“Being a Toonarian has made me learn and allows me to achieve my own goals – making me experience new things and allowing me to discover inner strengths that I have. You feel small, and then you start feeling bigger, you feel valuable”
This Toonarian was born and raised in Sardinia, Italy. Since she started this adventurous journey she has learned a lot. Francesca has always lived in Sardinia, but this has not limited her dreams of going abroad. On two occasions she went to Hungary. She did her Erasmus for one semester in Budapest. She likes to experience new cultures, and live through new things. She says: ” I never feel I have just one home”. She explains her desire to leave a small universe for a bigger one; “I love my small universe of course, but I know that I have too many limitations here. I’m always looking outside, to go to a bigger universe.”
As any other young person, she had a dream. “I was fascinated by the idea of being a journalist, I had to see how it would go, since it is not easy to find a job in this area.” She started searching for an internship abroad, checking several websites, created a profile where the companies could see her curriculum. She recalls signing up for Europlacement.com and after two months, and unexpected email surprised her, welcoming her into an internship.
She noticed that the internship was located in United States, but soon realized that this was not an ordinary internship. It was going to be a virtual experience. Francesca thought at this moment, “Everything just sounded so new I have never heard of this kind of internship online”
“When I explained to my friends and family about the new internship I had found everyone was surprise. They asked me questions but I wasn’t sure how to answer since the experience was pretty new to me too, and I didn’t know all the incredible things you are able to do. The first thing that came to my mind was just to tell that it was cool since you talked to your colleagues, learn and work at home. This actually seemed less interesting but it turned out to be the great thing about our internship. That it’s not possible to put it into words because it offers something else that you only experience by being part of it.
Once she started, she recalls despite being full of excitement, she was also nervous since she didn’t know exactly how it was going to develop. Especially because this is not exactly how one would picture the first day of work. Actually, you will meet and talk to people, but not physically. Once the meeting started she realized something amazing, “the first training, it wasn’t like a regular lesson where you write down things and are assigned work, but it was more open. The interns could actually exchange their ideas, learn new things, and learn to create their projects with their own suggestions.”
“At the beginning, Toonari Post was about to be launched. We were assigned to write a lot of articles. I was like ‘O.M.G! I have to do a lot of things in such a small period of time’. I thought I have to do my best because it was at the start. I was a bit nervous but now I feel more comfortable and I trust myself more because I found myself achieving things that brought me inner satisfactions and made me proud.”
The internship surprised her in a way that helped discover inner talents and taste of different fields. She explained that having her article published on the website the first time was a very enriching feeling. “It was so strange – I believed I could do it, but I had never actually tried. When I started I said ‘okay I will try, but it is hard to come up with the most important thing that I should write’. But mainly just trying to be clear, putting altogether the ideas and hoping that people can actually understand what I really mean”.
She asked for her friends’ opinion, in order to make sure that her article was understandable. “After the first, second and third article you see the audience that likes or criticizes what you wrote, and this is the main thing that brings me motivation to keep going, and writing.
Regarding the English language, the explains what it is like to come from Italy. “At the University I don’t write in English that often, mostly just for the exams. But as part of this internship, language is another field that it includes for me, and it helps me learn and practice the English language. I can learn about languages, journalism and communication all at the same time!”
“It is not so easy to find a job that you really like. And that makes you happy. The best part of it is the relationships we are building between us. Because of the great work atmosphere, relations between your colleagues and your boss go hand in hand.”
The virtual element is a different way of working.” We’ve never seen each other; we don’t have the visual impact that often can generate different perceptions. When you meet a person, of course you judge their physical appearance and even if you don’t want to, you do it. We know each other through conversation, expressing our ideas, and collaborating. Therefore, we can truly express ourselves from our insides, leaving apart physical judgments.”
“I think we should explain to new interns, that you really create something through your work and effort. And when you see the results, you think ‘I did it! It is my job!’. You really feel it is something of yours! When you start, you don’t have any idea if you would like it or not, but if you stay, you find in yourself the right things, discover the field you like to work on. You make connections, and you even learn how to create these connections. Maybe you think that a small topic about a small event can be indifferent, but then you understand that if you take this small thing and you connect it with a bigger thing it becomes a global thing.”
Also, the international aspect is something that has grabbed her attention. “Since we are all international, this is a way of exploring, maybe even more depths of a person coming from the other side of the world, than from a person that lives next to you. It is a good opportunity to learn, by exchanging opinions, ideas, and points of view. You learn what people think and how they share things in common. You compare, and understand certain cultural differences and mentality that probably you could have never get to experience without living your country.