The past few weeks have been full of learning moments and rich with new experiences. Walking into CNN the first day, I was beyond anxious for what the day ahead of me was going to be like. I expected myself to be so intimidated and feel out of place, but being in the building made me feel the exact opposite. My journalism classes at Mizzou have honestly prepared me so much for this experience. I always get anxious at first, but then my nerves die down once I realize I know and love everything that I’m going to be doing here. It was really nice to see that four out of the 12 interns in Washington DC are Mizzou students, which helped me feel comfortable to at least be able to recognize a few faces at first. The other interns are all so nice and qualified, and I’m really excited that I am able to a part of this small group.
The first week was a whirlwind. Long-form investigative reporting is something that’s really new to me, so that was a big adjustment at first. I’m used to the pressure of turning a story around daily or in a few days but never having weeks to months for one story, so I really think it will be good for me to see a different side to journalism.
A few of the moments that have really stuck out to me in the first two weeks are the interactions I’ve had with the people that work here. Everyone is so nice, they say hi in the hallways even if you don’t know them and are always willing to help. On the first day of the job, all of the interns were sitting listening to one of the HR representatives talk about what we can expect here at CNN when Wolf Blitzer just walks into the conference room. I never really expected myself to be star struck, but I think everyone in the room was trying to hold back their excitement. He went around and shook all our hands and sat down and we each got to ask him a question. It was so great to hear him talk about his experiences as a journalist and what things he thinks are the most valuable to become a good journalist. I think more so as the days have gone on, I’m realizing that I was just thrown into a situation where I am surround by talented, knowledgeable people everyday. I have so much I can learn from all of them, so I really need to take advantage of the time I have here. Another highlight of my first week was of course meeting Anderson Cooper and watching his Town Hall meeting on gun control. Just being able to be in the audience and watch how the show is directed and run was so exciting. I have so much respect for Anderson Cooper and how he does his job, so it was great to see him in action.
I’m sure all the Mizzou J-School kids are sick of hearing about the Missouri Method, but it’s honestly so valuable and true. There are few things about journalism that can be learned from a textbook. Most of your knowledge and improvement comes from actually getting out and experiencing different situations. I feel like in the past two weeks alone I’ve already realized so many things about myself and more about the kind of journalist I want to become, and I still have two months to go! After all the freak out moments I’ve had with Teddy (at least one a year) about whether or not journalism is really what we want to do with our lives, it is such a relief to be here and realize this is exactly what I want to do everyday. I love coming into work every morning and having everyday being something completely new.
I’m working 40 hours a week, plus a 2 hour, round-trip commute, so it’s really been an adjustment! I have finally completely mastered the metro…except the minor incident where I lost my SmartTrip metro card which had $200 on it and the run in with an old lady this morning who yelled at me to let her sit down because I’m young and can stand. I also learned parking the hard way- regardless if you don’t need to be at work until a few hours later, if you don’t leave your house by 8am you’ll have a nice $60 parking ticket waiting for you at the end of the day. Other than those little speed bumps, I’ve developed a really nice routine everyday of waking up, driving to the parking garage, grabbing a newspaper on the way to the metro and reading the news every morning on the way into the city. Once I get to work, I grab a French vanilla mocha and start my day!
I can’t wait for the weather to get a little nicer so I can do some more exploring on the weekends around DC. I have my tour scheduled for the White House and the Pentagon next week, and I can’t wait for James to visit THIS weekend so I can show him around to everything I get to see everyday now! :)
My first major assignment that I got to help out with was the interview CNN’s new anchor, Chris Cuomo, did with Lt. Brian Murphy. I got to help with the whole process start to finish, and I learned so much!! We’re definitely proud of the final product, and it was on the front page of CNN.com for a while and will hopefully be airing tonight! You can see a link to the interview here!-