Since I have arrived back in the States, I keep getting asked the same questions, “What was the best thing over there? What are your top three favorite things that you’ve done? What did you gain from your experience? How did it affect your life?”. Sometimes when searching within myself for these answers, all I can think about is that I am a completely different person now, but all in good ways.
Getting involved with The Intern Group quite literally changed my life. They were wonderfully supportive in any issues that we had and in getting us involved and experiencing proper London. They also wanted us to grow professionally. One of the ways that they helped us achieve another level of self-awareness, not only in how we carry ourselves in our environments, but also in our academic life, was the RADA, or Royal Academy for the Dramatic Arts, workshop on personal impact.
RADA was established in 1904 and has built an outstanding reputation as a world-renowned center of excellence. It offers the best possible facilities, exceptional teaching and has strong links with the industries that employ their graduates. We really were extremely privileged to be involved in their workshop which would normally cost someone hundreds of dollars.
RADA explains the aim of the Personal Impact Workshop as the following:
“This one-day course helps you to become a more successful and effective communicator. Personal Impact increases self-confidence and improves the quality of your communications. Our tutor will introduce you to the foundations of our training, focusing on developing the ‘tools’ of communication – body, breath and voice.
Through your training with RADA in Business you will be able to communicate with clients and colleagues more effectively, leading to stronger relationships and more successful external and internal communication.
By the end of the day, you will have gained:
– A greater self-awareness of how you come across to others.
– A greater command and understanding of your body, breath and voice.
– Improved presentation skills and confidence.
– A practical ‘toolkit’ of techniques that you will be able to take back into the workplace and your personal life.”
It was personally informative and I was glad to be a part of it. We focused on our actions and movements. Everything we do affects the world around us. We played around with what it feels like to be 100% focused on others and 100% self-focused, and then which we prefer. Some of the interns may have thought it was new-agey and found it a bit awkward to be so open and personal, but I found it refreshing to be involved in a communication exercise again. These workshops are meant to question your beliefs about how you work in the world. They are meant to cause you to think differently and be aware of things in yourself you had never noticed before. I think it is imperative for everyone who wants to be successful in their professional life to know exactly how they work within the world, and how to move, adapt, and communicate effectively in it.
The best part was at the end when we discussed the inevitable interview question: “Why should we hire you?”. We then thought of a recent achievement, a skill that we bring to the table, a dream of ours, and I cannot for the life of me remember the last question. But I wrote all about how much Communication Studies has taught me and how much it meant to me to be so involved with the university I go to and all of the valuable skills I have learned there.
We got into pairs and we discussed and role played interviews in order to make ourselves feel more comfortable selling ourselves. After I talked about my recent achievements, I talked about how Communication Studies has really given me the opportunity to understand things differently, adapt to the world around me, and be tolerant of the differences I endure. After speaking with my partner I was amazed. She told me that her goal is to find something that she is so passionate about, like I am about Communication Studies.
So when I get asked about what my “favourite” (note the British spelling) part of being abroad was, it is hard to choose just one. The RADA workshop was definitely the experience of a lifetime and would be in my top three. I gained personal insight, learned about my personal impact, and got to know my peers in an intimate way, as well as getting some free tea and biscuits. What more could you ask for? So to The Intern Group I give a big cheers, for allowing me to be involved in something so impactful on my life.
Photo 1. by Amisa Saari