Editor's note: On Tuesday, Muck Rack contributor Rebecca Isenhart stopped by to share how beneficial having an intern in the newsroom can be. Today, we hear directly from Rebecca's intern, Elena Grande, about her experience...and why being a journalism intern really doesn't suck. By the way- Elena is a high school student. Can we share a round of applause for this go-getter?
When thinking about internships, we’re quick to imagine men and women straight out of college frantically trying to get back to the office from their daily coffee run. Hands full of piping hot drinks for their superiors, asking themselves yet again why it is exactly they signed on to this internship. Also, where exactly in the job description did it say you must be qualified to know that the Starbucks four blocks away has significantly better espresso macchiatos than the conviently located coffee shop around the corner?
While this scenario may seem quite familiar to some interns in the field today, I’m happy to report that is not the case for me. The only times I’ve stepped foot in a Starbucks over the course of my internship is when my mentor wants to meet with me. In fact, I'm not even sure how my boss likes her coffee, just that she drinks it..a lot.
Luckily, my internship at a local newspaper doesn’t have me stuck doing mindless tasks that have no relevance whatsoever to journalism. Quite the contrary actually. I’m getting to do all the things I'm interested in and none of the boring stuff, and I have no one to thank but my boss for this.
1. In this day and age, it’s hard to catch a journalist without his/her phone glued to their hand at all times. This means that your boss is always just a text or phone call away when you’re struggling with an assignment. Can’t think of how to start your article? No problem! You can shoot your boss a message, and they’ll be there, ready to brainstorm ideas for a great byline.
2. When going out for stories, you get to meet all sorts of people. I mean ALL kinds. You’ll learn things you’ve never known, or maybe things you never thought you’d want to know. All things considered, it really helps expand your knowledge of life in the community.
3. You create networks for yourself. By having your own byline in a local newspaper, people start to remember your name. Heck, if you’re a good enough writer, they may even personally request you to cover a story they’ve pitched. The point is, when people see your name around enough, and they like what they see, more opportunities will arise, and professional relationships will form.
4. You get a hands-on experience of what it’s like to be a real working journalist, minus the salary and responsibilities of full-time employment. I know what you’re thinking.. working without the promise of a paycheck at the end of the week? Are you sure you’re completely sane? The answer is, yes. I interned for this job because of my interest for journalism, and shouldn’t your career be something you love and would do even if it meant working for free?
5. You get really good at working on a deadline. This is a skill that really comes in handy when you’re in college, trying to finish a paper at 2 a.m. and you find yourself fighting the urge to drop out and join a traveling circus.
6. Lastly, you get to work with a pretty rad mentor, who’s not only your boss and editor, but someone you can share a good laugh with when things get too serious. In fact, I’m pretty sure Rebecca (my mentor who wrote Tuesday's Muck Rack post) knows way more about my quirks and nuances than any boss should know about their intern. Without her, I wouldn’t be an intern, and if I weren’t an intern, I wouldn’t be writing this. She’s done her part for me, so I guess the least I can do is find out whether she likes her coffee black or with cream.
Elena Grande is a senior at Niskayuna High School interning for Your Niskayuna under the mentorship of reporter Rebecca Isenhart since September 2014. When she's not doing various assignments for the paper, she enjoys staying active by going to the gym, playing field hockey and partaking in various outdoor activities. She's also an avid reader and lover of independent films. Her ultimate goal is to write editorials for Entertainment Weekly, or a magazine like it.
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