Now that my internship with the Washington Examiner has concluded, I can now reflect on my experience from this summer.
I remember heading into my internship in June and feeling intimidated by the prospect of working at a daily news publication, with all the responsibilities that are entailed. One of my main concerns was that I lacked knowledge of DC politics, and would, therefore, fall short on certain expectations. While I follow the news cycle in Ann Arbor, it’s all too easy to have an insular focus on one’s own life and studies, and put up blinders on current events.
This concern, though, dissipated after I started my internship. As I curated the commentary section’s daily newsletter, I quickly got a hold of congressional politics and the primary elections races at play across the country. When provided the opportunity to write pieces on these topics early on in my internship, I felt completely comfortable with the subject matter.
If I’m going to provide advice to someone interested in pursuing a journalism internship, I would say this: don’t be worried about what you don’t know. The best way to stay on top of the news cycle is just to read as much as you can, and in little time, you will be able to competently discuss current events. At the end of the day, you’re at the publication to learn, and your editors aren’t going to expect you to be some wealth of knowledge.
I will also say that getting my own work published in the Washington Examiner was one of the most gratifying experiences in my (thus far, very short) writing career. Seeing my bylines next to writers I admire immensely is the single greatest motivation I have to pursue further writing in professional journalism.