By Laura Kujava, Annie Gudorf and Karis Hustad
August signals the end of summer, and the beginning of a new school year. For us, as well as many of our readers, this means the end of a summer internship.
At the end of any experience it is incredibly important to reflect on what you have done and what you have learned. Sometimes the experience is one big clear message you can easily take away, but other times, little bits of wisdom and habits created may pop up and help you out when you least expect it. So as a new school year approaches and new classes, jobs and internships come your way, we encourage you to keep an eye out for how this summer may have impacted you, whether you realize it for not.
For this last post, each of us will talk a little about what we have learned this summer, what we plan to do in the future and how we hope we can use this experience as we continue toward graduation. If you have been following along with our internship experiences, comment below or shout us out on our Facebook page/Twitter (@Chicago_U) and tell us about what you have learned from your internship. We'd love to hear it!
Fall clothes are starting to plague the department stores… and swimsuits are going on sale. My heart sinks when I think that this summer is almost over! Although summer ’11 differs greatly from any previous responsibility-free one, I can say that having a crazy great internship was well worth it.
Luckily for me, my amazing internship will continue throughout the fall semester! When school starts Loyola’s PR team will kick it into high gear...and the workload will pile on. I will go from full time to part time worker and have to figure out a way to do everything I am doing now (and more) in a shorter amount of time. This is the perfect opportunity to take what I have learned during the slower summer months and apply them to my newly high-stress job.
The most important things I will continue to live by in this internship and throughout my professional life are as follows.
• ORGANIZATION is key to performing well
• A good attitude makes a good workplace
• Ask questions
• Be innovative (but never force your ideas on people)
• Work diligently (even if your job is to staple papers together)
• Never EVER complain….(especially on social media…I am friends with all my bosses on TW and FB)
• Form “professional” bonds with your co-workers and bosses
• Do ask for letters of recommendation! If you have done all the things listed above your bosses WILL rave about you!
When I started my internship at WCCO, I had never stepped foot inside a broadcast station and barely watched the nightly news. I had always admired the station, as it was on my parents' TV every night growing up, but I never realized what went into actually becoming a news outlet that people trust- and pay attention to. In my naivete, I assumed my internship in the web department meant that I would be far from the news process, and removed from what reporters and anchors do on a daily basis.
Instead, I was given the opportunity to be a part of a team, be a part of the newsroom and be a part of actually covering news. From the reporters I shadowed, to navigating the intricacies of WordPress, to taking pictures for photo galleries, to observing the five and six o'clock news being decided at the morning meetings, to attending station-wide gatherings, I feel like I got a piece of every part of the newsroom this summer and saw that covering the news takes far more than what you see on Channel 4 at 5,6 and 10 p.m. Every person in the newsroom is working tirelessly and diligently, nearly 24 hours a day, to make sure that WCCO covers news in the Twin Cities metro as best as it can. I have so much respect for anyone who works in the broadcast industry, as well as everyone at WCCO. Every day was informative.
Though this summer showed me that broadcast reporting is not my strong suit, it also showed me you don't have to be a TV reporter to use elements of broadcast reporting. I feel like I am better at writing that plays off visual elements, like photography and video, and how to write in a more conversational style (without losing formality). Plus, I got to see how a good website and social media presence is critical to driving viewers to a broadcast and ensuring that every story is covered, even if it doesn't make the nightly broadcast.
This fall I will be starting an internship at the University Marketing and Communication department at Loyola (with Laura!). I will be writing stories for Inside Loyola, an online source for news and stories about Loyola. I know my internship this summer has made me far more confident as an aspiring journalist, and will hopefully help me as I start this new experience.
I am also very excited to find ways to show off what I have learned at WCCO. I made sure that as I wrote articles and took photos for the website, I was updating my LinkedIn and online portfolio accordingly. Though I will be very sad to leave, I know that the connections I have made at the station with the web department, reporters and my fellow interns will help me in the future.
Summer is almost over, which means my internship is coming to an end. I am in the last two weeks of my internship and am sad to see it end. I have met some great professionals, who I know I will keep in contact with from here on out. Coming into this internship, I didn't know what to expect. Healthcare marketing - What does that mean? Before I started I always wandered what it entailed and will I be good at it? My professors and parents repeatedly tell me that healthcare is the new industry for marketing and is going to be a big part of the industry for a long time. So needless to say I was excited to get to experience what marketing for the healthcare industry would be like. As I mentioned before, it definitely required a different set of thinking. But I had my supervisors there to help me make the transition.
One thing that I really enjoyed about this internship was that it showed me more of the behind the scenes work than my previous internship. We do a lot of in-house production work, which was really cool to see. You never think about who has to put together those books and cut the paper (interns do if you didn't know). It was interesting to get to see the whole process, not just the designing or marketing portion. It's cool to see your work go full circle like that and to actually be there to hand it off to the client.
As another internship wraps up, I have so much new experiences and knowledge that I can't wait to apply further in my career. That is why internships are so important. I've gotten to experience and learn things that unless I did an internship, I would have never gotten to. Internships teach you exactly what classes can't and actually allow you to see how the industry really works.
This fall I will not be in Chicago, but I will be in Rome! I am studying abroad at Loyola's John Felice Rome Center and I could not be more excited. I am busy planning all of my trips and figuring out when I am going to fit in class. So, yes I am taking a semester off of interning, but that is ok. I will be back in the spring ready to kick it into high gear again!
Want a question answered or want to share your internship experience with college students? Comment below!
Want more? Check out the rest of the series:
A Tale of Two Interns: Introduction to the series.
Brave New Interns: How we got the job.
The Intern Diaries: What we've learned so far.
Madame Intern: Intern fashion!
Keep Truckin': How to keep working, even when the fun stuff is over.
Wrapping up: How to end your summer right.