What I’d Been Waiting and Working For

Eleanor at WAMU

By Dean’s Intern Eleanor Greene at WAMU

This is what I had been waiting and working for.

As a journalism student who declared my major even before I started my first day at AU, I had always been looking forward to the time when I could get credit for a senior professional internship, basically when my internship would count as a class. It came at the right time. This semester, I’m the digital media intern at WAMU 88.5, which is a Dean’s Internship I’m also getting 3 credits for in SOC. It seems right, because it’s a real journalism experience, working in the newsroom.

When I got started (and even now, I admit), I get a little overwhelmed by how much independence I’m given at WAMU. At other internships, supervisors have lists of tasks to handle, which might last days or weeks. It’s not like that at WAMU, where some days, 2 reporters might ask for some research help while I’m trying to handle my own project, and other days I’m scouring Twitter or other Washington news organizations for an idea for my next story.

Though the newsroom can be kind of quiet compared to what you might have imagined from the movies, WAMU’s is not without its excitement. I love the camaraderie of the reporters talking about articles and tweets, even if I can’t join in, and I’ve found it’s very exciting to see Kojo Nnamdi and Diane Rehm’s guests, as well as the hosts themselves as they enter and exit the studio just beyond my desk.

I also want to say for people who might be interested in Dean’s Internships, but feel intimidated by the title, don’t be. I applied for this one because my Advanced Reporting professor, Jane Hall, encouraged me, but otherwise I might not have gone for it and missed out. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to get the position, and wouldn’t be able to take an unpaid internship.

I found the application to be not much harder than regular applications (and no cover letter, hooray!) and my supervisor was already impressed by my recommendations that preceded my interview. Since I’m able to get 3 credits from SOC this semester, the 15 hours a week doesn’t seem so insane as it did when I interned and had 5 classes. I was also able to get an Eagle Internship Grant, which is an AU fund that gives grants to Pell Grant recipients with unpaid internships, so now I’m getting paid too. It all works out– so if you think you can’t get the internship, or can’t afford it time- or money-wise if you do, check out your options. Because this is one of the times when I’m actually happy to report: I was wrong.