Internship 2017

Life Updates

This summer I’ve had the privilege of working as an intern for the very first time. I still can’t quite believe just how lucky I got, bagging myself an internship in my first year of university (perks of studying at Reading!).

The company I work for are based in central London, and they work with the top universities in London. My role is working as a Media Coordinator for the company, which is many ways perfect considering social media is my forte. Being in charge of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for the company in addition to visiting these universities, talking to students and scientists, and creating case studies for the students has been a rollercoaster of excitement and adrenaline, and 100% worth it.

The best part of this internship, however, is the people I’ve worked with. The environment is based on putting the staff first, being as flexible as possible for them, and making sure they are happy in the workplace. These are contacts I can honestly say I would love to keep for the future.

The skills I’ve acquired are also incredible. After working in retail for two years, I was desperately craving the taste of a degree-related job. The friends I’ve made working in retail, I’ve made for life and whilst I appreciate the somewhat relaxed attitude towards working in the fashion-retail industry, it became tedious. Folding shirts everyday and analysing stock reports is alright but I wasn’t challenging myself in any way. I was physically drained after spending 8 hours on my feet, but this internship has mentally drained me, which is exactly what I love.

I’ve been pushed to work as hard as I can, to meet deadlines the day they’re set, and these are invaluable life skills I can carry forward with me into the future. This may sound awfully cliché, but now that I’ve had a taste for working in an environment related to my degree, I can’t bring myself to go back to retail. Of course, a job is a job, and when it comes to starting my second year of university in a month’s time, I will have to go back to retail part-time in order to pay for university costs, but my passion has now shifted from specialising in menswear to working in the marketing industry.

I take pride in the fact that I have put my free time this summer to great use. Thank you, to the University of Reading and to the company I’m working for, because I’ve had the best time. I definitely would love to do this again next year, and cannot recommend it enough!

A x

“Daemon”, by Daniel Suarez

Book Reviews

Is mankind slowly transitioning into an element of technology? Or is technology taking the place of humankind?

These were the thoughts that plagued me after reading Daniel Suarez’s Daemon (2006). It begins as less of a tech novel and more of a crime-thriller though as it progressed, the reader is exposed to the increasingly concerning power technology can hold, beyond death. In many ways, technology is presented in this novel as a form of eternal life for mankind; we are introduced to the idea that a system can make one immortal, with it’s creator working beyond the grave.

The ‘daemon’ is a system created by a dying Sobol; the interesting conflict presented in this text is the dichotomy between the power of the system in relation to the intelligence of it’s creator. The system did not reflect the genius mind of Sobol as it relied primarily on his knowledge in order to succeed. For example, the ‘daemon’ could not evolve, making it less reliable. As readers, we can interpret Sobol’s creation as an attempt at reincarnation although the motives for this are somewhat unclear; was this a radical attempt to transform society and enforce a digital one?

Nevertheless, the idea of Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life is not entirely new to us, as mentioned in my previous post; Suarez hasn’t managed to shock his readers by creating a new concept of the devolution of mankind and the evolution of machines and technology systems. Ultimately, the age of technology is undermining human intelligence and work forces but not to the extent underlined in the book, with human life at risk. Therefore, the novel isn’t futuristic in the sense that it is foreboding the rise of technology as the superior species. It does, however, warn the reader of the dangerous effects of exploiting this rise in technological power; the genius of Sobol is shadowed in the daemon through it’s ability to evade being caught and sent to jail. The novel serves as a chilling reminder of the power, and danger, of technology which originates from the creator and the creator’s intentions.

I Am Me, at Eighteen

Original Writing

Likes boost our self-confidence and naked pictures prove our love and desire for one another. We accept a love we think we deserve – perks of being a wallflower, no? Girls follow the intense beauty rituals of a wealthy, sickly sweet inspirational figure in an attempt to look good, no matter the cost. Boys will follow vigorous exercise rituals in an attempt to achieve that perfect body. But who defines ‘perfect’? There is no such thing as perfection and there is no stopping us once we reach our goal, because we are driven by obsession.

The art of communication is lost because we’re too busy looking at our phones instead of each other. Facial expressions are replaced by emojis. Love letters replaced by sexts. As our generation develops and progresses on, we lose the values and virtues of the previous ones, the ones we ought to hold most dear.

I miss being a child, do you know why? I didn’t know what pressure was. I didn’t have to look good for him or her. I didn’t have to adopt a certain character to fit in, nor did I have to conform to anyone or anything. The only stresses I experienced were deciding what game to play with my dolls that evening. Although I am incredibly proud of the person I’ve become, the writer I’ve become and, hopefully, the future poet I will become, I miss being in touch with my naivety and youthful happiness/negligence. Mental health issues were a myth to me. Love only existed in fairytales, and heartbreak was non-existent.

Growing up is tough, and I can admit that still, at the age of 18. But luckily I can also say that, at the age of 18, I have already made it. I have accomplished what I never thought possible.

I am exactly who I want to be. And I am not a product of my time or society’s offspring.

I am me. Anisah. 18. Somewhere between an artist and a writer. And a poet.

University Life – Roehampton

Life Updates

After my first two weeks of university life, I am back. And exhausted.

Starting a new chapter of your life is always daunting. I spent my secondary school life at an all-girls private school and decided to leave to attend college for my A-Level studies. I went from knowing everyone in my year (and in the years below) to attend a college of 3000 students so the leap was a big one for me; one thing I didn’t really register was that the people would be completely different too. I went to a school where the students came from well-off families, and I was there for about six years so the comfort was something I was unwilling to compromise with. Eventually, however, I came to terms with the fact that I would have to leave my school eventually and venture out into the big world where my teachers wouldn’t be there to hold my hand or give me pointers on how to improve my coursework. I needed a bit of independence and going to one of the biggest college’s in London was definitely a learning curve for me. The people I met were so different to those I grew up with, from different walks of life and different backgrounds, but it benefited me in more ways than one as it helped my transition from college to university.

Now onto my university life! I am currently studying English Literature at Roehampton University in London, and I have to say I am LOVING it. At first, I was hesitant with the course structure but I guess you can’t really judge a book by it’s cover until you’ve read it (oh the irony). I am doing a single honours degree which means it is solely literature and nothing less! Now, how am I finding it? Well, if I’m honest, it is quite challenging. Having to read a book a week is never going to be easy, and planning essays and completing assignments on top of that is going to be a struggle indeed, but if you know how to prioritise your work and stay organised, it becomes much more enjoyable.

The social aspects of the university are also part of the thrill of living the life of a student, however, I didn’t have the same experience as many of the other students. I am living at home whilst studying, meaning I have to commute; it does not take long, ranging from 20 minutes to 45 minutes, and I’m saving a lot of money by living at home! I don’t have to worry about bills, cooking for people or spending money on food and repairs. However, there are downsides to living at home: for example, the flat parties and the college balls are something I do miss out on, and the travelling can become a hassle, especially if I’m only on campus for an hour.

Nevertheless, I am making the most of this experience. There is more independence as a university student, and as surprising as it sounds, I’m only on campus for 8 hours a week meaning it is my responsibility to supplement my learning with extra reading and complete my assignments in my own time.

The subject, too, is fascinating. It forces you to expand your genres of choice and explore classics you would never normally read; I’ve found myself wanting to read all of Shakespeare’s works as well as venturing into the world of Gothic literature which surprises me as I initially fascinated with the genre of horror alone. Therefore, studying literature has opened my eyes to what’s out there; literary geniuses, classical literature and much more I have yet to discover!

All in all, studying English Literature for me is like having a hobby but being challenged by it. It can get stressful, but I’m 100% certain I love literature and as a result, I am loving every minute.

A x