My name is Kelley Barrett and I'm a student on the Communications, New Media + Journalism program in Prague. Every Monday and Wednesday I make my way ...
Every Monday and Wednesday I make my way to the tram to journey to the Prague Visitor after school. On those days, I often find my mind wandering about the endless things I could be doing if I wasn’t about to spend 4 hours sitting in an office. But these negative thoughts seem to always be overridden with the positives and I can’t imagine an abroad experience void of what I’ve learned at the Visitor.
Whenever I tell people that I am interning abroad, they look at me as if I’m crazy. They can’t help but try to sequester that bewildering look on their face that seems to say, “I’m so sorry for you”. But after agreeing with them and feeling sorry for myself for quite some time, I have come to realize that my abroad experience wouldn’t be nearly as fulfilling if it wasn’t for the Prague Visitor and the people I’ve had the opportunity to meet along the way. I wouldn’t have gained the independence that I now have after a short two months working there.
Working at the Prague Visitor forced me to adopt a malleable mindset. I have always been the type of person that works better when I’m told exactly what to do and how it should be done. The first day of the internship was an eye-opener that at the Visitor, I would need to quickly learn their style of writing without necessarily being guided on how to do so. I’m on the newspaper team at my school at home, so I’ve come to master the hard news writing style over the past couple of years. Being thrown into a completely different style of writing was incredibly difficult to get used to. I had to learn to be more independent in my work, which has been my toughest challenge yet.
Along with this, I’ve gained an immense amount of resilience at the Prague Visitor. I mean, with a 100-pound Great Dane running around the office, it’s kind of hard not to grow tougher skin. All jokes aside, the Visitor has taught me to learn to adapt to different work situations. The first week of each month is a delivery day, which consists of the interns delivering magazines by foot to over 200 locations. At first, this seemed like a hassle and there were moments where I felt as though my legs were going to give out, but I learned that having a negative outlook wasn’t going to help. With that said, each delivery day allows me to explore a different part of Prague and find hidden spots that I never would’ve known existed.
At the Visitor, I’ve had the opportunity to interview locals and hear their stories. Being open to going to new places by myself and meeting new people has allowed me to learn more about the Czech culture and the Czech Republic in general, which is a truly invaluable experience. The most important things I’ve learned at the Visitor are to embrace difficult challenges and open my mind to new styles of learning and working.