Archive for November, 2014

7 Tips For Your Internship

Hello! If you read my posts over the middle of the year, you might know that I interned as a newspaper journalist for six months. I’m safely back in my cocoon at school now, but I cobbled together a list of things that helped a lot in work—and hopefully might be a bit useful if you’re an intern too!

This isn’t a definitive guide; I can’t tell you how to become Intern of the Year or anything because I don’t have the qualifications. But I did live to tell the tale, which might be reassuring to you (because I set the bar pretty low).

So first of all…

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kiraGet a (cute) schedule book.

A schedule book can be a real lifesaver, especially if you’re perpetually swamped with work. All my assignments, appointments and random doodles all go in here, so it’s a practical and personal space for me. Don’t get too small a book; a medium-sized one will do nicely as a home for all your notes and scheduleskirakira

It’s important for me to get something cute because I use it everyday. So this year I got a Rilakkuma schedule bookrilakkumaIt’s full of illustrations and handy-but-not-so-handy info (like Japanese train maps and a dessert calorie table) which keep me looking forward to turning the pages each week.

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This is the design on the inside!

kiraDouble-check everything.

Because mistakes are the stuff of nightmares. As a journalist making an error meant it was seen by the entire country, so I obviously wasn’t keen on them. But being careful is the same in every job—watch out for everything and don’t be afraid to ask (is what I would’ve told myself when I first started if I’d known better).

I’d rather not use that “everybody makes mistakes” cliche because that always gets to me, as if you’re already expected to do something wrong. Just be careful, and don’t compromise on instructions! But if—strictly if—you do happen to make a mistake, tell yourself it can be fixed. Don’t panic. Clear head. There you gonekoCome find me and we’ll share some cookies and talk. I had lots of run-ins with mistakes myself.

kiraKnow what you’re panicking about before you panic.

Spare yourself the stress and shame if you have the chance! If something feels wrong, get to the bottom of it before taking action. It could be something salvageable, or not the big deal you thought it was at all. I’m a naturally anxious person, and there were lots of times I got too hasty and asked the supervisors something totally unnecessary. It saves a lot of trouble if you can swoop in on a potential mishap and nip in the bud before it grows.

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kiraWrite down everything.

Do this is in aforementioned schedule book, or on post-it notes, notepads, and anywhere else that you’d notice easily (or your hand maybe?) It helps so much when you have everything on hand so that when you need to recall something you just need to whip out wherever you’ve written it down. After that, do yourself a favour and buy some nice sticky tabs to bookmark your pages.

The best way I found to stay organised was to keep a tidy to-do list for each day! If I recorded everything and their specifics down, I didn’t have to worry as much about missing something out.

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kiraStick reminders and notes around your desk space.

The hefty memo pad I brought with me at the beginning got depleted drastically by the end, because I practically wallpapered my desk with all sorts of notes. Apart from being super useful, putting up your own random doodles lets your workspace feel a little more you. To-do lists, tips, drawings and my favourite Bible verses all went up around me—this was as decorative as I could get.

For the first half of my internship I had a desk in front of the wall where no one could creep up behind without me knowing. Even though it was a relatively tiny desk, I loved sitting at my little safe haven with the other internsnekoBut then there had to be a renovation right at my desk area…and I was moved to where all the supervisors sat at. It was unnerving being in Supe Island (as I called it) every day, but I did get a huge desk out of it.

kiraMake the most of your staff perks.

The communal food table always had a ready supply of food, from media gifts to event souvenirs to sample products from restaurants. I probably ate more exotic food in those six months than I did before (seriously, I never know foie gras on pizza was a thing). It took me a while before I dared to take so much as a tiny cookie, but I soon cosied up to it and practically lived off cake samples on busy days when I couldn’t have lunch.

If there’re any incentives in the office at all, I say use them all you can! But of course do it within reason—don’t snaffle the whole pizza home for your household unless they say you can. (Once there was almost a whole cake left over at the end of the day, and my boss told me to just bring it home)

kiraMake as many friends as you can.

This works especially well when you have fellow interns in the office. For the first few months there were several other interns, and without them I couldn’t have settled into my job as well as I did. Having other people my age was a huge comfort because no one else understood what it was like to be a callow, unqualified corporate baby.

But I know there aren’t always other interns to share your burdens with (my own friends started earlier and left two months before I did). In that case, your safest bet is to be friendly to everyoneneko

Fashion

kiraDress your best.

By your best, I mean the way you feel you look great in. During my time as an intern I actually had a lot of fun coming to work in different outfits that I usually wouldn’t wear in school. It was basically a six-month long phase of skirts and dresses because school has always been a shorts fest for me.

This was when I started taking photos of my outfits everyday as a record, and posted them daily on my Japanese blog. In the beginning I was really paranoid about dressing appropriately and even had the occasional blazer—it was funny to see how over the months my outfits became less and less formal (and the skirts grew shorter).

Choosing what you wear each day can make you feel a little more like yourself in the office, and give you some creativity to play with. But freedom of attire does depend on the kind of company you work at—I do know friends who had to go to work in prescribed formal wear, so at any rate dress as comfortably as you can! It’s useful for those long hours.

kiraEnjoy the little moments.

Chances are work won’t leave you with much time for yourself, or when you do it still sticks around your head even out of the office. Every day I looked forward to going home and having dinner made by my mom, and that was the main thing that kept me going for six months without (much of) a meltdown.

Of course once in a while I had to go out for assignments at night, and for six months I worked overtime for every single day. So what do you when you just need a break? Steal pockets of time for yourself, like during your lunch break or even those five minutes you space out for at your desk.

Even when I became the only intern left and lost my lunch buddies, I enjoyed eating alone in the canteen just as much—I’d eat my lunch and read a book and have a good one hour to myselfsmileIt’s not about the time you’re given but what you make of your time!

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Whether you’re having a great time or just counting down to that last day, it’s a good idea to remember that this internship is an opportunity you might not get again. Even if you don’t like your job, you can walk away knowing you stuck it out and what you don’t want to do in the future. And if you love it, yay!

If you have any tips of your own, please share them with me! I probably need them for the next internship.

See youhand wave

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UK Trip: London (Part Three)

The UK posts are coming to an end. This is the last one!

There are lots of photos this time too, but most of them were taken on the last day. The second last day was pretty uneventful—we went for a talk at the Westfield mall and had shopping time after, so that took up most of the time and we didn’t do much beside that.

I did however, have the best pasta I’d ever tastedhehe rabbit

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This was a creamy tagliatelle with mussels (or more like mussels with a side of pasta, there were so many). It was the daily special at a restaurant called The Bull, which is just about one of my favourite places I ate at.

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The whole place had this quirky, homey atmosphere and I loved being there; the bad part is that we only had twenty minutes to eat. (Why were we always in a rush?!) I really wished I could have enjoyed the food and setting for a much longer time, but I was happy enough with the quick meal I had there.

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Funnily enough, on our last night in Britain we were all brought to an Asian restaurant for dinner. It was a bit of an anti-climax, but I suppose also a novelty to eat the same food we have at home in a foreign country.

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I had my last breakfast the next morning:')The plate had all my favourites—croissant with raspberry jam, blueberry muffin, scrambled eggs, and muesli (of course). Now that I’m back home I miss that big breakfast I had every day there!

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We set off for East London where we visited the Old Spitalfields Market, a covered vintage marketplace filled with all sorts of old treasures from books to vinyls to clothes to the most retro cameras ever. The market itself dates back from the Victorian era; it was amazing to see how the place thrived on the soul and character of the past.

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It was a visual feast everywhere. There were so many unusual, attractive knick-knacks crowding every corner that we had no problem going round and round and not getting bored.

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I came across all these old books! I love books, and seeing so many of these gems everywhere was exciting. The Winnie the Pooh volumes were especially tempting, but after hovering over them for a while I didn’t get any. Now I don’t actually know why I just walked away from them…I should have gotten onecryBut I did get a little Beatrix Potter book, which isn’t that old, but still an adorable pocket-sized original edition.

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Even the people there fit the retro atmosphere perfectly.

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One of my favourite spots in the market was definitely the pastry stall. It was the first stall we saw when we entered, and I zeroed in on it immediately. Be still my beating heartloveI’d never seen a more perfect set up of baked goods. (We really don’t have these here)

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It took me a good half an hour (I pondered while wandering the rest of the market) to decide on which of these doughy treasures I was going to take 10,000 pictures of and eat.

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Eventually I went with this Belgian bun! It was the first one that caught my eye because of all the white icing and bright red cherry on top. This was so huge I struggled to finish it, but it was worth every sticky bite. I did get a lot of icing on my fingers while turning it this way and that for pictures. And then some more on my chin when I took a strategically placed bite for a half-eaten bun picture.

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Bread bliss. It was almost the size of my face! Or maybe it was. Ate it too fast to tell.

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Apart from the pastry, the other half of my lunch was a crepehappy girlOne of my goals throughout the entire trip was to eat a nutella crepe and I kept passing by stall after stall without ever getting any, so I was happy to finally eat one here.

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The very last stop was Trafalgar Square, which was so classically London that it felt like I’d landed in a tourist guidebook. It was a sweet and satisfying end to the whole trip, seeing all the iconic landmarks like the National Gallery and the fountains and all the statues.

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The National Gallery was the most beautiful museum I’d ever seen. I’m not exaggerating either, because I really haven’t been in that many in my lifediet nekoThe British Museum had lots of spectacular, special things inside, but the decor and aura of the National Gallery was unlike any other place.

The whole atmosphere was hushed and almost reverent in a two hundred-year-old gallery—you could practically smell the appreciation all around.

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I’m not knowledgeable in art at all, but I did get excited seeing the famous Monet and van Gogh paintings up closenekoWhen I was little I read a lot of illustrated biographies of them in children’s magazines like Discovery Box, so their art works particularly stood out.

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In true English fashion, the rainy weather came to see us off in all its cloudy gloom. It rained all the way till we reached the airport, and added a little melodrama to our departure from London.

I’ve finally come to the end of my posts on my trip to England; it’s taken me ages to blog about all ten days, but it was incredibly fun looking through and editing all the photos because they brought back so many memories. It’s extra special since this was my first school tripgirlIt could only have been this fun because I was surrounded by friends the entire time.

And also, I’ve ticked off my dream of visiting England. Till the next time I go there again! (Pret A Manger, I’m coming for your sandwiches again)

Thank you for reading!

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UK Trip: London (Part Two)

Hello!

For part two of my London travels, I’m going to combine two days of photos for the sake of organisation. (Also it’s already been a month since I actually returned and at this rate I’d take forever to finish posting about my trip)

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Starting the post off with a good breakfast, just like every day in the UK. Mmm. On this morning I thought I should change things up on my plate a little, so I tried a smattering of baked beans and a veggie sausage. And of course I couldn’t resist the mountain of pastries as usual, so I picked a croissant and some jam to go with it.

After breakfast we set off for our first stop of the day—the British Museumkirakira

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But it rained.

No matter—the inside of the museum was extraordinarygirlThere were centuries of peculiar artefacts packed everywhere, many of them broken and tarnished but still beautiful. We also discovered that the British Museum is mostly made up of things that aren’t actually British.

British Museum

The museums here don’t have such exotic treasures from all over the world, so I loved seeing the crumbly Egyptian sculptures and everything else. I thought I saw the famous Cleopatra’s mummy, but later found out that it wasn’t the real queen but a girl named after her.

We did our best to explore the museum, but probably spent the most time around the Egyptian and Greek sections where there were lots of huge statues of ancient figures. I took pictures with them occasionally, though I look about as stiff as the statues themselves.

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After spending the morning at the British Museum, we went to find lunch! Thanks to the rain it became chilly, so we went into a random cafe on a random street. It was a sandwich cafe, so in my head I was thinking about panini and ciabatta and all that fancy bread. But I got a bit confused with the overcrowded menu and ended up with egg mayo in ordinary sandwich bread…no wonder it barely cost two pounds.

Still, I love sandwiches all the samesmile

After that we went on to our next stop…

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The BBC Broadcasting House!kira kira

We were specially brought here for the studio tour which most of us enjoyed quite a bit, being communications students and all.

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The tour brought us around the studios—we watched the journalists working away in the huge newsroom and had a go at news reading and recording a radio play. There was lots of history in the building too, like the microphone used by the Queen.

Being right inside such a famous broadcasting house was coolsmileThe best part was seeing how everything worked behind the scenes of television news. The whole place was buzzing. I was seriously impressed—I think I’d be really stressed if I were a journalist at this snazzy, top-notch place. It probably doesn’t help when there’s a pack of students goggling at you from behind a glass wall while you work.

After the BBC tour we were done for the day! The teachers released us to do whatever we wanted for the rest of the night, so the large group dissolved pretty quickly. My friends and I headed to Oxford Street for a much-awaited shopping tripnekoWe hadn’t had the time to shop before this, and very much wanted to visit the legendary Primark. Which I enjoyed in the end, but privately thought a tad too messy.

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Since most of the night was spent at the shops, we finished up with a small dinner at Pret A Manger. I wasn’t keen on another sandwich so I got this little pot of mushroom risotto, which was hot and creamy and just what I needed to end the day with. (I need someone to import the entire Pret chain here)

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Breakfast the next day was deliciously classic with a slice of bread (plus nutella!), scrambled eggs, muesli with milk, and hot chocolate to warm me up before going out in the cold. It sounds like a lot in words but there was just a little portion of each—I like it when there’s lots of different bite-sized food to try.

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I am always partial to this onegirl

My favourite part about granola and muesli is their texture, so I like to sneak in extra raisins and seeds for a crunchier, chewier taste (though sometimes with granola it becomes quite the jaw exercise).

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We spent the morning at the Warner Bros Studio Tour! This is entirely about Harry Potter, because it’s the actual set where the films were made. Having never read or watched the series, I was probably the only person who was not a Harry Potter fan and didn’t buy anything from the gift shop:')But that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy myself—it was fun seeing the sets and special effects technology, plus I drank a cup of butterbeer.

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WBS

I think we took around three hours to finish the whole tour. It’s a good thing we were used to speedy lunches by then; it was another grab-and-go so I only had enough time to eat a pain au chocolat. It tasted amazing, except I didn’t know how to pronounce pain au chocolat and ended up pointing at it while saying something vaguely French-sounding to the boy at the counter.

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Basically it’s like a pillow-shaped croissant with chocolate chips, yum.

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In the evening we headed to Covent Garden! This picture was randomly taken during the journey by the tube—we changed lines at Notting Hill Gate fairly often and I always thought of Hugh Grant and colourful houses.

I really liked the atmosphere at Covent Garden, but as usual we were in a hurry and didn’t get to explore it much.

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Instead we had a quick dinner of burgers at Byroneat

I’m not a hamburger person so the size of the whole thing took me by surprise.

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Our programme for the night was a West End musical! We went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal. It was one of my favourite experiences from the entire trip, all because I love Roald Dahl and musicals so getting both of them together was a huge treat.

I really wanted to show how the theatre looked like, because it was just about the grandest place I’d ever been in. It’s a few centuries old and the oldest theatre in London that’s still around. I’d say you should Google it and see how gorgeous it is inside.

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They were selling these Wonka chocolate bars at £3 each, which I mulled over till I caved and bought two. I kept one to bring home, and opened the other during the show and doled out the squares. It’s Millionaire’s shortbread—a right indulgence to nibble on while watching an incredible show. It was a wonderful smorgasbord of singing, dancing and lots of fun and colourful scenes.

That was one of the best nightshappy

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UK Trip: London (Part One)

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After several days of being a nomadic tribe, we finally settled down in London! It was a lot more buzzing than the cities we were previously in, and there were tons of people and activities crowding the streets.

By the time we reached London it was already evening so everyone scattered for dinner around our hotel, which was in Wembley Park.

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A few of my friends and I went to a fifties-style diner called Frankie & Benny’s, and I had hot baked wraps stuffed with avocado and red pepper. This was the exact moment I fell in love with wraps—I’d never really eaten them before at home but after this I found myself wanting them again and againneko

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It also came along with chunky coleslaw and the hugest baked potato on the side.

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Skipping straight to breakfast the next daynekoThis hotel also had a little morning buffet, so everyday I liked to pile my favourites onto my plate. There always had to be muesli, and I’d rotate around the muffins and croissants and scrambled eggs. It was a luxury to see so many different kinds of breakfast foodkira

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The first day in London was specially for sightseeing! We had a tour guide bring us around the famous landmarks of the city, like Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park (plus countless red telephone boxes).

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Seeing all these places that are always in movies and on the Internet was a bit surreal, like living inside Google Images. Plus, I thought that spot on the right was perfect because you can get two big British icons squeezed into one picture.

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We took a walk through Hyde Park too, and met all these wonderful wildlife who were game enough for lots of photos (although the squirrel was a tad impatient).

And then we found a nice, spacious part with lots of lawn chairs for us to sit down and do nothing but appreciate the fresh air and nature around us.

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(We did this for about two minutes to take a photo)

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Lunch break—there wasn’t a lot of time so a group of us got sandwiches and fish and chips from a small food stall. We ensconced ourselves in a in a corner and ate in a circle in front of the wall. I tried a panini with cheese and peppers; toasty sandwiches are perfect for cold weather! I wanted the ciabatta but they were all out, so I ended up with this one. It was still tasty, though it was a bit huge for me to finish.

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There was an ice cream van, so I bought one! Vanilla soft cream in a chocolate-dipped oyster shell, and a flake sandwiched in between. Yumlove girl

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The Tower of London was surrounded by a spectacular sea of poppies. There were probably as many people as there were poppies—it took ages getting jostled by everyone before I could get a good view.

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The Tower of London was the most interesting attraction I visited in the UK, so it was a great pity that there was too little time to cover the entire grounds. I wanted to see the Crown Jewels, but the queue was so long it’d probably take a day and a half before I got my glimpse. We settled for the White Tower instead, and had a look around the old royal armouries. After that I really wanted to explore at least another tower, but there wasn’t enough time to waitcryI did see the ravens though, and the soldiers marching around!

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I’m sorry I’m blocking the view of the Tower Bridge…but there’re already tons of good pictures on Google, I need the photographic evidence that I was therehurhur

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A picture of the London Eye is mandatory even if you don’t actually sit on it.

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I also met the cutest dogs!

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And then for dinner I had wraps againhappyThis time they were stuffed with fish fingers and accompanied by a tiny salad on the side. I had them in another pub in Piccadilly Circus. We were in the Chinatown area so some of the teachers and students went to eat good old Chinese food, but my friends and I were still adamant about eating British so we went to a cosy pub instead.

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So that was the first proper day in London! After going to landmark after landmark I felt like I’d unlocked a slew of tourist achievements in a combo. It was amazing to finally see (part of) London for realsmile


Welcome ♡

▷ . Cheryl

I'm a university student in Tokyo blogging every weekend about cute food and cute places in Japan٩( ᐛ )و

Read my About Me ☆ to know more.

はじめまして!
大学一年生のシェリルです
毎週日本の可愛い食べ物や場所についてブログ更新していますヽ(´_`) /♪

よろしくお願いします

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