The Interns Diary (final)

Text and pictures by Sarie Nijboer

Dear Diary,

The start of an internship is never easy. You will like it from day one or hate it immediately. However you will get an overdose of information and discover thousands of new possibilities, which you did not know they existed before. Welcome to the real world!

My favourite task has been the weekly search for Pigs Tips, which we publish every Tuesday and send out to more than 5.000 readers.
Also a task which isn't bad at all is the What Did I Miss? Mobile Photos from the events we have visited the week before- published every Monday. It gives me a legitimate excuse to go to exhibition openings (if I'm afraid of going on my own).
Despina came up with the idea for the Interns Diary in our first meeting; I was too scared to say no, so I ended up sharing my diary with 5.000 readers. A bit of a jump in deep water but I was not alone in this, Rachel has been correcting the gramar and spelling all along and Despina has been commenting, encouraging, critising in a very typical for her way…

Under a collection of her comments...
“…it is more a collection of notes, thoughts, impressions of berlin, of the art scene, but also of your job here, your boss (!), everything is interesting. I think you should write without thinking of the finished "result"- Don’t try so much to make sense.."
“Try not to say Berlin so much”
“ …remember what is new for you, is not new for the rest of us. So if you want to mention Bergman str or Tempelhof, you have to do it in a unique personal way not a general description.”
“…it is called a diary, but the focus is not You, but what you see, what you experience.”

I thought a diary should be private, but I cheer myself up with the thought nobody really reads it… but aparently there are some readers, who come across it while surfing on the bpigs website and linger there. That's what I found when meeting people at exhibition openings asking me: AH... YOU ARE THE DIARY GIRL?! After, I was too scared to ask if they like or not... (but given this will be my last diary, feel free to send your comments to

My fear to write in an art context never really went away and my first attempt to write a review of an exhibition kind of got stuck at Despina sending it back again and again with suggestions for correction. When she asked me if I want to give up or write it one more time, I said I give up because I don't feel like writing it into a better piece.

The task of my internship I felt the biggest responsibility for was updating the website with the openings/events and filling up the upcoming printed Pigs issue every two months. This is after all the only part people have to pay for. Unfortunately I started to get the hang of it, just now, before I'm going to leave. I thank myself for paying attention at my Indesign lessons at school. Delivering the new issues to the galleries helped me to get to know the city a bit better… or the postoffice.

Administrative tasks aren't my favorite tasks but they are a big part of the game. I learned to write emails short and directly but friendly. I also learned deadlines are never kept and that after three reminders, calls and voicemails there will be still people who have not heard about it.

Here some tips that (would) have been a great help for me before starting my internship:
-Only send an application letter if you know what you talk about, what Bpigs is about (it took me 2 whole months before I really understood).
-Practice writing
-Be fast but selfconfident (that's how you avoid things as deleting accidentally a page on the website).
-Have some knowledge of websites or drupal (see previous phrase)
-Be clear and precise (or learn from Despina)
-Be thankful for every opportunity you get, and take it!
-Show interest in the galleries of pigs (they need you and you need them)
-Don't be afraid of critic (Despina is just honest)

I am not sure I can fully describe what an internship at bpigs is like. Meeting all these people, visiting all these spaces, getting my own blog, coordinating the nervous artists at the Portfolio Viewing, Mondays at soho house, Fridays at bar 3, free drinks, hanging out with the other girls of the team, I even got to work as an invigilator for one of the spaces, design a few stuff, and face paint during the NYE Masquerade Ball. What I did not expect is to get such a huge art database and network at such a short time thanks to the spaces in Bpigs and especially to Despina. Like I said in a previous diary she is a walking encyclopedia of the Berlin art scene and a walking idea mashine.

She asked me to write this diary entry on my internship, which would be at the same time the job description and the call for the new intern, starting February 2012.
Well let's get started then. Send a mail to with your cv, a photo and a diary entry of no more than 600 words on the process of applying.

I hope we will find someone cool but not as nice as me, so Despina will always look back at the time I was interning here.... (evil laugh)

Berlin Independents Guide is an artist run communications platform. Listings are accepted from project spaces, galleries, art institutes and art related venues in Berlin. For more information and prices have a look here.
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