We’re Going on an Internship!

NOV 7, 2016

Well, I’m on my internship!

I’m helping out at For The People. They’re a really cool little agency you can check out here. In addition to doing some exciting work with emerging brands, businesses and ideas, the team also work on podcasts about all kinds of startup and business-related topics, and my role is to help them out with that.

The team have been super friendly and welcoming so far, which I was extremely scared about in the beginning. I’ve been pretty stressed about the whole thing, actually… which, if I’m being honest, is pretty on brand for me. In the leadup to my first day I was struggling to sleep, asking myself all kinds of dumb questions: would I fit into an agency? Am I still too ‘green’? Do I know enough to actually be out in the world among real advertisers? Even though I’m still concerned about these things, I’m starting to feel more comfortable each day that I’m there, which is nice.

Currently, I’m helping record interviews with former, current and incoming staff members for the next episode, trying to get to the nub (good word, nub) of what makes a person stay or go in a business. I’ve been spending lots of time poring over the recordings to find the ‘key’ quotes from each interview, in order to start telling a story. It’s pretty fascinating – as someone who likes to keep emotional things pretty lowkey (for those of you who just guffawed: rude), I’m amazed at how willing people are to actually open up about pretty heavy and serious stuff, knowing that it’s being recorded.

It’s been a fun trip down memory lane getting to use my sound production skills again, and it’s good to know that I still know my way around a DAW. It’s kindof like muscle memory, actually – I’m picking up clip editing like it’s been no time at all. The challenge for me will be figuring out how to tell a story in this way – through audio, without relying on writing. Wish me luck!

NOV 14, 2016

So it’s going pretty well! I’m feeling a little bit more comfortable. I’m getting along really well with the team – I’m still pretty nervous about putting my hand up and offering my opinion, but they’re all really good people. I have a bit of trouble breaking out of my little corner and contributing to the every day life of the place though. Jason, one of the founders, reminded me the other day that they want me to get as much out of the experience as possible, and that my ideas and contributions are welcome, but I still look around at all the cool stuff they’re doing and I’m like… I have no business here. Not sure what it’s gonna take for me to feel like I belong, but hopefully it happens soon!

Also, turns out I’ve pretty well moved on from sound. Like it’s fine, and I can do it, but I’m not a huge fan of it anymore, at least when it comes to editing and listening to the same clips over and over again. Or maybe it’s just podcasts I’m not overly into? I kinda missed the whole podcast boat back in the day, and I haven’t really had the time to devote to sitting down for half an hour and listening to people talk since they had their little resurgence. This week I had the chance to help out with narrating and editing a video for an ad campaign the team are working on, which was way more aligned with what I want to be doing, and that was more enjoyable. That said, the podcast process has been really fascinating, and the interviews are really fun and interesting to conduct.

The only problem is I’m a bit too anal about the whole editing process – when it comes to sound, I’m a classic Virgo perfectionist type, and it takes many, many rounds of revisions before I feel something is ready for public consumption. This is why my potential music career never took off: I never felt like anything was good enough to be heard.

Oh P.S. the gang cleaned up at the AGDA’s this year. I was so surprised – I haven’t had a chance to see much of their work, but it sounds like they’re like… really really good. I definitely feel out of my depth now! But I’m stoked to be there and hopefully I can start branching out into other areas of the business… one day that could be me!

NOV 21, 2016

Sooooo remember the last post where I talked about my perfectionist nature, and how I need to do heaps of revisions before I’m happy sharing anything? Well, that might have come back to bite me in the ass today.

We had a catchup to see where things were at, and I hadn’t done nearly enough work. I had spent so much time editing and picking out the best bits and zeroing in on problems and making everything sound really nice that I lost sight of the overarching narrative of the podcast itself. I was leading the meeting, and taking a bunch of questions and getting feedback and suggestions, and there was a sense of ‘I have no idea what I’m doing’, and I think the guys picked up on it. The feedback was pretty tame, and the suggestions were all helpful and stuff, but one little offhand comment of ‘this is taking a little longer than usual’ completely ruined my day.

I’ve listened in on quite a few meetings with the team, so I know everything was/is fine, and this is just progress and how I make corrections and all of that, but I can’t help but take it as a personal attack, or feel that they’re disappointed in me. Which is ridiculous, and I know it’s ridiculous, especially since the guys brought me on because they don’t have TIME for the podcasts on their own, so they know it’s a bit of a big job. Plus it’s my first time. Plus there have been a few setbacks regarding interviews and times not lining up and people not being available to record. PLUS I’m only there like one, maybe two days a week tops around uni. But here we are. And by here I mean, almost in tears on the train home because I’m a FAILURE and an IDIOT and just generally the worst. I love anxiety!

DEC 5, 2016

The guys invited me to their Christmas party! I was so shocked. I STILL don’t feel like part of the team, after like six bloody weeks, so I didn’t expect to get an invite. That sounds like a shot at the crew, but it’s 100% just me being my usual stupid self-doubty self. The guys are always amazing and friendly but I’ve still got it in my head that I’m ‘just the intern’, despite everything the guys have said and done to the contrary. What is my deal?!

Anyway, what a day! We had to dress up in 80s sportswear, which I kinda phoned in on a bit. We also got cards representing ourselves in 8-bit form. We got tshirts and caps and stuff the week after too, which is awesome. We went to an Escape Room in Newtown, which was a little scary and super challenging, but a great team building exercise. Then we spent an hour at Skyzone playing TRAMPOLINE DODGEBALL(!!!!) Turns out I’m great at the dodge, but not so great at the ball… which makes sense if you look at my dating life. We also went and played lawn bowls, which I was actually pretty alright at. I knew I was turning into a grandma, but this is ridiculous.

After that, we kicked on for some drinks and played games like ‘Never Have I Ever’, which is always a terrible idea an enlightening experience. I’m FINALLY starting to feel like I belong in this place. It’s actually gonna be weird when I have to leave.


DEC 12, 2016

So it’s my last week, uni is wrapping up, I’m drowning in work, and I’m behind on the episode because everyone is busy and nobody has been able to narrate the damn thing. Not the way that I wanted to end things with the crew, but I’m going to work on it during my holiday period because I’m going to need to. Luckily it should only take maybe half a day to have it finalised and FINALLY uploaded. Finally. I feel like I should have had more done after all this time, but I guess that’s the drawback of having max two days a week there, my actual job every other day, and uni in whatever spare time I get outside of that. I do hope they’re not disappointed with me.

The good news is some of the crew got to come along to the showcase and saw me win an award! They didn’t realise I was finishing up this week… so hopefully there’s potential for more opportunities down the road. I’m still not 100% sure I belong there – I worry that they will need to do a lot of work on me to get me to the stage they need me to be, and I don’t know that they have that sort of time. I would hate to be a burden on them, especially given they’re stretched pretty thin as it is. I feel like I need to get my bearings in a larger agency, where I have a bit more safety to fall back on if I make a mistake or something, and then come back to an agency like For The People once I have more to offer.

That said, I would love an opportunity to intern over the summer in an expanded role – I could potentially take a couple of days off work a week and help out with other projects and learn without being a monetary drain on the team. Let’s see what happens!