My internship with The Jessamine Journal turned out to be the perfect fit for me at this point in my career as a journalist. Although I was initially excited by the fact that the office is located near my home in Lexington, it turned out that my experience was advantageous for reasons much more meaningful than that.
When I arrived on my first day, I was tasked with writing a story and given a schedule of events that I would be covering in the coming weeks. It immediately became apparent that I would not be “just an intern.” Although my boss and coworkers sometimes joked about my position, I knew that they trusted me to do a good job, and that meant the world to me.
I came in with a good deal of experience in reporting, but little knowledge of how to take good photos or design. Thankfully, I was allowed to try my hand out and build upon my photography and design skills over the 10-week period. I have learned that employers are seeking multi-talented journalists more and more these days, so I set a goal for myself to get in as much practice as possible taking pictures and laying out papers. I certainly achieved it.
To me, it is extremely important that I enjoy the work that I do. Of course, there was a ton of business to be dealt with at the Journal, but I also had a great time there. I was surrounded by a friendly and helpful staff, and assigned to several awesome stories. Between profiling a 3-year-old cancer survivor and shooting a horse show on a beautiful summer evening, I was thrilled by the opportunities I was given.
That is not to say that I never faced challenges. I was covering city council, fiscal court and planning commission meetings for the first time, and all the technicalities were a bit overwhelming. I wrote about health care plans, zoning ordinances and everything in between. The subject matter was not my favorite, but it forced me to grow up and familiarize myself with issues that will become more and more important to me as I enter adulthood.
Finally, my internship confirmed for me what I do and do not want to do when I graduate. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the Journal, but I realized that working for a newspaper is probably not the best option for me. Writing about small-town government, high school sports and other similar subjects is not my forte. However, I did find joy in my work with photography and feature stories. This helped me to reach the decision that I want to work for a lifestyle magazine or some type of creative publication.
All in all, I am so pleased with my experience at The Jessamine Journal and thankful for the chance I had to sharpen my skills as a journalist there. When school starts this fall and I continue my endeavors with The Kentucky Kernel at UK, I am sure that I will notice major improvements in my work, and for that I am extremely grateful.