How She Got That Internship is a series that highlights conservative women’s internships in various organizations and positions to inspire the next generation of conservative women to lead. Did you, or a young woman that you know, have an internship experience you want to share with our readers? Submit it in this form and we will contact you if we think it would be a great fit for the series.
This was certainly a weird season for internships–with the global pandemic making a lot of internships go virtual. Thinking about the future, girls across the country are dutifully working to prepare for the internships they have landed and thinking ahead to future internships and jobs. FFL is sitting down with a number of interns to reflect on the best internships they’ve had and inspire others to try new things, step outside of their comfort zone, and be the best intern they can be.
Today, we’re talking to Samantha, a senior at Ohio University, about her internship at WGN Morning News.
Samantha is a senior at Ohio University in Athens, OH. pursuing dual degrees in Journalism News & Information and Political Science with a minor in History. On campus she’s a student journalist for WOUB Public Media (a PBS affiliate) doing television news and sports reporting. She’s also the Vice President of the Ohio University College Republicans, last year she was the Communications Director. In addition to WGN Morning News, she was a White House Intern in Spring 2019, a Fox News Intern in the summer of 2018, and a Video Production Intern for the Chicago Sky WNBA team in summer 2017. She is from Geneva IL, a Chicago suburb.
Can you tell us about WGN Morning News?
WGN Morning News has been Chicago’s highest rated morning news program for the past decade. It stands out by adding unpredictable, light-hearted, witty segments to a typical local newscast. You never know what’s going to happen!
How did you find out about the internship opportunity and what was the application process like?
I grew up watching WGN Morning News and it was always my dream to work there. When I first applied as a freshman, during the interview process I was told I was a bit young. Throughout the following year, I continued emailing the intern coordinator updated resumes and videos, and they offered me an internship for the following summer.
What sort of skills or experiences helped you stand out as an applicant and succeed in this position?
I think my persistence in keeping in contact with the internship coordinator helped me stand out. I also showed that I continued gaining experience through on-campus involvement and previous internships.
Was your internship in-person, virtual, or a hybrid?
My internship was in person.
What was a typical day like there? How did you balance your intern work with school, other activities, etc?
My internship was three days a week over the summer, so I was able to fully dedicate my time toward the internship. There was no typical day at WGN! I’ve done everything from wrangling husky puppies, to dancing dressed in a Whoopie cushion costume. Some of my daily tasks included researching upcoming guests and stories to find talking points, pulling clips from the show and putting them online with written content, shadowing anyone I could, and greeting and escorting guests.
Were there other interns that you worked closely with? How did that impact your work–were you in teams, bullpens, collaborating on projects, etc?
There were five interns including myself. We worked both independently and together on a variety of assignments. We all got along very well and had a blast working together!
What was the biggest WOW moment of your internship?
There were a lot of exciting moments, but there is one that stands out the most. One of the anchors has another show where he looks at interesting figures and moments in Chicago history. I helped him with research for one of the interviews. After this, he actually had me interview the subject for him. It was a great experience to work with the anchor throughout the research and interview process and receive advice along the way.
What kind of mentorship did you receive during your internship?
I received a lot of mentorship throughout my internship. Every professional I worked with was willing to share advice and allowed me to shadow them.
Whatwas the most valuable lesson you learned during your internship?
I learned to take advantage of any opportunity to shadow and talk to professionals, even if their position doesn’t align with your potential career path.
What are three tips you would have for someone else doing an internship there?
Never be idle, always ask professionals if you can help them with projects.
Take the opportunity to shadow as many people as you can.
Step out of your comfort zone and be open to new opportunities.
What’s your #1 tip for someone doing an internship at a news organization?
Don’t go in thinking you know everything – be open to advice.
What’s next for you? How did this internship shape your career plans, your academics, or your idea of what you wanted to do after graduation?
I’m graduating this May. I hope to work on the Hill, or do any social media, video production, or communications work.