Internship Reflection: April

Jenna Badge

I’m not new to the concept of time flying by. However, I’m still taken by surprise every time I remember that I only have two more months left of my internship here at GWL. Four months have whizzed by and I hardly even noticed! This is due, I believe, to a number of factors. Number one stems from a cliche you might have heard, “time flies when you’re having fun”. And I have had fun, lots of it. There is such a warm, welcoming environment at GWL that it’s hard not to enjoy every minute.

Don’t get me wrong, there is always a lot of work to do. But that is one of the things that sets GWL apart: the work is the best part of the job. I have so enjoyed challenging myself, learning new skills, and meeting new goals. It’s inspiring to see the same kind of enjoyment in the women who work full and part time here. They are all so infallibly passionate, and although they work very, very hard, they are proud of what they accomplish and they enjoy every minute of it. A work environment like that is understandably contagious!

About a month ago, due to unforeseen circumstances, I found myself leading a session of the Young Critics. The Young Critics are a group of young women who attend arts and cultural events, mainly at GWL, with our support. Then, we advise the young women as they create multimedia forms of critique in order to review the event or show. There are nine young women in the program, and having never done group facilitation on that scale before, I was rather nervous. However, with the assistance and support of various members of staff, it turned into a really wonderful experience.

I’ve always liked to organize, being a habitual list maker, and I finally got to utilize those skills on a larger scale than ever before. It was an exciting moment, to realize that things had come together, and a task that once loomed large over me was easily broken down into manageable work. Since then I have planned another meeting that was carried out while I was on holiday, and I keep up with our private Facebook so the young women can keep track of our Young Critics schedule. In the beginning of June they will have an exhibition of their work, the planning and execution of which will prove another exciting challenge.  (do come and see their exhibition!)

That is another reason the days seem a bit shorter here at GWL. There are never two days that are exactly alike. Although there is a basic schedule, I’ve never gotten bored or found myself counting the seconds on the clocks. Each day presents a new and exciting challenge, or an opportunity to collaborate. Collaboration is a huge part of the foundation of GWL. Attending “Team Meetings” has been a favorite activity of mine since starting my internship. Although they mean waking up extra early, and I’m certainly not a morning person, it’s absolutely worth it. At the team meetings I’ve observed a remarkably open and supportive environment. Staff members are given time to individually speak about a project they are working on that they are proud of, a type of self promotion opportunity that isn’t usually presented to women. They are then encouraged to speak about a project that they’ve perhaps hit a roadblock with. The group then brainstorms or offers their own services to fix any problems or snags. This sense of community is so solid and well balanced, I’ve never seen anything like it. For someone who loves to organize, the forward thinking problem solving atmosphere of the GWL team meetings is a haven.

Now, with only two months of my internship here remaining, I must also remain forward thinking. With so many professional goals reached in my time here, from organizing and executing social media for an event to learning how to work the front of house desk, it’s difficult to come up with more to add to the list. So I think, moving forward, my number one goal is to enjoy every last wonderful, exciting, collaborative, fast paced minute of my time here at GWL.

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