Although many college students are in mourning for the end of summer, I’m not. Instead, I’m celebrating the accomplishment of a personal goal – successfully completing an internship.
Writing better stories and taking better photos were among my greatest ambitions as an intern, and I had plenty of opportunities to hone my skills. During the ten weeks I spent at The Union County Advocate, I wrote dozens of stories and pieces, shot hundreds of photos and traveled around Union and Henderson Counties, hunting down information and learning more about the locals and their community.
Covering local news was a great lesson in how much people care about their hometowns. Local stories relate the issues which have an immediate impact on readers, and people enjoy reading community-centered news, to find out what’s happening locally. Being “in the know” was one of the most beneficial – and fun – aspects of my internship.
Meeting people who have a positive influence in the community was truly an illuminating and rewarding experience. Writing about the read-and-feed program organized by local librarians, which provides free lunches for children throughout the county, was enlightening. I saw, firsthand, how a dedicated group of people pulled together to make a difference for hundreds of families.
Each week, I had the freedom to explore topics relevant to my interests. I covered several animal-related topics, from Union County’s upgraded pound facility to new additions at a nearby zoo. (And, yes, this means I got to spend time visiting dogs!) I also wrote features about the remarkable people who live and work in the county, from a genealogist who tracks down information for clients from around the country to a beekeeper who removes honeybees from homes as a means of expanding his hives.
Listening to the stories of interviewees was a privilege, and reporting their stories to our readers was an additional privilege. I wrote “our” readers because I found my home-away-from-home at The Advocate. Mary, Rachel and Jennifer provided guidance, insight and encouragement, with professionalism and a dash of humor.
Regarding my future, I don’t know where my career path will lead me. (I call myself open-minded rather than indecisive.) I’m certain, however, that this internship strengthened skills I’ll need in the future, and I know that what I learned at The Advocate will be valuable for years to come. My KPA Internship was a wonderful opportunity. I am immensely grateful for this incredible experience.