 weeks since I started interning at the Center of Global Studies and it has truly been one of the most interesting experiences of my life. It started off as a typical internship; inputting data, writing press releases, sending emails, etc. However, things began to take an interesting shift when we had our first Brown Bag, “Fifty Shades of Zionism: Iranian Jews and Israel”. As a Global Studies major, this lecture explained a topic that I was studying in class; extremely helpful. Not only that, but the pictures I took during this Brown Bag were used to recap the event. Seeing your work published on social media and around campus is truly a unique opportunity. Also, I was able to freshen up on my photography skills.
My newly discovered photography skills came in handy when Vijay Prashad, a historian, journalist, author and professor, gave a lecture on Western Bombs, Eastern Societies. He was definitely an inspiring person as he explained his research and knowledge without fearing the opposing view. Once again, the week prior to his visit, I read a section of his book, Of Darker Nations, in one of my classes. It was exciting to meet the author behind the words and hear him speak it instead of just reading it. As a kinesthetic learner, I understand and remember concepts better by seeing and doing instead of reading.
The next major lecture was Ian Johnstone’s talk on “The UN in crisis: priorities for the next Secretary-General”. When I first heard about this lecture, I was overjoyed because I am considering a career with the UN after graduation. Moreover, the Secretary-General plays a crucial part in the progress and instillment of development programs that affect the world. (It is important to note the roles of interns during these lectures; one walks around and takes pictures, one takes a countless amount of notes to later on write an article for the newsletter and one runs the videocamera. If all interns are there, then everything runs smoothly, but when there is only one intern available they have to get creative). It just so happened that I was the only intern available to attend this lecture and I was a bit nervous, how could I walk around and take pictures while taking notes to write an article? I knew that I had to prioritize the note taking before the pictures, so I sat in the front row and started jotting down notes. Every now and then I would pull out the camera and snap a few pics of Johnstone. If you saw the pictures and wondered why they were all taken from the same angle, now you know. Luckily, there was a Q&A and then I was able to walk around and try to take pictures from different angles. This event taught me the importance of being adaptable and believing in yourself and your creative abilities. If I ever have to do this again, I am confident I can handle it.
Finally, the event that I have been working on the most is happening this Thursday. In early October, I was asked to write a press release and create a poster for Kim Barker’s lecture on November 10th. Not knowing much about who Barker is or her significance, I borrowed Barker’s book, The Taliban Shuffle, from Sarah. After reading the first few pages, I was truly invested; which political figures would Barker interact with, how does she live in countries full of destruction, what will happen to Farouq? I do not want to spoil anything else so I will just highly recommend reading this book. Furthermore, as a movie buff, I was ecstatic to learn that there is a movie based on this book, Whiskey Foxtrot Tango. After finishing the book, I rented the movie from the library and watched it. As much as I liked the movie, with Tina Fey starring in it, the book had much more detail and, one of my favorite characters in the book, Farouq, was not really important in the movie. Anyway, understanding who Kim Barker is helped me write a press release and create my first ever major poster for this event, although it took a few drafts to create.
This Thursday, Kim Barker will finally be here and if everything goes as planned, I will have the opportunity to interview her before the lecture. Stay tuned for the event’s recap and my experiences with Kim Barker.
My advice: always be prepared for the unexpected and welcome criticism because it will make you a better person and a more effective intern!