Ready. Set. Go!

On the job at USA Today!

By Dean’s Intern Richard Fields at USA Today

It’s been about a month since I received the call that would shift my semester into overdrive, and I am extremely glad that I took it. This call was of course from USA Today’s video production team, and it’s been off to the races ever since.

On day one I realized this internship stood apart from the rest, as I immediately started working on one of their daily news shows, USA Now, the minute I walked into the newsroom. From finding visual content to support the story, to learning the tricaster and shooting the show, to editing and publishing the show to their website, I was quickly immersed into USA Today’s production team. Mind you, this was all before 10:30am.

Fast forward one month later and you’ll find a man who can no longer count the number of shows he’s worked on since then. Daily Dish, Money Quick Tips, USA News, We’ll Try Anything, and Studio A only scratch the surface for the amount of shows I have been privileged to help produce. I’ve worked on stories covering everything from the iPhone 6’s “#bendgate” scandal, to the tragic outbreaks of the Ebola virus, and everything else that lies in between.

With an opportunity that delivers this level of excitement, it is hard to imagine how it could get any better. Well I am here to tell you that it does. What makes this internship experience invaluable is not simply the amount of shows that I work on, nor is it the diverse subject matters I am able to explore. While both of these things are important elements in my development as a storyteller, they would be nothing without the group of people that I work with each day.

USA Today’s production team is a small core group of people that work closely with one another to achieve a common goal, and they quickly opened their doors to bring me on board. Within this group I am not only on the ground working with them to produce short stories for viewing on the web, but I am also given an open space to share ideas, ask questions, and most importantly have a voice. I stated earlier that this internship stood apart from the rest. It is this simple line of open communication between interns and full time staff that makes this true. I am able to comfortably provide open and honest feedback to management and Senior Editors alike, and have even been able to pitch them components that I believe will enhance a story.

An open team environment such as the one USA Today provides is essential to the growth of any organization and the individuals that work within it, and they pride themselves on introducing this concept on the internship level. Combine this environment with the wide range of national and global content covered within the many stories they produce, and you will have the recipe for success at your fingertips.

When immersed in a newsroom you learn quickly just how much every second is worth, and with that I take each day of my internship as a blessing. I am anxious to continue gaining the best experiences with USA Today that I possibly can. With one month down and only a few more left, I’m back to the races.

Ready. Set. Go!