Back in February, I was crushed when my mom said that my family would be leaving for our Philippines trip smack dab in the middle of February. I had wanted to earn credits by the means of attending summer theatre conservatory, but the time schedule wouldn't work. After spending many hours researching, emailing information and resumes, and conversing with many people, it was settled: I could intern for Summit Media, the biggest publishing company in the Philippines. More specifically, I interned for Total Girl magazine, which is a magazine aimed to the tween age group.
Interning is strange, and my schedule during the weekdays turned out to be very crazy. Every day, I would wake up at five, pack into to the Metro Rail System (MRT) at six, arrive at work at seven, and finally leave work at six, only to get back home at seven thirty and sleep approximately two hours later.
For once, it never occurred in my mind that there was a good chance that I wouldn't make it in, with the speaking odds against me and age.
The rather awkward part was that, while I entered orientation on my first day, is that I seemed out of place, age wise, in the long halls consisting of cubicles, consistent clicking and the occasional coffee cart that passed along. Most of the interns that I saw and met were all college aged, around sixteen and older.
The Total Girl team made me feel quite at home, and the events that I got to experience and cover were amazing! My first day there, along with two of the other staff, we got to go to a McDonalds media event revealing the release of the Minions toys and themed desserts a week before they were launched out to the public!
I'm not much of a fan of the Golden Arches ever since I read a book called Chew on This (when I vowed that I would attempt to limit my visits as much as I could) but hey, you can't argue with work. In fact, while I was in the Philippines, I ate McDonalds about five times. I think I am going to keep watch for a while, gulp.
The next "out of office event" was a pull out at Toy Kingdom, a large Filipino toy store. If you don't know what a pull out is, it's basically a term for taking out items from stores, with permission, to review them. According to what I heard from many, this was one of the toughest tasks to accomplish because we have to review toys that are new and that haven't ben featured in the magazines. During my time, it took us only an hour to find toys. With the task accomplished, we got to go out for lunch.
While I wasn't going out of the office, I ended up doing tons of research for sections of the magazine.
If you think, from the post right now, that interning is simple work, it's not. In the business industry, you must be very professional and quality is always valued over quantity, a lesson that is reminded to me while watching through YouTube for hours for research. If you don't do it right the first time, you would do it again, and it's not a complaining matter to deal with. It's the real deal, and it's something that I have been trying to do with blog posts over the past several months.
The toys that were "pulled out" had their photos taken during a photo shoot. Let me tell you, peeling the toys away from their containers without making any sort of infractions on them is probably one of the toughest jobs that I had to do. I took longer than what was usually expected because I was scared of breaking the boxes!
Once a year, the staff ends up getting their profile photos taken for the magazine, and I arrived in time for that! They also snapping shots for a section of the magazine involving lots of DIYs, and surprisingly, I got to be a hair model for some of those! I don't know how to feel now that I could probably write in future resumes that not only did I intern for an international company, but I was a hair model.
There are so many freebies you get when interning.
My last outside event was on my last day, which was to help with an interview for the model section. I'd love to tell you about the place, but seeing as the issue won't be coming out for another two months and I would spoil everything, I can't. What I will say is this: the place that I visited had lots of succulents and had something that relates to feet.
On my way back on the event, I was trying to show how much of the Filipino language I could speak fluently by translating sentences giving to me in English back to Filipino. One of the sentences given to me was, "Clint Eastwood lives in a house with his wife and son."
I totally blanked out on I was supposed to say. "Um..." I said. "Mabuhay si Clint Eastwood sa bahay nya kasama yung anak at asawa nya."
What I was supposed to say was, "Tira si Clint Eastwood sa bahay nya kasama yung anak at asawa nya," but instead, what I said translated to, "Clint Eastwood is welcome to live in his house with his son and wife." That completely changes the meaning of the sentence, all together, if you think about it.
Interning is weird, but there are lots of parallels to blogging. Besides the quality vs. quantity scenario, you always have to constantly think of new content and new ways to improve your blog. You shouldn't be shy when it comes to meeting new people, too. Be adaptable
I've also learned so many things, like not being able to eat at your work table and the fact that you should always get to the MRT station thirty minutes prior to the beginning of the rush hour so that you get to work on time. There are also small tidbits as remembering that there is no air conditioning until nine o'clock (a huge trouble for me, since I get to work at eight) or to always being seventy pesos-- the currency-- for lunch.
Some time when this is published, the TG team will be reading this (hi you guys)! Thank you so much for this opportunity; I'm fortunate and lucky to have been able to work with you all!
P.S. I'm still accepting orders for my design shop!