09 Aug My Journalism Internship in Paris
My name is McKenna Johnson, and I’m from Boise, Idaho, in the United States. I am a rising junior at the University of Montana, pursuing my undergrad in journalism and French where I also study dance, media art, and global leadership. I interned for 8 weeks in the summer of 2022 in the journalism industry with a company called Worldcrunch, an international media website that strives to bring foreign media to an English-speaking audience.
I originally enrolled in Absolute Internship so that I could knock out two birds with one stone, so-to-speak: I needed an internship for my journalism studies, but I really wanted to study abroad in France and travel. I didn’t have time to do both separately, so Absolute Internship was best of both worlds.
My Journalism Internship in Paris Was an Amazing Learning Opportunity
Working for an international media company was a completely different experience from the local media projects I had worked on at school, and it taught me a lot about how to adapt. I got the chance to grow skills such as writing, video editing, proofreading and copy editing. I contributed to newsletters and pitched essays that were eventually published on the Worldcrunch website. Toward the end of my time with Worldcrunch, they trusted me enough to use my graphic design skills and design the first edition of Worldcrunch Magazine, a new weekly digital magazine slated to launch in the coming months.
I don’t believe I could have found an internship as well-rounded and immersive in the States. It will definitely put me ahead when I return to Montana with a unique set of skills not found in the rural U.S.
My Internship helped me achieve my goals
My biggest challenge while working was getting adapted to a new office culture. I didn’t always know how to ask questions or where to go for help, but my co-workers were very encouraging and looked out for me along the way. My internship helped me achieve my goals by getting me out of my comfort zone. I had come to my internship with the intention not to write or publish anything original, because I didn’t think I was good enough. Instead, I walked away from Worldcrunch with two published essays and a newfound confidence in my skills.
After My Internship in Paris
During the next few months after I return to the U.S., I will resume working for my university’s student newspaper, as well as starting a new digital media coordinator job. I am looking forward to using the skills I learned at my internship as I continue my academic career.
I am also leaving Paris with an amazing network of new friends I’ve made along the way. After the first few welcoming events Absolute Internship hosted, I met (who I presume to be) life-long travel buddies and some of the most kind, genuine friends I’ve ever made. With these new friends, I’ve already traveled to Italy and Belgium during the weekends of the program that we weren’t working, and we are already forming plans for our next international adventure.
I came to this experience so focused on work, but I was unprepared for the life-changing experience of simply living in another culture.
Even without considering the language barrier, I felt like I had to learn certain things all over again. The etiquette was different and everything was so new. At first, it was overwhelming. But gradually I came to love it; the culture itself that I was learning, and just the fact that I was learning it.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Spontaneous Adventures
As my time in Paris comes to a close, I will miss the interns I’ve worked with and the friends I’ve made so much. My advice for incoming participants at Absolute Internship is not to take the program too seriously. If there is something you want to do and something you want to go explore, just do it. Plan ahead, but also don’t be afraid of the spontaneous adventures that pop up, because they will pop up. And ask around, because there is probably someone else in your program who has been dying to go explore the same thing.