When I started the application process for interning in Prague, I was nervous. I had never really had an internship before, and I had no idea what it would be like to work in a foreign country. Now, a few weeks into my internship, I am so glad I chose to do this program. I get to intern with an organization I love, get credit for school, and have an incredible new item for my resume!
After the interview process, I was matched with the National Technical Library (NTK) here in Prague. NTK is the largest science and technology library in all of the Czech Republic, and it’s a popular study spot for students of all subjects living in Prague. I’m working towards a career in library and information science, so getting to intern with NTK is a perfect fit for me.
In the United States, the stereotype of interns is that all we do is make coffee and answer phones. I’m happy to say I am doing much more interesting work with NTK! I make videos promoting library services, copy edit materials for the website, and learn about the library field from an entirely new and international perspective. Not only do I get to expand my knowledge and experience related to libraries, I’m learning new skills in filmmaking and editing.
In general, interning has added so much to the study abroad experience. I love getting to interact with Czech people in a professional setting and learn about how the Czech work environment id similar and different to an American work environment. This internship has also showed me new parts of Prague I might never have discovered on my own. Lastly, interning while studying abroad helps me feel like I’m really making the most of my experience by getting outside of “the American bubble” and doing more than just typical classes. I can’t wait to see what else my internship has in store for me!
Co-working in Prague – Bringing together an International Community by Shannon Keirsey
Just about two months ago I came to Prague to begin my study abroad and, of course, internship experience. I am interning at Locus Workspace and could not be happier with how it has added to my time studying here in Prague. Locus is an English speaking international co-working space. This means that people who are independently employed, but still want to have a space to call their office and people to call their co-workers can get a membership and be a part of the Locus workspace community. That is where my job comes in.
I am a community event intern, so I help to organize, promote, and facilitate different community events within the workspace to improve the overall quality of co-working. I have worked on events like “Embodied Leadership,” “Negotiate Like a Pro,” and “IT/IP Business Operation – Legal Aspects.” At each of these events a professional speaker on the topic came in to hold a professional development type seminar to refine skills within their topic. Other types of events include “Weekly Coffee Break,” “Hump Day Pump Night” and “Locus Mafia Night.” It is at these get togethers that members have an opportunity to get to know one another on a more personal and fun level. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work behind the scenes as well as to participate on all of these events.
Working with other professionals is both interesting and beneficial to me as a business major. Having the chance to meet and talk with the members, each of which has a distinct international personal story and entrepreneurial spirit, is a huge perk of the job. I think that much of the cultural perspective and true immersion I am getting here in Prague comes from working and talking with the different Locus members. I’ve learned a lot in this position already and look forward to continuing to implement best practices around community event planning and expanding relationships with the uniquely interesting businessmen at Locus.
Gaining an Old Appreciation by Cece Thomas
At first, the abandoned looking warehouse on the other side of the tracks took me aback. I couldn’t figure out the vibe MeetFactory had when I first walked through the door. It was unlike anywhere I’d ever worked before and I genuinely started to second-guess my internship experience before it even began. What I didn’t know though, was that it would help me to realize just how much I missed working in a creative field.
I’ve always considered myself a creative person, and throughout my life my creativity has changed with me. When I was five I was painting with my grandfather, at ten I was playing piano, and at fifteen I was dancing during football game halftime shows. By the time I got to college though, my creativity was focused solely in my schoolwork. I got further and further away from the things that I loved as a kid because I didn’t have the time. It never occurred to me that my future career could have an artistic outlet until I started my internship at Urban Space Epics here in Prague.
The first couple of weeks weren’t really anything to write home about. I went through an orientation, learned how the studio functioned, and helped run the communication aspects of the studio, which included editing web content. It was relevant to what I was studying, but I wasn’t excited about what I was doing. My mentality totally changed once I got to document the Open Studios event. This event is where MeetFactory opens their doors to the public to experience what the artists in the studios are working on, present new installations, and view experimental concerts. It was by far the liveliest, funkiest, and most eye opening experience I’d had so far in Prague. The feelings of appreciation I’d had for art when I was younger, the wonder and need to create something of my own, bubbled back up. I realized that art can take on many different forms and that I could easily incorporate it into my career. I’d have never considered working in an art gallery before, but my internship has helped me see that it really isn’t so different from what I want to do. I could have a career where I’m exposed to art every day, and still work within the world of communication and business.
Getting out of my comfort zone, and working at a place that I would never have considered before helped me to realize that there are many paths that lead to the same place. I don’t have to choose a career where I paint, play an instrument, or perform to feel like I am participating in an artistic way. Even though the exterior is a little rough, Urban Space Epics has already helped me gain back the appreciation I had for art as a kid and I can’t wait to see what the next few months have in store.