AJ Barrett

Summer 2020 Photography Intern

8. 07. 20

As my time at Pulse was wrapping up, I was able to reflect back on what I had learned this summer. The major lesson I learned wasn’t related to photography/social media, the area I was working in. It wasn’t about how to work in a team, or handle meetings, or communicate more clearly either. The major lesson I learned was “Answering God’s Call” and trusting in him with my decisions. The first time I really answered the call was choosing Pulse as my place of work this summer. I wasn’t sold on Pulse as I was interviewing, and had pretty much made my decision to work somewhere else. Despite that, I kept feeling a nudge to keep pursuing Pulse, and it eventually became pretty apparent through my friends, mentors, and through prayer that Pulse is where I was called. If I didn’t answer that call, I wouldn’t be the same man I am writing this last blog. God has moved in my life more this summer than I have seen over the past 22 years. The community with the other interns, Pulse staff, and everyone we interact with has been such a blessing to me, and has provided me with people I can learn from, and lead at the same time. This summer I learned what it takes to answer the call, faith, and Pulse has given me the tools and leadership to grow my faith in new ways. This summer was a time that not only grew my knowledge in the workplace, but jumpstarted my faith to a place that I can build upon.

7. 20. 2020

One of the highlights so far this summer has definitely been the opportunity to meet in person at the headquarters downtown in Minneapolis. I enjoyed all of the Zoom calls and meetings online in the beginning, but I also knew how much closer we would all be if we got the chance to meet in person. The first time we met in person was strange, not because I was seeing all of the other interns for the first time in person, but because I already felt like I had known them for months before this. As the internship went on, this was one of my favorite aspects; just how close everyone got. Even though we all work in different departments, and have a different function in the organization, it often feels like I work so closely with all of them. One of the highlights in my own field of work is the project of “Untold Stories.” This is a project that seeks to find different people who have been influenced by Pulse, and share their story about how Pulse has impacted their spiritual lives. My job is to find people, get to know them, get their story, and if they’re close by, schedule a photoshoot with them. I’ve been able to connect with so many people, new and familiar, and get the opportunity to be inspired and inspire others through sharing their story on our social media platforms. This initiative has been great from a photographic standpoint, because each individual has a different story, and a different character. This challenges me to figure out how to take their photos to best represent their story. This includes the location, the framing of the photo, the lighting, and the overall mood that I am trying to capture. In all my photos, I try to tell a story through the visuals, and this project has been  something that I have been able to do that with. Other than that, I have enjoyed the different projects I’ve done with social media, including creating graphics and visuals to promote the internship, promoting our Revival Nights, and filming videos to market Pulse’s different ministries. I am excited to continue to work with my team, and grow my skill set in photography and social media throughout the summer!

6. 29. 2020

I found the Pulse internship through social media, but I knew a couple people who interned last summer and spoke highly of the organization. What I was most excited for was to be able to work for an organization that was focused on evangelism, while also allowing me to use my passion for photography to serve Christ. I had come in contact with Pulse for the first time last year at an event they hosted at Grace Church in Eden Prairie, where I ended up photographing the event and not knowing who put it on. That evening, I was blown away by the individual characters of the Pulse employees I was shooting with, and felt encouraged by them. That first impression made a lasting impact on me, and when I saw the Pulse name pop up on Instagram advertising an internship, I felt led to pursue it. I’m most excited to get to work with other amazing individuals and like-minded creatives this summer to help Pulse grow and spread the love of Jesus.

The first week of the internship was pleasantly surprising. Right off the bat, day one felt like day one hundred. Even though it was over video calls, I felt like I was already so connected with the other interns and staff. There was no awkward tension, and this seemingly new group of people felt like a family right away. Getting to grow closer with my individual team and team leaders was definitely the highlight of the first week. Being given time to get to know the people I will work so closely with this summer was amazing and extremely productive. I was encouraged to see just how quickly everyone got along, and how positive everyone was to each other. It’s easy to see that this team is here for a specific reason, and each individual was uniquely called to serve here this summer.