Reem Makari at PinkNews

June was probably months of my life.

I spent every single day scrolling through LinkedIn, Indeed, emailing editors and trying to apply for any job I found. I was literally counting the days until it’s past graduation so I could go back home. But then finally, FINALLY an opportunity showed up. 

My lecturer Laura Garcia spoke to Alex Ehmke from PinkNews, an LGBT news organization. She recommended me because I was making a short documentary on LGBT Muslims.

In June, Alex along with another colleague on the Snapchat team, Abi Mcintosh, came for a job panel at the CFJ in the University of Kent. While I was there I got to meet him face to face and asked about any openings and he said they might be looking for interns soon. I almost gave up hope until the end of the month when Laura made a group chat and announced that they are hiring “APPLY NOW NOW”.

I jumped to my laptop and sent in my CV and cover letter ASAP and heard back the next day to come in for an interview!

I went in the next Monday (ten minutes late thanks to being completely confused with the London Underground system). I was nervous but was surprised to find that it was literally the chillest environment ever.

The interview went great even though I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I talked about my project, my experiences and everyone was so nice. The next Thursday, they told me I got the internship!

As ecstatic as I was, I had a problem…

I was living in Kent at the time and the commute to London everyday was gonna take a toll on me but I didn’t have time to find somewhere to stay and needed to start the next Tuesday.

Thankfully, I immediately messaged Laura and one day later she told me she found the perfect host. I sent in my application and before I knew it, I was going to be living in London for the next two months.

My hosts were probably some of the coolest people I’ve ever met.

When they were home, we small-talked about all their experiences in the industry and people they’ve met and I even ranted to them about any problems I had. Not to mention they were kind enough to extend my stay for two months when my internship got extended!

As for the internship? It was honestly amazing.

I worked as a Snapchat producer for PinkNews and was responsible for the second channel PinkNews stories.

Once I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy and I could ask to work on other stuff like writing articles and even getting to co-host two YouTube videos.

Additional highlights: I had three editions go viral on Snapchat, one article get one million unique viewers, and James Charles tweeted about one of my editions!

My bosses and colleagues were great funny people and we got to hang out after work sometimes. The environment was chill and, importantly, they didn’t treat me like an intern. They actually respected me and that’s more than I can ask for.

The fact that PressPad was there even if I was asking for a place at the last minute was such a huge relief. Thanks to having a place to stay in, I didn’t have to worry about missing my train after midnight or be forced to commute at seven in the morning.

I could easily say this was one of the best summers of my life. I got to live in LONDON and work there for a few months, something I didn’t think would be possible for a while!

Reem Makari is a University of Kent graduate and multimedia journalist. She’s also a podcast host, filmmaker and blogger. Reem interned with PinkNews in the summer of 2019 and stayed with some of our brilliant PressPad hosts!

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