Below is a first person account from Dean's Intern Neeti Upadhye on her internship at USA Today.
Twice a week I swipe my badge to enter USA TODAY’s grand glass estate in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia. The bustling newsroom has floor to ceiling windows, which overlook the lake we lunch by. When I take my seat with the video team, I realize I am living a dream.
As an aspiring broadcast journalist, I am passionate about the art of video storytelling. This semester, the Dean’s Internship Program gave me the chance to jumpstart my career by working as a video editor for USATODAY.com. As one of the six editors, I was never given remedial intern tasks. From my first day they trusted me to produce, shoot, write, voice, and edit several video packages that would be published to the website.
Work was always exciting because my projects were of diverse topics and on strict deadlines. I created a package about the aftermath of Irene and a breaking news story on reactions to the Penn State riots. One Saturday, I even got to represent USA TODAY in the field to interview a low-income family who was receiving the first passive, solar house in DC. The tasks were challenging, but support and advice from my co-workers allowed me to flourish in the newsroom environment.
My experience at USA TODAY was particularly impactful because it gave me the chance to be surrounded by knowledgeable professionals. At the end of the semester it was hard to walk away from such talented journalists because I know there is so much more for me to learn. Luckily, I don’t have to say goodbye. I am honored to have made genuine mentors and friends who I will keep in touch with during my upcoming job search.
The positive environment, compounded with the technical skills I learned, has made USA TODAY one of my richest learning experiences. Thanks to SOC and the Dean’s Internship Program, my ideal career now seems achievable. Getting hands-on opportunities in a top newsroom has better prepared me to succeed in my remaining academic coursework and in my future ventures as an on-air broadcast journalist.
The Dean’s Internship program pairs SOC’s top students with selected partner organizations for semester-long, for-credit internships. The competitive program provides extraordinary opportunities for undergraduates and graduates to have their work featured with named credits and bylines under national brands. Find current opportunities and application information.