When I first heard about the Moth Media Internship with the University of Birmingham Global Challenge , I was in two minds about whether to apply. As an avid fan of the Moth, listening to their podcasts every Monday and perusing their twitter feed for new story updates when I had a spare moment, it’s fair to say that I never expected an opportunity to be involved in the organisation to come up. Not to mention the fact that any internship such as this would surely be extremely popular, oversubscribed, competitive and would demand a wealth of specific entry qualifications. Despite all of this, I decided to apply anyway. Not on a whim by any means, but more for an inquisitive look at the application process: I figured that gaining experience of what it takes to submit an extensive application, including a thorough and detailed budget section, would prove valuable for future applications. Not to mention I got to write 500+ words on why I love the Moth.
The Moth is a non-profit organisation that brings real life stories to audiences that would otherwise never hear them. Writers, comedians and every day people are invited to hone their craft of storytelling and share them, without notes, to a live audience. My first exposure to the Moth was through the weekly podcast series which can be downloaded from iTunes every Monday (not that I’m not commission. Yet I was captivated instantly by the immediacy of the stories I heard; despite the fact that these people being half way around the world and from completely different lives and backgrounds, I felt I could relate to them. The Moth’s stories are moving, inspiring, informative, often challenging and above all, entertaining. Sometimes hysterically so. There’s a great power in what the organisation does, giving a voice to individuals who may never have the opportunity to speak out in this way.
So anyway, as you can probably tell, I didn’t really struggle in finding ways to fill 500 words about the Moth. What was more challenging, however, was thinking about what I could do to contribute to the organisation as an Intern. Talking about specific roles in various student media channels and influential positions in society committees is fine, but those are relatively abstract, university contained concepts to an external company. I tried to be specific about what skills I’ve achieved that would enable me to carry out essential tasks as a Media Intern. Experience of editing written work and audio files was where I felt I could display what I’m capable of most comfortably, so I focussed on these areas, feeling that if things got desperate, I could mention that I also make a darn good cup of tea (a skill essential for any budding intern).
After completing an internal interview, to my amazement I was selected to take part in an interview via Skype with two of the Moth team in New York. Needless to say this was intimidating. Not only had I not expected to get this far in the process, I was going to speak with people who work for an organisation that I admire so strongly, people who work each week to produce podcasts that I love. So, taking a deep breath and adjusting my headset-microphone, I waited for the call to pop up on the screen of my laptop, trying hard not to answer like a star-struck fan-girl.
In the past I have always seen advertisements for schemes such as Global Challenge and immediately had the thought that anything with the word ‘global’ in it was without a doubt beyond my capabilities. Yet, after disbelievingly reading several times through an email sent direct to my inbox from the Moth’s main office, I discovered that I had been offered the position of Media Intern with the Moth this summer. Now I’m off to New York, hardly a week after my exams finish, to experience the biggest opportunity of my life so far. I could never have achieved this without the support of the University’s Careers and Employability Centre – we’re very lucky to have them!