I am happy to say that I finally got an internship! Please ignore or forgive how behind I have been on blogging… it’s just that my life has gotten much busier over the past two weeks since I started my work.
I mentioned before that I had wanted an internship in the business sector. Some of my friends from last semester interned in the Human Resources department of an international engineering firm and recommended that experience (at least to take advantage of the free, REAL coffee machine and the fancy-schmancy creams and sweeteners in the office, if for nothing else). Unfortunately, after playing a long game of email tag, the company decided they could not take on any students this semester. The second business I could have interned with was a Japanese electronics company. It would have been a great learning experience, I’m sure, but it also would have been a two hour commute each way for me, so I turned it down.
Finalmente, I ended up with a dual-internship, working for both an art museum and an NGO (in English, The Salvador Allende Foundation). The two are conveniently located in the same building, which is an old, restored mansion built by an aristocratic Belgian-Chilean family in the 1920s. I am doing research to create a report that includes the history of the mansion, the museum, and the Foundation. I will write a Spanish version and an English version. While working on that, I will intermittently be translating into English various scripts that the museum guides memorize for giving different tours. The museum has had a great need for this in the past year, as more and more English-speaking tourists and exchange students have been coming to visit. Additionally, if such visitors ever call ahead to reserve tours, the museum will call me to come show them around.
Even though it is not business-oriented, this internship perfectly suits my interests seeing as I am a Humanities major and a museum geek to boot. I am in my own little nerd heaven in my “office”- they have me set up at a giant table with my laptop in the middle of the private library in the lower level of the mansion. I occasionally joke that I am a “basement-dwelling intern,” but in actuality I couldn’t love it more (and just to be clear, there are some windows and plenty of light; it’s not a deep, dank basement)! I am surrounded by myriad books, catalogues, encyclopedias, and pamphlets, including material from the former president Salvador Allende’s personal library and that of his widow (I have touched something owned by one of the most famous politicians in Chilean history!), and various old photographs that have been restored, enlarged, and framed. In fact, squarely in front of me is a picture of Allende with Pablo Neruda, my favorite poet of all time. One morning last week I was in the office by myself and through the vents I could hear the trio of construction workers on the floor above (preparing for the new exhibit) putting on a concert of sorts: one was whistling while another was belting out the melody opera-style in a deep voice and the third broke out the falsetto. It was definitely an entertaining morning, y me dio mucha risa!
The Foundation has three employees working here, and there is one other intern who just so happens to be un amigo mío from IES. We all are in the same area but we each have our own space with a food amount of privacy, so the office has a nice quiet, independent vibe without being isolated. My co-workers are all very nice and helpful, and have extended invitations to us interns for staff events in the museum as well as their birthday parties. Por lo tanto, last night I went to the inauguration of the new exhibit in the museum and discussed the incorporation of film in contemporary art with a group of Argentineans while they sipped on red wine. ¡Qué cuico!
So far, I have really enjoyed this internship and am very happy that things have turned out this way. It makes my schedule more hectic, yes, but I enjoy mi tarea and am sure I will learn a lot by being here and meeting new people through my work.