I’m an intern!

Okay, I’m still a senior scientist. But in addition to that, I now have a 3-month writing internship with All4Women online magazine! Who woulda thought? I just had my first article published yesterday titled ‘Sing Your Way to Health and Happiness’. I just thought I’d share with you the application letter that got me the internship (it also had something to do with my blog posts that were read by the editors). I had to include the details of my life so far, why I would like to write for the magazine and why I thought I’d be good at it. So here goes….

Dear Sasha and Claire,

I would like to apply to be an intern writer for All4Women. I have been a keen reader of All4Women since I started receiving the weekly newsletter 5 years ago. A friend sent me the link so that I could enter a competition to win tickets to Splashy Fen Music Festival’s 20th anniversary. I eventually ended up having to buy my own ticket but have been hooked on your magazine ever since.

I am a 28-year-old single female, having spent the first 22 years of my life living in Verulam, just north of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. My interests from childhood mostly centred on natural science and the arts, and at the age of 5 I decided that I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up. Later on I learnt that I was too short to be a pilot, which somehow led me to pursue a degree in geology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. I now live in Johannesburg and am employed as a mineralogist at Mintek, the South African council for mineral technology. I am also nearing the end of a part-time MSc. degree in chemical engineering that I have been working on through the University of Cape Town. I live in a big, crazy house full of women – my mother, grandmother, younger sister, cousin and dog, Banjo (yes, she’s a girl too).

My passion in life, even more so than science, is music. I started studying classical piano at the age of 6, and went on to complete two diplomas in piano performance during my university years. I also had one of my greatest dreams come true when I was given the opportunity to perform as a soloist with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra at 18. Nowadays, when I’m not analysing rocks and minerals, I enjoy performing with a contemporary jazz band around Johannesburg. I think the South African music scene is amazing and I love continually discovering new live music venues and world-class local musicians.

My desire to write has been building up slowly over the past few years. Writing scientific reports and papers is a core function of my work and for me, writing up a report can be just as (if not more) exciting as the practical part of my job, as this is where the whole story of a research project, or a technical challenge and its corresponding solution, comes together. As you can imagine, scientific writing can be very limiting in terms of style and content, and I sometimes just want to break out into something lighter and with less chemical formulae. The All4Women internship advertisements have been very tempting whenever they have appeared in the newsletter, however, my overloaded work and study schedule made it impossible for me to take on the additional responsibility during previous years. This year, with my master’s thesis nearly submitted, I have ample free time and energy to follow other dreams.

All4Women has appealed to me strongly because of the wide range of subjects covered, catering to a large and diverse audience, and because of its more interactive nature when compared with a printed magazine. An internship with such a magazine would provide a much desired creative challenge for me, create an ideal opportunity to learn about writing from a different perspective, give me a chance to explore different subject matter, and improve my writing skills. It would also help me gain valuable experience and insight into online writing, a field in which I am seriously considering a future career.

I believe that I would be a good candidate for the internship as I do have some writing ability that definitely can be improved upon with the right mentorship. Writing is also something I already do every day and enjoy thoroughly, and I am more than willing to adapt to writing the type of articles I read every day in All4Women. As a regular reader of the magazine, I also feel that I understand the style and topics that would be popular with fellow readers, and would fit in comfortably with current contributors.

Topics that I would most like to write about, mainly based on articles that I like to read in All4Women, are:

  • Entertainment (music, festivals, shows and events)
  • News
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Lifestyle
  • Education and careers
  • Nature and the environment

I have recently started a blog (https://bandchickchronicles.wordpress.com), and have chosen two (out of only three, so far) blog posts to provide you with samples of my writing.

Please let me know if there’s any other information you would like from me.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.