It has now been a few days after my internship ended, and though I will not miss having to get up early in the morning, I am definitely going to miss my days at Wood TV8, and I am extremely grateful for my time there.
As far as how my experience compared to my expectations, it was both very similar and very different. Everything that I was hoping to get out of the experience, such as getting to go on shoots, getting some insight into editing, networking with people in the industry, I definitely did get a lot of exposure to those. There wasn’t really anything that I was hoping I’d get to do that I didn’t. I was hoping I would get more hands-on experience with being on camera and filming/editing packages, but we did get some experience with that and I wasn’t expecting a large amount from the beginning just because it is a busy industry and there was so much more beneficial things to learn.
How it differed from my expectations was therefore primarily because of the additional opportunities that I had, rather than a lack of what I hoped for. Apart from my ability to ask if I could go test out different departments for a day or two, such as promotions and the 4am news, I was also able to discover new passions as I went along. As I had mentioned in previous posts, Wood TV8 puts on 5-6 free, community park parties called Maranda Park Parties, every summer. Not only did I love our ability to help the community, but I also realized that event planning/management was really intriguing to me, and it even put my experience in a student organization this past school year into perspective. I was the Vice President of NOiR Runway, a student runway organization, and we planned a large scale runway show as well as the pre/after party, promotional events, the model reveal party, and weekly e-board meetings and model practices. I knew that I loved my experience during NOiR, but I didn’t realize until I had another experience in event management that the actual planning was a reason I loved it and that this is something I could see for myself as a long term career. Once I began to discover this about myself during the third park party, I began to ask for more involvement with the planning/management process, and all of the supervisors there were excited to help me explore this passion, one of them even setting me up with a local event coordinator that she knows for a coffee date to chat about the industry. This was an amazing and unexpected self-discovery in an internship in the news industry.
Though throughout my internship, my love for the broadcast world only grew bigger, so too did my worries and discouragement about being able to break into the industry, make a decent living, and to even stay in the industry if I do break in. This worry arose from the stories of struggle from everyone who worked there. And though they all loved their jobs for the most part, they mention the terrible first several jobs they had and that even once you get to where they are, the pay is depressing. This is something I knew going into it, but this really solidified my belief, and it scared me. It really made me wonder whether I’m cut out for it, and even if I am, whether I want to have to put myself through that professional struggle. I was left with feeling stuck, because this is all I ever knew that I wanted to do since I was little; though it evolved from print journalism to broadcast journalism, I always knew that I wanted to be in some industry like this. So it was almost like it was meant to be, like I was made aware of my own hidden passion at the perfect time, the same time where I was grappling with what I even wanted to/could to for a career. What was really encouraging, other than the initial excitement I felt when thinking about the prospect of this career, is the feedback I received from other people. I was so hesitant to tell other people about this change, because I didn’t want to seem like the wishy-washy person who doesn’t really know what they want to do; I wanted to think I was different, I knew exactly what I wanted. But once I got over that and realized how silly that is, the response was pretty much the same for almost everyone. They all said, yeah, that makes complete sense. I’ve never thought about that for you before, but now that you say that, I can totally see it. Which is the same way I felt. It seems like the most logical and obvious thing in the world now: the perfect mix of my creative and organizational sides. It’s something that I’m very excited to pursue.
Though at the end of my internship I actually decided that I probably don’t want to try my hand at going into the news industry, I still feel I learned some very valuable lessons. Though the discovery that I want to try a different career before I committed to it is still beneficial in itself, I also learned some social media skills, have a better understanding of the politics/business side of news, have improved my public speaking, became a better, more concise writer, and so much more. Regardless of what career I go into, being media-trained is extremely valuable. We met so many people who were doctors, dietitians, worked for a cosmetic company, etc., and because of their previous experience in the media, they got a great gig as the public spokesperson for a company who essentially just goes on camera to represent them; this is another thing I had never considered previously.
All in all, I am grateful for my time at Wood TV8, and there is pretty much nothing I would change about it. I was respected as an intern, challenged, and given the tools to grow.