Most people think that internships are full of running errands, grabbing coffee and being at your boss’ beck and call. When I started my internship here at Rocket Pop Media, I didn’t really know what to expect. I found out soon enough, however, when I was thrust into the world of blogging. Now this is something that I have not been formally taught. Yes, I’ve taken classes in creative writing. Yes, I’ve learned how to construct the perfect five-paragraph essay. And yes, I’ll dive into my journalism classes in the fall. But I have never learned how to write a blog post. That just goes to show that what you learn in school may not always prepare you for real world challenges. And challenging, it was. However, I’m a big believer in the idea that you never know how strong you are until you’re put to the test, so I embraced it. I had to pull everything I’ve ever learned about writing, personal experiences, and a lot of research all together to create my blogs.

With the generous help of Chris Crews, I was able to construct blogs for Keep Virginia Beautiful and Disco Sports within my first week. Chris taught me all about blogging according to a client’s individual needs, how to use WordPress, and what the heck SEO meant. I mean, “search engine optimization?”  I never would have guessed. Chris’ combined wisdom, encouragement and patience made him a wonderful person to work with. But Chris isn’t the only one.

“Search Engine Optimization?”

Everyone here is so awesome. And I’m not just saying that because I have to- because maybe I’ll get kicked off my work station and have to sit on the floor if I dare say something less than complimentary- I genuinely mean it.  From the minute I walked in the door on the first day, I felt welcome. Kevin and Andre even let me use their treasured computers and desks while they were out of the office. Which, by the way, was so nice (big shout out to both of you!).

But can I just take a moment to say that using someone else’s computer is ridiculously difficult. I’ve had the same MacBook Pro for over three years, and I’ve gotten accustomed to its settings. I know moving my mouse to the upper left corner will cause my desktop to appear and that the top right corner will show me all open windows. However, when I sit down at a new computer, everything is different. I’m unaware of how the owner set it up – the corners, the shortcuts, and the quirks. I’ll accidentally click something and all of a sudden what was there a second ago has disappeared. And so I’m left sitting there, clueless. And this is coming from someone who started computer classes in the first grade.

“Okay.  Now you’re just being difficult.”

Anyway, if the computer could read my mind, it would probably hear some expletive and “seriously? What did I ever do to deserve this? Okay, so now you’re just being difficult.” That’s pretty much the gist of it. Eventually, I’ll figure it out, but don’t you think interns deserve a little credit for putting up with such rudimentary problems as this? I mean, life is hard enough.

That’s enough about my rant about the difficulties of computer swapping. But I will close with this redeeming aspect: interns are generally great observers. And what I’ve observed during my first week at Rocket Pop Media is that the people here are a family. Everyone is gifted with unique talents, whether it’s in web design, writing, editing, social media, or videography. Here at RPM, everyone combines their vast array of skills to form an extremely capable and passionate media company with so much to offer clients. The Rocket Pop family is truly the best. Just the other day, it became clear to everyone that I was definitely the youngest one in the office when I didn’t know about the Internet meme: “all your base are belong to us.”  I’m laughing just thinking about it.

“all your base are belong to us.”

Throughout my time here, I’ve gotten an education, not only about memes, but also about blogging and what it’s like to be outside of what we like to call the “JMU bubble.” I feel privileged to be a part of this community, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store during the remainder of my time here. Maybe I’ll move on to design or social media next?

But what do I know? I’m just the intern.

Kali Newlen is Media Arts & Design Major at James Madison University.  We kidnapped her for the summer.