Ruth Ilott: Journalism internship programme review and rating.

In 2018, Ruth completed an 4 week internship programme with Bridging Gaps in the amazing city of Cape Town, South Africa. The primary career area of Ruth's internship programme was Journalism.

SUMMARY

Overview of Ruth's internship programme:

Year:
2018
Duration:
4
weeks
Location:
South Africa
Prog Choice:
CareerFocus:
Open
Nationality:
Status:
Undergraduate
Institute:
University of East Anglia
KEY INSIGHT

Ruth's detailed ratings

See a breakdown

Here's how Ruth rated the different aspects of her Journalism internship programme.

Overall Rating: 9/10

Ruth's detailed review of her experience.

01
Placement & programme experience
02
Location experience
03
Bridging Gaps' services & support experience
Placement & Programme
What were your reasons for wanting to complete in ?

I had never been to South Africa before and I have always heard good things about Cape Town from family who have been here. I was planning on doing an internship anyway and I wanted to go somewhere different really, outside of the UK. I am also very interested in learning about new places and new cultures so Cape Town, South Africa was a great option for me!

What kind of internship experience were you initially looking for?

I wanted to gain some basic journalism experience. I was really hoping and expecting to just shadow reporters and experience different departments in a newspaper publishing house.

How did your actual internship placement compare to your ideal internship experience? ?

My actual internship experience was very hands on and pretty much on my first day they got me writing a report! At first I found it quite daunting because I had not had any previous journalism experience other than writing for my university paper. I think I just learnt really quickly though and all the reporters I was working with were really helpful and gave me advice on how to structure my stories. As time went on I quickly got used to writing reports and it showed me how quickly you can learn and develop skills when you are in a real world working environment. I never wanted an internship where I was just sitting around potentially getting bored, so the fact that I had so much to do in terms of writing stories, gathering information and doing interviews, was amazing!

Did you receive sufficient levels of supervision and guidance from your colleagues at your host organisation?

Yes definitely! At first the editor of the newspaper gave me press releases to work from but then as I became more confident, I was given the opportunity to write about what I am passionate about. I love art and culture so I got to do reports on art exhibitions going on in Cape Town, as well as an NGO that some of my friends here are starting. I was so pleased I was given the chance to write about topics I am interested in.

Were you given adequate responsibilities during your internship?

Did taking part in your internship challenge you and help develop your skills?

Yes definitely- my internship really taught me what to expect from the trade. I found it to be quite a high pressure job in terms of trying to get relevant and reliable information from people. When you call people to do an interview they are sometimes very unwilling to speak to the media and because I am quite a reserved person, I found it challenging to persevere and push them. It was a challenge of the job that I gained a really useful insight into. Also, doing the internship really made me realise what kind of news I want to report on in my future career.

Do you feel that you were given the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to your local host organisation?

Yes! I had all of my stories published in the newspaper! 9 of them in total and I have kept klippings of all of them which I am really pleased about.

Overall, was this international internship a worthwhile experience that will help you achieve your career goals?

Oh yes for sure! As I said it definitely taught me the skills of the trade and what it essentially means to be a journalist. At the newspaper they were very much interested in social stories and finding out people’s views from the poorer communities, which I found really insightful and very important. I think that is what the news is about- not finding voices from the top, but finding voices from all sorts of different people.

Location
What fears did you have before coming to with Bridging Gaps?

Well I had heard from some people that South Africa isn’t the safest of places to visit. I try and go to every new place I visit with an open mind, but I was conscious of safety. I feel that if you just use your common sense here though you are absolutely fine- I have run into no problems at all. I never felt threatened being on my own in the city and the only major precaution I took was making sure I was always in a group of people when I went out in the evenings- I feel that this is the same in any big city though.

What do you think about those fears now?

After spending some time in the city, what is your impression of with Bridging Gaps?

It is a really buzzing city! There is so much to do here- hiking, wine tasting and seeing amazing wildlife. I have never been to a city where you wake up and you’ve got the buzz of the city around you but then you have the huge mountain over shadowing you and it is just stunning! The scenery here is extraordinary I can’t even describe it! Everyone here is so friendly and courteous too. I have loved it!

Would you recommend as a worthwhile and enjoyable place to visit?

Service & Support
Did Bridging Gaps help you prepare for your trip sufficiently? E.g. placement search, communications, mentoring?

Yes I felt very prepared before leaving home and when I arrived and you did the orientation with me, you told me about everything and showed me how everything works here so I was very comfortable. You guys were very on point!

How was your experience of Bridging Gaps while you were on the ground in ?

As my mentors you guys have gone above and beyond time and time again! You have been so so helpful throughout my time in Cape Town. When I go back to the UK if anyone is thinking of doing an internship abroad I will certainly say go with Bridging Gaps! You really have been so fantastic and you have really made my stay here so comfortable. I am just really pleased I came with you guys!

What was the best feature of the Bridging Gaps service?

I loved the weekend social events- I really enjoyed the activities and meeting other people. I also think the internships you offer are fantastic. You offer such a variety and hearing about the other intern’s experiences was really cool. I was very impressed with the broad range of different opportunities you offer!

Did Bridging Gaps help you prepare for your trip sufficiently? E.g. placement search, communications, mentoring?

Yes I felt very prepared before leaving home and when I arrived and you did the orientation with me, you told me about everything and showed me how everything works here so I was very comfortable. You guys were very on point!

Would you recommend pursuing in with us to other people?

Yes I will definitely recommend doing an internship with you guys because it is such a valuable experience!

In what ways could our internship programmes be improved?

Yes I will definitely recommend doing an internship with you guys because it is such a valuable experience!

Before you applied, how did you feel about the programme fees?

Having completed your placement and had the experiences you've have, what do you think about the fees now?

What would you say to someone that is considering an internship here but is concerned about the fees?

Anything else you would like to add?

Check out our Journalism programme

Click below to see more a more detailed description of our programme to see if it can give you the career boost you're looking for.

Journalism Internship Programmes

We facilitate a variety of stimulating journalism internships in print Journalism, TV and Radio. Journalism interns will gain an insight into the underlying values of the media in Cape Town and will be able to use their research, analytical, storytelling and writing skills to contribute to demanding and exciting projects. Grab this chance to have your work published and broaden your horizons today!

Internship Focus Options:

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Radio

Print

NGO

Journalism Internship Programmes
IN PERSON
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