Thursday, July 26, 2012

Take it from an intern

About 50 UMass journalism students participated in internships this summer at all kinds of organizations, from television and radio stations to small and large newspapers and websites to non-profits, public relations firms, athletic organizations.

I really enjoy reading the papers these students write at the end of their internships, in which they discuss their work and what they learned. This summer, I asked these students to write posts about their experiences, so I could share them with Launchpad readers.

The comments that follow are written by this summer's interns.

Post away, interns!


Lindsay Poole said...

One thing I learned from this internship is the importance of speaking up. At a large station like WCVB it is easy to fade to the background, so after the first week or so I quickly learned that to stand out I was going to need to be loud and very assertive.

LIndsay poole said...

This internship also stressed the importance of write write write!!! You can never have enough writing practice and experience. This year I will make sure to get as much writing in as possible in all forms.

Rachael Roth said...

I would highly recommend being an intern. For me, this was the chance to publish my own work every week, learn how to use video and camera equipment and editing software for free, and learn tips from others about self-motivation and taking initiative. When you are working for free, you are almost more inclined to do well and work harder, because you are only their for your own benefit. Hopefully, though, you, dear student, will get a paid internship. Still, I had a blast this summer. For example, last week I got to go on a canoe trip to film a PSA. You might as well be out on the field now because you will have more fun than if you were to...not do an internship, for example.

Christina Gregg said...

My internship with the sports department at WHDH -7 TV in Boston has proved to be an incredibly educational and fun experience. Some days I am in the studio logging player interviews, b-roll, and other feed coming in from photographers and reporters out in the field. Some days I am in the Red Sox clubhouse holding the microphone for the players, getting in a question here or there if the timing is right. I've even been asked to put together a package or rundown for the show that my producer will go over with me, step by step. I have learned the general lingo and vocabulary of a TV news station, which is incredibly important considering how quickly things move around here. I have learned the difference between TV and print writing which is something I am very happy to have discovered in an experience outside of the classroom. TV writing is succinct, conversational and exciting, all at the same time. Being put in the position where you must say everything you need to say in a short amount of time makes you a stronger writer. I have also become acquainted with the programs iNews and AuroraBrowse. The people I work with are so helpful, and no question is a dumb one. This has been a wonderful first internship experience.

Nelly Adamietz said...

The biggest lessons I took away from my internship in Special Events were to always ask questions, never assume anything, and to have a good attitude all the time. Overall, I was expecting this internship to be a bit more glamorous than it turned out to be. I spent a good amount of time behind-the-scenes organizing inventory closets, sending out packages I put together, doing research, etc. It wasn't necessarily what I expected but it gave me a real sense for what it's like to work in production. I was under a time pressure to get things done most of the time, and with this, I learned that it's important to be both thorough and efficient in everything I do. I'm glad that I was given the opportunity to be relied on in some gave me a chance to experience not only the high level of responsibility that is placed on individuals in the industry, but showed me that a mistake could potentially cause a ripple effect for many different groups of people. Regardless of what I was doing, I tried to always keep a positive attitude and to be real with people. I found that making general conversation with people and being friendly helped the overall experience.

Katie McKenna said...

The most important lesson I gained from my internship was not to be on time, or to be polite, or to work extra hours, or anything that one can easily write down in a few words on a mental list. Throughout my internship I was trying to be extremely conscientious of everything I did from choosing the right word in an article to making sure I didn't spin around in my chair too many times so to look younger than I already appeared. Many of the sentences I vocalized to coworkers were repeated and rehearsed mentally before I said them out loud. While I do believe it is important to be conscious of one's behavior, the only thing more important than preparation is a genuine, unprepared sentence. There was one day that I unthinkingly told a somewhat immature and perhaps not office-appropriate story to my coworkers about the summer I worked with preschoolers. As I finished the story I realized how inappropriate it actually was and almost started to panic when multiple coworkers started cracking up and proceeded to tell the story to others in the office. It was a pleasantly comforting surprise. I'd obviously talked to my coworkers before, but to break that uncomfortable professional barrier felt something like progress. They saw me as a real person rather than the intern who sits spinning in her first ever office chair. Maybe according to the rulebook it's not that important, but it felt valuable to me.

B.J. Roche said...

Wow, I just love these comments. When I was writing the post just above this one, about recent graduates, I realized that internships had played a pretty big role in these students' success.

These comments really break the experience down nicely and I hope every journalism student gets to read them. Thanks for taking the time to write them.

Dylan Merry said...

Having an internship has completely changed my perspective on the “post-college” working world. In my opinion, I think every undergraduate college student should take advantage of an internship. Having an internship while in school allows you to learn about the business world and gives you an advantage over a student who might not have taken advantage of an internship. I had the opportunity to intern at a Public Relations firm outside of Boston. While at first it took me awhile to get used to the rules of the Public Relations world (i.e. client relations and business writing) I can confidently say that I have been positively contributing to the firm. This internship was an opportunity to hone my writing skills. Learning how to write for the business world has helped me understand writing as a craft, and it has helped me learn about tone and voice of writing copy. In addition to writing copy, I’ve participated in several events, recently the firm was involved in the “Over the Edge” event in Boston, where local celebrities and contributing families get to rappelled from the roof of the Hyatt Regency in Boston. While I have a massive fear of heights, I was able to compose myself and got to film Anthony Edwards (of Chronicle) go over the edge! This internship has allowed me to express myself through writing and gave me fantastic opportunities as a young student.

Tori Schneebaum said...

This summer I got the amazing opportunity to intern in the photography department at Maxim Magazine. I remember when I first got the email from my boss telling me that she wanted to meet for an interview. I was so nervous because I wasn’t sure if I was prepared and really had the skills that she was looking for in an intern. But then it hit me. An internship is a learning opportunity, where they teach you the ropes of the job, and how to preform as if you were an actual employee. Maxim taught me so many things about the industry that I would have never known, had I not worked here. For starters, only about ten of the images in an entire issue are actually shot for the magazine. Who knew? Most of them come from stock websites that paparazzi and famous photographers take and then the magazine buys and publishes them in the issues and online. I learned how to put a magazine together by hand, style a photo shoot, and research like I’ve never researched before. The biggest thing I learned working here is that you cant be shy. If you are shy and quiet, people will look over you, and not consider you for anything. Because of always speaking up and making myself known, I was handed so many more projects and rewards as well. Volunteering for things around the office also helps. It may be something silly but people will always remember it. Like when I painted my face with other interns when the Insane Clown Posse came to visit. Maxim taught me how to be a team player and also work independently to get a project done. It made me look forward to my future career!

Elisabeth Justesen said...

I have never been one to wake up on time, look polished and well put together on a daily basis - partly because I never really had to. When I got my internship at Family Fun magazine this summer, I wanted to rise to the occasion. Developing these "soft" skills like being polite, knowing what is proper e-mail etiquette, and simply being able to enthusiastically approach any challenge have been immensely beneficial to me. I realized the importance of forming relationships with people, listening to them and asking for help. The most valuable lesson I will walk away from after my editorial internship this summer is to stay curious. Ask everyone how they got to where they are, for tips and for ideas. In a few years, I will not remember my internship by what pieces I wrote or edited, the hours I spent trying to figure out our companys' database, or the time I sent out an e-mail without proof reading it (actually I will ALWAYS remember that) - I will remember my co-workers and the brilliant advice they gave to someone who wants to make it in journalism.

B.J. Roche said...

Elisabeth, I'm really glad you mentioned "asking for help," that's one of the biggest "skills" you can develop.

If you read the post above this one, advice from recent grads, you'll see that a lot of students' success starts with the simple act of asking someone for help or advice.

This isn't easy for some people to do. Many UMass students come here thinking that they "have to do it on their own," or that asking for help is a form of cheating. No way. It's the way people get from one place to another, and it's part of the networking equation.

Rachel Cerbone said...

The most valuable thing I’ve taken away from my internship at Clear Channel Media/Kiss 108 Radio this summer is the significance of confidence in yourself, your work ethic, and what you can achieve.
I can easily say from personal experience, and I think many students will agree, applying for and becoming an intern, whether just as a sophomore like I was or at any year, hardly seemed like a realistic possibility, let alone the idea of ever receiving one that I would thoroughly enjoy. But not to have merely sent in a resume and cover letter to Clear Channel back in March, I honestly believe, would have changed my future indefinitely. There never is and never will be any harm in applying and I’ve come to realize that through the amazing opportunity I unexpectedly was given.
As my internship has progressed in the marketing and promotions department, I’ve recognized how far some self-assurance and enthusiasm can truly go. To be passive and unwilling and unsure of yourself as an intern is a sheer waste of such an opportunity. Though I was certainly flustered and often perplexed when the internship began, I found that attentiveness, confidence and being proactive was the most rewarding and best way to be, especially in the eyes of supervisors and employers. Like every internship guide will tell you, speaking up, sharing ideas, and taking charge really is the only path to success. So never be overly submissive or taken over by uncertainty; ask questions and get ahead. Be confident in your ability as a student and that you, chosen over however many others, deserve that opportunity and take advantage of every minute of it.

hscribner said...

You hear the word 'intern' and immediately you think of work, work, work. You think of the clips you'll gain, the contacts you'll make and the experience you'll end up with. If you're lucky, you'll get cash too.

I spent 10 weeks working for the Erie Times-News, a 50,000 circulation daily city newspaper. I've written stories that have made it to the front page. I worked with reporters who have been in the game for more than 15 years. I learned to sharpen my writing and how to tell a story, even for the most simple piece. I've spent hours working the night shift, calling different police stations for the scoop or heading out to a car wreck in a rain storm. I've seen garages and cars go up in flames.

I gained experience as a reporter.

That'd be my first piece of advice for future interns -- don't be an intern. Sure, get hired as one, but go that extra mile to make yourself one of the workers. I was told today, my last day at the job, that I did things no other intern had done before. I was told I fit in real well. I had really become "one of the guys" in pod six -- a certain section of the newsroom.

Even with all this experience and these clips, I also learned something about life. It's something intangible, that I'm not sure many other interns picked up on.

I had to ride the bus into work everyday. It's about a 30 minute ride. While on the bus, you see and meet all these different people. Some declare themselves rap legends, others are huge Green Bay Packers fans. I was apart of a community.

The same applied for the Erie Times-News. Like I said, I was doing a lot of things reporters were doing and became "one of the guys." I became apart of their community. For 10 weeks, I was one of their office members.

So that'd be my second piece of advice -- take notice of it all. Notice that you've been hired to be apart of the community. Knowing and understand that you're as much of a member as the rest of the newsroom will make it all an easier experience for you.

I wasn't paid for my internship. I heard from some others who were getting some cash for their efforts. My fellow intern at the ETN complained about getting paid. I didn't.

When you're hired for an internship, the institution is offering you a chance to work in their newsroom. They're giving you a chance to work in their lab with all kinds of tools. You have so much opportunity.

So that'd be my third piece of advice -- take advantage of the tools. You've got reporters, equipment and so much else. Take advantage of it all. Talk to the reporters. Get their stories, learn their career paths and see what they do when they're out in the field. It'll help out so much.

That's the easiest way for me to explain what I learned -- by giving advice. I learned all of these things during my 10 weeks at the ETN. I'm hoping someone can also take away something from my experience.

Chelsie said...

My advice to any intern is to start local. You have your big goals, but finding success at a local organization to take you under their wing for the first time helps you build a solid foundation to support yourself as you make it through your career.

I started small with my first internship- the local paper I've been getting delivered to my house since before I was born!

The Recorder, based out of Greenfield, took me in for ten weeks, fresh out of freshman year, and spit me out a more polished, refined writer. And my colleagues and supervisors weren't just my superiors- because I was working in a place basically a 15 minute drive from my home, I was working with neighbors, people who truly took an interest in helping me grow as a reporter and writer.

I learned how to write for my intended audience, wrestled with the occasional and seemingly random AP Style rule, and overcame this weird phobia of talking on the phone to strangers (it must be this world of texting and Facebook, or maybe it's just me!). Overall, I grew as a journalist only in the way tangible work experience can impact any career path in the making.

A big thing being an intern, which gets beaten into our heads but not necessarily taken to heart, is to speak up and ask questions. We're interns! We're LEARNERS. I asked a lot of questions and made a lot of mistakes in my internship, but it helped me grow and strive to do better. I wish I had asked MORE questions, even requested to do MORE, such as going out with a photographer for a day and learning the tools of their trade, or even interviewing the editor-in-chief of the paper, who I really didn't even talk to besides a brief exchange on my last day.

Being an intern, especially an unpaid intern, means you have nothing to do. Ask questions, take risks, and work hard. But most importantly, learn.

Tanya Loss said...

During my internship this summer, I had the privilege of working as an Editorial intern for a fashion blog called Racked New York. Throughout this incredible experience, I learned the importance of taking initiative and not to just wait to be told what to do. It is crucial to show enthusiasm and dedication for your position, and editors really do notice when you seem genuinely excited to be there and to help. I learned that opportunities are around every corner; you just have to get up and find them, and not wait for things to happen for you. Some advice I would offer is to always be open to learning from co-workers or co-interns, and that everyone you will work with will have valuable advice that can help you throughout the internship and in future career opportunities. There may be times where you feel insignificant as an intern (as sometimes I did), but it’s important to remember that every little thing that you’re there to help with is a huge part of making everything run smoothly. I would truly recommend completing at least one internship to anyone during their college career, as it was one of the most rewarding and unique experiences I ever had.

Matt Levine said...

This summer, I had an internship with the Patriot Ledger, a newspaper in Quincy. Obviously, I learned a lot about writing and how newsrooms function, but internships’ main purpose is so much more important than that. I learned all about this “real world” thing everyone continues to talk about. Going from the classroom to an Internship is an extremely humbling experience because every reporter at the paper is so much more knowledgeable than us students. To be successful during an internship, you have to be a sponge and soak up the whirlwind of information you are in every day. My plan always was to ask question even when I thought I knew the answer because maybe they would add something I did not think of. Reporters and editors may seem intimidating because they always appear busy and not in the mood to talk to interns, but they do enjoy spreading their knowledge. It also makes the intern seem more involved and willing to learn when they ask questions. Reporters and editors will ignore you if you ignore them and don’t take advantage of having such a great tool in front of you. The only way to learn during internships is to receive quality feedback and you have to ask questions usually to achieve that.

Stephen Sellner said...

Being a summer intern has been an eye-opening experience for me. It takes experiences that we've discussed and tried to emulate in the classroom and adds a touch of reality to it. There's no more grades; it's time to show what you've got. And it's been such a rewarding experience for me. I was able to cover Patriots training camp and interview Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, which was a dream come true for me.

Also, I ran into a couple writers who were former Daily Collegian employees which goes to show just how important that experience can be towards a career in journalism.

One thing I would recommend to future interns is to connect with your co-workers. Don't sit behind the scenes and just watch. Ask questions. Ask about the business, some of their experiences, what they like about their job, what they don't. I came to find that a career in Public Relations might be a better fit for me based on those conversations, so don't be afraid to speak up and still be a student.

The final thing I took away from my internship is how The Daily Collegian helped my transition from the classroom to the field. Working at the Collegian put me in a number of situations that I found myself in at my internship, but this time I was more than prepared and had all the confidence in the world in my abilities. That comfort level is important because you don't want to feel like you're in over your head when you're on an assignment. Use the outlets available to you. There's not many better than the Collegian.

Best of luck!

Alexa Wilansky said...

My internship at Bisnow, (a commercial real estate publication), this summer was not only fun, but insightful in that I learned a lot about who I was, what I am good at, and where I want to be even a year from now. I believe that my internship was different from the rest because of the style of writing, regularity of posts, learning the insides and outs of a real office, and topics of discussion.

Going in I thought that reporting and writing were my specialty. Later I learned that organization and editing were my strong suit and I should position my goals to pursue a position as editor. Not only because I know now that I am very well qualified for that position, but I also have the organizational skills and experience from other journalism fields to know what works or what looks good.

A great internship should teach you how to approach certain situations, such as pitching stories (double-spaced and typed like a business letter to hand-in as opposed to email), and open your eyes to how an office works.You will learn who is at the top, middle, and lower bases in the business which person you should speak to when needed. Bisnow's writing also differed greatly from what we are used to writing in school. We wrote with humor and all news was light but quick to the punch - meaning it fed direct and useful news, but with a lighter touch,(which I loved). I got to experience the world of real estate. I was pleasantly surprised at how fun that topic was than I anticipated. Not only that, but my managers and the other interns were really fun to be around and we got along well.

The main points I took away were that realized my niche, learned about a different industry, learned that journalism can be integrated in almost any field of interest, making friends is easy at a new place, and that your managers are there to help you and want to, so don't be afraid to ask.

Brittney Figueira said...

During my internship at WGBH, Greater Boston with Emily Rooney, I’ve been keeping a running list of things I have learned, advice to share with others, and some funny things that have happened along the way.

The question, “Why should we care?” and “So what?” arises everyday. Be prepared to answer these questions when pitching a story. Be confident in what you say. When you pitch a story and have an uneasy tone to it, or don’t have all the facts and controversy to make it interesting, no one is going to care to listen.

Timing is everything as well as location. Being in the right place at the right time can bring great success, but never try to just get lucky. Always know where you need to be, and at what time. When in doubt, be early, you don’t want another news station to get that hard-hitting story before you.

Always have a paper and pen handy to either jot down some notes, or to make new contacts as you begin to network with others at press conferences. Keep light snacks on you because it can be hard to tell how long a field-shoot will take.

Be able to relay information to others. Having a short memory is another reason to always keep a note pad on you. Write down the exact message so you can tell somebody else. Employers like to see reliability, and if they do take a chance on the intern, don’t blow it.

Don’t be afraid to speak up and take a chance, just always know your place. My supervisor explained to me that she really liked to have me in the office because I knew how to read the room and the people I was working with. I never stepped on anyone’s toes but I wasn’t afraid to speak up. This is a hard skill to have, and I recommend learning it quickly.

For journalism student interns, read the newspaper everyday. Any free time, be checking up on national and worldwide news stories. As mentioned before, you never want someone to think of you as the na├»ve, fresh intern who doesn’t know a thing about what is going on in the news. You always want to come off as the intelligent future employer to any and every company.

My advice to future student interns would be to do whatever you have to in order to be prepared. The first impression is everything. When people look to you for an answer, you only have one shot for them to make a quick assumption on the kind of person you are. One the one hand, they could see you as a prepared, intelligent, motivated individual or quickly mark you as the dumb intern that doesn’t care about their work. You’re not going to know the answer to everything and that’s okay, but always try your best to find the answer and make yourself known in the work environment.

Quick funny story:

One day the supervising producer asked me to let a Boston College student shadow me. She was a friend of a friend, and the producer was doing her a favor by allowing her to see what the news environment is like and watch an intern to see if she would like to do the same one day.

Coming from Boston College, you would assume this girl had it all together. Wrong.
She never called to confirm her appointment, never sent a resume, she showed up a half hour late and with her mother who did all the talking. Not to mention, she was wearing jean booty shorts and a tight black t-shirt that barely reached the bottom of her stomach, ON AN INTERVIEW. Needless to say my supervisor was disgusted and let her know how inappropriate she was.

I came to learn quickly that the name of your school and the people you know isn’t everything. The knowledge you have as well as the way you carry yourself is. There were only three UMass students within the entire building of 60 interns that came from schools such as NYU, Boston College, Boston University, Brown University, Tufts University among several other prestigious schools. At the end of the day, all that doesn’t really matter, it matters about the person they hire and what they can bring to the table.

Lindsay poole said...

One thing I learned from this internship is the importance of speaking up. At a large station like WCVB it is easy to fade to the background, so after the first week or so I quickly learned that to stand out I was going to need to be loud and very assertive. My internship also stressed the importance of write write write!!! You can never have enough writing practice and experience. This year I will make sure to get as much writing in as possible in all forms. I have also seen how huge a role social media really plays in getting the news. It is definetley important to be well versed in all forms of technology and be up to date on all the latest sites because newsrooms rely heavily on this to find their news. I have seen that even if you think you know exactly what you want to do, you should learn all aspects of a business. For example if you want to be a reporter, you should know how to be a producer. Only the most well-rounded people will get the jobs out there. Having an open mind seems key in getting anywhere.

Stuart Bridgman said...

My one bit of advice for fellow journalism students would be to do an internship as early as you can. There are a couple of reasons why I think this is a good idea. One is that the earlier you do it- the more people you are likely to meet.
I’ve been working for WEEI in Providence, RI, and when people ask if I’m getting ready to graduate I say “no I’m only going to be a sophomore next year” and they are shocked. They seem really surprised to hear that I am already gaining experience and that I am putting in the extra effort.
The more people you know in the industry means the easier it will be to find a job when you graduate. It also helps you in the long run when you will be applying for more competitive internships.
At the end of the day the whole point of college is to get a job when you graduate. Employers will see that you have your diploma but so do another thousand kids. What they want to see is what you have done outside of the classroom and the more internships you do the more the more you will stick out from the crowd.
Don’t try and go for the big name internships in Boston start small. People have connections, they all know someone who is or has works for a major company. So the chances are that if you perform well at the lower level they will recommend you to a place like the Boston Globe or Herald.

Cameron McDonough said...

This summer I was blessed with the opportunity to intern with the Brockton Enterprise Sports Department. I was able to gain valuable experience covering sporting events across the board from golf to baseball to even mixed martial arts. If there was ever a doubt in my mind that sports journalism wasn’t right for me this summer proved that wrong. I loved what I was doing to the point that it wasn’t even work for me. That’s when you know you are doing what you are meant to do, when you are excited to go to work everyday. Internships are very important and I would advise any journalism student to get started as soon as possible and participate in as many internships as possible. As much as you learn in the classroom, nothing can compare to the experience of actually working in the field with some of the best journalists around. Always be willing to go the extra mile and work whenever they need you. Also ask questions and keep a working relationship with your editor and co-workers. Be willing to do whatever your editor asks of you and don’t be afraid to cover things that are out of your comfort zone. You may even find out you like this new experience. Make sure you never hide in the background. Be an active participant while you are at your internship. At the end of the day, the goal is to get a job once you are finished with school and one of the best ways you can ensure that is with an internship. Also if you start early you can work your way up the ladder towards an internship at a more well known publication via the recommendations you receive interning at smaller publications. You will learn a lot about how to be a good journalist at your internship, but above all else you will learn a lot about yourself and your potential in the field and what you may want to focus in.

Diana Johnson said...

This summer I did my first journalism internship at a small town newspaper right outside of Boston. My first piece of advice for a student interested in doing an internship is that it really is worth doing. I’d heard so many stories about interns being sent on coffee runs and really not benefiting in any way other than getting something to put on their resume. I was afraid that, especially working unpaid, doing an internship really wouldn’t be worth my time, so I almost choose not to try it. But as it turned out, it was one of the best experiences I’ve had.
Once you do decide to try an internship, it is important to remember that every editor is different. Everyone seems to have a different idea of exactly what’s the right way to do things. They are not necessarily going to like your writing just because your professors at UMass liked it or some previous editor you had liked it. So you just have to adapt to their idea of what is right and try to understand why they want things written a certain way, because chances are you can learn something from their ideas.
My next piece of advice is one that a professional journalist told me once: every good journalist comes out of writing a story with at least two more story ideas. I don’t know if this is always the case; sometimes you just aren’t going to come up with any new and interesting story ideas from interviewing a person. But a lot of the time you can. If you go in with that goal, it’s totally possible.
My last piece of advice is just to not be afraid to try new things. If you’re nervous about something let people know you’re an intern and they will be totally fine with you not knowing completely what you’re doing.

Sarah Fonder said...

This summer during my internship at a Portland, Oregon blog, I learned a lot, but definitely not quite in the way I expected. It was this sort of very 21st century job where I worked from home and never saw my boss much at all. Having so much time alone for everything was incredibly strange, and sometimes a little intense, but it was fruitful for the fact that it made me really think about what I want out of this career. There are all these things I was very sure I wanted out of journalism that I’ve rethought because I’ve done it—like writing about music. Going out and doing something you always thought you wanted is super, super important, I’ve discovered. Maybe you’ll find a confirmation that it really was what you wanted all along. In my case, I’ve really had to stop and look around and figure out what I wanted to do with myself. My guess is that that’s the most common reaction to getting what you want, instead of just immediately loving it, and I think that’s a lot healthier than the latter. You come to a fork and think things over, and you either keep going in the direction you’d first wanted, or you keep looking until you find something you want to stick with. Doubt is such a beautiful, important emotion because of this process. Don’t ever underestimate it or ignore it, because that might be the worst thing you can do to yourself in the long run.

Jessica Klein said...

Despite the skills you can brings to the table or the abilities you have to fulfill your given tasks, there is more to succeeding as an intern. The “soft skills” take you farther that you may think- I know from experience !

In my opinion, dressing to impress is one of the most important things to do as an intern. Dressing like a professional made me feel more confident, and gave others a good impression of me at a first glance. It also showed my boss, supervisors and other co workers that I respect their business place and I respect their company.

Another really important, easily done skill, is always saying “yes” ( within reason). Whenever anyone asked me to do something I always complied gracefully. Althought at times I really didn’t want to do some of the tasks I was asked, I did them anyway, and I did them well.

In the end, my supervisors were always pleased and often impressed. At times they didn’t show their gratitude immediatly, which i learned to not take to heart. People are busy, and in the end, they will show their appreciation for the work you have done. It is good to be known as a reliable and efficient intern.

The most important skill I learned was to ask questions, and to ask them often. As an intern sometimes it feels like its best to figure something our on your own- which in some cases it is. In my own experience I found it is better to ask how something is done and to get it done correctly, rather than not asking and getting it wrong. My boss has always been more than happy to explain and re-explain so that I am able to get the task done correctly.

Emily Bedenkop said...

Interning this summer with my town’s newspaper, the Wellesley Townsman, was an incredible experience. I went into it thinking that I would be responsible for what I consider ‘traditional’ intern – like running errands – but each week I was responsible for a number of articles. The level of independence I had was close to that of the reporter on staff, especially when she was on vacation and I was responsible for more content. I loved having the opportunity to see how what I’ve learned in class about good interviewing and writing skills can be applied in real life. I would advise others to start on a local level as I did, because while I did not cover much hard news and wrote mostly feature pieces, I definitely got to know my town better. On a local level, too, there were more stories that I could be entrusted to cover because my supervisors knew me; I was not one intern of many, but functionally another reporter with whom to share the workload. The Wellesley Townsman is also part of a larger corporation, GateHouse Media New England, and in weekly intern meetings I met others in my position elsewhere and learned important skills. In one of the most memorable meetings, we were encouraged to think about what types of stories each of our papers focuses on; it was really interesting to think of the paper as a whole, instead of just focusing on (or worrying about) the articles I had to submit each week. I would also advise other interns is to be both proactive and persistent. Reaching out to GateHouse Media on my own and continuing to follow-up with them was how I got my internship in the first place, and those skills also helped me greatly in coordinating and conducting interviews each week.

RachelDiodati said...

My decision to intern this summer was one of the best decisions that I could have made. I am a very hands on person, and having not ever worked in a Human Resource office before I did not really know what to expect. I learned more about my desired career in these three months than I have in three full years of college. Of course the learning that takes place in the classroom is very important, but nothing compares to being hands on and really immersing yourself into all the work. If I could give advice to other interns I would just tell them to really just be open for any and all experiences that others are willing to teach you. Luckily for me I not only had to be there, but I also wanted to be there. It is important to keep in mind that this is the very beginning of our entire careers.
I understand that interns are the bottom of the totem pole, however I think it is important to make sure you are not being taken advantage and to speak up if you feel as if you are not learning anything from the experience. I was lucky enough to work with four women that never took advantage of me. They never told me to do a task that did not have some learning component to it. I think this is very important, because in reality the supervisors could just have you do insignificant work that has no meaning or important meaning. I would just tell the fellow interns to have fun and take as much information in as possible!

Lucia Castellana said...

Overall, my summer internship was a very rewarding experience. It was great to be part of a team and learn how each part works together to reach certain company and team goals. I honestly say after completing this internship I feel prepared to start my career, without even finishing my senior year of college. I’m a Communications major interested in pursuing a career in marketing. I learned that marketing and communication courses weren’t the only subjects I should be focusing my studies on. It became obvious that taking courses in stats, writing, and even IT could be extremely beneficial to become a successful marketer. All of which, I wouldn’t have realized the importance of without completing internship.

I also learned how important it was to not be afraid to ask for help and share my opinion. As my internship progressed, I gradually became more and more comfortable doing this. This is something my manager complemented me on so I know it’s really important for future interns or employees to make sure they do this if they want to make a good lasting impression. If there was something I wanted to work on in marketing that I wasn’t assigned to, my boss encouraged me to just ask to work on it. I eventually asked if I could help with different projects and software just to become familiar and gain as much experience on as many different things as possible. I learned to speak up often, it shows that you have an interest in your work and take initiative.

Kristina Kulyabina said...

After interning at the Daily Hampshire Gazette this summer, I personally experienced the challenges of a print newspaper adjusting to a world infused with new technologies and hyped up multimedia. My main task was to produce video content for accommodating written news and features articles. During these past 3 months, I attended the GazetteNET advisory team meetings every third Wednesday. One of the most crucial discussion points was how the Gazette should effectively use the new webpage launching in September. Some of the factors discussed included crafting the layout of the page while implementing an effective forum, twitter feed, and a constructive multimedia section. The photography editor initiated probably the most heated discussion when she brought up the point that producing videos is a big responsibility that might lead to the hiring of more staff since it would be too much on any person’s plate to handle alone. She even admitted herself that attempting to capture both video and digital images during an interview or event was challenging for herself. Some of the questions the photo editor and I along with another multimedia intern asked the others at the meeting were how exactly do we want to deliver our stories through video? Which stories are video-worthy? How do we make sure we are not being repetitive with the written articles and videos accommodating them?

Another challenge was the quality of the video itself, especially the sound. Let’s just say the Gazette doesn’t have state-of-the -art equipment. So another topic was investing in a solid $500 plus HD camera with a nice tripod and external microphone. My biggest tip to aspiring journalists and future interns; LEARN MULTIMEDIA. If you become an expert, newspaper organizations will love you. They want to go online, they just don’t exactly know how, or they just simply don’t have the time to train current staff. So get prepared!

Jonathan Carvalho said...

Something I learned during my internship was to get over any "fears" one might have about the real-world workplace--and do it quickly. Never be afraid to ask questions; they say there's no such thing as a stupid question, but face it, sometimes you feel like a real idiot asking certain questions. It's pretty crucial to get over that, though, because otherwise you really won't learn properly and might end up doing your assigned task improperly or at a poor level. Shy or not, just take initiative. It's also worth mentioning how you should take responsibility for your own actions; I don't usually have a problem admitting when I'm in over my head or just plain wrong, but the number of times you see people--of all ages--try to point the finger at someone else is pretty astounding. Admitting when you're wrong or when you made a mistake makes you that much more likable and trustworthy. Overall, don't be self-conscious; do whatever it takes to ensure you're doing the best job you can.

Stephen Hewitt said...

One thing I learned more than anything during my internship with WEEI is to expect the unexpected.

In journalism, we have the unique opportunity in that no day is the same and no experience is the same and my internship strongly illustrated that. During my internship, I was asked to cover a number of Red Sox games, which included arriving early to Fenway Park for press conferences and roaming the clubhouse for player interviews, and then staying around to provide postgame content.

Each game provided a unique experience and proved how this field is ever changing. I was frequently forced to think on my toes with the information I was provided to produce content. On one particular occasion, I had the task of writing recap blog post for a Red Sox game that needed to be posted within a few minutes of the game ending. And during that game, Cody Ross hit a walk off home run, which forced to have to furiously re-write some of my post in order for the story to get up online in a timely manner.

In addition to expecting the unexpected, my internship offered an incredible opportunity to network with people who already have both feet through the door in this industry. Not only did I work closely with WEEI's writers, but at the Red Sox games, I shared the same press box as notable sports journalists, including Gordon Edes, Pete Abraham, Dan Shaugnessy and countless others. I encourage anyone to do an internship to not only be able to meet these kinds of people, but also observe them and how they operate on the job. It can only help you better position yourself for jobs upon graduation.

Tim Jones said...

I was taken somewhat by surprise when I realized that my lack of knowledge when it comes to AP Style would come back to haunt me during my internship with New England Cable News.

Although I was a newsroom intern, i was also a web production intern as well, and this is where it applies towards. Writing is something I have down pat for the most part. Other than some minor editing and some tighter writing, there wasn't much of a need to go over how to write stories, which in itself is very important.

However, AP Style really threw me off. I couldn't remember some abbreviations to states, and a couple of other common mistakes. But there are some truly ridiculous AP Style guidelines. Numbers are numerical in headlines, never spelled out. A person's title is capitalized before a name, but not after. Some really obscure things are buried in there, and my editor really was harsh with imbuing this knowledge into my head. Just when I thought I had the process down, she would show me another mistake.

Still not perfect, but that fact she was so harsh on me for that really helped in the long run.

AP Style, learn it people.

Jackson Alexander said...

I interned this summer at CBS News. It was a great experience for me, and I learned so much there. I worked in the Newspath Sports division, which essentially serves as an AP wire to local CBS TV stations. Throughout the summer my boss took me to some marquee events around New York City. My favorite event he took us to was the NBA draft. He gave me and my fellow intern the chance to interview 10 or 12 of the top draft picks. That was a great experience and it gave me the opportunity to get in front of the camera, something I had never done before. Working in NYC for the summer was just an added benefit. I didn't do as many touristy things as I wanted, but I did some exploring and had some amazing food. My favorite part about the internship was the group project at the end of summer. My five group numbers and I had one week to pick an original story idea, do all our reporting, write a script, shoot the anchor intro and outro and edit all of our footage. It was incredibly stressful, but also my favorite thing I did at CBS News. Our group ended up winning the group project, which was nice because some of judges on the panel were high-ranking CBS News employees and hearing positive feedback from them was uplifting. Overall, I had a great summer and an awesome internship at CBS News.