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This spring, I'm taking my second off-term at Dartmouth! An off-term is a quarter in which a student does not take classes. These off-terms can be spent in any number of ways! Many students stay on campus to work or do research, seek out internships, travel, or just spend time relaxing at home. In this post, I want to share how I'm spending my off-term, and the resources I was able to take advantage of at Dartmouth to make it a great one!

This term, I'm working at a documentary production company in Chicago. If you've read my blog in the past, you know that my academic and professional interests are grounded in storytelling through non-fiction video, so this opportunity is a great one to help me gauge my professional interests in the filmmaking industry. This week, I wrapped up my second week of working with the company and it has been a very enriching experience. Most of my time has been spent editing promotional and artistic videos for clients, helping with video and audio on a variety of film shoots across the city, and helping out with some outreach to organizations to help promote the company's newest documentary film. The fact that I'm getting experience with production, post-production, and marketing is perfect and will certainly elevate my own filmmaking proficiency from a technical perspective. 

I also want to give some insight into the internship search process, particularly when considering how the D-Plan works. The fact that Dartmouth students can take quarters off in the fall, winter, and spring, when students at a majority of other universities will still be taking classes, certainly opens doors for unique internship opportunities with less competition from other undergraduate students.

However, something to also consider is that some companies only run internship programs during the summer - therefore, being able to fully take advantage of the opportunities provided by the D-Plan requires creativity and initiative. To find this particular internship, I cold-emailed the company directly and explained my situation to them and told them I would be willing to do an unpaid internship.

The reason I did this is because Dartmouth has a very wide range of ways to fund internships, no matter what kind of internship it is. For example, the funding for my internship came from a Center for Professional Development fund for education through non-fiction video - so yes, there is funding for everything! The combination of Dartmouth's D-Plan and funding opportunities means that seeking out internship opportunities from smaller companies can be really fruitful and rewarding. Many of these smaller companies are unable to provide funded internship opportunities, but they would love to teach a student a wide variety of skills through an unpaid position!

Overall, I am excited for the rest of the off-term and to share more of my experiences here on the blog!

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