About the Author: Ekshikaa, from MEASI Academy of Architecture, talks about how she worked at nights as a content writer and managed two internships at the same time without compromising on her interests.
“I am the editorial intern for a design website based in the USA,” it felt great saying that.
Arch2O, an online architecture and design magazine, that I was proud to be part of had two rounds of selection. After I cleared both the rounds, they hauled me aboard. I would have never thought that the articles that once awed me at 2:00 am in the night as I scrolled through my phone, straining my eyes to mentally pronounce a Russian designer’s name, would be written by me too! I was on the top of the world. Writing for Arch2O, I felt like a spy. Like I had a double life. Or maybe managing three hours of sleep every day makes one feel that way. Panic modes are my adrenalin, the key to creativity! Yes, you read that right.
I was in Mumbai for a year, interning with Architect Hafeez Contractor, India’s largest architectural firm. Our timings were roughly 10:00 am – 10:00 pm. In January, I bagged my second work-from-home internship with Arch2O for 4 months. I worked late in the nights till it dawned upon me that it was dawn. Since my daytime was consumed by the corporate crunch of trousers and crisp shirts, it were these forgotten hours, the hours taken for granted when my mind moved out of reality like a periscope looking for the sun, and I ventured into the world of architects and structures.
Bath, blanket, bananas, and breathing – credit goes to these four B’s that kept me alive, active, and alert in the nights. I used to start my research at 11:00 pm most nights. God bless Kahn, Cerf, and Lee for inventing the internet; I can’t even imagine doing research without the help of internet. I love researching so much that if I were ever stranded on an island, I’d write a paper on how to make fool-proof efficient rafts rather than actually make a raft. I would spend hours in collecting, gathering, sorting, editing and decoding information that I guzzled from sources. I had to send my articles for proofreading and publishing to my mentor, Delia. When I finally got down to writing, Delia was my guiding light. However, she was also my deadline! She played the most important role in my internship of making me finish the article and send to her, as I thrived on the thrills of daydreaming and perfectionism. I’d just keep on thinking and re-editing till my brain was in total chaos! In such grueling times, music was the caffeine that kept me awake.
We were a bunch of 13 interns selected from all over the world, and so now I know a footballer in Pakistan, an architect in Chicago, and a businessman in Egypt, apart from a multitude of talented architects and students! It’s a beautiful forum to exchange ideas, views, and knowledge on anything under the sun. After our Facebook discussions and WordPress wars, wide-eyed nights and bright lights, an article would be done! It was a glorious moment when Delia would publish it on the platform for the world to read, praise, criticize, and share.
So what did I learn during this period of four months? Well, a lot! Research techniques, news-reading, writing and editing, expansive knowledge on architects and designers, SEO, the importance of deadlines, and formal communication were some of my learnings from this internship. During that period, I wrote 25 articles that were published on the website and which one can still read today. If you’re ever having second doubts about joining as a content writer or editorial intern anywhere, even if it’s unpaid, slice them away and go ahead as it’s worth every second of your time, and every blink of your eye! The reward is much more gratifying than any amount of money.
I work till 5 am in the morning, sleep for three hours, wake up, and get ready for the morning grind. With my periscope settling back into its slot, the fingers slowly quivering from the ferocious typing, the wandering eyelids blinking for rest, and the content writer within, the restless creator, half-smiling in front of the mirror, I ruffle my hair, put on my earrings, and set off for the office. Walking towards the door at 9:30 am, gratitude overwhelms me for this opportunity, this internship, for chances like these don’t come every day night. I open the door, welcome the sunshine, and check my phone for updates – all set to face the challenges of a new day, yet waiting for the night.