Garrett Farlow spent his summer halfway around the world in Kazakhstan working to help journalists break away from government censorship and playing sports with the National Special Olympics team. Casual.
We asked Garrett to tell us all about this incredible experience and how he overcame the intimidation factor of interning overseas.
Hometown: Tecumseh, KS
Majors: Journalism, Slavic Language & Literature and Political Science
Internship title and company: Communications Intern at The Kazakhstan Press Club & PG Communications
What were your responsibilities? I developed and created a multilingual website for the Soros Foundation to recruit journalists to become freelancers and break away from government censorship. I also collaborated with the Kcell account, Kazakhstan’s largest cellular provider and photographed press conferences for various clients, including the United Nations Human Rights Council.
What was your favorite part of the internship? I had the chance to visit a private British Academy that was hosting a camp for the National Special Olympics team. I had a great time documenting the event and playing sports with the kids.
What advice would you give students who are considering an internship? Having an internship is the best thing you can do to complement your education. You gain a lot from putting the skills you learn in the classroom directly into projects in the industry. An even better way to stand out is to intern overseas!
What did you gain from the experience that will be valuable to you in the future? I learned to take every opportunity that was presented to me, even if I didn’t want to. Living in a new culture and a language that isn’t your own is very intimidating but my fondest memories are where I pushed myself to try something new and different. You have to be adaptable in today’s world and an international internship gave me the opportunities to get out in the real world.
How did your major and your time at KU prepare you for this internship? My studies prepared me to take on projects the first day and work independently throughout my time in-country. I was able to effectively communicate in Russian and English with our clients.
What do you want to do after graduation? I hope to commission as an active duty officer in the U.S. Army. After my service in the military, I wish to expand press freedoms in Eastern Europe and Central Asia with the U.S. Department of State.
How did you find out about this internship? I learned of the internship through Becky Stakun, program coordinator, during a class visit to my Russian class.