The internship saga

As a graduating senior, a lot people have been asking what I’ll be doing after I graduate. The short answer is: getting an (unpaid) internship abroad, and if that doesn’t work out, finding a job involving words and/or other cultures and/or books somewhere on the West Coast. I would add “that doesn’t suck” to the list of qualifiers, but with the economy, I probably can’t be picky.

Here’s the long answer.

Last year, I took a January Term class in the UK. We traveled around England, Scotland, and Wales following the footsteps of writers like Dylan Thomas, Shakespeare, Sir Guy Who Wrote Sherlock Holmes oh I suck Arthur Conan Doyle, and Jane Austen.

I was in love with England before we landed the plane. This is fortunate, because Heathrow is positively the worst airport in the world. Anyway, everything in the UK was gray and wet and old and gloomy and I absolutely adored it. I felt rooted in history in a way you don’t get in the States. I got to explore eroding abbeys and restored castles. I got to write my hand off. I took over one thousand pictures and came back with a suitcase full of books and tea, and almost immediately set out finding a way to get back.

The answer came through a internship with the Fulbright Commission in London. I applied, waited for a response, and started looking at budgeting and housing. Well, England is restructuring their immigration laws, and a few weeks ago we found out that they no longer have a visa category for someone wanting to work without pay for three months, aka me. So the good people at OSU started rustling up options in Ireland. Currently, I have my fingers (and my toes, and other people’s fingers) crossed for the Fulbright Commission in Dublin. If that doesn’t work out, I could get a position at a university in Cork or Galway, and if those don’t work out…I have to suck it up and get a real job.

I freely admit one of the reasons I’m so desperate to get this internship is that it will allow me to see the world a little before getting locked into Real Life. No, the internship doesn’t pay, but it’ll give me bankable work experience and the odds are not impossible that I could get a job offer from the internship site. It would give me the chance to explore a new corner of the world, experience living on my own in the big city, and if nothing else do some networking.

I had my interview for the internship earlier this week, and I should get some kind of final answer within the first couple weeks of April. It’s a little nerve-wracking, having to wait for an answer and knowing that I could very suddenly find myself with no options and very little time to find an alternative.

However, I’ve been seeing a lot of Ireland tourism ads lately, and I am just crazy enough to take it as a sign.

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