Tackling Long-Term Stories at NPR

By Dean’s Intern Haley Samsel at NPR

Growing up as the daughter of a high school chemistry teacher, I never imagined I would end up reporting on education — and especially not at NPR, which has already gone above and beyond my expectations.

The education team thinks of its interns as full-time reporters, and assigns stories that challenge you to do more research, make more calls and talk to as many people as possible. During my first month here, I worked exclusively on a long, thoroughly reported article on the state of standardized testing policy in the U.S. two years after the opt out movement hit its peak. It’s kind of incredible that my editors would trust me to tackle this massive topic in my first story. That tells you a lot about what it’s like to work here.

There’s other perks to working at NPR, like the free bookshelf (couldn’t resist taking a picture in front of it), free coffee from the cafe downstairs, and the other amazing interns I get to work with. I’m so thankful to be given the opportunity to learn from the best and strengthen my reporting skills as I dig deeper into the same topics I grew up discussing with my mom, a public school teacher in Texas. She is my inspiration to keep pursuing my goals — which, after working at NPR, might lie in education reporting.