Mike Carlson's blog

Blog 10: Done Already?

Over time, I’ve grown to appreciate just how overworked and short-staffed nonprofits really are. It seems like there really aren’t many volunteers willing to lend a hand, particularly with smaller things. Volunteering to sort office supplies, staple papers, and other mundane things isn’t high on most people’s list of priorities. While dull, it still needs to be done. After I talked with my supervisor, she’s made it a point to give me work that actually involves writing and adds to my portfolio, but it seems like there are more basic things that still need doing.

Blog 9 - Keeping Busy

I said in class the other day that I wanted to do some more challenging work and I'm definitely getting what I asked for. I'm making a press release for an upcoming event. I had to e-mail the event speaker and ask him a few questions to get a quote or two to use for the press release, which could be stressful. I was worried about what to ask him at first, but it seems like I came up with some good questions. My supervisor thought highly of them, anyway.

Blog 8 - A Writer's Place in the World

Working here has given me better insight on how my major fits in with the world at large and what might be expected of me in the future. Writing has a lot of practical uses, but what's expected of you can vary a lot based on where you find work.

I think what's most commonly expected, though, is that a writer be detail-oriented. The expectation for us seems to be that we're finicky. And employers seem to prefer that and seek that out. We're meant to be meticulous and intrinsically driven to iron out flaws.

Blog 7

I honestly haven't had too much difficulty writing the way they would like so far. I haven't been asked to write too much of my own content, so I've gotten off easy in that regard. I definitely wouldn't have a problem with writing in my own words, but most of what I've done so far is really technical and narrow in nature. The tone is pretty clear-cut for most of the writing I've done and a lot has had to do with me sorting text and piecing things together from existing information.

Two Portfolios?

I almost wonder if I should have two different digital portfolios. My emphasis is in creative writing, but my minor is in psychology. I know how to write professional documents and research papers, but I'm not convinced that my creative writing portfolio would feel as professional as I would like it to be. I'm proud of my creative work and I don't regret emphasizing creative writing, but I think it clashes with the rest of my work.

LinkedIn: What Are the Odds of Actually Getting a Job?

I read through all the web links and I’m not convinced of LinkedIn’s actual practicality. I get the impression that there’s a good reason that only 40% of users use the site daily. If being on LinkedIn got consistent results, then it seems like everyone would use it. If making a LinkedIn profile actually got people recommendations and jobs on a regular basis, then any alternative to it would be outmoded. But I feel like there’s no way that the site works for most people.

Blog 4 - Busy Work

It seems like the work in my internship has hit a bit of a lull, for the time being. It seems like things are going to start ramping up a bit as different projects take off, but most things I've been doing this week aren't exactly thought-intensive or creatively fulfilling. Most of what I've done is just edit calendar entries, which is inherently repetitive. I've got their event calendar set until June, but I can't help but feel like this kind of thing could be automated.

Blog 3 - Transitioning from the Classroom

It seems like the stage of transition we're meant to be in is “Disorientation.” I can't say that I feel all that “disoriented” as Anson and Forsberg are presenting it, though. I understand my role and what my responsibilities are. Scheduling is kind of complicated and sporadic, but the tasks I've been assigned make sense to me. Working independently isn't really a problem for me and, based on that, I'd say I'm on the “Transition and Resolution” stage.

Round-table Meeting

I just had a round-table meeting with a few people at CFI and honestly had a lot of fun. People joked around a bit, but they also put a lot of different ideas out there as to what CFI’s next steps should be on a few of their projects. It sounds like we’re getting another intern that will work on the PR side of things a bit more and I’ll probably be working closely with him on a few projects. It’s so interesting to me to see how people’s talents and specialties mesh together and catalyze one another.

Internship for CFI - Michigan

This semester, I'll be interning at CFI - Michigan. The Center For Inquiry is a secular group that promotes free-thinking and they put together different events where people get together to talk about and debate different issues. They even have events where kids can come and play games to win prizes.