It’s a Thursday afternoon in June and that means there are media interns across the country staring at walls, possibly showing too much skin, and playing around with your CMS. Since we know you’re reading now, journalism students and digital hopefuls, here’s my advice to you. Of course, it should all be taken with the proverbial grain of salt.
1) I’ve only actually held one real, certified internship at a local cable news show. It was not as cool as some other internships that my classmates had — they were in more glamorous buildings with more glamorous names. Luckily, interning at a small, sort of uncool media company meant that I actually had tasks to perform, a producer to report to, and the fruits of my labor often ended up on the air.
And yet, there was still always about an hour and a half, just after I knocked out all of my work and it had been approved, I asked for more work and there was none, and just before the cold open where I would run a teleprompter like a boss (it’s a shame this is not a marketable skill), during which there was nothing to do. I would fiddle with tabs on my browser like I was in a North Korean computer lab and try not to make too much noise as I popped the top of my Diet Coke can. It was excruciating.