“I have spent the last eight weeks interning with YouthNet’s multimedia department. Next week I return to the United States for my final year at the University of Kansas, where I am studying broadcast journalism, public policy and leadership.
When I first joined YouthNet for an eight-week internship back in May, I was a little worried about whether I would fit in. I had only been in the UK for a few days, and wasn’t sure how my American humour (which isn’t even that funny in the States) and my limited knowledge about British culture (who is Iggy Azalea anyway? I’m still not really sure) (she’s Australian! – Ed) would go over in the office.
I was happy to discover, however, that fitting in at YouthNet is as simple as embracing its mission – to harness the power of technology to support young people. This is a message I was happy to get behind, which made my time at YouthNet much more enjoyable than another, less purposeful internship experience.
During my internship I have worked primarily with our multimedia producer, Rob, to create photo and video content for TheSite.org, YouthNet’s online guide to life for 16- to 25-year-olds. This summer I assisted with projects like a sex and relationships photo shoot, two video blogs and the very exciting migration of TheSite to its new design.
Though it took some time to accustom myself to it, one of my favourite things about TheSite is its honest, straightforward, often comical look at issues for young people. For instance, on any given day the Editorial team might discuss embarrassing poo stories, being cheated on, legal drug use, dealing with flatmates and surviving nervous breakdowns – and that’s just by lunchtime. We tackle hundreds of issues that young people really need to know about, and in a way that is relatable to them. It’s an important – though sometimes difficult – undertaking that I have thoroughly enjoyed covering for the past eight weeks. To be perfectly honest, I even found myself consulting some of the articles I was working on for advice about my own life.
In addition, they YouthNet team is a truly special group of people with which to spend your days talking about herpes. They each have their own roles on the team – content, marketing, IT, operations, their skills go on and on – but in addition to that, the YouthNetters are pretty much universally friendly, interesting and dedicated to their work. Even from my limited point of reference as a multimedia intern, I know that YouthNet is an exceptional place to work and be. I will definitely be following their work even after I return to the States, to see how they continue to create, innovate and just be wicked cool.