The end of my internship is coming. It’s not the end of my contribution to The Shortcut, expect to see more blogs, podcasts and videos from me in all the usual places, but perhaps not as frequently. Still, as the end of this phase approaches, I can’t help but look back at the journey so far.
Also, I can’t help re-imagining that journey as a superhero movie franchise, for reasons.
Phase One: The solo origin movie
Three years ago…
A naive British writer and trainer moves from London to the Finnish town of Järvenpää. He adjusts to the quieter, calmer life easily, but finds himself directionless, without connections outside his immediate family. He receives strange messages in a language he doesn’t understand (it’s Finnish, and they are letters from the TE Office (Unemployment)). He follows a trail of clues that lead him to an Integration course. He struggles with the training; the teaching style and his learning style don’t match. For almost a year he battles on, making tiny steps forward in his language skill. It’s frustrating, and he experiences low self-esteem and bouts of depression, but every hero story needs conflict. The course ends, and our hero emerges, a changed man. He is determined now to find his new path in his new home country!
He still can’t speak Finnish, mind you.
In an after-credits scene of this movie, our hero is job-hunting and finds an advert for an internship at a place called The Shortcut. He applies, but even as he waits for their response, he is offered a placement at a local school. He chooses to go to the school but this is not the last we will hear of The Shortcut…
Phase Two: The catalyst for team-ups
Six months ago:
Still unemployed, but still determined, our hero goes about his life in Finland. More comfortable and confident in his surroundings than before, he even has friends that he meets up with occasionally. Time is running out, however, and the TE Office begin sending their coded messages again. This time they want him to apply to Koto-SIB which offers further language skill training, as well as job training for work in construction or catering. Neither industry really appeals, but our hero decides to apply anyway, better to be working towards something than not.
Instead, plot twist! Koto-SIB matches his background with The Shortcut’s Catalyst Program. There’s no language component this time, just a chance to learn more about entrepreneurship and the Finnish tech start-up community. The course is interesting, and while our hero thinks it unlikely he will ever found a startup, working for one appeals.
In the third act, our hero is called upon to use his new knowledge to contribute to The Shortcut, and writes his first blog post, “A view from a Monolith”. This is the Monolith of Founding, and his next post introduces the Monolith of Language. What mystery do these monoliths hold?
The after-credits scene is simple, Agent Pardasani approaches our hero and says, cryptically, “I want to talk to you about the Interns initiative…”
Phase Three: The Interns — Age of Content
Three months ago:
Now a fully-fledged member of The Interns, our hero works alongside Jutismita to create blog posts and podcasts for The Shortcut. It’s a fine time, he gets to write and draw, record and edit podcasts. His work is well received and he is comfortable in this role, when, suddenly The Shortcut’s Marketing lead changes! (In fact totally planned and expected, but that’s less impactful than it being sudden).
With new leadership comes new challenges. Different types of content, like the Sunday Show videos, dabbling with Tik Tok and failing hard at Injustice 2 at The Shortcut’s Game Day. Our hero is by turns baffled and excited. Mostly excited. But also baffled. There’s new skills to learn, new media to explore, and new apps to juggle, but it all gives our hero a chance to re-evaluate his skills, and re-imagine a way to put them across.
It’s not all new, though, and his blog posts about monoliths continue throughout. In the after-credits scene for this movie, and mysterious figure steps from the shadows, wearing a glove decorated with Monolith Shards. “Fine,” he says, “I’ll do it myself.”
Phase Four: The Interns — Endgame
All of the Interns have their own stories, their own path in to the Endgame. And while they may have different names in different ‘movies’, the monolith shards appear across the franchise. John encountered the Monolith of Digital Marketing, Jutismita the Monolith of Rejection, each of the Interns have their own stories to tell.
But now the mysterious villain has gathered all of the monoliths together, creating a power that no one Intern could hope to defeat!
Our hero must gather the other Interns in one final battle. Daniel and Nam bring their knowledge of video editing, Namrata her energy and multitasking, in a strange twist, Jason’s cooking comes into play… only by bringing the power of diversity can the heroes truly triumph.
And then as the dust settles, our hero’s work is done, and he is ready to hand over his podcast and videos to others… The next phase will feature the thrilling adventures of all new Interns and heroes.
Well except, as I say, I expect to be coming back for cameos, keep an eye out for more from me!