Zirconia Alleyne

The Messenger
Western Kentucky University

Before I stepped foot into The Messenger newsroom, I was terrified. Well, not the teeth-chattering, legs-trembling kind of terrified, but I was nervous that I wouldn’t live up to their expectations.

See, I actually found out I wasn’t the first pick for this internship the day I started. A little birdie (whom I now consider a friend) told me that he knew the first pick just wasn’t going to work out. With a little networking and a killer interview, I landed the job.

I was thrilled when I got the call from Don Perryman saying that I was hired, but I still wondered if they’d made the right choice by choosing … me.

The morning of my first day, I prayed the whole 45-minute drive to Madisonville from my hometown. When I pulled into the parking lot, I sat my inhibitions aside and walked in ready prove that I could do this.

That day was the beginning of a new chapter in my journalism career. I’d written feature stories for three years at my college newspaper, the College Heights Herald, but now I was getting a taste of the professional world — a place where any and everything can get thrown your way.

The articles I wrote varied on a daily basis including, the dedication ceremony of the new justice center, a local couple adopting twin baby boys, a library board meeting, a 100th birthday celebration and many more.

I’ll never forget the day when The Associated Press picked up the article I wrote about a recovering drug addict who started a biking program. I was ecstatic and the other reporters congratulated me on yet another milestone. 

Each day I learned something new about the city of Madisonville and the wonderful people who lived there, especially my newsroom buddies. 

From day one, Doreen took me under her wing and showed me how to do police reports, Meetings This Week, Town Crier and how to get off the phone with a disgruntled reader. I’ll miss the funny stories about her childhood and overhearing classical music blaring from her headphones.

To Erin, thanks for always having time to edit my stories while also telling me about the good restaurants in town. I’m now a fan of Acapulco Mexican Restaurant.

To LaMar, thanks for showing me how to do those finger-cramping 2A briefs and always having an America In Bloom story ready and waiting for me.

To Jim, thanks for showing me how to do the gas polls, edit photos and being patient with me while I hunted down names for the captions.

To Don and Rick, thanks for extending my stay at The Messenger for three weeks after my internship ended. I was excited to stick around and be a part-timer for a little while longer.

To Tina, Tonya and Melanie, thanks for all my pageant information and contacts — and our 50 Shades of Grey chat sessions.

I can truly say I’ve gained several colleagues at The Messenger that I hope to keep in touch with. I had fun learning from you all. It was an experience I’ll never forget and cherish as my career continues on.

Copyright © 2011-2019 KPA Intern Experiences All rights reserved.