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  • aseidel 1:35 pm on April 21, 2015 Permalink

    Learning to Be Assertive at The Washington Post 

    By Dean’s Intern Aly Seidel at Washington Post
    In SOC, we focus a lot on chasing down ideas. We’re journalists, film makers, communicators: all fields where you have to aggressively seek out work. We look high and low for new stories, we find different angles, we approach dozens of people on the street and unabashedly ask for interviews.
    I’m a rare breed: a self-proclaimed shy journalist. In a field full of pitching stories, chasing sources and interviewing strangers, it’s not for an introverted personality. Me, I subscribe very heavily to the ‘fake-it-until-you-make-it’ school of thought, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. Fact is, I’m shy, in a field where you can never be too aggressive about talking to people. Oh, I can do it. But I’m not always going to like it.
    The Post is full of people who are very, very busy. Editors who have a dozen things on their desk, reporters filing multiple different pieces a day, people with four empty coffee cups on their desk by noon. Journalism is fast, and when you’re in such an esteemed newsroom, there’s a lot happening. Some days, I’m caught up in that as well. My first day at work, I ended up downtown, using my phone to interview people at the March for Life. I was woefully underdressed for the weather- my flats never recovered from the muddy Mall. After four hours worth of interviews, lots of photos and a pen out of ink, I headed back into the newsroom. There are always days like that, hectic and crazy and extremely fun.

    On my first day at The Washington Post, I pitched a story that led me to interview people for hours on the Mall. My shoes did not survive the trip.

    But on other days, I find myself scanning other news sites, intensely trying to find a brief on something that I could pitch out. Some days, I find something. Other days, I don’t. I’m either cramming a dozen different things into an eight-hour workday, or I’m asking around the office for assignments. But, going back to how busy everyone at the Post is- sometimes there’s just no time to hand a story off to an intern.
    On days like that, you  have to pitch.

    (More …)

  • aseidel 11:07 am on October 13, 2014 Permalink

    Full-Time Benefits at Part-Time Internship 

    View from my office window at USA Today in McLean, VA.

    By Dean’s Intern Aly Seidel at USA Today

    I spent the summer working the Dean’s Internship at NPR. Five days, forty hours a week. But now, I’ve ditched the 96 and have been taking the Silver Line to my new Dean’s Internship on USA Today’s Investigative Team.

    Same amount of excitement, much fewer hours. I come in two days a week. It makes it quite easier to juggle 15 credits when you’re only interning 15 hours, but it can still be difficult to get everything in order.

    So, for all of us balancing course loads and intern life, here are some suggestions to get the most out of your intern exprience, even when you’re not there every day.

    (More …)

  • aseidel 12:53 pm on September 9, 2014 Permalink

    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.

    (More …)

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