You will be glad to read that since my first blog entry I have already been involved in several projects, from writing articles to translating and drafting infographics. Being an intern at a company that works for many companies surely provides variety, not only of tasks but also of project themes and areas of work. I am delighted with the diversity and being able to learn about many specific and different topics, but one of the projects I worked on last week supposed quite a conflict.
Briefly and broadly, the client works within the animal industry and the project had to do with microbiology and immunity. For me, this translated to spending many hours researching a field I really enjoy learning more about, for someone whose business is focused on intensive farming, which doesn’t totally align with my ideals. Noticing this, I could have politely and kindly asked not to be staffed on said project, but I decided to take it on as a challenge and an opportunity.
To avoid stress and frustration I tried to separate my personal choices from my professional duties and focused solely on delivering my best work. The studies on the topic were spot on, and after also researching for a more socially-focused project that week, I felt quite comfortable reading scientific papers, in which the point is quickly reached. Being used to reading those, it still takes me some time to read papers on social studies, where sentences are usually long and piled with concepts I don’t completely understand.
All the research had to eventually be put together in an infographic that crunched all the necessary knowledge, so I gathered my scrambled notes, played some background music (in case you’re curious, I’ve really gotten into soft techno music lately, and also that playlist everyone listens to when they need to focus) and got my hands into it.
I broke all the information I had collected in key points and built topic-blocks, which I then ensembled as a puzzle. During the first days here on Scite I was given a seminar on how to master science crunching, but I guess it’s all about practicing: it took me about 3 drafts to be confident about the result, but there it was – my first infographic! It was a fun process, though I definitely need to keep working on my drawing skills… The good thing is that my not-very-charming drawings were then delivered to the designer, who made it all look pretty.
I cannot say that working on the project changed my opinion on intensive farming, but I really enjoyed doing the research and learning more on the topic. Moreover, it was an opportunity to revise my thoughts and values and discuss the issue with one of my coworkers: not only this case but also company values and taking on self-conflicting projects. Exposing myself to conflicting ideas has helped in readdressing and reinforcing my beliefs and serves as a reminder of who I want to be and why. Plus, now I have a cute fat-looking chicken drawing on my wall.