Recently, I had the greatest opportunity through the University Career Center to partake in a mini-internship called “Intern for a Day.” And that is exactly what it was – an internship for a day.
8 other students and myself, all but one who hailed from the University of Maryland, were placed with international news agency, Reuters. Our day began at 8 a.m. in their D.C office, only a half hour ride on the Metro. We first gathered together for a 9 a.m. conference call with bureau heads from around the world.
Each news bureau discussed their top stories of the day while the eight interns simply watched from the other end of the conference table in awe. It felt almost imaginary that we were granted such access to their world. We sat alongside the department heads and following the conference call they turned their attention to what youth, like ourselves, felt about media.
We were asked the medium through which we consumed media. The department heads were very interested in the next generation’s thoughts on news and our dying engagement with print.
Almost all of us replied with answers admiring the quick accessibility of the web and social media. This only prompted more questions. For a solid 45 minutes we were engaged with these seasoned journalists, commenting and rebutting. It was amazing.
Following the conference call, we were shown the TV production portion of the office. They explained to us that Reuters makes a considerable amount of profit through their wire feed that is sent out and picked up by other major news organizations. Reuters prides itself on putting out breaking news first.
Afterwards, we were shown the photography desks next. Two photography editors explained to us the importance of photos in telling a story. All throughout the halls of the office hung incredible photos taken by Reuters staff. It was also stressed to us that to become a photography for such a major news corporation like Reuters it takes experience, and lots of it. One cannot simply apply to a job requiring five years of experience having absolutely none.
Here, we were also advised to simply go out into the streets and snap pictures of whatever comes. Utilize social media to get your stuff out there. An anecdote was told in which a photographer, one without a considerable amount of experience, snapped a moment that got ahold of Time Magazine through social media. His photo ended up being on the cover.
Soon, after we made our way down a block to The National Press Club, we were led upstairs and took note of all the resources the press club contains including a grand ballroom and library. There’s a great history to the National Press Club, much too dense to be told here but the wood paneled walls and classy feel holds stories.
The amount of access given to me and the seven other interns is beyond anything I could have expected for a single day. The tips and advice given are ones that any journalist would find useful. I cannot stress what a dream this was and that is why anyone on campus should surely take advantage of the Career Center.
It was a day to remember.