My first time applying for a job, first time writing a CV and the first time working for a boss instead of a teacher. It all started with the simple requirement of doing a personal project in the last year of the Middle Years Program at an IB school. It wasn’t hard to think of a project to do; it was extremely hard. How is someone who’s interested in anything and everything supposed to choose one thing? Stuck in thoughts and possibilities, I said down and thought, “Okay, I’ll just list down the things I enjoy the most”.
From photography all the way down to skateboarding, I stared at the scribble of words written down in a mind map of basically everything a human could do. Then, I thought of career options that I might want to explore. While I was thinking, the September issue of beijingkids was right in front of me, gleaming.
How about journalism? Writing, photography, designing, it’s like an all-in-one career. My talents matched a lot of the things to do with the job. Expressing my thoughts through talking is something that I already did well, but expressing them through writing would be a completely different thing. So I jumped to it and sent an e-mail to the editor. Next thing you know, I was asked to submit a writing sample and a resume.
What I learned:
This experience was definitely full of learning. On the first day, I felt like I didn’t have a clue about anything that was going on (probably because everyone else on my team was expert at journalism). I had to catch up and stay on track with everything my colleagues were doing, saying, and of course, writing. Think of it this way – I was like someone who had never heard of Chinese and had to learn the language in a time frame of 3 weeks.
Putting aside the journalism part of it, I hadn’t ever even worked in an office and had to be on time for huddles (short status recaps) and meetings as well as complete tasks to tight deadlines. Not that I wasn’t independent before, but I think this internship turned me into a responsible person and even helped me improve my time management skills.
It was enlightening and insightful listening and working with some of the most experienced feature writers in Beijing. Seeing my first article being published on the magazine’s website gave me goose bumps. In less than a week I had a 100 reads which might not seem much, but to me, it is a huge deal. I actually imagined a 100 different people standing on a street and reading my article.
My parents were also really happy when I told them that I learned about sales and revenue in a learning session organized by the True Run sales department. I felt important because I was learning these financial and managerial words that my parents use in their work. I learned about considering the role of the brand in the market and most importantly, writing appropriate content for our target readers. The experience seemed unreal because of how much knowledge I have gained in such a short time.
My favorite memories:
The best thing about working at True Run was that it was in a physical office but didn’t feel like a job. Before my first day at work, I thought it would be a scene from a movie where the boss would be uptight and always on the border line of firing her employees. I actually found it to be the total opposite. I bonded with the beijingkids team as if they were students of my age and we all had the most informal relationship even during work hours.
The atmosphere was a lot like school, where the teacher would give suggestions, tips and positive criticism after a piece was written, and would become really warm and friendly during lunch breaks. I have developed several friendships through the course of my time and even the silliest of conversations I have had with my colleagues have contributed and been a part of the pieces I have written for the magazine itself.
I will definitely miss the million dollar smiles that employees gave to me while passing by and my first day when people would come up to me and introduce themselves while having a casual conversation about my background. I was pleasantly surprised by how warm and generous everyone at True Run was and will never forget the laughs and sounds of cheers we had even during meetings.
I think this experience will always stay with me in my mental diary and I will cherish the memories of my first job ever till the day I die. Thank you so much beijingkids, for giving me the opportunity to discover a new world for myself and for allowing me to become a part of your family! There will always be a feeling of gratitude from my side to the True Run Media group whenever I will look back at this part of my life.
Photo Courtesy by Gurkriti Singh