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NBCLA.com Internship Testimonial: Heather Navarro, USC 2014

University of Southern California, Class of 2014

By Heather Navarro
|  Friday, Jul 19, 2013  |  Updated 4:05 PM PDT
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Heather Navarro, USC 2014

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I quit my job to work as an intern at NBCLA.com in spring 2013. So, as you can assume, I was expecting a lot out of this experience. I wasn’t going to settle for making copies.

NBC4 did not disappoint.

It provided me with an experience I like to call “journalism boot camp,” and I was paid to do it.

When I walked into the newsroom for the first time, passing the friendly faces of on-camera legends and shaking hands with people whose bylines I’ve read for years, I was floored. I couldn’t believe I had made it. But that feeling couldn’t compare with what I felt in the hours and weeks to come.

I wrote a story my first day – a common trend among us interns. There’s a reason for that: the news team wants you to push yourself.

Throughout the internship, I learned how to create galleries, cultivate my writing style and organization, how to cover breaking news and much more.

I wrote about everything from a story about an ancient tooth relic that sources say continues to grow to a scientific study telling parents to lick their baby’s dirty pacifier.

There was never a point when I felt anything less than an equal on the team.

I wouldn’t even refer to the internship as such – it was a job.

When you work with the digital news team at NBC4, take a moment to pause and reflect: these people are brilliant journalists, and they are there to help you become a better reporter and writer.

After a member of the team edited my work, I would marvel at how much he or she improved my copy. Eventually, their editing became less and less, and I knew my writing was tighter.

The journalists on the team have their brains tuned to a frequency called “news” constantly, and I was trained to understand news that way as well.

Writing news isn’t just about putting words on the page faster than anyone else. It’s about writing elegant copy that a broad audience will understand, and this internship gave me that.

There is also something magical about being in a newsroom when news breaks. Everyone kicks into action, and through this experience I was able to learn how to cover breaking news in the best way.

If you’re one of those people who loves to find out “how it’s made,” this is an experience for you to find out how news is made and delivered.

A newsroom is a stressful environment, and through this experience I will be able to apply the skills I’ve learned to my future career in covering news more efficiently.

This internship experience is not just one I think interns should get. Any journalist working in the field should work in the NBC4 newsroom. I have taken what I have learned and applied it to my graduate coursework, and even my professors have noticed my writing improve.

I walked away with more than 100 bylines on NBCLA.com, and another internship in the broadcast department.

I can easily say this internship was one of the most fruitful experiences in news that I have ever had.

Link: Read Heather's Stories

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