I don’t want to write this post. This post is the conclusion, the reflection, the denouement, the end. The thank you. The goodbye. I’m done with my internship at the New York Daily News.
Yes, I’m done waking up at 5:30 a.m. everyday. I’m done melting in the subway. I’m done memorizing the location of every Starbucks so I can find a bathroom.
But, I’m also done working with some of the best people in the business. I’m done covering murder trials, arraignments, and press conferences. I’m done stalking public figures by sitting on the curb outside their house for hours.
What I’ll remember most:
- Seeing photos of Sylvie Cachay’s dead body,
- A few weeks later hearing that the defendant was found guilty (I knew it all along),
- Appearing on national TV by standing next to Anthony Weiner,
- Telling a widower that his dying wife fought really hard to live after a tree crushed her and their baby,
- Meeting a mom after her daughter had been shot but was still alive, only to see her again later that day after the girl had died,
- Being torn between two sides: the family of the dead 4 year old or the 17 year old that didn’t mean to hit her with his car and was being abused in jail,
- Getting yelled at for the first time by an editor,
- Seeing my byline in a paper read by over half a million people.
- And lots more.
I’m a different person after this experience. For the better? I hope. I may be a little desensitized, but I know for a fact I am a better, more confident, more tenacious reporter and journalist. This internship did not make me step outside of my comfort zone; it threw me out on my butt with no one there to help me back up. I cried more than once and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I may say I hated it at times, because I did, but overall I loved it. I felt like I had a purpose. I was a part of a big industry working around a small group of people on the streets.
How am I supposed to go back to being a student?! Life was so unpredictable and exciting (and often terrifying). At RWU, I’m safe, comfortable and so happy. Interning at the NY Daily News often made me feel the opposite of those feelings, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
No amount of words would ever be able to convey my gratitude and appreciation for the people who made this internship what it was.
Morning Assignment Editor Jill Coffey, you are an angel. Managing News Editor Gersh Kuntzman, I learned more from you in the 5 minutes you edited that mockingbird story with me than I ever could in a classroom. Dad, you welcomed me aboard your commute, listened to my stories, gave me (sometimes unwarranted) advice, and comforted me when I needed it most.
My biggest thank you goes out to RWU Journalism Professors Michael Scully and Paola Prado. I legitimately would not be here without you. I don’t know where I would be. I was able to survive this internship because of what the both of you have taught me. I am the journalist I am because of you two. The passion you exhibit while teaching, the fire I feel inside of you, the experience you have, the lessons and stories you’ve shared, and your clear, genuine desire for us (your students) to succeed, is… Well, awesome.
My advice to aspiring journalists or any intern out there: DON’T give up. Don’t get discouraged. Most importantly, don’t forget who you are and where your heart is in this mess we call the “real world.”