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

“If you are someone who is not afraid to discover his hidden talents and to apply himself to novel and unexpected challenges every day, then this internship is for you.” Salmane, Computer Science, Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco

I have worked for the international film festival in Bali as a graphic design and media communications intern. It was a great opportunity for me to enrich my knowledge about the film industry, and to network with renowned directors, producers, and actors who share the same enthusiasm for this domain. I had the privilege to work directly with the festival founder, along with other executives. Everyone was very kind, understanding, and appreciative of the efforts I put into this project, and the unique set of experiences I brought as a young international intern.

My reasons for choosing my internship in Bali

Although I am majoring in computer science, I, honestly, never thought of myself being the kind of the focused or angular individual who would spend his whole life discovering only one topic. Life is too short to not spread your wings after all. I particularly pursued this internship because I wanted to leave my technical comfort zone and try to discover the depth of my newborn artistic interests. I also wanted to work with a small team, as I thought I would learn a lot more from getting a large amount of responsibility and having enough freedom to influence the decision-making process. On top of that, being in a touristic hub and a heavenly island like Bali, where you get to experience even more personal and inner growth dealing facing adventures on the regular, made this internship offer an opportunity of gold.

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My responsibilities as an intern for the film festival

My official tasks were related to designing promotional posters and videos for the festival based on my initiative or request form my supervisor. Sometimes the tasks were upon heads up at the last minute which encouraged me to further improve my time management and optimize my work. The hard work was always deemed worthy as soon as I saw my creations published at renowned national journals and magazines like The Yak, Bali Advertiser, Now Jakarta, and Now Bali.

My work soon became heavily involved with the communication and marketing department, which wasn’t something completely novel as I’ve gotten the chance to expose myself to the business world, through many past projects. I was also never hesitant to do my research and learn the new skills needed to accomplish my tasks on the go.

Besides, I was always proactive in employing my technical expertise to contribute to other fields. I never was interested, anyway, in employing fancy interfaces and late invented technologies to fill up my resume with buzzwords. I was more about making the most out of the tools in my pocket to solve the real-life problems I faced. Working with the social media team, I was able to bring out my data analysis expertise to support the decision-making on the posts to be published by investigating what kind of content would generate more interactions. And, working with the film rating and selection team, I noticed how cumbersome our progress tracking given a large list of film submissions to be watched. So I thought of storing and managing the films and filmmakers data in a local database on my laptop, to facilitate managing and visualizing the rating updates.

Because it was a small team, I had to jump from one thing to the other, most of the time. Especially, after some of the employees left, leaving only me and a couple of interns at the office. I even had to participate in a few top management discussions, which gave a huge boost to my confidence and communication skills.

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All in all, if you are someone who is not afraid to discover his hidden talents and to apply himself to novel and unexpected challenges every day, then this internship is for you. Also, it is necessary to not overlook what your heart tells you. If you are not passionate about the film industry or the management of large scale events, it might be hard to push through the long hours and heavy workload in a small office with only a couple of people to interact with.

To whoever is going to jump on this opportunity next, I hope that it will be a transformative point in your learning curve and personality, as it was for mine. However, I must admit that the most exciting things that I have encountered weren't inside the four walls of the office…

My challenges arriving in Bali and how it ended up changing my life

During my internship 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. Everyone around me found it a little over the top that I’m traveling to an island ten thousand miles away for an internship. You can already guess how many of those ended up visiting me or asking me how they can get an internship in Bali as well. Going through all these hurdles, in addition to waiting extra months for my visa to come out, and passing by another country before entering Bali just to get it done there, were all strong proofs of how serious I was about immersing myself in this experience.

Imagine, 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, except for the staff of Bali Internships for whom I am very grateful, was a little rough.

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I had to put in a lot of work to push through these moments and gain that sense of belonging in the island. I knew many people, who after spending less than a week in a new country for an exchange program, or a new job or internship abroad, 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 exactly what that term meant. 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 turned out to be the greatest thing I have ever experienced.

What I ended up enjoying the most about Bali, as corny as it sounds, is that feeling of freedom that I didn't feel back home. If I wanted to go on a boat trip, climb a mountain, party hard till dawn, or just 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 confidently say that my internship abroad was the greatest experience I’ve ever lived.

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And since it is a film internship, it would be strange if no film ever came out of it, wouldn’t it?

Did you get inspired by Salmane's story?