Internship Experiences

Randy Cole

Overwhelming. There's no other way to describe walking into a newsroom on your first day as a college intern. Six police scanners, at least four telephones, and the news director yelling something about missing the interview with the Allegheny County D.A. - I felt mortified and thought, "Why do I want to spend my summer this way?"You see, ever since I was a little boy, I "knew" that I wanted to be a news man. But in that moment on my first day as an intern at Pittsburgh's Fox News affiliate, I thought for the first time that maybe I had "known" incorrectly. After intimidation subsided, however, I knew that this summer was going to be the most valuable experience of my college career. My first few weeks at Fox were spent behind the assignment desk making routine telephone calls and learning the ins and outs of how the station worked - a typical intern's job, right? Well, that all changed about three weeks into my internship when the news director decided that it was time I learned how to report. That's where the story gets anything but typical. So there I was, on a very muggy June afternoon in the Fox News Jeep heading toward the Pittsburgh Airport to do my first interview. After that day, I was routinely sent out with reporters to help with whatever they needed. In turn, the reporters taught me the tricks of the trade. With their help, I was able to do my own stories in my free time and I learned how to edit video in both linear and non-linear formats. The anchors even gave me the opportunity to try my hand at their job from behind the anchor desk. There were several instances when the anchors stayed after the evening news was over, and late at night would coach me in my anchoring abilities. By the end of the summer, I had come to the conclusion that my experience at Fox was the most valuable three months I had ever spent at a summer job. I left Fox that summer with a resume tape of my summer's work, as well as with a renewed assurance that I did, in fact, want to be a news man.

Randy E. Cole
Communication Major
Class of 2004
Butler, Pa.

 

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