It never crossed my mind to apply for a summer internship after only one year as a journalism student.
But then, the advisor at my college paper, the College Heights Herald at Western Kentucky University, sent out an e-mail to a few staffers close to the end of the semester. In that e-mail was a list of available internships at various papers around the state.
I didn’t have an internship, and I already planned to study abroad for two weeks, which I thought would make it difficult to take an internship, even if I wanted one. But, I decided to try for one, so I picked The Eagle Post in Oak Grove, Ky. at random. Two days later I drove to the main office in Hopkinsville, met with the editor, and was offered the job on the spot.
I took a leap of faith by choosing The Eagle Post, and The Eagle Post took a leap of faith by choosing me. Thankfully, it has turned out to be a beautiful relationship.
I am only half way done with my internship, and already I can see dramatic improvement in my ability to produce a high-quality finished product. It’s something that the reader wants to see in their paper and something that I can be proud to put my name on.
Before coming to The Eagle Post, I wrote out all of my questions before going into any interview. I wanted to be as prepared as possible. Now, things come naturally. I still make notes to myself, but I know what I need to find out in order to write a thorough story.
I’ve also taken my photography to the next level. Honestly, I struggled in the photography class I took at WKU last semester. I didn’t like some assignments and it would show in my work from time to time. But now, I love photography. I take almost all of the photos for my stories, and I enjoy photography, finally!
The best thing I have taken away from this internship so far is confidence in whatever it is I’m working on. I’ve covered a military funeral, city council meetings, and made calls to people who I knew would hang up on me. I’ve been crowded out of the way at a press conference and underestimated because of my age. I’ve worked on tight deadlines and designed pages with little previous experience. All of those situations have been new and difficult, but I have walked away from them a better, more experienced journalist.
I can’t wait to see what I can do when this is all over.