Wednesday, February 20, 2013

My Internship

As some of you know, I’m doing an internship here in Paris through the beginning of April. I was able to find an internship through Sweet Briar so I’m getting academic credit for it; I work 12 hours/week for 8 weeks and then will have to write a paper at the end of the semester. This won’t be a super long post but I know a lot of you have been asking where I work and what I do, so I figured I should probably write about it. Sorry the title is un-exciting but I figured I would just get to the point, because apparently that's what people in the real world try to do. Who knew!

I work at La Coordination Française pour la Lobby Européen des Femmes (CLEF), or in English, The French Coordination for the European Women’s Lobby. It’s a NGO that focuses on women’s rights, political parity, and equality in the workplace throughout France. We work with over 75 other organizations, in order to ensure the implementation of the objectives of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) in France. CLEF's president is Olga Trostiansky, who (assuming I understand correctly, which I might not) is also one of the deputy mayors of the 10th arrondissement, and is involved with a number of other organizations besides CLEF. I read most of this in French on her Wikipedia page so it might not be entirely accurate, but I mean she has her own Wikipedia page so she must be important! I don’t get to actually work with her but before I started I had an interview with her and other woman from CLEF in her office (which is in L’Hôtel de Ville!), and I’ve decided she is basically a French, feminist superhero! And by that (in grown-up terms) I mean she is a very impressive person, like everyone else in the organization, and I’m extremely lucky that I got to meet her.

So what do I do exactly? Every Monday from 10-3 and Wednesday from 10-5 I walk to the tiny CLEF office, which is actually part of a much larger and very cool looking building that kind of looks like a mansion. There is even a gate! I need to take a picture of it at some point. See, this is the kind of thing that a good blogger would plan ahead of time in order to include pictures in the post, but I need to charge my camera battery, so sorry. I did include a picture of the CLEF logo though so that should count for something (although I realize I’ve been posting logos a lot recently). But anyway, the actual CLEF office is tiny with one big desk and a small round table and there are only ever 1-2 other people here with me. Most people involved with CLEF work from home or through other jobs and such.

My tasks mostly include translations, usually English to French, although I have translated several Press Releases from French to English (which I actually think is harder). Right now I’m working on translating these two long documents about sexual violence, with case studies form different countries. It’s fairly tedious work but at least the subject is interesting and it’s good practice for my French. I also occasionally create new contacts and contact groups on Gmail and I once made Powerpoint presentation. Overall, I thoroughly enjoy what I am doing there because for an internship it’s all fairly interesting. My only complaint: The office is freezing! I wish it were socially acceptable to bring/wear a Snuggie.

If any of you are interested in reading more about CLEF, you can visit their website here! (If you use Google Chrome you can automatically translate it to English), and they have an About Us section in English.

Don’t forget International Women’s Day on March 8th!

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