NBCLA.com Internship Testimonial: Christina Cocca, CSUN 2013

California State University Northridge, Class of 2013

Christina Cocca

I had my sights set on and glued to becoming the team’s next intern after I found out a fellow CSUN student interned for NBCLA.com before landing a job on the web team. This was my first and only internship in my college career, and my first day spared me no time to be nervous. I was thrown right into the news mix and wrote multiple stories my first day, much to my surprise.

I was not a shadow to the other fantastic writers and producers. I was a news-churning machine.

The news writing tools I learned during this internship were invaluable. Watching the way the other writers constructed their stories and used such a specific style completely changed the way I wrote my own stories for the better. My leads used to be cut and dry, and now they are descriptive and punchy.

I remember one day when I pitched a story idea that was well-received. I wrote it, and later found out NBC News and NBC Bay Area used my story on their websites.

One of the most compelling times in the newsroom was watching the frenzy during breaking news. The room gets loud, people move quickly and sharing that information in the best way possible becomes everyone’s top priority. It’s an experience any aspiring news gatherer should have.

Beyond writing nearly 100 stories for NBCLA.com, I learned to build and edit photo galleries, clip video from the broadcast show, write Facebook posts and Tweets for a news entity, and even went into the field with a broadcast reporter.

The experience in the field was so impressive -- the reporter wrote her script in the news van while the package was being edited in the backseat and sent to back to the newsroom. Within moments, the reporter was live on air reading from the script she had just written before me.

As a member of the web team, I was communicating with my colleagues in the newsroom the entire time, letting them know the status of the story so we could have it on the website. NBCLA is a place where everyone truly works as a team, and I have become a more communicative reporter, writer and person because of it.

Before my internship even ended, I was asked to return as an employee and member of the NBCLA.com team. I am now in the first job of my career at the place I wanted to work more than anywhere else, and my internship is the sole reason for that.

If I were not hired here, I know I would have been prepared for any job in this field because of the incredible internship, where my college-level news experience turned professional.

Link: Read Christina's stories

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