One of my projects for the last week and a half has involved speaking to corporate executives around the world about a service or product they offer, and using this to explain to our readers the hows and whys behind these products. I have to be a bit vague about the details of the story because it’s slated for an upcoming issue and talking about stories yet to drop is very strictly against the rules, but it’s definitely an exciting project.
It’s also exhausting, and requires me to be up and calling other countries at bizarre hours of the day, courtesy of a fine mixture of different timezones and corporate execs only being able to speak during business hours. Which, of course, means that I’m working well outside of the times I agreed to with my editor when I started my internship. And that actually is a bit of a problem – my schedule is very full, and I stick to what we agreed on for a reason. When I have to get up at, say, 5 am to participate in a conference call in Europe, it messes up my entire schedule for the day and makes it difficult to meet my other obligations.
Yet, from a journalistic perspective, a deadline is a deadline, and it’s up to me to do whatever it takes to get it done. My editors can be sympathetic to my plight, but at the same time, they can’t actually do much. So what do I do in situations like this?
I assess my priorities. What’s the most important to me, right now? Well, this internship is – it’s my ticket to networking in the industry, good references, and some solid portfolio pieces, all of which are more important to me than most, since I’m going straight into the workforce from here. For me, messing up my day and sometimes falling behind on my other obligations in order to do the best I can do in this internship is the answer.
But it’s a delicate balancing act, and to be honest, I’m not sure if I’m taking the correct path. Maybe I should be more strict about my limitations with my editors, and only take on assignments that I know I can accomplish during normal hours. It’s possible.
What about you, fellow PDXSXers? Where do you think the line should be drawn?
– Keegan Clements-Housser