The Spokesman-Review : interns

Friday, August 04, 2006

Shefali: Internship Cake

I have about one week left of my internship here, and I'm not going to lie: there is a temptation to kick back and relax for the last week of your internship. After working on story after story it is exhausting; constantly working under the pressure of a deadline, harsh critique from editors that all have different styles. This isn't an easy job.

Working as a reporter is much more than just reporting. I think I'm picking up on that after my 10 weeks here. Working in the newsroom means we make impressions on people--from our cubicle neighbor to our editor. That is one thing this internship really taught me.

My advice to those interning for the first time, or interested in journalism is this: don't slack in your last few weeks at your internship. Often times that is when everyone is watching you the most; paying the close attention to what you are doing or not doing, how persistent you are with stories and how much initiative you show when your 'to-do' pile runs low.

I'm realizing that as an intern we make lasting impressions with our co-workers and editors-it's important that those impressions are in good form.

Recently, a story I was working on for about 2.5 weeks was lost in our computer system. My editor informed me and I rewrote the whole thing the following day in about 4 hours. It was irritating because I remembered certain sentences I carefully crafted in my first version of the story, but couldn't remember what context they were in. I eventually wrote a whole new story.

(*side note*)The story doesn't change but how we tell it does. So don't worry if you have to rewrite a whole story-in the end it could be better than what you had first written. My editor liked my second version better.

Do what it takes to keep up good morale. No matter what! If you've made a mistake, don't show it. Apologize and then move on. (Remember: Chin Up) If that means dressing up a little sharper to make you feel better, or if it means coming to work a little earlier to get a head start on the day---whatever it is, DO IT, because it can be the icing on the cake (and by cake, I mean your internship).


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