The Tale of Two Internships

Last week, I received permission to hire a couple of interns. Though I’ve had the tremendous support of amazing contributing bloggers (and frankly, couldn’t do it without them), I feel like I’m drowning in the day-to-day operations that include scrounging up content, planning events, doing all the social media/promotions, writing a weekly newsletter, wading through the hundreds of email pitches I receive and being expected to develop area partnerships while also growing our audience.

Forget “drowning.” Perhaps I should say I already “drowned.”

The prospect of interviewing interns has me reflecting back upon my own internships (and yes, that would be plural). I was a woman with divided loyalties. My major was Broadcast Journalism but I decided as I neared my senior year I wanted to go into public relations.

(Something about working in hickville North Dakota to “pay my dues” just didn’t appeal to me, which is what happens to most broadcast journalists).

For my final semester, I did a study abroad in the Middle East and had applied at various media outlets prior to departure. I was thrilled to be accepted as SkiUtah’s intern (the PR/marketing end of Utah’s ski industry) and while I was in Jerusalem, I was offered a spot at CNN’s Crossfire in Washington, D.C.

It was an agonizing decision but I ultimately returned to Utah to work in the ski industry. The problem was, BYU’s Communications Department required a broadcast journalism internship so I also moonlighted at KUTV 2News in Salt Lake City.

I had the best and worst of both worlds and SkiUtah was the best. My boss Amber Older had just been hired as the Public Relations Director at the same time and she had a lot of confidence in me. Utah had recently won the bid to host the 2002 Olympic Games so I toured the country doing ski shows, writing press releases, hob nobbing with journalists and becoming the Crazy Canuck ski reporter on the radio.

Juxtapose that with KUTV 2News where I was given the very lowliest of jobs (one of which included watching hundreds of hours of their cooking chef “The Gabby Gourmet” to count the number of times he referred to a specific stove so they could bill the client).

Undaunted, I resolved I wanted some real field experience so invited myself along on the morning shoots with their reporter, LeAnn. Not only was she a complete snob but she didn’t for one moment acknowledge the initiative it took for an intern to drag herself up at 4 a.m. to haul her sorry camera equipment around.

Suffice it to say, KUTV 2News was the worst.

It all worked out in the end. I jumped for joy when that miserable internship was over and I landed my first real job doing public relations at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort. All’s fair in love, war and internships.

At least that’s what I’m going to ensure the interns I hire. :)

Other Posts