The biggest event from this week was the end of my internship. I gained a lot from the internship. I learned how to write from a media point of view rather than like a researcher, which I never realized made such a large difference. That media brief that I was given on my first day was a major project for me as well as a challenge. I am glad that I met that challenge head-on and didn't shy away from the unfamiliar work I was given. The other major project I completed during my internship was introducing MRG to the on-line Facebook network. I had shown my supervisor the "Cause" page application and how it would be a useful tool to promote the "Trouble in Paradise" campaign to college-age students and young professions (many of who are the people currently taking more exotic adventures to African communities). It was interesting for me to be "educating" my NGO about new technology and how it could be useful for their campaigns. I developed the cause page for "Trouble in Paradise", including a brief summary of the campaign's aims, adding media links for aesthetic appeal, and beginning to invite members to the page. I was excited to use Facebook for something with a purpose, rather than just uploading pictures or checking friends' profiles. Towards the end of my internship, I presented to the entire MRG staff in London about the benefits of Facebook, not just for the "Trouble in Paradise" campaign, but for all their campaigns. This included features like Group pages, where the NGO could post upcoming events for their campaigns to raise awareness among college students, and discussion boards that could mirror the forum MRG has on its website, but instead have a focus towards opinions of the younger generation. In a lot of ways, I felt like I bridged the gap between two generations at my NGO. I inserted a younger prospective into their advertising and media goals as well as introduced the NGO to a new network that could take many of their campaigns further. I hope that I gave as much to my internship at Minority Rights Group International as I received from it. I now feel more comfortable going into unfamiliar situations because I overcame the apprehensions I had entering this job. I also know that I can view unfamiliar work as a challenge and as something that will enhance my knowledge of a specialty I never worked in.
My sister recently came to London with her fiancée. After the last day of my internship I went out to see Phantom of the Opera with the two of them. This was my fourth/fifth trip to the theater while I was in London. I attended plenty of shows in my lifetime, especially when my dad lived in New York, but I was able to go to shows on a whim in London. They didn't have to be planned out occasions or for special events. Before I left for London, one of the most common pieces of advice I received was to go see a show while I was there. I followed that advice and took advantage of student rates while I was at it too. I went to see Cabaret with a friend and we were told it would be 20 pounds each for front row balcony seats. I asked if there was a student rate and it became 20 pounds each for the best two seats they could find for us together. We ended up on the floor in the center about fifteen rows from the stage! Other shows I was able to attend were Woman in Black and Lord of the Rings with the program, Wicked with my dad and Avenue Q with others from the program. I wished I saw Lion King as well, but I was happy with the theater I was able to see. I would like to think that seeing this much theater also allowed me to become more critical of the shows I saw. For example Lord of the Rings received rave reviews from the critics, but I thought the concept of the musical itself was flawed. The stage and effects were fantastic, but Lord of the Rings as a musical was not the best idea for a musical. The actors would be speaking then suddenly burst into song! It made the show funny to see, which I doubt was the intention of the creator. Avenue Q was by far my favorite show (with Wicked a close second). The dirty puppets were hilarious and it was a different take on a musical that made it a unique experience, which I think is rare in theater now. I hope that I will take this love of theater back with me to Boston and see more shows while I am there.Not only will they be cheaper, but it is a much better experience than going to the movies or out to dinner.
Well since the internship is completed now that means I'm getting to the point of finals and needing to complete my dissertation. I have put a lot of work into my dissertation and I'm hoping to be on the final review stage of it in the next few days. It has been a huge project to complete that I never had the experience of doing before. My finals will also count for a lot more than I am used to (75% of my grade for each class). I'm used to finals being 50% or less of my grade, not a full three-quarters! This is going to make finals more stressful to study for and means that the majority of my assessment of the material I learned in these classes will be determined from one test. My hope is to finish the dissertation in time to fully focus on studying for my exams so that I put my best effort forward. These grades will affect my GPA with only one semester left for me to get it back up if I need to before graduation.Plus it might be the final semester of grades that law schools ask to see before they accept or reject me for next fall. Therefore a lot more than usual is riding on this semester for me, and I hope I am able to succeed!