Welcome to Hunter College Journalism’s “Intern Insights,” a new column featuring interviews with journalism students about their internship experiences. Check out our first entry below, with student Brittney Barnett, whose most recent post was at ABC Sports.
Be persistent. You may get a lot of “no’s” before you get a “yes.” Just keep applying yourself, even if you feel you may not reach their requirements — you may surprise yourself.— Brittney Barnett
Tell us about your internship and your responsibilities.
I’ve had three internships, my most recent being my senior year at ABC for its sports department. I applied online and got asked to come in for an interview where there were at least 200 other people all interviewing for several departments at ABC. It was intimidating, but the interview went well and I was one of their two Spring interns. My job was essentially a co-producer for the 11 o’clock sports segment. I watched the sports games, picked highlights I felt would look best to viewers watching at home. I sat with the news anchor and helped them write their script based off of my highlights, then sat with the editor and helped edit the highlights to match the time of the script, then went into the control room for showtime!
What was the most valuable thing you learned?
I learned how much goes into a live show. Anything can happen and you really need to be quick and think on your toes.
What was the hardest part? How did you overcome it?
The hardest part for me was the hours. I was in school all day, then would have to go to intern from 7-11:30 or 12 at night. Plus it was required to work a weekend day, so I found it hard to have time for myself but also to maintain a social life. I missed out on a lot of stuff and it took me a while to adjust to that. But I kept telling myself that it is worth every second of it. To have ABC on my resume, that could help me immensely when applying to a real job, and also the connections I made there have been so valuable and helpful to me.
What surprised you the most?
How small the team is. There were only three of us working at a time — the intern, the producer and the anchor. It was such a small, intimate team and that allowed me to really know the people I worked with and also to really be active and get hands-on experience. I was part of the team.
What Hunter experience best prepared you? Were there any classes in particular that proved useful in your journey?
I’ve taken multiple classes with Professor Sissel McCarthy and those have definitely best prepared me. She would have guests come and speak to our classes. These guests are all currently or formerly in the broadcast journalism field. She would often send me down to greet them at the Hunter entrance and get quality time with them while walking to our classroom. This allowed me to get to know the guest and explain who I am. I still keep in touch with the guests she has brought in and they have helped me further my career or connect me to others.
Any advice for aspiring interns?
Be persistent. You may get a lot of “no’s” before you get a “yes.” Just keep applying yourself, even if you feel you may not reach their requirements — you may surprise yourself. Also, when you get the internship, make sure you ask a lot of questions and don’t wait around for them to give you work.