When you do what you love, it doesn't feel like work. Recently, I interviewed Clyde Akin - a 60-year-old man who has been working as a shoe shiner for decades simply because he loves the work. The feeling Akin gets when he shines shoes is a lot like the way I feel when I train interns - it makes me feel whole.
Just this week, I wrapped up my first term as Internship Coordinator, I must say, Jenifer, Ashley and Tola have been a joy to work with. Plus, the opportunity to give back what I've learned in news over the years has been fulfilling.
When I took on the Internship Coordinator position, many asked me why I was taking on more responsibility training interns. Well, for me working with news interns doesn't feel like work. I truly love it.
Since 2007 when I graduated college, I've been climbing the newsroom ladder to become a reporter. I started as a production assistant, then video editor, photographer, fill-in reporter, and then finally in 2011, I became a full-time reporter.
That's four years of behind the scenes work, four years of learning the ropes. And now I'm trying to squish all that information into roughly four months to teach an intern. But there's a reason why I do it. I feel your best bet at getting a job is real world experience. I've seen interns come in and leave with little to show for their internship. I would know: I was one of them!
I didn't have the best interning experience. Of course, I'll take partial blame for that because I got frustrated and gave up. But I remember not knowing much of anything about news and then being expected to ask just the right question and "have more initiative". Well honestly, I didn't know what questions to ask and where to start. And over the years I've found most people don't know how the news business works, unless you got a journalism degree.
The fact is, there's a lot I didn't know about news and I wish I had someone sit me down and give me a list of goals to accomplish. I would have gladly done them. Instead, I left with nothing and spent four years making up for it.
Now, you understand why it burns me up to see an intern walk in to a news station and leave, as I did, with nothing to show for it. My goal as internship coordinator is simply to keep that from happening.
I must say I feel like a proud mama bear to see all three interns leave this semester with writing, interviewing and editing experience (and professional demo reels!) These are essential tools everyone needs to become a reporter. I'm proud to say I took part in making sure Tola, Ashley and Jenifer are leaving ABC 13 News with more experience than when they walked in our doors.
Everyone has their own way of giving back, but my point in this: Like Nike, Just Do It! And when you find something you can do to give back and your heart is in it, it truly won't feel like work. In fact, you'll feel better when you're done. At least, I do.