I believe my first MA year helped me achieve key skills and knowledge. The courses and the seminars prepared me to perform well.
My language and social skills always came in handy, no matter the situation. I obviously went through the Cross-Cultural Communication course again before starting the internship as I anticipated the communication with different people from different cultures. This helped me a great deal, not only to understand other cultures’ points of view but to also remind me to always put things into perspective and try to find a compromise.
Communication means a great deal of respect and compromise. For example, when dealing with our partners in Algeria or when I was in touch with our colleagues in Morocco, I always kept in mind a number of things while avoiding stereotypes. Our way of setting up a meeting in Western Europe is completely different with the one in North African countries. Time is a much more flexible notion and very often has no dimension. I have to admit that at the very beginning, I was feeling stressed when I had to postpone a telephone or Skype call and did not set up a proper meeting. Then I tried to put things into perspective and realised that the way of dealing with time in North African countries is much more relaxed and flexible.
So, instead of feeling upset or stressed, I tried to learn from this and became more relaxed myself. I also felt there was mutual understanding and I tried to deal with several things with a sense of humour. I also feel that speaking French might have helped a lot: it was a common ground, which made us feel more comfortable and familiar. Getting to know other cultures from an early age and speaking a number of languages is key to tolerance and understanding.
The last year Corporate Communication course played an important role in understanding communication planning and strategy. While working in the two projects, I always had in mind what I learned at the courses: identify the communication purpose, context and audience. In addition the following communication variables were crucial: stakeholders (partners, trainers, journalists etc.), communication strategy (both online and offline) and communication plan. I always tried to keep in mind the golden rule in communication, which is called “The Five Ws and the H”, without which a report or broadcasted information would not be complete.
- What happened?
- Who says it or who is it about?
- When did it take place?
- Where did it take place?
- Why did it happen?
- How did it happen?
This helped me draft a number of articles for the website, while doing research or interacting with stakeholders of our projects.
Obviously, my contribution to staff recruitment and reference gathering as explained earlier is related to my Human Resources Management course. It was a good opportunity to apply the theory I learned and understand certain procedures.
As mentioned earlier, I was often involved in communication and logistics. I helped out with “traditional” public relations tasks such as sending out invitations to guests and answer to RSVPs. However, I learned how much potential social media have as a PR strategy. MDI’s Twitter account became the most used and handy channel for our event at the Frontline Club. I never imagined that our activity on Twitter would get such a great feedback. I am glad to use my new social media skills while working at my MA dissertation project and interacting with other Twitter users.
1. Sharing an internship experience abroad: Introduction
2. Sharing an internship experience abroad: About Media Diversity Institute in London
3. Sharing an internship experience abroad: Multilingual aspects of MDI’s communications
4. Sharing an internship experience abroad: Tasks and learning outcomes
5. Sharing an internship experience abroad: Activities related to my MA programme
6. Sharing an internship experience abroad: Colleagues and working environment