Wow! Hard to believe this semester, and internship is quickly coming to an end. When I think back to the first day walking into the WAVY-TV 10 station, I realize how much I’ve experienced and absorbed since then. I remember feeling excited and nervous at the same time. Feeling like I’d be a burden for someone who was too busy to answer my dumb questions, or like I’d mess something up by touching too much. This learning experience wouldn’t be what it is without the people who let me mess up, and who let me ask them those annoying questions. For them, I am eternally grateful.
Not only did I learn more about how a news station works, but I also learned how invaluable every position in the organization is and the part everyone plays. The checklist of required intern tasks was a significant contributor to my new insight into the bigger picture. If it hadn’t been for the checklist’s requirements to do things like “run TelePrompter,” or “work the assignment desk,” I probably wouldn’t have left my “promotions bubble.” At first, it was difficult to find time to get to other work areas outside of my scheduled time. But as the internship went on it got easier because I had a better grasp on my routine and schedule, as well as everyone else’s workflow. A tip for new interns is to look at this list, visit those areas for a moment, and then go back to the ones you found interesting for a full day. Part of the internship’s purpose is also to figure out exactly what you want to do and the staff at WAVY-TV are open and committed to helping interns find the answer.
One of my most significant accomplishments during the internship was writing and producing the 15-second news promotion spots, called topicals. The first day I went into an edit bay with a promotions producer was overwhelming. I was confronted with a new video editing system that acts more like a network for the entire news station and a tight deadline. I took a few times seeing, then “doing” with supervision, before I was doing on my own. Before long, I was writing the script, getting it approved by the News Executive Producer, sending my script to the voice actor for tracking, and finding the video to put it all together. I produced at least six topicals that would air on radio and television before the 4 and 7 o’clock news. As an intern, I’m there to learn but also became a valuable asset to the team by applying what they taught me and improving those skills while exercising them.
Graduation isn’t until May, but this internship has boosted my confidence when it comes to the experience I now have in the industry. I’m far from being an expert but having so many new skills on my resume from the number-one news station in Hampton Roads will speak volumes as I enter the workforce. The connections I’ve made in the industry will also be a huge advantage once I start applying for jobs. I’d convince anyone to do an internship before they graduate. My only regret is that I wish I had done this sooner and could intern for another semester or two.