By Logan Miller

About two months have passed since I started my internship at the Global Arena Research Institute. My how time flies. While I’m not exactly a Prague expert, I am much more at home in both Prague and in my research institute. Over the last month, I have further developed my media design skills, delved into international conference planning, and have had a chance to experience a bit more of Prague, including by attending a very special hockey game.

In my first blog post, I discussed how, in addition to my research duties, I was also working on GARI’s media and communications. This responsibility is now my specialty. GARI needed a graphic designer, so I decided to try my hand at it.

And after a several weeks, I now have something of a portfolio. My first task was to design an advertisement for a Czech finance magazine. After that, more design assignments kept coming my way. Before I knew it, my designs could be seen in places such as one of the most read news sites in the Czech Republic, in three different news magazines, and in a daily Czech newspaper. English versions were published along with Czech versions. It has been fulfilling to see my role adapt to the needs of my institute, while also developing a new skill set for myself.

When I am not working on media and communications, I am learning about the realities of planning an international conference. For the NEXT 100 symposium, GARI has invited a variety of speakers from all over the world to discuss the future of globalization. In the past, I have attended events like this but I have never been involved in the planning, which has given me a completely different perspective on the logistics that go into an event of this scale. Before our long list of guests such as European politicians and North American scholars meet to discuss policy, someone must book their plane tickets. Someone must then decide which room they will meet in, etc. For this conference in particular, that someone has often been me. I’ve now seen behind the curtain. I have a much greater appreciation for all that is involved in planning major conferences, and for the people who do this for a living.

I have encountered quite a few cultural differences between Czechs and Canadians, but there is one major similarity: like Canada, the Czech Republic is also a country of avid hockey lovers. I had the opportunity to see this first hand at a game between the Prague and nearby Kladno. Featured on the Kladno team was a name familiar to hockey fans, Czech legend Jaromír Jágr. The now 47-year-old Jágr was once an NHL mainstay winning the Stanley Cup with Mario Lemieux and the Pittsburgh Penguins. He is now playing for a Czech team that he also happens to own. While watching the game with 17,000 adoring Czech fans, I felt a little closer to Canada.

Just one more month left; see you in my final blog. Have a wonderful day, or in Czech, Hezký den.