Albane

About Albane

Senior

Communication

Class Year: Junior (Graduation: May 2010)
Major: Communication
Minor: International Relations
Hometown: Mons, Belgium
Internship: the Belgian newspaper La Province
Career Goals: To write for a big newspaper or magazine Why you chose.
Why I chose Embry-Riddle: Riddle offered me a stimulating academic environment with small classes and involved professors as well as a place to live my passion for golf.

August 2009

Hey everyone!
It’s almost it ! I only have a week of internship left! And it’s feeling like it’s the end: last Friday, the Bridgestone strike finally ended. I spent about four weeks covering that issue, and it felt really weird. But it’s for the best, these people were out of work for too long. During the time I covered this conflict, I actually learned a lot on how to write objective articles while making sure I wasn’t making the whole situation worse.

Anyway, that’s over! It’ll feel a little weird this week: for the past four weeks, I had been working on the same topic pretty much every day! I did a ton of other articles (on farmers, other strikes, competitions, schools, construction work, etc) , but I started my day with phone calls to figure out what was going on in the Bridgestone factory that day! Now I’ll have to find new topics every day. At least I can still work on it one more day: our readers will have to know how going back to work feels like after a two months strike!

This week, the newsroom crew changed again. It’s summer, and everybody is taking his vacations in turn. I’m the only one who’s been there every day for the past seven weeks. I have to say, it makes my work a little harder: every week, I have to adapt to new coworkers, and I’ve already changed three times of supervisor! Working hard on my flexibility there… They all want different things from me as far as topics or writing style, but I think it’s somehow a good thing. Overall, I’m learning a lot.

Now that I’m about to leave, people here are starting to know me. Despite the fact they’ve all been on vacation at some point, I’ve been here for seven weeks so they’ve had time to come back. They’re nice people, but I don’t think I’d like to work here for real. It would be too much of the same thing. Eight weeks here was just enough time to have fun writing articles about local things, but I need something else. I guess it helped me narrow my career focus. That’s one of the points of doing internships, right? Plus I got a ton of articles published. It’ll be good for my portfolio. They’ve used me a lot. Before I started I thought I would be mainly scanning documents for them, or something similar. I was hoping they would let me write a few articles. In the end, I had to write an average of two to three articles a day for eight weeks. It was awesome! I also learned a lot about how to behave in the workplace, and how to adapt to what is asked from you.

After this, time for a little bit of vacation: I’m going to Sweden for a few days. And then almost immediately going back to school! This summer went by fast!

Have a good day!

July 2009

Hello everyone!
Three more weeks of internship, and I’ll be done! Recently it’s been crazy in the newsroom. Lately, we’ve had a strike in my region, and it’s been going on for a while: 48 days tomorrow, and that’s the longest strike we’ve ever had. The local Bridgestone factory is in a little town called Frameries, and is specialized in the making of airplane tires. They started the strike because 8 of them were fired for no reason, despite the fact that the factory is making millions of Euros of profits. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it in the past, but the part of Belgium I’m in right now is one of the poorest in Europe. So there are about 140 workers on strike, and if the factory closes it could be really, really bad for the region… Especially with the financial crisis! Everybody is following closely the evolution of the conflict, as you can imagine!

Anyway, at the newspaper they’ve put me in charge of following the issue (since the journalist who was doing it is on vacation). Every day, I have to call the representatives of the workers and the managers of the factory to see what is going on. But it’s a ton of work. Last Thursday for example, Mr Clarinval, which is the local version of the CEO of that factory, made an offer to the workers. They had an assembly to discuss and vote on it, but it was at night in the backroom of a small bar. Nevertheless, I had to go. I stayed there three hours, waiting for the results. I have to say, it was amazing. I got to talk with the workers for a while. They finally rejected the proposition (69% against it, and in this case they needed a minimum of 66%, it was close!) and the strike is still going on. But that night, I had to go back to the office and write my article as fast as I could so that the news could be in the next day’s paper! My first social conflict, as my editor in chief told me.

Here is a picture of some of the strikers in front of the factory, I met them a few times.

Recently, the internship has gotten better. I think I’m getting a little more respect from my fellow journalists. I’m still the little intern I guess, but I think they’ve realized I’m working hard to help them. Only three weeks left… And then it’ll be pretty much time to go back to school! That’s it for today, have a great week!

Albane Flamant

June 2009

Hello,
My name is Albane Flamant, I’m an international student from Mons, Belgium and will be starting next fall my senior year. In a little more than a week, I’ll be starting my internship back home in a local newspaper. I’m really excited about it: Even though I’m only a communication student without much experience, I’ll get to write small articles that will be published in a recognized newspaper. I’ve always had a passion for writing but I’ve only tried journalism recently. Last Spring, I spent a lot of my time working for the Avion, the university’s newspaper, as a reporter and an editor. Writing has always been a passion, and I love writing for the Avion. Despite the fact that I’m spending my summer back home in Belgium, I’m currently writing an article about campus for next week’s issue. This internship will hopefully better my writing. Here in Europe, the news writing style is a little different in terms of punctuation and paragraph structure. This will give me the opportunity to experience the European newsroom. It has taken me a while to get through the paperwork because of the language barrier and the cultural difference between the ERAU’s career services and the company hiring me for the summer, but I finally made it. Despite the fact I love writing, I will not probably end up being a journalist after I graduate. However, this will be a great work experience for me and it will enrich my resume and my portfolio. All fields I’m interested in require strong writing skills, and the articles I will write during my internship will be good samples to show potential employers.

So that’s it for this week… I’ll keep you posted on what happens on my first day. I should be running around the city with a notepad, a voice recorder and a camera. It should be interesting. Have a great week!