By Sharon Atieno Onyango
As I leave Lola Kenya Screen three months after doing my pre-internship placement interview, I can proudly say that my experience in this skills-development movie organization for children and youth in eastern Africa is not just life-changing but also non-forgettable.
Though I am an undergraduate student of film and media studies, the organisation strategically positioned me in the cultural journalism department.
As a cultural journalist and critic, I was required to write creative, critical and analytical articles. It was also my duty to report on various outdoor events. I also ventured into public relations, event planning, camera operation, and video capturing and editing.
At the end of three months I can positively say I have become a better person who can write all types of articles, conduct interviews and analyse situations. I have learnt to work under pressure, on the understanding that things are not always as they first appear.
Being a student of film and media studies, I had thought I would be confined to covering film and film-related areas; little did I know that I would be exposed to other areas in media, information, journalism and communication which I had no knowledge of.
I have attended, reported on and networked with people at both local and international events: The BBC Global Questions debate series on What Equality Means for African Women; Broadcast, Film and Music Africa conference and exhibition; Sudanese Vision Art exhibition and artist talk; the monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum.
My articles have been published on both lolakenyascreen.org and artmatters.info besides operating the camera at various outdoor events.
I found the working time very flexible as I was required to report to work at 10.00 AM and go home at 4.00 PM. Working from Monday to Thursday gave me the morale to finish my weekly work load in good time.
The pinnacle of my internship was representing the organisation in conferences, exhibitions, seminars and film screenings. This gave me the chance to work on my interviewing skills and also to interact closely with people in various positions in the country.
It was a challenge writing non straight-news articles, not having attended any writing class and thus being unfamiliar with the different types of articles; it took me a lot of time to learn and adjust to writing.
Oh, how did I get to be working at Lola Kenya Screen, an organization that operates out of Nairobi while I study at Moi University in Eldoret, about 400 kilometres away in western Kenya?
In my quest for internship, I was lucky to come have across lolakenyascreen.org, the organisation’s website, from which I learnt about the various attachment programmes provided to university students. To be considered, I learnt that the organization requires potential beneficiaries to send in their application consisting of Cover Letter, Motivation, Curriculum Vitae, Introduction/Request from one’s school and a sample of one’s best work.
I did send in my application and was shortlisted for my pre-internship placement interview which would determine whether I got the chance for attachment.
I began working at Lola Kenya Film Screen Organization on 10th September,2015. I had learnt about the organization when I was researching on places offering internship for media students on the internet.
Being in Eldoret and sitting exams, I was not able to come on the set date but after consultations with the directorate of the organization I was given another date.
I arrived at the organisation’s headquarters and took a five-hour oral and written interview. I passed, got the attachment!
But was the attachment a walk in the park?
That’s up to you to conclude from this report.
Though my supervisor was a difficult person to please easily, he ended up giving me so much wisdom in life that I probably would not have got had I interned anywhere else. The best thing about having Ogova Ondego, the Managing Trustee and Creative Director of Lola Kenya Screen, as your supervisor is that besides being strict on work schedule and deadlines, he also takes time to understand you.
Lola Kenya Screen offers 8-16-week internship to final year university students in Media and Information Literacy, Creative writing, Cultural Journalism, Critical Appreciation of Creativity, Event Planning and Presentation, Movie Production, Graphic Design and Website Development.Eligible are students of Media, Information, Communication, Journalism, Mass Communication, TV/Video Production, Visual Communication, Advertising, Literature and related disciplines.