Student? Sure. Journalist? Definitely.

By Dean’s Intern Aly Seidel at NPR

It’s really important not to sell yourself short. All of the Dean’s interns were working in newsrooms full of ridiculously talented people who have done amazing things, and let’s be honest. It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘I’m just a college kid’ mentality. Come in, do your work and be too nervous to speak up when you’re in a room with people who have their own wikipedia pages.

I spent the summer at National Public Radio, where I was lucky enough to be in a newsroom full of professional who treated me like a colleague. I pitched story ideas and was given the green light to report: that meant finding sources, interviewing them and writing a finished piece to land on the senior editor’s desk. I was averaging about a post every two weeks, publishing them on a website that has over a million unique hits a day.

Overwhelming? Sure. Exhilarating? Definitely.

It can be easy for a student to doubt their skills in their workplace. We’re in DC, surrounded by industry pros – what do we have to offer?

Well, actually, quite a bit. Interns are vital to any newsroom, because every perspective is vital. I worked with NPR Education, and being the youngest person on the team had some serious positives. I’m still young enough to remember high school and college. I remember taking AP tests along with university exams. One of the longest stories I wrote was about the financial aid application process, a story I pitched because I remembered filling out the FAFSA at 18. That piece ended up getting 20,000 views in two days.

So, go chase your sources and gather your bylines. You may still be in school, but you’re already a journalist.