My Internship as a Graphic Designer at Bali’s International Film Festival

“I recommend this internship program if you are passionate about the film industry or the management of large scale events. This was the main reason I traveled to Bali.” Salmane, Computer Science Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco

I have interned as a Graphic Designer for the international film festival in Bali. In general, the internship program was highly beneficial for my knowledge about the film industry, event, and network with people who share the same enthusiasm for this domain. My supervisor and the festival’s founder were both very kind and understanding, they were always appreciative of my effort, no matter how small or big it was.

My impression as a new intern

During my first day, I met the secretary Miss Sundari who was super lovely and sweet, and my supervisor Flor who appeared exactly what you would imagine a graphic design supervisor to be, and Valentina, the other intern, with whom I became close friends until this day. My office’s atmosphere was very Balinese, as the office seemed to be part of a traditional house owned by a Balinese family, and rented by the festival for an office. The vibe was pretty cool, and everyone was pretty friendly and flexible.

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My tasks and responsibilities as an intern for the film festival

By day one, I felt well integrated because there were only four people in my office. I was relieved to play a pivotal role in the realization of the project, and I relied heavily on performing things outside of my area of expertise since no one else could carry them. For example, apart from my graphic design duties, I had to help the other intern with social media posts and rating the film submissions daily. Whenever I would go sick or miss a day of work, that would mostly mean a big part of the project would take a pause.

Being in such a preparation stage of an annual international film festival event, I had to learn and absorb new information and knowledge quickly. Not to mention, learning about new roles which I have never had to touch before. The interns' responsibilities seem to flow in that direction, whether you're there for graphic design, web development, or even bringing coffee. They will ask you what you think. They also had to bring up Balinese students a couple of times to help us with social media posts.

I was also assigned to watch a number of eccentric films I was not familiar with. As intern, try to be open-minded while doing so, by seeing the creativity of the filmmaker beyond all the unusual visuals, and fetching the final message hidden in the plot. One of the movies we watched was rather trippy that my colleague had a night dream about it, but I enjoyed it very much.

I would recommend this internship program if you are passionate about the film industry or the management of large scale events. Otherwise, it might be hard to push through the long hours in a small office with only a couple of people to interact with, if you're not happy to accomplish your daily work and not passionate about the film industry. The internship was the main reason I travel to Bali. However, the most exciting things that I have encountered weren't inside the four walls of the office.

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My difficulties and challenges before arriving in Bali and how my Bali travel changed my life.

During my internship abroad in Bali, I have learned that I can deal with anything life throws at me. I have been fighting to come to this island for a long time. When my parents know about my decision, they initially hardly agree with my decision, as do those around me who doubt my choice. You can already guess how many of them ended up visiting me or asking me how they can go to Bali to experience what I experienced and how the tables have turned. Of course, I have introduced them to Bali Internships, being the kind person I am. (Still waiting for my share, Laura!) Going through all of these hurdles, in addition to remaining an extra month for my visa to come out, and traveling to another country before entering Bali, just to get my visa done were all strong proofs of how serious I was about immersing myself in this experience. Imagine that, after this wild rollercoaster, reaching your dreamland and discovering something that didn't match your expectations. Luckily, I never do make high expectations in mind, if ever any. But I can't deny that my first two weeks weren't the most exciting memories I can recollect. Being a bubbly and adventurous person, coming to a new environment where I knew nobody, and where nobody made me feel welcome, except for the staff of Bali Internships for whom I am very grateful.

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I had to find something in myself that I have never encountered before to push through these moments. I had to put in a lot of work to meet new people and gain that sense of belonging in the island. Personally, I know many people, who after spending less than two weeks in a new country either for an exchange program, or a new job/internship, they would panic and book their flight back home. Getting out of your comfort zone is a cliché term that sounds easier said than done. Fortunately, I knew what that term meant, and what I was getting myself into, mainly because I have had the same experience before. As I expected, going through that first phase, and eventually finding the people who matched my energy and vibe made a big turn on this experience. What appeared to be one of the most challenging periods of my life turned out to be the greatest thing I have ever experienced.

What I ended up enjoying the most about Bali, as abstract as it sounds, is that feeling of freedom that I didn't feel back at home. If I wanted to go on a boat trip, climb a mountain, party hard till dawn, or chill nearby the beach, I could do it whenever I wanted and with whoever I wanted. It's a pretty chill and soothing lifestyle that transformed me into a more free and happy person. Looking back at it now, I can honestly say, Summer 2019 was the best experience of my life, which I would do all over again, even if I had a waiting internship offer from Google in hand. If you are wondering what seeking discomfort looks like, here is a glimpse:

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Did you get inspired by Salmane's story?