Blog

I got an internship!

Jul 10, 2007 • Karen

I didn't mention it here previously, but I got a part-time internship with the Genocide Intervention Network. It's an advocacy group for Darfur and genocide awareness and intervention generally. It was started by a bunch of Swarthmore alums, several of whom know Nelson at least by name, ironically enough. I'm doing web dev and online activism stuff with them until I leave in August. It's low-paid, but hey, it's paid, and I have it worked out that, spending three days at GINet and four days at Panera, I'm still getting around the same number of hours per week at the latter as I did previously.

My first day was on Thursday, and right away I fell into tasty delicious web design. GINet has a campaign/page called 1-800-GENOCIDE, which GINet actually paid a professional web designer to design. Sure looks like it, huh? *sigh* The other web intern, Tarik, had previously poked around with a new design, with a Wordpress backend. I built on that. At first I had a totally new design in the works, but when I learned that they were printing t-shirts based on the old header image I made the site closer to the original look. It's still got the old black, white, and teal, but now there's gold added to the mix and no pointless gradients. There's still a few bugs and tweaks left, but overall I'm quite proud of the result.

Strangely, doing web design on my own in the GIN office is way less stressful than doing it for FreeCulture.org or my own website. Though, this may be because I haven't had to do any Internet Explorer testing yet. We're supposed to just use Firefox at work (yayyy!) so I have no idea how the new design looks in non-standards-compliant browsers. If the new design looks ghastly in IE, I may or may not want to know. May, so that I could put up a "Switch to Firefox already, dammit!" banner for IE visitors (I wish). May not, because my head could explode.

So yeah. I like this internship. I feel like I'm playing dress-up everyday, pretending to be an office worker/policy wonk in my nice uncomfortable shoes and nice autumn-weight blouses and skirts like everyone else in inappropriately-steamy DC. You look at how the other Metro commuters dress and make guesses as to who are the interns and who have been policy wonking for years. But everyone at GIN's real friendly, we interns get free food, and the office is a nice environment, shared with Campus Progress and an actual webby firm. Working seven days a week is tiring, but after spending eight hours fetching the same bagels and drink cups over and over again desk work feels like a relief! The variety outweighs the fatigue, at least so far.