Monday, 21 November 2011

Diary of an Intern

Rebecca, who very kindly volunteered to help with National Adoption Week, shares her thoughts on what it was like being a BAAF intern

When I arrived for my first day as the press intern for National Adoption Week, I was very excited to learn that I had my own office. However, my delusions of grandeur were quickly put to rest when I was shown to the first aid room and confronted with an intimidating pile of reading material.

I was very grateful, though, to be given the chance to read-up on previous campaigns and gear myself up for what I was about to be a part of. I buried my head for the next day and a half until it became clear that there was only one thing left to do – get stuck in. I spent the rest of the day on the phone to adoption agencies trying to recruit media volunteers; people who would share their adoption story as part of the campaign. My job has been to drum up media attention in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and, I must say, I found the idea of being responsible for the success of the campaign in three different countries rather daunting.

For a while it felt as if I wasn’t getting anywhere because the process can be quite long; waiting for calls to be returned, decisions to be made and forms to be sent. This made it all the more exciting when I started to get some ‘yes’s. It was lovely to speak to people who were so willing to help and to read their adoption stories, which were all so different yet all concluded in the same way – how glad they were that they had made the decision to adopt.

I was worried that I didn’t have enough volunteers and that the press would make requests that I couldn’t keep up with, but I quickly learnt to just get on with things and work out the kinks as and when they arose. I felt responsible for making sure that the volunteers I had recruited had the opportunity to tell their story, so my next task was to try and make this happen.

I found that the biggest obstacle I faced was the fact that I was only here for two days a week. It was hard to maintain continuous contact with journalists when I sometimes had to wait a week to reply to their emails. However, the few occasions where I managed to make contact, find a volunteer and arrange an interview, all in less than 30 minutes made me feel like I was doing something right.

The week itself was the best part. It was amazing to be taking calls from the BBC during the day and then seeing the interview you helped to organised on the news that evening.

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