Tuesday, March 3, 2009

An object lesson in reading far and wide...

Casement internship @ The Economist magazineSo you are looking for an internship in the sciences. And you want to work internationally. Would you think to look for opportunities in the magazine, The Economist? Probably not. But look at this. While reading through a recent issue (7-13 February 2009 to be precise) I came across an advert for the Richard Casement internship at the magazine printed at the end of an article on the Darwin and evolution. Notice how small the type is?

Here's what it says:
We invite applications for the 2006 Richard Casement internship. This is for a would-be journalist under 25 to spend three months of the summer on the newspaper, writing about science and technology. Our aim is more to discover writing talent in a science student than scientific aptitude in a budding journalist. Applicants should write a letter introducing themselves, along with an original article of about 600 words that they think would be suitable for publication in the Science and technology section. They should be prepared to come for an interview in London or New York, at their own expense. Applications must reach us by February 25th. They should be sent by e-mail to casement@economist.com.

There is an online listing for the internship but it's tagged to the pages in the print edition. As of today it's not showing up when you click through from the homepage >> career opportunities >> internships >> other internships link series.

What I find most intriguing about the opportunity is that the magazine's "aim is more to discover writing talent in a science student than scientific aptitude in a budding journalist."

Regardless of what discipline or field you work in, you need and ought to reading far and wide. Obviously you can't scoop up everything, but it is little gems like this that you are much more likely to stumble across. Otherwise you will simply run after the same opportunities as everyone else -- with about as much luck.

Not to mention the fact that you will simply know so much more about the world you live in and the wider world in which you wish to work (and be that much better prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that do come along). After all, if you want to work internationally in the sciences, it's not enough anymore (was it ever?!?) just to be strong in the scientific discipline of your choosing. You must be equally ready to prepare yourself for the challenges that come from working in a global workplace.

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