Dublin Internship Offers COM Student Portfolio-Building Opportunity and More

in Global Profiles
May 30th, 2023

Bylines in GCN Magazine are just the start of Nat Mak’s experience interning abroad

Nat Mak (COM ’23) had little knowledge about Ireland before they decided to enroll in BU’s Dublin Internship program. Perhaps it was, at least partly, the unknown that intrigued Mak and moved them to enroll in the program.

“I realized it would be more worthwhile to go [study abroad] somewhere I didn’t know about and learn about it as I was studying there,” they say. “I am proud of going to a city that I knew little about and building a relationship with it. During my time spent in Hong Kong and Boston, my family had been there for a lot of the time. It’s different when you’re abroad – it’s a new form of independence.”

The Dublin Internship program gives students the opportunity to study and work in one of Europe’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities. The program combines a professional internship with core coursework on various aspects of Ireland’s dynamic history and contemporary culture.

Nat Mak outside standing on a walkway

While in Dublin, Mak interned with the LGBTQ publication GCN Magazine. “The magazine informs and reports on news in the community…it started as a community newsletter during the HIV/AIDS epidemic and has grown into one of the longest running [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer] publications in Ireland,” Mak says.

As an editorial intern, Mak was able to pitch story ideas, create social media content, edit photos, and write articles for the publication. They also boast several bylines in the print magazine – a noteworthy highlight for Mak’s resume.

“My editor was amazing,” Mak recalls. “Interns were able to have articles in the printed magazine.”

This portfolio-building experience gave Mak the opportunity to honor the stories of people in a community that, unfortunately, continues to face discrimination in various aspects of their lives at higher rates than people who identify as heterosexual. Telling these stories – and understanding the nuances of each individual story and experience – is important work.  Mak says they were happy to learn more about the LBGTQ community in Dublin and to be able to help share their stories.

It felt very up and coming in a lot of different ways. Film and animation is a growing industry and there’s a lot of potential for storytelling.
Nat Mak

As part of their work, they were able to interview some noteworthy individuals, including an Italian male beauty pageant participant in the first openly gay pageant based in Poland.

“In terms of legislation in Ireland [around LGBTQ+ issues] there’s still a lot to work on,” Mak said “But public opinion has improved in a relatively short period of time.”

Reflecting on what they found most surprising or unexpected about their time in Dublin, Mak says they were surprised that despite the bustling nightlife there was still a large sense of community. “People there are really friendly and interested in your story. Often when I make new friends from other schools or acquaint with people at work, we talk and go on outings like we’ve known each other for years.” 

They were also intrigued and happy that they were able to learn about the alt music community in Dublin. Mak was delighted to realize that Dublin was more multicultural than they expected, and they say, “It felt very up and coming in a lot of different ways. Film and animation is a growing industry and there’s a lot of potential for storytelling. Maybe it’s been there all along, and more people are starting to take notice.”

On the opportunity to study abroad, Mak says, “Once you come to understand the history and the culture [of other places] your world feels so much bigger. You don’t have to stay in one place or know people in one place…branching out can make it feel like your bubble is bigger. And if you study abroad in Europe, you can travel around and take advantage of that.”