While never working at a newspaper outlet, I didn’t know what to expect and wasn’t sure what I would be doing since I wasn’t a journalist. On the first day of my internship at The Finder, I sat in the news room and listened to all the reporters argue over which stories they would publish and why they should publish them. They were speaking in Twi so I wasn’t sure what they were saying but on occasion I would hear one of them say, “No my story is better, yours is unattractive.”
Sitting in that room for 8 hours and not doing anything, I thought I was destined for doom and wouldn’t be participating in any activities during my time at work. The second day I was off of work because it was a national holiday, so I decided that on the third day I was going to speak up and talk to my boss. I was going to tell him that even though I am a foreigner, I want to learn about the media industry in Ghana and try my best to participate. The third day arrived and I asked to speak to my boss.
Walking into his office, he began to laugh and asked what I wanted. I told him that I wasn’t purely a journalist but I was more interested in advertising and marketing. When I told him that, a smile came across his face and he told me that he would transfer me from the media room into the marketing department of the newspaper. I was excited for this because I would be able to travel around Accra, Ghana and speak with companies about why they should extend their relationship with the newspaper. I figured this would be a great experience on interacting with clients and understanding how a business relationship is established and maintained. I informed him that even though I was now on the marketing and advertising side that I would still like to write a few articles that could possibly be published in the newspaper. He told me that I would have to write something first and submit it to the head editor.
Throughout the internship I was able to deliver invoices to businesses, meet with two companies individually and speak with them on on the issue of improving the newspaper and its adverts (advertisements) and write a couple articles that were published. My favorite aspect of the internship was meeting with clients and dropping off invoices. I went with the marketing assistant and another intern. I was able to travel throughout Accra and meet presidents and vice presidents of large Ghanaian companies. I visited banks, car dealerships, mattress factories, hospitals and supply stores. We traveled everywhere by taxi and sometimes would have to travel in multiple taxis throughout the day. The marketing assistant had to pay for all of the taxis at the time but informed me that sometimes her company would pay her back.
We were able to gain insight into the marketing and advertising world in Ghana. It seems like most relationships are built from friendships or just having connections. It seemed that my boss and assistant have had a long term relationship with most of the other company’s bosses. I was also able to have two articles published in the paper. Besides the work, I was able to travel around Accra and try all kinds of local Ghanaian food. I have enjoyed my internship.