Week 15: Looking back on a transformational semester; Photo gallery of memorable moments

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This week, I’d like to reflect back on the incredible journey I’ve had this semester as a WAVY Spring Intern and thank some of the staff who gave their valuable time to help me develop as a student journalist.

I came to WAVY unsure of my career path, only knowing that I wanted to work in the news business. In the months leading up to the internship, I had been gravitating toward reporting, writing for the school newspaper and voraciously consuming news. However, I didn’t think I had the proper appearance or the technical skills to become a TV reporter (my school, CNU, lacks a formal journalism program) – in fact, I expected to focus on print after the WAVY internship concluded.

Over the course of a few months, that insecurity melted away with the help and guidance of a group of WAVY reporters, anchors and newsroom staff. They didn’t have to take time to help; reporters are extremely busy people! On dayside, for example, they have to turn stories on a daily basis between the hours of 10 am and 3:30 pm. That’s no small task. Despite that, they took time to mentor me, and I now find myself focused, driven and confident that, if I continue working hard, I can make it as a broadcast reporter.

There are a few people I’d like to thank, although they are by no means the only people who helped me this semester.

Special thanks to…

Mike Akin, the Assignment Desk Manager in the WAVY Newsroom, for introducing me to various reporters, giving me the opportunity to build a rapport and accompany them in the field regularly. His willingness to trust and believe in me opened countless doors.

Marielena Balouris, for being so willing to mentor me and my fellow interns and help us improve our on-camera presence and overall understanding of the business, despite her frequent MMJ obligations and the difficult time constraints accompanying them.

Matt Gregory, for sitting me down (despite having no idea who I was) and being straightforward with me about what I needed to do to become a reporter.

Jason Marks, for letting me tag along on numerous stories, and for sharing his deep knowledge of courts, crime, and investigational reporting.

Andy Fox, for letting me follow along even when it was inconvenient, and for taking the time to watch my stories and give valuable feedback.

Laura Caso, for her willingness to not only bring me along on stories but share her knowledge and dispense advice, especially with regard to the nuances of broadcast writing.

Katie Collett, for taking time to share her insight and experience with me and my fellow interns, reminding us that no one starts out as Lester Holt and it’s okay to struggle at first.

Don Roberts, for making me feel welcome at the station every day I was there, even when nobody knew my name.  

Mark Kurtz, for his willingness to engage and share insight with me, despite all the obligations of a News Director.

Last, but not least… Stephanie Cooke, for giving me a chance to work in the news business. I’m forever grateful for her willingness to go out on a limb and give me a shot.

These are not the only ones who have helped me — thanks to all the photographers, web staff, and other station employees who helped me feel welcome and pushed me to succeed.

Here are a few photos from this semester:

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