Janan Boljevic is a high school student who hopes to major in the field of communications or public relations. She understands that an internship will allow her to broaden her experience and explore options for college and beyond. Through the remote Journalism & Media Internship (hosted out of Tanzania), Janan learned to showcase her abilities as a communicator, strengthen her professional writing skills, and navigate the responsibilities of a real job. Read on to learn how she gained a better understanding of the journalism and media industry.
Hi Janan! Tell us about your Journalism & Media internship! What did you do and learn?
My online internship role was to be a foreign correspondent for the Arusha Press Club in Tanzania. I was tasked with a project on the environmental and conservation efforts in the country, and, as a foreign correspondent, chose to compare them with those in the United States. Working with the press club, I learned about journalism in Tanzania and offered a more Western perspective on it. I learned so much about the career field through a Tanzanian context and through their lens of media.
I can say that this internship role contributed a lot toward my eventual goal of obtaining a career in public relations. I learned adaptability skills by being able to work whenever I’m needed and learned how to adjust my schedule and meeting times accordingly. This internship role also helped me build my communication skills through interacting with coworkers, mentors, and supervisors in a professional setting.
What was it like getting started and connecting with your supervisors in Tanzania?
During the first week, I got to experience the loveliness of my supervisors! Everyone I was introduced to was willing to answer any questions, accommodate my needs, and listen to what I had to say. Of course, I didn’t expect to intern with bad mentors, but this level of support was beyond my expectations. I think the most memorable moment was the first meeting with my supervisor and how welcoming he made the journalism world feel, despite the competitiveness of the industry. He made it clear what the basics were for the career path and kept me intrigued on how to pursue it as a future career.
What were some unexpected aspects or challenges of the internship?
My expectations of the internship definitely changed when I realized that there was a lot of learning I had to do before I could jump into the action. I understood that I had to fill in the role of the student before I could think about working alongside my mentor. I would encourage other interns to be patient, open-minded, and curious. It’s necessary to gain an understanding of the industry or workforce that you want to go into before trying to become a part of it.
During my internship out of Tanzania, there were also instances when I had to juggle my second job, the assignments that my supervisor sent me after each meeting, and brainstorming responses to the reflections Intern Abroad assigned. When the work seemed to mount, time management was key. I prioritized the internship assignments because of their importance to my weekly meetings, and tried to work on them as they were assigned. I worked through my other priorities in the middle of the day and reflected in the evenings when the hustle calmed down and when I could have a clear head for addressing my recent progress.
When dealing with these challenges and sometimes unexpected circumstances, I found the need to adapt to be a very eye-opening experience. I appreciated the way it trained me to get used to being more flexible for any future career I might possibly have. Sometimes meetings had to be rescheduled and work was pushed back, but keeping in touch with my supervisors and remaining transparent made it easy. If unforeseen circumstances stunted our progress, we quickly prepared for another meeting date and time and stayed dedicated to our schedule as best as we could. Having a great work team and being a strong link in that team help any workplace challenges pass with little issue.
What mentorship did you receive from your supervisors to help you progress in your field of interest?
Recently, especially with the helpful supervisors I’ve had, I learned that it’s ok to be more open with questions and concerns. In the workplace, more efficient employees make sure they understand everything clearly before attempting to tackle projects and tasks, and it’s important to understand this.
Still, I’d have to say my favorite piece of advice from my supervisor was to “keep on writing”. He told me to persist in what I’m good at, hone those skills, and continuously dish out ideas and products until I get the hang of creating great work. He made me understand that as long as I keep putting myself out there and showing people what I can do, I’ll eventually get to where I want to be. As someone who struggled with a more fixed mindset growing up, (in work and in school), this internship was definitely a part of my growth into a dedicated, zealous, and hard-working student and employee.
How do you feel after having completed the remote Journalism & Media internship?
After completing this internship, I feel much more empowered to be successful in my field. Now, I understand the workings behind a journalist, who is supporting them from every position, and that there are many more parts to the industry than just finding and writing a good story. I think it was very eye-opening to see what I’d be getting into as an aspiring public relations director, which ties closely with journalism. Overall, I feel much more prepared and sure of my career choice!
How can I get started?
Our step-by-step guide on how it works provides you with more information on how to get started. The process is user friendly and there are two options you can take to get the ball rolling.
If you’re unsure of which internship program is right for you, you can simply check availability to submit an enquiry which will help us to point you in the right direction. If you want to chat over the phone, you can also find our full contact information here.
If you already have an idea of what you want to do, and when you want to do it, you can submit your application. It doesn’t cost anything and won’t take more than 5 minutes. However, your formal expression of interest provides the foundation for us to help you take the next steps.