This is it. My internship period is officially completed in Jordan. This journey has been difficult, but nonetheless, fruitful. Here are a few takeaways from this internship experience:
Communication Is Key
Time and time again this semester, the need to be an effective communicator has been reiterated to me. During my internship experience this became essential when dealing with fellow colleagues and my boss.
This goes beyond speaking up when I am confused, but also speaking up when I feel as though I am not being heard. I was challenged by my colleague and my supervisor to speak up even if I have difference of opinion or there is something that I do not understand.
Though it was not intended, my internship challenged me to develop networking skills. This isn’t some thing that I have spent too much time learning. I have always been very observant of those around me, but due to underdeveloped communication skills, I refrained from interacting with many people.
During my internship, I attended a conference on Economic Freedom in the Arab World. I met a variety of people who have worked across Europe and the Middle East in the field of economics. I engaged in conversation with people I originally thought I wasn’t intellectual enough to speak to. Through these conversations, I learned about new ideas and concepts relating to social efficiency and economics.
It was due to a fellow colleague and study abroad student challenging me to step out of my comfort zone and speak to these influential and established individuals that I pursued these conversations. Though I was nervous and not nearly as assertive as I would have liked to be, the fear of speaking to these people diminished the more I spoke to them.
As I reflect I remember that during this period, I had a conversation with my brother in which he said to me,
“It’s not about having something to connect with people on that makes you good at networking. It’s about being willing to connect with them,” [paraphrase] -Christopher Chambers
Reinvesting Time in Art
My largest project for the duration of my internship was to write a lobbying paper on behalf of Jordan’s Royal Film Commission. The lobbying paper sought to receive more subsidies from the government for movie production that takes place in Jordan.
Aside from my lack of experience writing a lobbying paper, my dislike of movies was an added struggle. My job was to research an industry I had limited interest in, meanwhile my fellow intern loved movies, and so did my boss.
However, this did not deter my research. As I learned more about the film industry, I became interested in the film making process. Studying the film industry in this way gave me the push to watch new movies. It was this push that lead me to watch a new movie. Unfortunately, this reminded me why I didn’t like movies. I tend to critique movies as I watch them. I examine the dialogue, plot, character development, lighting, and location choice and tear it apart.
But being critical of something doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it, especially when it comes to art.