So it all started with an email…
I was in the middle of exams, when I got an email back in May. The subject: “Summer communications work”. It was from the ChemEng Communications Officer… Ohh well, I thought it’s like a one-day something, some promotions, whatever. Then I read the email…
“…I am looking for someone to do some part-time work on departmental communications…”
“…The work would be quite varied, essentially assisting me and would consist of things such as writing short news stories, managing social media channels and putting together the newsletter…”
“…given your great work on the blog I thought I would approach you first…”
“…Please let me know if you’re interested…”
My first reaction was: OH MY GOD!!! Then my second reaction was: OH. MY. GOD. Me. Working. For the department. OHMYGOD. It took me an hour to write a reply, because every time I started, I used way too many exclamation marks, and I didn’t want the guy to have second thoughts. You know, he could realise I am actually terrible at English and the next email would be something like “Ahh well, sorry, I found someone else who doesn’t use exclamation mark as the only form of punctuation…” So I wrote back and the next thing I know, we are arranging a meeting to discuss the details…
My first day at work was… interesting. And scary. And I was super-nervous. And I didn’t know what would happen. I was expecting that by the end of the day my boss would realise I am quite terrible at English and he would say something like “Well, I think maybe you are not ready for this job yet. Please do not come in tomorrow.” But he didn’t say that 🙂
We went through my to-do list and I got access to things like the social media profiles of the department. A couple of months ago when I liked the departmental Facebook page, I thought “Oh wow, this is such a cool page, posts almost every day, interesting content, nice pictures…” And now I was suddenly in charge of it!!! OMG!
Originally we agreed that I would work 10 hours a week. On my second week, I realised 10hrs/week will be impossible to do… I wanna work at least 168! [It must be quite annoying to my boss that no matter how many times he says I should take the day off, I still show up. My family is actually worried that my boss will fire me because I am annoyingly crazy…]
The number of words you understand: 5. The number of words you have to write about it: 500.
Part of the job is to write about newly published papers written by members of the department. Ok, I am studying ChemEng and they are writing about ChemEng, so it can’t be that difficult, right? Well… When I opened the first review, I had to take a half-hour break after the first paragraph… 🙂 So how do I do these?
1. Read the paper. Translate the most-used word.
2. Read it again. Try to understand what the title means.
3. Copy it to Word. Decide how many paragraphs you want.
4. Read it again. Highlight the key bits with different colours according to which paragraph they are relevant to.
5. Read it again. Get the feel of it.
6. Take a deep breath. Write.
Layer opacity and other animals…
Apparently, those display screens around the department don’t fill themselves up with content. (How strange…) And apparently, the website headers are not magically generated, either. (Interesting, very interesting…) So I met with Adobe Photoshop… To those who think Photoshop is about “you have a spot on your face? just photoshop it out”, well, I thought that, too. When I opened it, I was like “haha, this is just some fancy version of Paint, right?” How bloody wrong… It took me an hour and two tutorial videos just to save a file… 😀
But when you see your work back on the website, it was worth every moment.
“Minor edits to your nice piece”
So how is my summer job after one and a half months?
I LOVE IT.
When I walk into the foyer and my powerpoint is on the display screens…
When I open the website and my headers are on the top, my articles are on the bottom…
When I open the facebook / twitter / instagram, and I remember when I scheduled the posts…
It’s just amazing.
One year ago, I was checking the ChemEng website every day, because I was desperately waiting for the “Imperial experience” to start.
And today, I am checking the ChemEng website every day, because I am working on it.
It’s like a dream… And I don’t want to wake up…