I Have No Idea What I’m Doing—And I’m Okay With That

Emalydia Flenory is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently interning with ISA in Santiago, Chile

Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile

Internships. I’ve probably heard other students and friends talking about searching for, needing or doing multiple internships to build themselves professionally since my freshman year of college. For me, being an English major with an emphasis in professional writing, I didn’t really know what that meant for me. Declaring yourself as an English major can lead in many different directions, especially if you’re not the type to want to go into education.

Yes, I enjoy writing and communication, but in what capacity? Do I want to write a book? Do I want to be a journalist? Do I want to be an editor? Do I want to write manuals? Honestly, I have no idea. Whether I know what I want to do or not, I need an internship to graduate, which I will be doing next December.

Because of my need to travel and the need to complete an internship to graduate soon, I decided to take the leap and do one in Santiago this summer.

I really had no idea what I was getting myself into or if I’d like the work I’d be doing, but I kept an open mind. Before now, I had never been overseas, and I was more nervous than I’d like to admit.

I landed a journalism internship at a media company called I Love Chile— the country’s only English media outlet. Everything that they put out is about Chile or Chilean people, but it’s all written in English, which is a plus because I don’t speak a lick of Spanish.

So far, I’m really enjoying this journalism thing. It’s really helping me know more about the country that I’m in and understand the culture. I get to have my name on bylines and write about anything that sparks my interest, which gives me an even better excuse to try out the different cafés, markets and restaurants in the area!

Am I 100 percent sure that journalism is something that I want to do as a career when I graduate? No. But through doing this, I now know that I can do it. I know that it’s something that I can add to my repertoire of writing, and I’m proud of that.

Through all of this, my advice to anyone who is looking for an internship at home or abroad is to just take a chance! Whether you thrive in that element or not, at least you will learn something about yourself and your abilities and what you want or don’t want to do with your career.

Questions about international internships? Feel free to ask them below!

Want to build your resume or just get off the couch? Check out the different ways you can go abroad!

5 thoughts

  1. I’m going to be a freshman in college come August and this helped me feel so much better about changing my major/not really knowing what I want to do with my life. Thanks!

  2. Being a Journalism major myself, I completely understand the feeling lost about internships! I was just wondering, how did you go about finding one that you wanted to apply for?

  3. Well, when I began to apply for an internship abroad, I just sent in my resume and cover letter and then ISA sort of found one that fit within the criteria that I wrote in my cover letter. I had never done an internship before, so I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted/ was looking for. I just sort of went for it!

    My advice would be to put everything that you can think of that you would be comfortable doing or getting more experience on in your cover letter. No matter what kind of journalism or writing internship you do it will always give you more experience and a chance to expand your skills and your writing repertoir!.

  4. Emalydia, Dominick here from ISA. This headline makes me laugh every time I read it. It’s perfect, thank you! I feltl like I was having a conversation with you when I read your post and love your writing style. Have a great 4th of July weekend abroad!

  5. I absolutely agree with what you’re saying! Even if you don’t know what you want to do, trying new things is not only a great way to find out what you’re capable of and what you like, but it just builds on your experience in employment and in life and in allows you to grow as a person.

    I wish you good things for any future careers you wish to pursue!

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