27 Sep 2018

New York Times Intern Raphael Finds Creative Freedom

Working as an intern at one of the world’s biggest news outlets Year 13 Raphael Hoeflich realized how lucky he is to be at Island School and the importance of creative freedom.  

Raphael (13N) spent the summer interning at the New York Times’ Hong Kong offices. His responsibilities included video editing as well as corporate management and development.

In the video editing department, Raphael had the job of producing a short film about a collaborative project between New York Times and Plaza Premium, an airport lounge company. The project involved supporting and sponsoring 10 different universities around Asia, many of which were in underprivileged locations. Raphael explained, “I made a film using the footage that I got from the universities. I worked with all those universities and made a whole video about them.” Besides learning video editing skills, he also added that he was humbled by the experience of learning about the different schools. “It was a really good moment for me to experience – it helped me realise how lucky I am with how much I have at school,” he said.

Raphael also gained experience in corporate development. He was tasked with helping to expand one of New York Times’ newer magazines in Hong Kong and China. As New York Times were looking to move towards a greater market in Asia, Raphael helped to contact potential advertisers to promote the magazine.

Of the overall work experience, Raphael commented that, “I think that it was a great experience – it really was an once-in-a-lifetime experience working with the NY Times. I think it was probably the best thing that happened to me over the summer. I would never have thought that I would have so much freedom with editing – often, there are specific guidelines that you need to follow. However with the NY Times video, I was able to use my own style.”

Raphael really enjoyed the experience of working in the New York Times office. “My colleagues were all very international and had lots of experience,” he said. He was able to interact with people with a variety of skills, such as programming and languages.

In terms of challenges, Raphael commented on the importance of deadlines. “I was having to learn more [about video editing], which takes more time. I had to do that over my work hours.” Regardless, he “really enjoyed the whole process.”

Raphael plans on going down a creative route. “I really want to work for Nike or Adidas and be one of the creative directors there – that’s one of the dreams that I have. I really like the freedom of being creative and being yourself.” Currently, he takes Film and Design and Technology, subjects that allow him to utilise his creative skills.

To students, Raphael emphasises that it is important to pursue what you truly love and enjoy. “It’s something that [students] probably hear all the time but they don’t really know what ‘doing what you love’ really means… the number one thing is that you enjoy what you’re doing.” He adds that “Goals that you achieve should be the ones that you set for yourself, not by your parents or teachers. My advice is for students to be themselves and follow whatever path they want to follow.”

By Julia Mulrooney, Communication and Data Officer.