Lately my biggest concern with my internship is a general quality of becoming slightly burnt out. This semester has been a difficult one for me, because I've hardly been stretched any thinner before. I'm working two jobs and doing the internship, on top of my last couple of classes. I put in about 50 hours a week just to show up to all of those things, so that's not including all the stuff I have to do outside of work/school hours, as well as extracurricular obligations like fishladder or the Grand Valley Journal of History.
Working for the Grand Valley Lanthorn has allowed me to develop skills in the writing field that I might not have otherwise and that will help me market myself in the job search. Other than the obvious of learning journalistic writing and AP Style, working for the Lanthorn has taught me how to better work with writers.
This week I have been feeling a little overwhelmed. I was to write an article on table etiquette and while the phone interview went very well, I was having the hardest time actually writing.
In my mind, the article was going to be a lot of fun facts and quite upbeat but it was something very different than what I expected. I was late to turn it in because I was so stuck. I'm not sure if it was because of writer's block or because I was confused with the kind of content I got.
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.
This week I wrapped up the usability testing I’ve been planning for a while, and I got very nervous about it. Between having some anxiety issues to begin with, plus caffeine that morning, I was absolutely positive that everything was going to go wrong. I was convinced that the people I’d asked to come in for the test would forget or would have something else come up, or that the test wasn’t up to the standards of my supervisor, that the technology wouldn’t work; I came up with every possible scenario in which the test could backfire on an epic level.
My biggest challenge so far in my internship has been the autonomy I’ve been given. Because my supervisor is flexible and wants to help me get the experience I need, I get to make a lot of decisions about how I move forward. I get to propose lots of ideas and implement them, and it’s making me a little nervous, if only because I’m used to a classroom setting with clear guidelines about what’s expected in each assignment. I’m used to getting criteria on the first mention of an assignment, rather than making it up as I go along.
How has your work changed since you first started? Have you been given more responsibility? Has your daily routine changed at all?
When working with so much research and previously obtained information, it been important for my internship for me to organize myself. When starting a new assignment provided by my supervisor, I have to write the piece using a specific set of guidelines. However, I am also able to incorporate my own variations of things. I am given research that has already been done and some copy that is already written for me to mold, incorporate, and interpret. Going through all of the research is probably the toughest part of the assignment.
I’m a little torn on the idea of working in SEO and digital marketing for the duration of a career. The most obvious advantage is that, since online presence is only becoming more relevant for businesses in this increasingly digital age, SEO seems to have relatively secure job prospects, especially compared to something as competitive as creative copywriting.
What new technology application did you learn to use?