A summer in Oklahoma City: Thunder basketball, sweltering heat, the Oklahoman, awesome roommates. Almost 800 miles, or 13 hours, west of my hometown in Indiana. A place where Chandler jokes to Monica, “I’d sooner be in any other state” (ironically, that’s the episode I was watching with my parents when I told them I had a call back from Joe Hight about the internship).
But it was an awesome summer. I knew I wanted to apply because I believed in what the paper was doing with multimedia and engagement on the website, with its own broadcast studio and its emphasis on in-depth and investigative reporting.
I did more work with Excel than I ever thought I would. And I didn’t always do it right, so thanks to the people who helped me catch a few mistakes.
I learned from the people around me what it means to be an online editor and how reporters can make their job easier and how we can contribute to the Web content. For example, a digital news editor suggested, as long as I was tweeting about a story, why not blog about it, too?
I love education reporting, so I was lucky to sit beside the higher ed reporter and near the common ed reporter. Hearing them on the phone reminded me why I love these beats in the first place. I’ll admit, I like to write about numbers and about new policies. But what I like to read is the stories behind it and the people affected, and of course, so do the rest of our readers. It was a good reminder that weaving facts with a narrative is really the best plan.
I learned a lot from the other interns, too. RJ, thanks for the book and for always bringing your passion for writing and wanting to share your knowledge with people around you. Olivia, thanks for reminding me that reporters need to shoot video, too, and we need to get outside our comfort zones sometimes. Arielle, for showing us the importance of everything digital, showing us how to be witty and engaging online. Celia, for reminding us to be thoughtful and for always having awesome back stories to share.
I feel spoiled here. I’ve said that to my family and family several times the last few weeks. Working eight hours instead of around the clock is a nice change after the schedule I kept in college. Being around young, newly hired reporters is encouraging. The programs like Intern OKC, workshops like SABEW, and opportunities like having a writing coach show that the company cares a lot about their employees, and I really appreciate that.
The next few days will be full of many lasts – last intern lunch, last time fishing for your press badge at the gate, last Braum’s trip before too long.
Thanks for making it a great summer I’ll always remember.