Thursday, August 9, 2018

Take it from an intern, 2018

I was very happy to see a Tweet from Rafat Ali, founder of Skift, recently, because it featured one of our recent alums, Dan Peltier, who also did some great work for Here's Dan, above, speaking to the Nightly Business Report, about tourism in Las Vegas, one of the beats he covers for Skift, which covers the business of travel.

Dan first met Rafat when I assigned him to do a presentation on him for Entrepreneurial Journalism. The conversation he had with Rafat led to a post-grad internship at Skift, which led to a job, which led to Dan living in New York City and working for one of the country's best media entrepreneurs in a very interesting industry. Not too shabby.

As Dan's experience shows, internships can really change your life. Each summer I ask our UMass Journalism interns to post a few words about their experiences, to give you an idea of what it's like and to get you started. If you are interested in a great internship next summer, it's never too early to start planning. Competitive internships (see below) all have fall and December deadlines, so if your goal is the big leagues, you need to get started now.

Meanwhile, read on to see what your fellow students were up to over the summer.


Unknown said...

I'm finishing up my last week at my internship at WPRI-TV 12 in Providence, Rhode Island. My advice to others going into internships is to dabble in everything! I went into my internship thinking I wanted to write and produce for TV news, so my boss put me with the writers and producers for the first few weeks. Later on he put me with reporters in the field, and working in special projects on political reporting. Both are things that I didn't think I wanted anything to do with... but I gave it a chance and it turns out that it was a really beneficial experience. Now I can't eve imagine myself producing - I want to report as much as I can.

I also befriended a lot of the reporters, so they would let me into an editing suite after shooting so I could put together my own package. These people care about seeing you grow! Don't be afraid to ask questions and get your hands dirty! I got a lot of experience and appreciation from those at 12 because I was constantly asking how I could be more involved. Don't just sit there on your phone! Do whatever you can!

Maria Manning said...

I had an absolute blast at my internship this summer with WCVB Channel 5 Chronicle, and am a bit sad to be leaving all the friendly and helpful journalists there. I realized early on how important it is to relax, be attentive and ASK QUESTIONS. In our journalism classes, we always talk about ‘being human’ with our subjects and I think we need to remind ourselves sometimes that the sense of confidence and comfort you strive for in an interview should also be present in your conversations with the esteemed and seasoned journalists you look up to. The best thing you can do for yourself: NETWORK.

While I performed my regular intern duties— like answering emails and viewer calls, searching through archive footage, updating re-airing programs and fact checking or logging materials—I also spoke up and asked producers questions about their work or experiences in the field and showed interest in the editing, shooting or writing techniques they practice. This led to producers allowing me to observe their editing sessions, attend field shoots, pitch story ideas and even record my own stand-ups. Some even asked to view my portfolio and, as a result, introduced me to other people and parts of the station, like the head Team 5 Investigates editor and the nightly news anchors. Showing interest can open a lot of doors during an internship so don't be afraid to ask questions and soak up the experience!

Amanda Levenson said...

This summer I interned at WCVB Chronicle, a news magazine television show on Channel 5 in Boston. I had the opportunity to have anchor Shayna Seymour cheer me on as I practiced stand-ups, casually converse with Anthony Everett, and meet talented individuals who have been in the broadcast industry for decades. My tasks included updating episodes for re-air, archiving footage, logging interviews, interacting with viewers, and other behind-the-scenes jobs. The best part of the internship, though, was getting to go on live shoots and sit in for live tapings of the show! I got to go on several shoots, and had the opportunity to try new foods, talk with interesting people, and see how an episode of Chronicle is produced. It’s not every internship that allows you to get a food tour of Chinatown and call it your “job.”

My advice to fellow students is to leave your comfort zone and try everything. If you want to try something, just ask! The worse that’ll happen is they say no, but you’d be surprised how rarely that actually happens. Also, your superiors know so much more about the industry than you and often have amazing stories, so talk to everyone! Most importantly, when you connect with someone, use them as a mentor. Network, network, network. Lastly, be humble and ask a million questions. Remember that you are an intern and you are there to learn, so take advantage of every learning experience.

Ethan Nash said...

This summer I worked for the Needham Times at the Wicked Local offices in Framingham, Massachusetts. I worked as a journalist where I interviewed people about their businesses. For example, I did a story on a restaurant in Needham. I went to the restaurant, interviewed the owner about the restaurant and how he came to own it, took pictures and then went back to the office to write the story. After writing a story, my boss would edit them before publishing them in the paper every Thursday. Over the course of my internship I wrote 10 stories.

My advice to fellow students would be to get involved in whatever way you can. This was my first internship and it was definitely a good experience because it was my first job working as a journalist. This school year I will be working for the Daily Collegian and next summer I hope to get another internship more focused on what I want to do for a living which is sports journalism. Getting involved is easy because there are always opportunities available some place or another. Working at different offices also expands your network which is always a positive in the business world.

Jenna Berkowitz said...

I absolutely loved interning at the WCVB Newsroom this summer, and it's upsetting that tomorrow will be my last day there. My summer was spent with the producers, reporters, at the assignment desk, and with WCVB’s digital platform. I received hands-on experience in calling sources, writing for broadcast, as well as writing/publishing web articles. I even got bylined on quite a few of my web stories!

When I began the internship, I was a bit nervous. I thought the newsroom environment was going to be more intense, stressful, and demanding than it actually was. The journalists who worked there were really kind and helpful toward all the interns. However, this is the kind of industry where you still have to take initiative! In order to thrive and succeed in a newsroom like WCVB's, you have to go out of your way to ask for help, assignments, and of course--to network! Seriously don’t be afraid to ask---after all, a newsroom is a collaborative environment where communication is key. Know that the newsroom employees have their own work to do, so it’s not their responsibility to assign you something. The only way to achieve value from this internship is to speak up, network, and enjoy the industry! Keep in mind that a newsroom internship is not just a resume builder---it houses skills, experiences, and helpful contacts as well.

Unknown said...

Interning at the Kirk & Callahan show on WEEI this summer was incredibly beneficial for me. My last day was a week ago and I've been missing it ever since. My summer was spent waking up at 3:45 am every week day and working alongside the two other producers as well as the hosts at the number one morning show in Boston. I helped produce segments and found content to center different segments around. This internship has helped lead me to begin writing things for

With the internship, I was able to do a lot of things outside of the studio that were beneficial as well. I was able to "cover" a Red Sox writer's book signing that the show planned to mock the next day. I got audio and pictures for the show's Twitter account. It ended up being a huge success for me since not only did the K&C crew like the "coverage", but I also gained a connection with that Red Sox writer. I also got to go on trips to court houses and different outside-the-station segments that were fun experiences. I even got to cover and talk to Elizabeth Warren at her town Hall in Natick. Now that I'm beginning to get involved in the website, I've met even more personalties and writers. Overall, this experience was a great look into the real world and an unbelievable opportunity for connections.

Unknown said...

This past summer, I spent my time as a reporter for the Mariner newspapers, a group of papers under GateHouse media covering events in Southeast Massachusetts. As soon as I began my internship, I immediately became a vital part of the staff, covering local festivals, concerts, and drafting human interest pieces on prominent members of the community. Not only did I learn more about my hometown, I met dozens of incredibly interesting people that I would not have met otherwise. I gained valuable experience in terms of meeting deadlines, making connection, and writing pieces.
This internship solidified my desire to become a journalist because I gained office experience while having the ability to go out and experience new things. I fell in love with the immersive nature of the work, because the best way to become inspired to write a story was to go out, meet people, and attend events. Overall, it was an incredibly fulfilling summer job.

Victoria Svenson said...

Hello everyone, my name is Victoria Svenson and I am a junior in the sport journalism concentration. This past summer I worked with Ultimate Vision Sport Management as a social media coordinator. During this experience I was responsible for looking over the content that needed to be posted, and was constantly brainstorming new ways to expand UVSM's social media platform. This hands on experience showed me what an important role social media plays in the business side of things. It is impossible to keep up with other companies without establishing a strong presence on social media. I think the most enriching part of this experience for me though was working with Miss Rashidah Cornitcher. As a sport agent, she is in one of the most difficult fields for women and is pursuing one of the most male dominated areas of sport. Working with her through the summer was inspiring and showed me that I definitely want to advocate for women in sport down the line. My advice would be, ask questions!! Working with a professional and someone I aspire to be like was an amazing experience, and the more questions I asked, the more I got out of it.

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