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'I met so many incredible people from all around the world'

Charlotte did a month's internship at Shakespeare & Co in Paris.

The summer of 2018, I interned for a month at Shakespeare and Company, an amazing independent bookshop in Paris. I found out about the placement through the monthly emails Arts Emergency sends out about all the upcoming opportunities they have available. I’d heard about the shop before and seen pictures of it online, and as someone who wants to work with books in the future, I thought I’d be stupid if I didn’t at least apply. The cynical side of me was quite certain that I wouldn’t get it – the opportunity was just too good.

After I found out I had an interview for the spot I was elated, but so nervous. I wanted it so badly, and with exams approaching it felt like juggling so many important factors of my life. The interview was in Easter and looking back, it felt more like a casual conversation than an interview. It was with the lovely Adam Biles (the events co-ordinator for Shakespeare and Co.) and the half an hour slot went by rapidly – when you’re applying for something that you genuinely love and are passionate about, you realise the questions aren’t meant to trick you but to let you shine. Yes, it was still nerve racking but that’s because it was so important. This was one of the first things I learnt during my time with S&CO.

I remember, I was sat around the kitchen table in my university halls with some of my friends when the email came through that I got the internship. Next stop, Paris!

One thing you can never grasp online is how unbelievably beautiful the shop actually is. To work there every day doesn’t really feel like work – despite the soaring heat we had that summer too. I met so many incredible people from all around the world.

Along with working in the bookshop and the antiquarian next door, I worked ‘behind the scenes’ too, with events, publications and on the company website. I had the chance to develop so many skills in such a short space of time, from IT to developing an editorial eye. After my amazing opportunity to present the Kae Tempest event they had there, my public speaking skills improved massively. The most important skill, however, was my boosted self confidence and the knowledge that because I made that initial leap with applying, I was capable of anything I set my mind too – which is cheesy as hell but still true!