Internship: Week Seven and Eight

In the final two weeks of my internship, I have done quite a bit of reflecting. I am sad to leave. Though I surely experienced my fair share of ups and downs with my emotions and at times full desire to return home, after these eight weeks I can confidently say that this city has made a huge impression on me and leaving will leave a whole in my heart.

In my final two weeks, I completed the long-term projects I had been working on throughout my internship experience. I completed our Halloween plans and pitched the finalized plans to the team. ‘Stranger Cuckoo’ was a huge hit and has been put into the motion. I then put together plans for New Year’s Eve. ‘Cuckoo Casino’ was another huge hit and the team was pleasantly surprised with my ability to be creative even though they have previously done many themes throughout their years. Hearing positive feedback from my coworkers and supervisors was always a wonderful thing to hear and made me feel highly valued.

I was also able to co-plan my own event with fellow intern, Rachel. When I first interviewed with CEA, I asked them to place me with a company in which I would be able to have experience in all departments. By planning this event from start to finish, I could do just that – and more! I created a business plan which included forecasted financial plans, I worked with security and staff to organize their attendance at the event, briefed the team with our plans and special accommodations that night and planned the creative side of the event.

Though I’m not quite sure exactly what I want to do as a future career, this internship taught me a lot about myself. My interest in living and working abroad has been reconfirmed and sparks even greater excitement for the future. It showed me the importance of being flexible and willing to take on any project and assume any role in order to get the most exposure and gain the most experience from a given situation – personally and professionally. It helped me get outside of my comfort zone. I was nervous to work on some of the projects, such as creating promotional videos for a collaboration event and producing a press release on my very first day, but being timid only hindered me. I learned the importance of jumping in with both feet and giving it my all and that it’s okay to mess up. I also learned that working at a desk is not my ideal setting as my slower days I would find myself very bored and incredibly frustrated by the lack of activity. I hope that I will be able to find a job which allows me to travel and be on the move as much as possible.

This was an incredible experience and I cannot thank CEA enough for the opportunities they provided me with in my eight weeks abroad. I will surely be back to London quite soon.

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Internship: Week Four Through Six

My internship has continued to teach me new skills personally and professionally. The London workplace has introduced me to new language and new understanding of cross cultural communication. The sarcasm of the Brits is quite different and far less obvious when compared to that of Americans. Becoming aware of that quickly has helped me understand my coworkers more and allowed us to form friendships as we can have more casual, fun conversations.

I find that it is still a bit difficult for me to ask for work as I complete tasks quite quickly. My supervisor seems to have been happy with the work I’ve produced and the timeliness of my task completion, but on occasion I find myself filling my time with busy work or over-perfecting the project I’m working on.

After proving myself in my time here, I have been invited to attend more site visits, events and management meetings. This has given me a look into additional elements and how people come together with varying opinions and expertise to accomplish goals in sometimes short periods of time. It has been interesting to see who works well under pressure and who struggles more and how that affects the workplace environment.

Overall, I have become more comfortable speaking out and offering my opinions. I feel my opinions are respected and considered as equal to those of my full-time coworkers. This makes me feel incredibly valued and that the work I have done here thus far truly matters.

Lost in Translation

This final guest speaker represented an often unthought of form of mass communication: religion. For centuries, religious teachings were taught by word of mouth until they were eventually copied into writing. Since then, the many holy books that exist have been translated into hundreds of languages and spread across the globe. Fahim Mazhary spoke of his role in the Muslim community in London and what centers and mosques like the one we visited represent in society.

Fahim has worked with many leaders of other religious groups in London and is a member of many interfaith groups. He spoke eloquently and honorably about each of the religions present in London, speaking in an unbiased and informed manner regarding each and favoring none – not even his own.

He told us that his motivation for being such a prominent volunteer of the center is the people. Serving his community is incredibly important to him. He explained that though we may not see if at firs, we are far more similar than we are variant and encouraged us to open our eyes to that fact as we move forward in our lives as global citizens.

In regard to mass media and communication, Fahim spoke of the translation aspect. He said that the translation of holy scriptures causes a loss of initial meaning and thus takes away from the original intention of the teachings. He says this is why Muslims must perform their five mandatory daily prayers in Arabic as to ensure that the original meaning is not lost in translation. As someone who speaks two different languages, I find this to be very true as I often find myself misinterpreting what someone is trying to communicate to me when speaking Mandarin as our understandings of certain topics, slang and “sayings” are quite different.

I found Fahim to be absolutely fantastic and I truly appreciated the religious take on mass communication.

Lights, Camera, Action: Behind the Scenes

Katie Storry is the daytime producer of morning panel show, Loose Women, at ITV. Katie studied history in her undergraduate years at the University of Manchester. She then discovered her passion for mass media and communication and got her Master’s Degree in journalism at the University of London, City where she specialized in television. Katie has a variety of experience in news, current affairs, lifestyle, showbiz and educational program making. She credits three major internships for allowing her to develop valuable field skills. Her go-getter attitude helped her get to where she is today.

Katie asked for what she wanted, took on additional projects and remained very present throughout her internships and professional experiences. This outlook and heavy involvement made her stand out and resulted in many quick promotions. Her willingness is what made her a perfect candidate for new positions. What Katie shared put extra emphasis on the importance of chasing what I want.

Katie spoke of details regarding the panel show. “It’s important to maintain good relations with your talent. After all, they’re the ones on the screen, so without them you don’t have a show.” She said each of the 25 women that she has available to her have distinct personalities and varying relationships with one another. These factors are important to recognize to ensure the best panel is put on air for the discussion of the day. Managing egos is a part of her job that you only learn by being involved in the business.

After meeting with Katie and hearing her journey of confusion and dream chasing, I am more keen to re-visit thoughts of a showbiz take on my future career. I have a clearer understanding of what the profession entails and thus a more secure idea of what I want to do and how to make it happen.

ABBA Stands the Test of Time

Over the years, we have witnessed many boy bands, girl groups, one hit wonders and performers of all kinds come and go. Only a few groups can say they have stood the test of time. ABBA is certainly one of those privileged and deserving few. The power group has remained popular through multiple generations with the help of the hit film, Mamma Mia! Their unique sound paired with their catchy lyrics and addictive beats made for the perfect sing-a-long pleasures that are challenging – nearly impossible – even for the most talented singers to replicate.

The ABBA Super Trouper Exhibition has been hugely popular and it was very clear why. We were taken on a journey through time, starting from the time-period of their initial formation. We walked through their journey as a group and as individuals. Guided through cleverly designed entrances and exits with ABBA’s hits setting the scene, I felt truly transported by the done-up rooms which told the groups story. At one point in during the experience, we were brought into the replica recording studio where we became the performers as we sang ‘Dancing Queen’ and mixed our own versions of ‘Money, Money, Money.’ The exhibition is truly and amazing experience for all visitors.

ABBA’s music will live on forever and with the upcoming release of Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again, a new generation audience is sure to become members of the huge ABBA fan base.

Internship: Week One Through Three

I am a communications intern at the Cuckoo Club, a private, members-only club on the border of Mayfair and Soho. In the dual-level space, we host and plan private events in addition to our normal hours of operation. In my first three weeks at work, I am pleasantly surprised with the amount of work I am entrusted with and the individual creative freedom I am given despite only recently joining the team.

From the moment I was welcomed into the office, I have been given a wide variety of tasks. So far I have written a press release for an upcoming event and attended a site visit for a private event. I frequently interact and correspond with event managers and organizations in London to inform them about renovations to the club space and opportunity with our events team. I remodeled our promotional event pack to assure clear and smooth communication with clients and companies. I have also been independently planning the annual Halloween event beginning with the creative process and business proposal. I am currently working on a series of promotional videos to be published on various platforms to market an upcoming collaboration with The Influencer’s Diary.

I have been pleasantly surprised by my internship experience thus far. I have been exposed to a multitude of fields including public relations, marketing and communications and I’ve been trusted with tasks related to each specialty which gives me a deeper look and greater clarity about my future career options.

I was admittedly quite skeptical about this placement originally, but the unique and heavily involved role I have assumed make me feel that this placement is certainly a good fit. I have found that my only struggle at this point is related to cultural differences. In the United States, interns are often given menial tasks and if they are trusted with something more substantial, supervisors tend to hover over them. In my current London based internship, I have experienced lots of trust and much less monitoring and guidance which at times can lead to difficulties. Regarding communication style, I’ve also noticed that Brits are less direct and tend to dance around the immediate subject, laying out a set of instructions that can be quite vague. Because of this, I must ask many more questions to ensure proper understanding of the task.

Looking to the future, I will be planning my own event from start to finish before my departure after eight weeks.

An Ode to Communication

Jessica Dannheisser is a woman who wears many hats. She is a composer, an arranger as well as an orchestrator. Her three specialties allow her to be involved in more ways than one and give her the opportunity to benefit from multiple streams of income which allow her to chase her dreams of being a composer for film and television.

Jess began practicing piano at a very young age and by her early teens, she knew she wanted to be a composer. She pursued a classical training at Oxford and following her completion, she eventually landed an internship with a notable composer whom she still works with today. He mentored her and showed her the ropes of the industry. Jess credits this experience with allowing her to “learn more through genuine experience than any classroom lessons.” Since then, she has worked mostly as a freelance composer, working on many impressive productions including The Impossible.

Jess spoke to us about and illustrated the effect that music has in our lives. Music, as a form of communication, serves many purposes. Music sells a brand, an idea, a product. Music taps into our emotions. Music sets moods and holds the hands of the audience members to provide emphasis and draw attention to certain details. By viewing movie clips and advertisements with and without music, I was able to see the changing messages that are communicated by certain music choices.

Jess spoke about her experience with the creative process. She said that if it’s not flowing in the first 20 minutes, it isn’t going to happen. Know when to take a break, walk away and how to trust your sub conscious. Overthinking and forcing something that isn’t there will only lead to frustration. Jess provided general life advice and commentary. She explained it is more important to be coachable, collaborative and flexible than it is to be “right” or get your way every time. To wisely pick your battles is a skill that comes with maturity and should be practiced.

A Windy Road to the Top

Josh Berger is the President and Managing Director at Warner Bros. Entertainment, UK. Meeting Josh was an incredible opportunity and it was very special of him to carve out the time in his busy schedule to meet with us and share his experiences and offer advice.

During his time at Harvard University, Josh found himself unsure of what he wanted and where he was headed. He decided to take a year off and traveled to Milan, Italy for an internship opportunity. Berger boasted about his love of internships and the exposure and clarity they can provide to young people. “Internships are the best. You’re mentored and get to try so much before being forced into structure.” As an intern, Josh earned invaluable skills such as being able to read people, how to form business and commercial relationships and gained transactional experience by being immersed in the field.

Josh broke into his field as a sales intern. As he proved himself and asked for increased opportunity, he became a sales executive. He put emphasis on advocating for oneself and asking for your chance instead of waiting around for one. Berger worked in France and Spain, but when he was ready for his “serious big kid job” he moved to London and began his career with Warner Bros.

Josh proved to be a wealth of knowledge wealth of knowledge as he offered advice. Regarding being a leader, he explained just how important it is to be honest with yourself. Know what you’re good at and what you need to pass onto others better suited to perform the task. A leader should know his or her weak spots. If unable to identify on his or her own, one should ask for feedback. When building a team, pick people who are smarter than you. Being in a leadership position is no place for a selfish individual. If you are unable to support others, your team will not succeed. By helping your team excel, you in turn will excel.

Josh offered life advice as well which I thought was worth noting. Don’t get stuck to one plan. Things change. Josh changed his concentration so much in college that they told him he must pick something before graduation. Take time out. There’s more to life than working yourself dry. Experience newness in all its forms, meet new people and take a chance.

Warner Bros. Opens Its Doors to Students Studying Abroad

– THIS IS A MODEL PRESS RELEASE –

Warner Bros. Opens Its Doors to Students Studying Abroad

LONDON, England, UK, June 20, 2018 /CEA/ — Students from American colleges and universities around the country are living, studying and working in London with Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA). The young adults are provided unique opportunities to meet influential professionals in their fields of interest in intimate settings. On June 20th, the small group of six will be welcomed into the Warner Bros. office in London to meet with Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications, International, Deborah Lincoln.

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“Turn the city of London into your classroom” (CEA). CEA works with Anglo Educational Services to give visiting students once in a lifetime academic and professional experiences. Mass Media in London, one of the courses offered to students in the summer session, takes students outside the classroom to introduce them an impressive lineup of professionals. Meeting closely with Deb Lincoln gives students an inside look at international communications and public relations. The intimate meeting grants students the opportunity to ask questions they would otherwise be unable to have answered by someone of Deb’s caliber. In such a meeting and others like it, Deb shares her life story and professional journey while candidly answering questions. CEA Mass Media students have previously met with Chris Grayling at the Houses of Parliament and John Curran of the BBC.

Meeting an array of professionals gives CEA students a unique look at future career options. This program stands apart from the crowd as a top-tier educational and professional opportunity to help students differentiate themselves in a sea of job applicants from around the world. Students in the summer 2018 cohort range from 18 to 21 years of age and study communication in various forms from public relations to broadcast journalism.

About Mass Media in London:

This intensive six-week course immerses students in the international media hub of London. Using the city and its residents as his/her classroom, students gain first-hand exposure to the various forms of mass media and communication used in London and throughout the United Kingdom.

Contact:

Kylie Salyards
ksalyards@email.arizona.edu

Nuggets of Knowledge

In my first three weeks with Cultural Experiences Abroad (CEA), I have been afforded the rare opportunity to meet incredible people who each hold powerful and influential roles in their fields. Each of these people have taught me valuable lessons and provided me with insight to their careers. Deb Lincoln took this a step further and through her candid sharing of her life experiences and professional development, I gained more than I could have imagined. Deb shared with us the windy path she took to get to where she is now as the Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications at Warner Bros. International and inspired me to take the road less traveled to experience unexpected greatness in my future career.

This reflection would quickly turn into a novel if I was to share every take away I had from my discussion with Deb, so instead I have narrowed it down to what resonated with me the most. First I will share some of the knowledge nuggets that stuck with me.

1. There’s no one way to get from start to finish.

To me, I was encouraged by the idea that I can determine my own path as I travel through it instead of being pressured to answer those daunting “What’s next for you?” type questions.

2. Use your power to benefit others. Do something bigger than yourself. Pay it forward.

I thought these series of statements were so important. So often we get wrapped up in money or status or being the best that we take for granted all that we have. Using a prominent role to do something beneficial for the world is a top priority for me, personally and professionally.

3. Maintain connections. Everyone you encounter is immediately admitted to your social network.

4. Be five minutes ahead of the next big thing.

Deb changed jobs often and even changed fields completely from politics to media. She told us to look out for yourself and not to get too attached to something. This allows for increased mobility and therefore, increased availability. You will be able to experience much more by being flexible and open to new opportunities.

5. Be prepared to take a chance.

This point stuck with me and encouraged me to remain outside my comfort zone. Throughout the years, I have always felt more comfortable when I am outside of my comfort zone and experiencing new things. I will continue to do so in my personal and professional life.

6. Pick a place with good values and good people. Do it for love, not money.

It is important to associate yourself with people and a company that you’re proud to represent. The money you earn means nothing if you don’t love what you do.

7. Make face-to-face connections and personally experience new cultures.

Deb shared a story about varying success in different countries around the world. Deb covers a large region, but admitted she has quite a small team due to the corporate communication budget. Because of this, it can prove to be quite difficult navigating cultures between Asia, Europe and South America. She noted her confusion after the minimal success of the Superman movie in Japan. Upon arriving in the country, she discussed this with the local team. They said that the super buff, superhero type man does not resonate with the Japanese people as that is not a type of person they would admire. This was a stark contrast to the reactions of those in the United States and the United Kingdom. This highlighted the importance of experiencing the culture first-hand, so that we can personally gain knowledge about the people, culture and traditions.

8. If you have passion, you’ll undoubtedly succeed.

During Deb’s discussion, I made note of a few comments that were just too good not to quote directly.

“I’ve been in boring jobs, but only for about 20 minutes.” This illustrated to me the importance of staying true to yourself and following your passion; never settling for anything less than what truly makes you happy.

“It’s a long day with each other. I’d never hire someone without a decent sense of humor.” This stuck out to me as encouragement to always be yourself in personal and professional encounters including interviews. Who you present yourself as in a first meeting is who people will expect you to be in the future.