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  • socdeansintern 3:34 pm on September 22, 2017 Permalink  

    Creating “Creating Camelot” at the Newseum 

    By Dean’s Intern Gavin Grossman at the Newseum

    My first few weeks at the Newseum have been really interesting.  The job is a lot of writing, which is a good challenge for me.  I’ve been asked to explain complicated topics like Wikileaks in just 250 characters, but also have been asked to describe an image I know nothing about in over a page of detail.  While I have done some writing assignments, editing the ADA script for the upcoming “Creating Camelot” exhibit was one of my favorite tasks.  “Creating Camelot” is coming to the Newseum this spring, and it is all about JFK’s early years as a President and Senator.  It revolves around the photography of Jacques Lowe, the family photographer for the Kennedy’s during their Senate years and JFK’s first campaign.  Not only was it a really cool experience to be contributing to the Newseum in such a big way, but also it was the perfect task that combined my Communication and History disciplines I’ve been focused on here at AU.  Outside of just the work, the experience has been made great also by my co-workers.  I don’t feel like an intern because everyone at the office is super forward and willing to hear my ideas and give them as much weight as anyone.  I’m excited to go to work every day, and I can not wait to see what is next for me in the upcoming weeks at the Newseum.

  • socdeansintern 3:21 pm on September 5, 2017 Permalink  

    Documentary Filmmaking Up Close 

    By Dean’s Intern Madeleine Simon at Voice of America

    My summer at Voice of America was both challenging and rewarding. As a production intern, I was part of a small team of journalists, producers, writers and editors working on a feature-length documentary about Boko Haram. The documentary—set to release this fall— gives an inside look into one of the most dangerous and elusive terrorist organizations, and also highlights the remarkable resilience of the Nigerian people as they reclaim their country.

    From day one, I was thrown into the fast-paced yet exciting world of documentary-filmmaking. I spent the first few weeks of my internship transcribing interviews and B-roll. As we got further into post-production, I assisted in script writing, managed and organized hours of footage, and researched videos and potential interviews to include in the film.

    One of the most fulfilling moments of my internship was when a group of executives at Voice of America, including the president Amanda Bennett, watched our trailer for the first time. I had an active role in creating the trailer, gathering the best footage and interviews, and giving input into music and graphics. I hadn’t seen the final piece until that day, so it was satisfying to see all of our hard work culminate into a successful trailer. Everyone seemed truly moved and inspired after watching the trailer, and wanted to immediately work on spreading awareness of the film. That day put into perspective how, through my journalistic skills, I can make an impact on an important project and global issue.


  • socdeansintern 3:18 pm on September 5, 2017 Permalink  

    When the Beat is Capitol Hill 

    By Dean’s Intern Josephine Peterson at The Durango Herald

    My time on Capitol Hill as the D.C. correspondent for The Durango Herald was full of learning on the job moments. One of the best pieces of advice I got is to accept you are going to make mistakes at the beginning, but learn to 

    fail fast. Being a reporter on Capitol Hill is a beast in itself. There are certain elevators you can’t take, zero maps anywhere, and tours abound. On my first day, I got lost six times! The amount of access the press gets on the Hill makes the embarrassments worth it. After going to a committee hearing one day, I needed a quote from a congressman. I had to chase him down the hall and when I finally met up with him, I was so nervous I wrote gibberish in my notebook. I was more than glad to have recorded the conversation. After that initial encounter with a legislator, I became more confident and was able to get a quote from a press secretary or a delegate waiting in halls or grabbing lunch. This internship gave me access most reporters never get.


  • socdeansintern 4:02 pm on August 29, 2017 Permalink  

    Pushing Myself Creatively In My Work Beyond The Classroom 

    By Dean’s Intern Abi Weaver at Interface Media Group

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned while interning at Interface Media Group (IMG) so far, it’s how much I still have to learn.

    I’ve spent the majority of my time at IMG in the Graphics department, learning new animation and design techniques through observation and hands-on experience. The Graphics department handles everything from character design and motion graphics to visual effects and virtual reality development, and I have been able to contribute to several ongoing projects at the organization this summer. Though I have a basic understanding of motion graphics and animation, acting as a designer and operator alongside editors and animators who have been doing this for longer than I’ve been alive has been an incredible experience for me to learn about all that I have yet to discover in this field.

    Coincidentally, this summer is IMG’s 40th Anniversary, and my biggest project has been creating an animation to celebrate the milestone. After discussing the concept for the animation—IMG through the decades—with the Senior Creative Director, I was off and running to make this series of images and ideas a cohesive motion graphic. I have truly appreciated the combination of creative freedom and technical support I’ve been afforded in completing the project, which has enhanced and challenged my skills as a designer and animator.

    Being a Dean’s Intern at IMG this summer has allowed me to and it has given me a glimpse into one possibility for a future career that would combine my film and design major and minor.

  • socdeansintern 2:47 pm on August 7, 2017 Permalink  

    Vox let me interview strangers about the Russia-Trump probe. I might have taken it too far. 

    By Dean’s Intern Lindsay Maizland at Vox

    “They’re driving your way!” my sister shouted over the phone. I immediately started running toward the street, hoping to stop two men who were driving around in a camouflage four-wheeler, with a huge American flag billowing behind them.

    It was the Friday before the Fourth of July, and I had spent the whole day interviewing random people in my small town in Michigan. My question: What do you think of the Trump-Russia investigation?

    Since starting my internship with Vox’s foreign team in January, the Trump-Russia probe has dominated our coverage, and rightly so. But I wondered whether people outside of the newsroom and D.C. cared.

    I was returning to my rural, predominantly conservative and white hometown for the holiday weekend and figured it would be the perfect opportunity to find an answer. I pitched the idea, my editors approved it, and a few days later I was chasing the camo men. I ended up sprinting down my street to the neighborhood bank’s parking lot to interview them, and they actually offered a different perspective than other people I talked with.

    Nearly every single person I spoke with said the same thing: The media just needs to leave Trump alone, and the Russia investigation is a distraction. Most were Trump supporters, except for the camo men. You can read the full article here.

    This whole situation was far from a typical day at Vox. It was one of the most bizarre things I’ve done as a journalist so far, but I’m sure I’ll soon have many stories like this now that I’ve graduated and am looking for jobs as a full-time reporter.

    After all that, my advice to new Dean’s Interns is to pitch stories you’re passionate about. Don’t be afraid to talk to your editors or supervisors about how you can do things that weren’t included in the job description. You might just end up doing something super unusual and exciting.

  • socdeansintern 2:48 pm on July 27, 2017 Permalink  

    Research is the Foundation of Most Everything Discovery Does 

    By Brianna Hall at Discovery Communications

    The Consumer Insights and Culture team at Discovery Communications is a multitasking, information seeking, ideation inspiring work horse. We support all networks, divisions, and teams in the Discovery family and as an intern here I’ve been able to learn about how initiatives are built from the ground up.

    My first month we had a request handed down from Discovery executives seeking Discovery’s next defining project. First we compiled information on sixteen different genres; everything from a comprehensive timeline of the 20th century to lookbooks of famous family bloggers. We organized five internal focus groups (one of which was comprised of all interns!) who would spend three days brainstorming: we were tapping into some of the best minds across all of Discovery’s brands and departments. The result was a fantastic collection of show ideas, stunts, new traditions, and events. The Consumer Insights and Culture team then had to decipher, record, and organize hundreds of ideas for Discovery executives to shape the company’s new tentpoles. And that was all in three weeks.

    This is just one example of the many research tactics CIC uses to gather information. I’ve also been pulling out quotes and cultural themes from recordings of focus groups the team had conducted around the country earlier in the year, helped design surveys to collect data on Information Security, and written a weekly “Top 10 Social Trends” newsletter that is distributed throughout the company. Research is the foundation of most everything Discovery does, and witnessing and participating in this process has taught me about the intricate web of programming, internal communication, and data collection.


  • socdeansintern 12:51 pm on July 27, 2017 Permalink  

    Finding Opportunities for Immersive Journalism at USA TODAY 

    By Dean’s Intern Sara Wise at USA TODAY

    Since returning to USA Today for another internship this summer, I’ve been working with the investigations team, collaborating on opportunities to visualize data and tell more immersive stories.

    I work closely with the vice president of investigations to identify opportunities for data visualization and collaboration with the interactive graphics team. Because investigations are, of course, very long, I also have a lot of time to take on daily tasks. I pick up graphic assignments and attempt to complete my own in-depth projects.

    In the summer, interns are treated to plenty of team-building and group activities to strengthen their reporting, collaboration and leadership skills. Plus, the company hosts its own celebrations here and there. Between complimentary happy hours held occasionally and other company celebrations (the summer is cool here!) I have met and made connections both with established reporters and interns who’ve yet to finish their undergraduate studies.

    Back at my desk, the most challenging project this summer was creating a map to display the data associated with a story about Skype questions taken during White House pressers. After about three or four iterations of the graphic, I finally arrived at the finished product, which was, I think, the best possible way to display the information. I’m proud of the work done so far.

    Through all of this, and since I first started with USAT in January, I have been learning full stack web programming. This may be one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Because of this position, I’ve been teaching myself to code in my own time.


  • socdeansintern 11:57 am on July 25, 2017 Permalink  

    Venturing Outside My Knowledge Base at Bloomberg BNA 

    By Dean’s Intern Shira Stein at Bloomberg BNA

    When I was told I would be covering banking, securities regulations, corporate governance and antitrust if I accepted the position at Bloomberg BNA, I thought they must be nuts. I had no clue what securities regulations was, and the only reason I had heard of antitrust was because of my US history classes. I thought they had made a mistake, but I was wrong.

    Over the last two months, I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much about everything from Dodd-Frank to what the SEC is (a federal agency that regulates tradable financial assets). I’ve covered complex congressional hearings on market structure, and I’ve written stories about blockchain, the technology behind Bitcoin.

    I even had a story featured on TOP on the Bloomberg Terminal, a first for a Bloomberg BNA intern!

    It’s been especially great to do all the activities that Bloomberg BNA puts on for the interns. We’ve met people at all levels of the company (including the CEO), bagged apples for a non-profit organization, gone on a scavenger hunt through the Smithsonians, and more.

    I’ve loved my time at Bloomberg BNA, and I’m really sad that I’ll have to leave my amazing colleagues and fellow interns in two weeks.

  • socdeansintern 2:46 pm on July 20, 2017 Permalink  

    Challenges and Teamwork at NBC4 

    By Dean’s Intern Courtney Rozen at NBC4

    It’s been an extraordinary honor to serve as the Dean’s Intern at NBCWashington.com, NBC4’s news site.

    As an intern, I’m responsible for writing stories for web, cutting broadcast packages, crafting posts for social media and culling stories from the wires. However, no two days are alike here. One day, I’ll be interviewing a public information officer about illegal fireworks in D.C. Another day, I’ll be downtown at the American History Museum, previewing their latest exhibit by building an Instagram story. I’ve learned how to tell stories with clarity, accuracy and precision.

    A highlight of the summer was working with NBC4’s Susan Hogan, who leads their consumer division. I pitched a story to my editor about how other retailers such as Sears, Target and Sur la Table were running counter sales to Amazon Prime Day, the company’s flagship online sale. I ended up researching deals for hours, eventually bringing the story to Susan, who transformed it into an on-air story. My web story was picked up by all 13 NBC-owned television stations, and featured on-air by Susan (what an honor!).

    Another high point of the summer was covering the FIRST Global Challenge, termed the “robotics Olympics.” There, I met a group of teenagers from Iran representing their country at the competition. I learned that sanctions blocked the Iranian teens from receiving parts to build their robot, so a group of Virginia high schoolers stepped up. The Iranians sent their designs via Skype to the Virginia teens, who built the robot for them here in the U.S. The robot was ready for them to compete when they arrived. I wrote a story on the collaboration, which NBC4 anchor Doreen Gentzler also reported on-air.

    While I’ll never forget these experiences, the strongest takeaway here is the coaching I’ve received from the digital team staff. From teaching me how to transform a press release into a strong article, to bringing me along to content planning meetings, they’ve truly made me feel as though I am part of the team. I’m forever grateful to them for all they’ve taught me.


  • socdeansintern 3:20 pm on July 18, 2017 Permalink  

    Persistence and Luck Go Hand in Hand with Investigative Reporting 

    By Dean’s Intern Amanda McLaren at The Washington Post

    It has been an extraordinary privilege to serve as the Dean’s Intern at the The Washington Post for the past three semesters. Throughout, the team here has allowed me to pursue my passion for education reporting, allowing me to gain incredibly valuable — and rewarding — experience.

    Most recently, the Post published a story I co-reported with Emma Brown, the national education reporter, on the District’s private-school voucher program. With $15 million in taxpayer money going to the program each year and the Trump’s administration’s pledge to increase that amount, we wanted to find out where exactly those dollars were going. Were students able to use the program to escape struggling public schools for high-performing private ones? Were students with disabilities getting a fair shot at accessing the program?

    What we discovered was more murkiness than transparency, as the program administrator refused to divulge how many students — and how much money — participating private schools were getting. In turn, we decided to call the schools ourselves, which led to a hodge-podge of information. Of the 15 schools we spoke with, we discovered that while some were enrolling a large percentage of voucher students, others (notably, what would be considered the District’s “elite” private schools) were taking few, if any, voucher students each year.

    Interestingly, when we compared the D.C. voucher program to other programs nationwide, we found that other state programs were even more opaque.

    I wish I had kept count of how many phone calls (and how many games of phone tag!) I made in order to report that story. It was another reminder that investigative reporting requires a lot of persistence and a little bit of luck.

    As I finish out my internship at the Post, I will continue to keep those lessons in mind.

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