Feedback - Marianne Cassidy, MA Digital Publishing

Marianne Cassidy, MA Digital Publishing

Marianne Cassidy in Geneva

When I accepted my offer to study for a MA Digital Publishing in Oxford Brookes, I still had no clear career path in mind, but I knew I wanted to formalize my practical skills in web development, digital production and online marketing.  I was also coming to realize that I thrive in mission-driven work environments, where the focus is on smart and effective communication above all else.

So when applications opened for a six-month internship in the International Labour Organization in Geneva, I jumped at the chance. The ILO is one of the oldest arms of the United Nations, and completely unique in terms of its structure, scale and mission. The ILO publishing team is small, sitting within the larger communications department. The team values their interns and the expertise we bring to the table. Digital innovation is currently a priority, and I was lucky enough to start my internship at the beginning of the commissioning process for our first apps. In terms of editing, I have learned about storyboarding and tailoring dense academic material for different audiences, as well as working with authors to produce non-traditional content. On the production end of things, I have improved my grasp of digital workflow and asset management and gained valuable experience collaborating with creative agencies and developers.

The ILO has an extremely active intern community, as does Geneva in general. We are a truly diverse group, representing all five continents and speaking dozens of languages, with a range of academic backgrounds in everything from politics and history to economics and development. There are usually seventy interns in the organization at any given time, and they are represented by the Intern Board, who organize social events and represent the interns’ concerns and interests to the rest of the organization. I spent five months as the Web Officer for the Intern Board and made a firm group of friends as a result.

Finally, Switzerland itself is everything you might imagine. Geneva is nestled around the beautifully clear Lac Leman, surrounded by the Alps on one side and the Jura mountains on the other. There is plenty of fondue and chocolate, and of course opportunities for cheap and cheerful skiing weekends in the winter (with the option of snow-shoe hiking for the tamer soul!) The city has a (justified) reputation for being wildly expensive, but once you tap into the large community of interns and short-termers living and working here, you will start to find fun and affordable spots for socializing, eating, drinking and dancing. The internship, the city and Switzerland have all yielded a unique experience on a professional and personal level, one that I will carry with me for many years to come. 

Posted on 27 Feb 2014 around 10am

Filed Under Publishing Work Experience