During my interview for an internship with NBC4 Southern California's digital team, I said I was looking for a competitive internship that I would learn a lot from, but this summer exceeded my expectations.
When I got the all-too-familiar, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" question about a month ago at an intern lunch, this time I realized my answer could be exactly what I was doing now as an intern for NBC4's digital team.
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The fact that I would be perfectly content continuing my role with NBC4's digital team is a testament to the fact that the team here does not treat you as an intern. They help you and teach you necessary skills during edits, but they never limit your abilities or what you can take on just because you're an intern.
During my internship I wrote nearly 100 articles, a few of which were nationalized. I never could've guessed that I would get to write so many articles from start to finish with a competitive news outlet like NBC. That was one of the most valuable parts of this internship. Each of those articles was edited by someone on the team, and I sat with them during those edits so I could learn from the mistakes I made. As an undergraduate student at a liberal arts school, having almost 100 articles with an NBC byline is invaluable to me.
The stories I wrote covered a large range of topics from unusual stories, such as one article about a sushi chef who was deported for stabbing his girlfriend in Mexico City, to happier stories about a high school graduate getting to walk at her high school graduation after she suffered a brain injury in a car accident. I also contributed to several long term projects such as a Special Olympics World Games feature page, and a SoCal Surf feature page. By writing about such a diverse range of topics, I got to experience what it's like to have the responsibility of informing the public in one of the nation's largest news markets.
The team trusted me with tasks like making galleries, posting on Instagram, Snapchat and Vine during breaking news. It ranged from wildfires burning cars along the 15 Freeway, to a shooting in Studio City. Working in those types of high energy and stressful situations taught me a lot, and gave me an overall greater confidence in my abilities.
My social media skills surprisingly proved to be a huge asset during my internship. From Instagram, to Twitter, to Pinterest, and Snapchat, already having a knowledge of such platforms helped gauge what would be good for NBC4's social pages. I got to see how NBC4 crafts posts, what content to look for social media posts, and got to see what types of posts and strategies go into a news station's social media account, since they run at a higher caliber with tens of thousands of followers.
Leaving NBC4 is undoubtedly bittersweet, but I feel incredibly lucky to have worked here with this team, and to have learned so much in one summer.
Link: Read Jessica's stories