First off, yes, I realize I’ve been a bit missing in action these past two months or so. Fortunately, I’ve still kept plenty busy between my senior year of school (so sad) and my news internship at KXAN-TV (the NBC news affiliate in Austin, TX). My days, at least Monday through Thursday, are pretty much jam packed, but with graduation slowly looming and it mischievously inches closer and closer (despite my pleas for it to slow down), I’m trying to enjoy my last year before the “real world” (though with my schedule right now it’d seem I’m closer to the real world than I’d like to be) swoops in completely.
After spending my summer interning at my dream job, Broadway.com in New York City, to be honest, going back to the realm of local news was a bit daunting. I love reporting, I consider myself comfortable and charismatic in front of a camera, I know how to successfully write a script and turn a package, but I’m beginning to doubt that local news is what I really want to do with my future. As journalism students, we’re told time and time again that if we don’t absolutely love it, we need to find anything else we’d be good at or enjoy for our careers (ironically, we’re also told this about acting, my other major…). I’m good at reporting, and I assume I could succeed in the local news realm; starting in a small market as a one-man band reporting and slowly moving up. After a summer of interviewing Broadway stars, reporting on camera for a weekly online entertainment show, and pitching and writing features for the leading Broadway news site, the idea that I could still be set on a career in local, or even harder, news seems a bit unrealistic.
When I walk into KXAN, I still feel the excitement or any aspiring journalist. I understand the industry, I possess the skills to succeed, and I have the passion to report and tell stories on camera. Surrounded by resources, experts, and a professional, working environment, I know that this internship will help me decide what to do in less than seven months. An internship is the perfect opportunity to build a resume, reinforce skills, network, and train for a future job, but it’s also the opportunity to truly figure out if this is what you want to pursue for the rest of your life. So with a positive attitude, a desire to learn, and the will to network and grasp as much as I possibly can in these next few (very few) months, this internship will give me that opportunity to explore and finally decide what it is I’m meant to do.
As this isn’t my first internship at a local news station, I know relatively how things work (for the interns at least). Some days are extremely eventful; you go out with a reporter to cover a story on a riveting subject, learn from both the reporter and photographer, film a stand up, and get a very hands-on look at the industry. Some days are extremely uneventful; you sit at the desk, observe the newsroom, help when sporadically needed. Of course, it’s not always so extreme (though sometimes it definitely is), but as an intern, the rule is usually that your experience is what you make of it, something that surprised me in my first internship. You’re not assigned when and where to shadow reporters, you have to approach them and ask if you can come with them. If you sit in a corner and work on homework, nobody will necessarily stop or approach you, or even reprimand you. You worked hard to get this internship, and it’s up to you to make the experience worthwhile. Having completed the broadcast sequence (aka not pitching, shooting, writing and editing a package every two weeks), I want to stay as sharp on my journalism skills as possible. Filming stand ups out the in the field and editing packages at my internship are the perfect way to do that.
With one upcoming semester (and my final registration- which theoretically should be a breeze, but yet is still causing me anxiety anyway), I hope to gain as much experience possible and become a more well-rounded person, as when I graduate, literally anything in the realm of theatre and/or journalism (but preferably both) is possible. I’m planning to take an Introduction to Public Relations course (although it means we’re back to lecture classes surrounded by freshmen) to learn a bit more about that industry, as PR and journalism cross over a lot. I’m also trying to land an internship a little more in the theatre industry- just to gain a handle on any and all directions my future career may take (and to give myself a little theatre indulgence after a semester of hard news). Yes, it’s daunting beyond belief to think I have almost half a year before I’m (supposed to be) a full-functioning, working adult no longer surrounded by the very comfortable gates of college life, but at the same time (and I very well reserve the right to negate this in 4-5 months when I reach full-on freak out mode) it’s exciting to make the most out of the remaining year, try everything I possibly can, live it up with my friends (cliché, yes), and pursue jobs in several different directions, and finding one that’s a perfect fit.