Today I spilled coffee all over my desk at work. Anyone who knows me, knows I have a spilling problem. A serious one. So it only seemed appropriate that this self-initiation into the art department at Media Nova was inevitable. No harm was done, the computers were untouched by the threatening liquid. A few layout proofs have an extra dark tint to them now but according to my supervisor, they look like treasure maps which is a lot cooler. As I sopped up the brown pools with a rag, I realized that anywhere else, I would have been mortified. My internship site, a magazine publishing company in downtown Cape Town, is a haven. I could not have asked for a more perfect placement. Deadline for Property Magazine is right around the corner, so I have a few minutes to type while the art department works furiously on their layouts and retouching. Granted, every 20 minutes, someone breaks out in chatter, and silly conversations map themselves out, winding in unpredictable ways. Hidden Cape Town gems, the missing intern, and Charlie Sheen lead to kite boarding accidents, South African politics, and motorcycle crashes. The creativity comes in explosive bubbles and even though we hear the same 40 songs hour after hour, you can taste the drop caps in the air. I feel like I should be paying them to sit in the office. This type of experience isn’t something to be learned at school. It’s much more than a step-by-step CS4 tutorial. The interactions, meetings, and general attitude around the office are the most important parts of this industry. After submitting a layout for an advertorial for Property magazine, I sat down next to my supervisor as he went through and polished every last detail and provided a narrative of exactly what he was doing. This professionalism is balanced perfectly with ridiculous banter and a local server with endless downloaded movies to take home. I’ve been assured multiple times that my name will be in the credits of multiple Media Nova publications and as a lowly undergraduate from half way around the world I couldn’t ask for more.