Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I got an internship!

I had an interview on Thursday with an organization called GenderLinks (see www.genderlinks.org.za), to be an intern. I got the position and I am very excited. This blog is not really about the organization though, I will expand on that in other blogs.

So I interviewed the Director of Gender Links, Kubi Rama, last year while I was doing my field work for my research. She is an expert in the area of gender and media and she had a lot to say in regards to my research topic (news media coverage of women's health in the realm of HIV/AIDS). While I was at the interview I met someone who used to go to Wits, Agnes, and she was the intern at the time. So I told her what great experience she was getting and that I would want to intern there as well. I did not think much of this, I was working really hard to finish my research report. I just wanted to share my enthusiasm with her about how I thought Gender Links is doing great work.

In March I got an email from Agnes, she wanted a copy of my research because she was doing some research herself on a similar topic and wanted to sort of compare notes. I sent her a copy and at the same time I asked her if there was any positions for an intern open at Gender Links. She replied gratefully for my research and said she would ask around to see if there were any openings.

I waited about two days and she told me to forward my cv to her director (she returned the favor). I sent my cv in an email the next day and a week later I got a phone call to come in for an interview, that was last Thursday. I met with the Director and the staff in a meeting and they asked me questions about my interests and passions and realized that I was a great fit for their organization and told me I could start today.

Now the point of this little story is to ask about the issue of networking. Genderlinks, I don’t think they would have told me that they have a place for an intern and it was not on their website (showing an opening for an internship) so I would not have known about this position if I didn’t know Agnes. I know that I had to be qualified and available to actually get the position, so I am not saying that’s it is ALL about who you know. It just makes me think about the importance of networking. I would like some feedback on this…

“It’s all about people. It’s about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges. “ ~ Mike Davidson (not related to me. I think…)


Blogger Lesley Emanuel said...

Hi Rochelle

You end this post with a quote that says it all really. My own working life hinges on networking.

Sometimes, somehow, that may seem a bit mercenary. But I have also found initial networking attempts have developed into friendships that have spanned my working life. And importantly, it just feels good to help others as you did when you shared notes with Agnes. It's just great when you do something without expecting anything back and voila - you do get a favour returned. Then it's a life-surprise. And I love surprises.

So those are my thoughts in brief on networking. Other thoughts are

-that I'm THRILLED at the news of your internship! Congratulations! Can't wait to read more about it...

-why don't you also post this (can you?) at the WoW Team Blog? Maybe the group go there more often to read, than the indiividual blogs? I think your experience is important to share as widely as possible...

Back to networking, and this may be because you are expert on gender issues: do you think there may be a fundamental difference in the way men and women view networking in the workplace? (OK: do women do it because it feels good, and men do it because it will be good for business?)

Best wishes
Lesley Emanuel

5:30 PM  
Blogger Pascalia said...

I am so happy for you gal! Wow! I know how much you really wanted to be at Gender Links. Now go on girl and bring out all those qualitative and analytical skills that are inherent in your personality. I hope your time there will be enriching and fulfilling one. Best

3:31 AM  

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