The Internship Experience
What’s the most challenging part of your internship?
I am tasked with producing highlights for ESPN flagship’s program, SportsCenter, so every day is a new, creative challenge. Every game deserves a unique and different presentation format than the one before. While it is a lot of pressure to create highlights with unique perspectives, it is a daily challenge that I welcome. This job wouldn’t be fun if we weren’t pushed to be creative and thoughtful.
What’s the most rewarding part of your internship?
Being the go-to person about Kansas basketball is a lot of fun. Also getting to see my creations on the social media feeds or watching my highlight live on ESPN. It is always exciting to see your finished product go live!
What is the best advice you’ve received at your internship?
Push yourself to do more. It’s easy to get wrapped up in “what you’re supposed to do,” and simply getting that done. At an internship, it’s crucial to set yourself apart from your peers. To do this, you have to show that you want to be at work longer. You have to demonstrate your desire to learn more. If you have an intrinsic motivation to be your best, it will show every day while you’re at work.
How did you get the internship?
By applying through Disney Careers online and going through the interview process with them. It's a full-time, paid internship in Bristol, Connecticut.
Describe what you do for MTV and how you heard about the opportunity?
I’m a regular contributor for MTV, and I’m on a team of 18 like-minded writers. I write pieces for our column, talk on their live shows, and occasionally participate in their social media campaigns. I started writing for them last April, before they launched the actual program, so it was just a continuation of what I was already doing.
How did you apply and/or what was the interview like?
I gave a pitch for a piece that I was already doing for them. I wrote about how we need to reconsider how we view education. I feel like all too often we become consumed with this idea of a “brand education.” It shouldn't be about where you go, but what you do.
Do you know how many other applicants there were?
I don’t know the exact number, but a couple hundred from what I remember.
Do you get paid?
Why were you interested in doing this?
I’ve been writing since I was 16 years old. On my blog, for Elite Daily, and now MTV. I like communicating with people — through my job, I’ve been able to converse with so many people around the world about their beliefs, their hopes and their stories. I think that words have the incredible power to shape ideas and change lives. I get a lot of messages (social media, comments, email, etc.) from people saying that my writing inspires or comforts or entertains them, and that’s all I need to hear.
What topics have you written about?
So many topics. I always tell people that I started out just writing down my late-night thoughts, which is true. I write about the events in my life and how they’ve shaped me. I write about the people that I’ve met and how they’ve shaped the world. I write about politics, comedy, pop culture, current events and anything that captures my interest. I even briefly held a stint as a relationship columnist for a women’s magazine. I try to challenge myself by writing about things that are out of my comfort zone because that’s half the fun of journalism: emerging yourself in worlds outside of your own.
How long is your stint at MTV?
My term is officially up after this year, but I’ll still be able to pitch pieces to them.
What are your plans for the future?
I have a nonprofit, Project Consent, that I plan on expanding. We’ve done a lot of work with the White House this past year, so I’m hoping to take it on an international level. I’m writing a book and a couple of short stories. I really just have about 48,394,389 projects that I want to pursue and hoping that I have time for them all.
Vicky Diaz – Camacho
My training here at NPR is preparing me to produce, edit and report in the most immersive, intensive environment. I'm lucky to be surrounded by superstars and NPR founders. The internship is one month from concluding and I'm still awestruck to walk into this building almost catty-corner from the Capitol building. I still can't believe my daily routine. 5 a.m. Coffee. 6 a.m. Commute. 7:30 a.m. Work. I walk up the stairs to the fourth floor--which overlooks the news hub on the third floor--and settle at my desk.
Assignments day in and day out change. One day I'll transcribe an interview of a famous artist for Susan Stamberg and the next I'll build the web pages for movie reviews for Pop Culture Happy Hour. Other days I watch Tiny Desk concerts. You never know. Today I am writing for Alt. Latino and Songs We Love (stay tuned). So far here's what I learned: It's so beneficial to connect with people on different desks. I had coffee with an All Things Considered producer one day, lunch with a reporter, sat in a Weekend Edition meeting and had impromptu chats with an investigations reporter about life and inspiration, as well as with a few other editors. As for the rest of my time here, I'll be pitching stories, attend more meetings and stay inspired.
Being here further cemented my dream to learn and inform. Being a journalist, to me, can be one of the most challenging yet invigorating professions. Journalism is where I belong.
I started my internship with MLB.com covering the Royals on May 14. At the time, I was anxious to get started with the position. I couldn't wait to get past the first couple days of uncertainty and finally start to feel like I had a grasp on things. But looking back, as I can count the days I have left on a single hand, I'd gladly settle for those first few days again.
It's hard to put into words how ridiculous — the adjective I settled on after several minutes of internal debate — the internship has been. As an associate reporter, I've gotten to work alongside Jeffrey Flanagan, who covers the team for MLB.com. Simply having the chance to follow around Flanny, as he's known to most, for a day would be an invaluable experience to someone looking to get into the field of journalism. Somehow, I was fortunate enough to get that opportunity for 16 weeks.
Over the summer, I've worked alongside Flanny producing stories for the website about a host of topics. Typically, we're expected to produce a pregame story, preview for the next day, game story and sidebar each day, in addition to providing updates on pitching matchups, injuries, depth chart changes, Rally Mantises and any other thing that might come up. I've been fortunate enough to not only share in those responsibilities for each home game, but also handle them myself for other teams, such as the White Sox, Mariners and Blue Jays, when an opposing beat writer didn't make the trip to Kansas City.
Among my most memorable experiences was when I was able to travel to Cleveland for a few days to hold down the Royals beat for an important divisional series. In Cleveland, I worked opposite Jordan Bastian, who covers the Indians for MLB.com, as well as associate reporter and fellow KU journalism student Shane Jackson, who also happens to be one of my best friends. Experiences like that, as well as getting to cover events like the 2016 MLB Draft, really created a simulated environment of what it would be like to be a full-time beat writer, which is increasingly rare in an internship.
And while I've learned a lot this summer by getting out and doing things firsthand, I feel it's been equally beneficial to have been able to interact with some tremendous writers and reporters, both local and with other teams. I'll definitely miss getting to drive to Kauffman Stadium each day and working alongside — and often times, competing against — some of the people I look up to in the field. I really can't imagine having spent my summer doing anything else, and I'm extremely grateful to not only MLB.com, but to all the tremendous people at the J-School and the University Daily Kansan for putting me in a position to where I could embark on that venture.
NBC Sports Rio Olympics coverage
Walking into NBC Sports headquarters on my first day as an intern for their Rio Olympics coverage was a lot like attending my first day of school. Between introductions, meeting new people, trying to make a good impression, and hoping to stand out from the crowd, just replace the classroom with 40 interns locked on to their own personal computer screens, and sports 24/7. In the end (like most situations), I realized it all turned out for the better. But this time it was much better; it was the best experience of my life.
Reflecting on my time spent “populating sequences and creating highlights” (our supervisors’ terms), I will remember my co-interns. They came from various schools around the country; now we are friends for the rest of life. I will remember the $20 per diem (free food!) that I consumed each day as well as dozens of free cookies and bottomless cups of coffee always available for those late prime-time nights. And for sure, I will recall playing bubble hockey and ping pong with my brothers when we all needed a break from the real athletes.
All of those experiences were great. But the two biggest takeaways for me are the real experience of working in the field I love and the time that I invested in it. Yes, for those first two days of the Olympics, I was assigned to cover table tennis and make sequences so the day’s highlights could go up on the website. I’m thinking to myself: “I have no idea what the rules are or who the top players are or even which countries would be competing for medals." Twenty-eight hours of coverage later, I had become a table tennis expert. I could tell anyone who wanted to know stats and facts about any player out there. I even predicted the gold medalist on the women’s side and came up with the highlights’ caption: “Ding Ning wins the bling.”
Covering the Olympics, to me, is all about the stories. Yes, I also covered a lot of basketball, but the dominance of the United States men and women was to be expected. I’m talking about stories like the pole vault, for example. Both the reigning gold medalist (Jennifer Suhr of the United States) and the reigning world champion (Yarisley Silva of Cuba) were eliminated early. The real stories were upstart 19-year-old Eliza McCartney, who won bronze for New Zealand; first-time Olympian Sandi Morris, who took silver for the United States; and Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece winning her first gold medal after failing in the 2012 London Olympics. The competition wasn’t settled until the dramatic final vault.
The Olympics truly brings the world together and makes great use of technology. It certainly gave me my first look at what it’s like to work for a top-tier network such as NBC. I appreciate the great opportunity I experienced this past month. I can’t wait to bring what I’ve learned back to Lawrence and the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
To see some examples of the work I was a part of making, click on the links below:
Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
This summer I had the opportunity to work with the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce as a marketing and communications intern. I also learned so much about what the Kansas City area provides for the community. The Chamber was founded in the late 1800s and has its headquarters in Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri, so it was great getting to work in an organization with such a deep-rooted history in Kansas City and the Midwest.
It was fun being able to work on different projects for the Chamber’s events and initiatives. My role ranged from writing regularly for the Chamber’s newsletter to helping update media and website content, and more. One of the main projects I helped with was preparing for the opening of the Kansas City Neighborhood Academy in Kansas City.
One of the Chamber’s Big-5 initiatives for the year is in support of early childhood education and helping to build the education experience in lower-income areas in the community. I helped prepare for the school’s Aug. 2 opening by attending the pre-opening meetings, press conferences, and helping to track media coverage.
It was also great to work on other forms of journalism during the summer by helping with the Chamber’s annual POWER of Diversity event. I helped prepare interview questions for the individual Ace Award winners and the Champion of Diversity organization, and I had the opportunity to do an interview with the CEO of an engineering firm in Kansas City for the event.
One of my favorite projects during the last part of my internship was working on the cover story for the Chamber’s September issue of GrowKC Magazine. I worked on a story about genKC, an organization that focuses on engaging with young professionals in the Kansas City community to help with professional development, networking, membership and recruitment, and retaining talent for jobs in the city.
My internship experience was beneficial with chances to work on so many different projects and use the journalism practices that I would use in class. I also learned more about marketing and promoting events for the overall goals in Kansas City. I’m glad that I could learn more about the future goals for Kansas City and be able to contribute to the current initiatives for improving education, health and business in the area.
Finsbury Strategic Communications
Last summer, I had the opportunity to intern at MullenLowe Profero, a digital marketing agency, and I loved it. But I knew there were other potential career paths, so I began thinking about crisis management/public relations opportunities. Aside from what I know from the TV show "Scandal," I had really no idea what a crisis communications firm did on a day-to-day basis. Regardless, I was extremely interested and accepted an offer back in New York City for the summer with Finsbury Strategic Communications.
I have really enjoyed my time here, but for the first two weeks I had a lot to learn about this business. Finsbury is a unique firm. I like to describe it to people as a PR crisis consulting firm. We focus primarily on reputation management, and we largely represent Fortune 500 companies and CEOs, but also do pro-bono work for a few nonprofit clients. The name Finsbury is especially well known in the realm of financial communications.
Our clients trust us, and what we work on is extremely confidential, even within the office. In fact, some of our clients are direct competitors of each other, but we are successfully able to represent both on unrelated matters without any conflict. I’m continually impressed by the kind of work we do. Each client’s issues are vastly different, and I never do the same thing two days in a row.
There are three full-time interns in my office, and we are all assigned a single major client. The client I have been assigned to is currently in serious financial trouble with significant debt, and although their operating business is doing well, the company is still in its recovery stage. Each week, I help put together summaries of major media coverage for the company’s industry, conduct multiple media sweeps to check on any recent press they have received (both negative and positive) and generate ideas on ways we can suggest the company improves their image in the media.
In addition to my primary client, I also work on various projects that people may need help with throughout the office. I’ve learned how to generate pitches, create media lists of potential contacts, draft memos, write press releases, pull coverage reports, summarize articles, develop backgrounders and conduct in-depth research. Although part of my application process for this internship was a writing test, I had no idea how critical sound writing skills would be in this line of work.
Working with crises and companies desperately in need of reputation management creates a very different company culture than an advertising agency. The office is very quiet and at times incredibly intense. We “dress to the severity of the issue” and therefore have a very corporate day-to-day attire. Crises are often unpredictable and, even as an intern, I work long days. It’s a high-pressure and fast-paced environment, something that took me a good two weeks to really embrace.
In the crisis PR industry, everything is extremely time sensitive, and Finsbury prides itself on being attentive to detail. Unlike other peer firms, Finsbury assists clients with rebuilding their brand even after they recover from the crisis they hired us for. During my first weeks here, one of the partners told me that what separates us from other firms is that “we do it right the first time.”
Overall, this summer has been an amazing experience. There have been times where I’ve been working on something and I’ll look up to see the same client being mentioned on TV – yes, we have the news on TVs in the office 24/7. More often than not, major projects are all hands on deck (including the interns) and on occasion, certain teams are huddled around computers in what we call “war rooms.” Being a global agency, I have gotten the opportunity to work on some of the world’s most prominent companies and have been involved in some extremely confidential cases.
Although I love this kind of environment, it’s definitely not for everyone. There have been days when I’ve come home physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, but I love coming home and feeling like I’ve truly helped a client. I’ve had an amazing and challenging summer, but I’m excited to lay on my couch for a week before starting school again.
"Working in the Data & Analytics team has been a really enriching experience, and I’m grateful I was given the opportunity to join a team of twenty-some interns to work with a variety of clients. Thus far, I’ve analyzed data and created insights for Eurostar, Noodles & Company, Hershey’s Take 5, Cargill, Wingstop and Children’s Hospital. A group of the interns has been working on a summer project for Spirit Airlines."
Check out Anneberg's blog to learn more about his experience at Barkley.
The Hollywood Reporter
July 25, 2016
My summer with The Hollywood Reporter has been fantastic and such a great learning experience. I'm so glad I still have a month left at my internship! It's such an honor to get bylines, so here are a few pieces I've wrote so far, ranging from my coverage of the ESPYs and movie premieres to trending topics:
- 'Free State of Jones' Premiere: Cast, Director Want Viewers to Start a Conversation
- Horror, Fantasy and Female Empowerment: 11 Scary Movies With Badass Women
- ESPY Awards: Top Athletes Talk Upcoming Olympics, Reveal Their Own Sports Heroes on Red Carpet
Click here to read more articles by Crist.
Hillsboro Fine Art gallery
July 21, 2016
This summer I have the opportunity to intern at Hillsboro Fine Art gallery in Dublin, Ireland. The gallery displays contemporary art. We serve the community by enlightening their minds into the world of art from different perspectives.
Each exhibition has its own meaning. When I began my internship, we were showing works for the Hurt exhibition. “Hurt” is a song written by U.S. band Nine Inch Nails but covered by Johnny Cash as one of his last songs in the album he produced right before he died.
This exhibition was meant to show how music as a medium and art form could move people. The artists included in the show were Basil Beattie, Lawrence Carroll, Sandro Chia, Enzo Cucchi, Patrick Graham, Catherine Lee, Alice Maher and Michael Warren. I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Maher and Warren. I was also able to interview Lawrence Carroll with my own questions about his piece in the exhibition.
“Inspiration can come from anywhere, if you’re looking and ready,” said Carroll.
Juan Pablo Marroquin-McLead
July 18, 2016
Back in March when I was accepted as a marketing intern at Transitions Online in Prague, I did not know what to expect. Classes at KU and in the J-School prepare you for what is thrown at you, but to work abroad in a completely different culture, let alone one where you don’t speak the language, was nerve-wracking. After arriving in the beautiful city of Prague, I can say that my internship has been eye opening.
Transitions is a nonprofit based out of the Czech Republic that specializes in promoting freedom of information and freedom of the press in post-Soviet states.
During my time at Transitions, many of the tasks that I have completed have been promoting courses that Transitions offers for aspiring journalists. These courses include videography, foreign reporting or courses that specialize in crisis regions.
However, what I enjoy most about interning at Transitions is that the work I do contributes to a larger cause. Every post, every piece of marketing, benefits journalists from around the world with initiatives that helps raise money for all of the wonderful work they do. I feel as if I have not only grown professionally, but also personally with the variety of experiences I’ve had. Learning about the Czech culture and their work environment, I believe, has helped me to develop in a more global citizen.
On the Web: Transitions Online
This summer I am interning at People magazine as part of the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) internship program. Being a true Midwesterner and a proud homebody, I was nervous about living in New York for the summer, but I absolutely love it! There are quite a few things that I’ve had to adjust to like riding the subway, spending $30 on every meal (because I can’t cook unless you count Ramen noodles) and the “big city” bugs that no one else seems to even notice (I had to physically fight a gargantuan-sized cockroach in my New York University dorm room one night). Luckily, I don’t spend much time in my dorm room because 35-40 hours a week I’m at People magazine’s offices in downtown Manhattan.
I am the girl who squeals when Kim Kardashian breaks out a custom Birkin bag and the girl who is more emotionally invested in Taylor Swift’s love life than her own, so during my first day of work when I heard one of our top editors scream out “OMG, TAYLOR AND CALVIN HARRIS HAVE SPLIT,” I knew I was in the right place.
My first week as an intern, I spent most of my time getting familiar with the magazine, reading old issues, digital articles and listening to the office chatter. I also kept busy with book duty. Book duty is unpacking the books that authors send to our book reviewer and organizing them by month. And I spent a lot of time transcribing interviews for our reporters, typing an interview word-for-word so writers can easily see and pull out quotes for their articles. I enjoy listening to the ways that our reporters get answers out of the most uptight celebs, and it’s cool getting to know celeb secrets before everyone else does.
There was also some excitement in that first week. I attended my first editor’s meeting with all the senior editors -- very cool -- and on day three I managed to lock myself in the company trash room for 20 minutes. I didn’t know that you needed an ID card to get out of the trash room. I was in the middle of the most heartfelt prayer I had ever prayed when one of the photo editors opened the trash room door. “Oh my, were you locked in here?” I quickly composed myself, fixed my hair weave, and said “Oh, I’m fine…do you need anything?”
It was in week two that ’ish got real. My first real assignment at People was to fetch a copy of Bobby Brown’s new book in less than 30 minutes. With the help of Siri and the always clutch Uber car service, I found a Barnes & Noble and made it back to the editor’s desk with minutes to spare. She barely looked at me and said, “Great. Thanks. Can you read the book and write something up in an hour?” *gulps* If it wasn’t for all the “say yes to everything” speeches that I heard during the ASME intern orientation, I might have declined, however, after an hour of speed reading and nail biting…here’s the link to my first story: http://www.people.com/article/bobby-brown-makes-shocking-claims-whitney-houston
When I look back on this past month, it is crazy and satisfying to think about all that I’ve done in just one month as an intern. I assumed that I would be the invisible coffee fetching, personal printer person, but I am treated like every other employee. I get to sit in a comfy chair at the daily editors’ meetings and rub elbows with some of the best entertainment journalists in the business (who probably don’t even know I’m alive). I interviewed singer-songwriter Troye Sivan (http://www.people.com/article/troye-sivan-calls-orlando-shooting-wake-up-call), rode in the Ghostbusters’ mobile live on our Facebook, and I’ve fact-checked stories till 2 a.m. on Mondays. I secured a spot on the fact-checking/editorial team after I won a grammar battle against one of our reporters, so I am proof that the Journalism 002 grammar course does come in handy. (Remember people: “its” is possessive, and “it’s” is a contraction. That alone can get you a job).
With just six weeks left to go, I am looking forward to doing some red carpet events, writing about the Kardashian clan’s every move and working with the People Now video team to put my KU E-News skills to work. Stay tuned…
Christian Hardy (second from left) and other Sports Journalism Institute students
Kansas City Star
July 11, 2016
It’s still bizarre to me that I have somehow landed on the same staff as writers who are not only part of Kansas City’s identity but are some of the best at what they do in the states. At KU, I read just about everything Sam Mellinger, Vahe Gregorian, Blair Kerkhoff, Sam McDowell, Rustin Dodd, and the rest of the Star’s staff does. So to be in the same office as them, in the same print edition as them as a college student — I don’t necessarily feel worthy.
That said, those people, as well as sports editor Jeff Rosen and everyone else I’m working with, have made the Star such an incredibly fun and productive place to be right now. Jeff has allowed me to be creative with my stories and my ideas, and he’s given me stuff that is equally engaging.
Meanwhile, I’m having a ton of fun and working on things I genuinely like. When I worked with Terez Paylor during Chiefs’ minicamp and OTAs, I got a taste of the position that I have wanted to be in since I started writing when I was 14 years old. In pursuing every story, and experiencing the Star, I’m slowly improving my writing skills and feeling more comfortable, which is something that just can’t be taught.
And I couldn’t write this brief post without mentioning the Sports Journalism Institute — Sandy Rosenbush and Leon Carter of ESPN and Greg Lee of NBA.com and the entire SJI family — for giving me the opportunity with the Star. The connections I made at the University of Missouri for a week are connections I will forever have; it’s already proven to be a network unlike anything I’ve been a part of.
My experience with both SJI and the Star are really just beginning, although in different ways. In a few weeks, I’ve been able to do so much with the Star and with the support of the staff. I know I’m going to do so much more, and I’m incredibly excited for that.
- Chris Young stays collected on first Father’s Day since dad’s death
- Swimmer Michael Andrew, 17, prepares for his first Olympic trials
- Tim Raines, Andre Dawson reunite at Negro Leagues Baseball Museum’s 2016 Hall of Game ceremony
- Who’s your Dadi? Chiefs newcomer Nicolas relying on athleticism at linebacker
Sullivan Higdon & Sink
June 29, 2016
I am an account service intern working at Sullivan Higdon & Sink in Wichita, Kansas. I work on the brand management team for our Cargill account.
I’ve gained a lot of experience so far in my internship. During my first week, I conducted a comprehensive store audit to develop pricing recommendations for fixed-weight packaging. In addition, I am writing creative briefs and downloading our creatives on various projects requested by the client.
My mentor has given me the responsibility to run the SHS Snapchat account, and I am keeping track of analytics as well as creating snaps to show all of the fun around the office. I have been using my Spanish minor to assist in the social media management of Cargill’s variety meat brand, Rumba Meats.
I have found numerous opportunities to allow my skills to shine as well as develop new ones. Overall, agency life has been incredibly vibrant and appropriately demanding.
June 27, 2016
I started my internship with MLB.com covering the Cleveland Indians on May 13. The Cavs ended the city’s 52-year-old championship drought a little over a month later. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.
I have learned so much in my first month on the beat. As an associate reporter, I work under the guidance of full-time reporter Jordan Bastian, who has been terrific. He has taught me so much in such a short amount of time. For game days, we are asked to write a pregame story, a preview for the next game, a gamer and a postgame sidebar. If anything interesting comes up during the game, we may have to type a story on that, too. For example, I wrote an in-game story when the manager was tossed once.
Typically this is split up between the two of us, but sometimes the opposing team’s writer won’t make the trip. In that case, I will be in charge of that beat for the series. I did that when the Orioles came to town one weekend.
It’s been an eventful month and change into this internship. Right now, Cleveland is electric with the Cavs title and the Indians being in first place. I’m looking forward to a heated division race this summer and learning much more on the beat this season as well.
- Bullpen sessions paying off for Indians
- Believe-land! Tribe streak extends parade
- Kip's trip around the bases unforgettable
The Washington Post
June 23, 2016
I started my internship at The Washington Post on June 6 working in the sports section. So far, I have written over 20 articles and 10 of them have been published in print!
I’ve covered everything from high school soccer to professional women’s soccer to the Washington Nationals to Washington’s minicamp. I’ve written features about the Pulse shooting in Orlando relating to the Orlando Pride soccer team and Briana Scurry speaking out about concussions on Capitol Hill.
I have a lot more in the works, as I’m currently working on four or five features about various things. I’m currently covering Quicken Loans National golf tournament, where I walked 18 holes with Ken Griffey Jr. Big events coming up are the Citi Open and Washington’s training camp, among other things. Even though I’ve only been on the job for three weeks, I’ve learned a lot and I can’t wait to learn more!
- Spencer Long gaining comfort at center and preparing to compete at left guard
- A record-setting run for Tuscarora ends in a state final loss to Mills Godwin
- Dusty Baker on Matt Belisle: ‘we gotta make a decision here pretty soon’