What you know is what you do
by Naomi Judd
Internships: Those windows of opportunity to gain experience before you venture out into the real world, those little stars on your resume. Many people need them, but how does one go about planning for an internship? What can one expect from such an experience? In Winterim 2007, Lauren Danzi interned at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Concord, NH. Danzi collaborated with Jeanne Gerulskis, the Executive Director of the Planetarium, to write their first ever annual report that served as an advertisement for the Planetarium. It went out to all their members, sponsors, and state officials to encourage their continued financial support of planetarium programs. “I researched and gathered information by talking with other employees, sifting through old documents, watching Planetarium shows, and touring the exhibits. I outlined the different sections of the report and wrote each section with the Executive Director. I also sorted through photographs chose which ones went with each section,” said Danzi.
On April 13th, Danzi gave an oral presentation chronicling her internship and spoke about the large amount of personal confidence she has gained, improving her writing and communication skills. “When writing in a professional work environment its important to write well but it is even more important to be flexible. I learned to let go of my writing so the finished report would match the Planetarium s already established writing style. My writing served as jumping off point that opened the door for new ideas. These ideas changed constantly for both Jeanne and myself during the writing process. Once I saw my writing as a conduit for new ideas rather than a finished product I became less frustrated with the red ink on my pages and instead saw it as an opportunity to grow,” says Danzi of gaining professional skills.
When thinking about interning somewhere, it is easy to jump to thoughts of the actual internship. The preparation beforehand, however, is just as important. Danzi suggests taking preparatory classes such as Journalism and Technical communications, as well as several other creative writing courses. Keep in mind also to start the process of your internship as early as possible. Ultimately she says, “Pick a topic that interests you and don t be afraid to ask.When I asked my instructor about possibly working for the Planetarium I thought it was a long shot but they ended up having an opening for me. That crazy idea you have might not be as crazy as you think. ”
To find out more about a writing internship at Plymouth State, contact Ruth Decotis at (603) 535-2336.