July 12, 2005

INTERNSHIP: Independence Day

Spurred by a required meeting with my journalism instructor, I met with my supervisor about my internship. I laid it all out saying I didn't feel challenged, the quality of my work was slipping and, at the risk of sounding like a clip whore, that I needed clips.
He responded by immediately approving three story pitches, granting my request to work with other editors outside our bureau in addition to my in-house assignments and offering feedback on my stories.
I still don't have a desk, voicemail, e-mail or experience working on the software or in their newsroom (I'm convinced this is training for a future as a freelance journalist).
What I do have comes in confidence in managing my boss, initiating a difficult conversation and learning how to be proactive without being a bitch -- well, at least to my boss.
We learn these lessons in our college newsrooms but sometimes we don't know how to apply them to our internships. Accustomed to our roles as editors and managers in our college newsrooms, standing as a reporter in a strange newsroom makes us feel like our first semester in Introduction to Newswriting.
No matter how far up the ladder we travel in our respective newsrooms, we should always remember the courage and uncertainty we experienced stepping on the first rung.
It’s easy to remember those who encouraged us though we must not forget those who challenged us.