Adapt, Overcome and Improve!

Cheng Chen at the Newseum

By Dean’s Intern Cheng Chen at Newseum

After ending my summer internship at a video production company, I have a clearer sense of what I want to do and what I am good at – producing and editing. Since then, I didn’t slow my pace down and this semester I joined the broadcasting department of Newseum as a video editor.

For the past month, I was asked to help prepare and edit a film about Vietnam War, which will premiere at the Newseum next year. This film looks back on the history and investigates how the Vietnam War was covered by the press and how the coverage of press impacted the outcome of the war. Its purpose it is to help Americans understand the role of US in Vietnam War 50 years ago. We gathered tons of valuable materials and interviewed journalists who witnessed of the war. This film is very educational and it makes me feel like my efforts are more meaningful.

I’ve also learned how to digitalize tapes and record videos to tapes. You might think using tape is outdated, but it is the best way to get access to old films and I enjoy the process of watching and editing stock footage to learn from the past.

I’ve interned at both profit and nonprofit organizations and found that every company has different work environments and rules. My advice is that when you get a new job, the first thing you should do is to adapt to the new workplace culture. To help yourself adapt, you should begin by learning as much as you can about the company and learning what’s expected of you. Be prepared to make mistakes and accept feedback.

An interesting thing since I dived into this video production world has been the requirement to work on multiple projects using different editing software, including Premiere, Final Cut Pro X, Final Cut Pro 7 and now Avid. Although it’s hard to memorize tons of shortcuts and differentiate them, I made it through and the best result is that I’m now pretty familiar with all the most popular video editing software!

Today, I’m still excited about my internship at Newseum. The Dean’s Internships program continues to offer me lots of opportunities to practice and practice always makes perfect!