Updates from Eleanor Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Eleanor 2:03 am on April 17, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , Green Eagles, , impact, , , public transit   

    Environmental Impact of Interning 

    Ok, I know I just posted. I just became a little aware that I can get compensated for 10 blogs,  but not fewer than 10… I doubt I’ll write 5 more blogs in the next week, but you never know.

    At the internship on Monday, I did a lot of filing. I made new files, took old ones out of the cabinet, and generally did a lot of organizing. It made me think a lot about paper and the environment. Some thoughts about the environmental impact of my day.

    8:20-9– Got on the bus. Feeling good about that impact, wishing there were more buses and fewer cars, as usual, because it takes forever to get down to M Street from AU, which it really shouldn’t. Also, less cars is good for the Earth.

    9-12– Filed so many papers. I must have taken 200 outdated files out of the cabinet, and asked my boss if I could reuse them to make some of the new folders. She said no, because it’s policy to keep those correspondences for a certain amount of time. Which I get. Nobody has time to scan that stuff, but all I could think of was taken paper in paper folders out of a wooden file cabinet, and into cardboard boxes. As my Green Eagle friend would say, “oof.” It was a lot of tree products, which is just going to be shut away an not looked at. Hopefully when it can be disposed of in 5-10 years (I don’t know) it will be recycled.

    12-1– Lunch break. I ate my seitan and rice out of the reusable container I brought, and drank water from a glass and used a plastic fork (which I’ve used before and I’ll wash and use again). That’s not too shabby for the environment. I spent some time on the computer checking email and reading the news. Also good. I also read the Post this morning in paper form, but I missed a lot of stuff, because I only read it for like 5 minutes while I made toast.

    1-3– Back to filing, and some computer work. I printed about 20 pages (oof again) and felt SO bad taking all 250 folders from the supply room. I mean, that’s what it’s there for, that’s not what I felt bad about. Many Congressmen/women will not ever correspond with IMLS. I hope when they leave office and another intern cleans out the file cabinet in 10 years, they can reuse the ones that were empty. The empty ones I took out (only about 15) I reused. Reduce, reuse, recycle. That’s the proper order too. Reduce is definitely most important.

    3-3:40–N2 is my favorite route, it drops me right at the corner of New Mexico and Nebraska Avenues. Wonderful, right on campus. Listened to music.

    3:45– Got an iced chai from the Dav. I did not need to do that, and I felt bad, even though the service was good and the drink was tasty. I try to avoid getting iced drinks because I can’t use a reusable mug. Sadness. But the Dav is good about using recycled goods, and I recycled my cup.

    And my life went on, non-internship related. I still think about it though, a lot… the environment is so important, and if I knew more about it, I’d go into the carbon footprint of my day. I guess I’m asking you, reader, if you exist, to think about the environment too.

    Thanks.

    EmailShare
     
  • Eleanor 2:01 am on April 16, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: better know a district, Colbert Report, Elizabeth Warren, , , Hillary Clinton, , , , representatives, senators, Stephen Colbert   

    Better Know a District 

    Ever watched Stephen Colbert’s “Better Know a District Segment”? Story of my life. Today, I had to clean out a file cabinet which was supposed to have 100 files (1 for each Senator) and 435 files (1 for each Representative in Congress). Let me assure you, it had a few hundred more than that, many severely outdated. I ended up having to make about 240 new folders.

    A little Colbert for y’all: http://www.colbertnation.com/better-know-a-district

    The file cabinet did have some bulging files from people who spent years of supporting the agency I work for  (The Institute for Museum and Library Services) and for having a lot of interactions with the office (every single correspondence is kept FOREVER… well, not actually forever) but a long time. My favorite files to see (and take out of the cabinet) were Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (stopped being a Senator in 2009), Representative Rahm Emmanuel (stopped being a rep in 2009), Edward “Ted” Kennedy (died in 2009 — what a big year!), and Representative Anthony Weiner (left office in 2011 because of that sexting scandal).

    A lot of the Reps and Senators were not on my radar at all, but reading their names, I definitely “better knew” a LOT of districts. I learned Alaska, North and South Dakotas, Wyoming and Vermont only have 1 each– a Representative at large.

    Ok, so this might not be a super clear lesson from my internship or anything, but this isn’t an episode of Modern Family (I know, you’re thinking “it’s not??”). I learn a lot from paying attention. I could have been daydreaming all day, but instead, I got to know my country’s government a lot better.

    Do you know who represents you? My Senators are William “Mo” Cowan (I found out it’s pronounced like cow(the animal)-ann (the name) when I spoke to someone at his office last week), Elizabeth Warren (I love her so much), and my Rep is Jim McGovern.

    Better know your district, and pay attention. You never know what may be important.

    EmailShare
     
  • Eleanor 4:32 pm on March 25, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , job applications, ,   

    I’m the One Who Reads Your Resume 

    Last week and today, I spent a good portion of my days going through job applications. Yup. When I saw them on my desk in the morning, I thought it was a mistake. I ended up going through all 34 to find education, last three jobs, and experience related to the position. By no means did I read the applications thoroughly, nor will I be asked for my opinion. I was just making a spreadsheet with that info for my boss to look at. But wow, I learned a lot about job apps.

    1. You can get jobs without a masters (OR EVEN A DEGREE), and lit and history majors get jobs too. Woah. Mind blown.
    2. Don’t put on irrelevant/outdated stuff. One or the other, but not both. If you were an intern in 1985, it might be time to take that off your resume.
    3. Consider the job posting. I know my office put a lot of thought into what they were looking for (someone with experience on the hill was a must) and someone with experience in museums and libraries was a plus. Some people applied with neither. It didn’t make sense to me. If you don’t fit into any of the categories besides wanting the job, you may not be qualified.
    4. Don’t underestimate your power. Here i was, thinking i was a lowly intern, when in fact it’s my reading of these applications that the boss is going to read. I’m moving up in the world.

    All the reading of people’s email addresses reminded me a lot of Harvard Sailing Team Mailing list video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AXtOnR5dnE), because some of the applications had ridiculous email addresses, like @starpower.net. Honestly, that was the only really weird one, but still. Weird.

     

    EmailShare
     
  • Eleanor 8:00 pm on March 2, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , breaks, cliche, dos and donts, , faxing, , , , list,   

    A Tried and True List 

    I didn’t want to seem too eager about this whole blogging thing, so I decided to wait until someone else posted a blog before I wrote another. So I waited. And waited. And waited. And now, I’m just going to post. Because I want to, that’s why.

     

    I want to talk today about balancing creativity in my internship. I’ve been there, oof, 5 times now? I think? It’s been three weeks, but with Presidents’ Day, I got a day off (yup, everyone except AU does, it seems. Perks of working for the government). And while I’ve been here, I’ve been struggling with knowing when to turn on and off my creative brain. If it’s on and I’m doing busy work, I’m falling asleep. If it’s off while I’m writing, I’m just stringing words together without any style. Because people like me like lists, I’ll give you a list today, readers. This is a list for myself and for other interns or future interns.

     

    1)      Find some satisfaction in the mundane: On my second day, I had 99 problems, and faxing was ALL of them. I’m pretty sure I told this joke to all of my friends, so if you groan too I won’t be offended. I literally was assigned to send 99 faxes. I stood next to the fax machine for about an hour and a half, because you can’t send 2 faxes at a time. So there I was, typing, scanning, sending, again  and again. But when I finished with the tedium, I had accomplished something measurable. That stack of 99 letters was boring, but the completed pile was a very fulfilling thing. After work, I found this really funny article about faxing in Japan. Apparently, it’s still a thing there.

    2)      Take your breaks: Most of my life here at IMLS isn’t faxing, it’s writing and researching, which can really zap those brain cells whether it’s a Monday morning or a Thursday afternoon at the end of a long week. Everyone at my office sits at their desks for lunch, and so I do too, but while I’m eating, I’m not doing work. I’m usually reading articles online about stuff that entertains or interests me.

    3)      Stay off Facebook: I haven’t done it yet, and I’m not planning to, but when I do homework, Facebook and Twitter eat my time (I’m not on tumblr for that reason). I used to think that Pintrest was easier to let go of, but it’s really not. I stay off social media even during my breaks, so it’s a treat when I get back home.

    4)      Ask for more: Seriously, this is the most clichéd list of dos and don’ts ever. I’ve read this blog before. But I think there’s a reason this stuff gets said time and time again. Soo, if you run out of work or are stuck on a project, ask to talk about it with your boss/supervisor. Mine was pretty impressed with all the work I’d done, even though I thought it seemed pretty standard. And then she said she’d give me tips, next steps, and more information the next time I come in, after she reads it. Never know if you don’t ask. And being bored all day is so not worth it.

     

    The one thing I don’t have figured out yet is how to not get a headache looking at a computer screen for 6 straight hours. My brain and my eyes hate me at the end of the day.

     

    Thanks for reading through. See you next time.

    EmailShare
     
  • Eleanor 10:48 pm on February 9, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    First Day on the Job! 

    Oh hey world! Didn’t see you there! So, as this is my first post, I thought I’d do some introductions. First off, I’m Eleanor. Nice to meet you. I’m a sophomore print journalism major (Creative writing minor? Maybe.) at the School of Communication at American University. And, starting this morning, I’m the new intern (maybe the only intern, don’t know) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). It’s a small government agency that gives grants to museums and libraries. That’s the one sentence summary I’ve given to my family and friends who’ve asked me to explain. I have a feeling I’ll be able to say a lot more about it by the end of the semester.

    I guess I should probably tell you about how I got this internship. Well, every semester on campus, there’s a job and internship fair that’s very well publicized and usually everyone goes. Except me, because I’ve always had either class or work on Wednesdays, the day they’re usually held. Last semester, it was October 4th, I believe, and I was looking for an internship for the spring. In the weeks before the fair, the career center sends out a lot of emails with lists of the companies and organizations attending, so you can do your homework on the businesses, if you’re really interested in them. From this list, I found IMLS, and looked at their internship requirements for their intern in the Office of Communications and Government Affairs. I pretty much fit the bill for a position, and thought it might be a good match because my campus job was at the AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. I also saw that IMLS had an October 1st deadline for fall interns, and since the career fair wasn’t until after that date, I thought I might have a good chance because I wouldn’t be competing with many other AU students, at least. So I sent them my application, and went in for an interview. The women I interviewed with were very welcoming, and seemed really grateful to have someone interested in the internship. They offered me the position at the end of the interview, telling me they’d love to have me in the spring, because their current intern was leaving in November, and their office was under construction, so they had a lower capacity than normal. It has been a little weird, but such a relief to have the internship waiting for me in the spring. So here I am, just after my first day on the job.

    I can’t wait to really get this blog going, check back for some of my adventures at IMLS! Thanks for reading.

    EmailShare
     
c
compose new post
j
next post/next comment
k
previous post/previous comment
r
reply
e
edit
o
show/hide comments
t
go to top
l
go to login
h
show/hide help
esc
cancel