Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Goodbye, CNN!

I had no idea what I was getting myself into three months ago when I walked into CNN’s
Washington DC bureau. It was my first time in the Nation’s capital and now I would be commuting on the metro back and forth everyday to work at my favorite news network. I had high expectations for myself going into my internship because I knew I would have to work hard to stand out as an intern and perform up to CNN’s standards. I walked in ready to handle any situation that was thrown at me with an open mind, still not sure what to expect. Walking in that day I could never have come close to imagining how amazing the next three months would be. 
CNN has such a positive work environment. Everyone says hi when they pass you in the hallway and there’s always someone that can help you out. I expected to be intimidated and feel self-conscious. Instead I felt welcomed and empowered. I was blessed to have an amazing boss and role model who let me prove myself to him and put a lot of trust in me for assignments. All the people I met along the way added something valuable to my experience and I learned something from each person that I took with me to my next assignment.
I started off my internship with goals for myself. Not just at CNN, but for my whole experience on my own in general. I explored the
beautiful city of DC on my own, met new friends and gained a lot of independence. Seeing my article on the homepage of CNN.com was one the highlights of my internship. One of my goals when I started was to work with the online editors to improve my reporting and story telling. Walking into the Newseum in Washington D.C. and seeing my article and name on the giant interactive newsroom exhibit was completely surreal. All the feedback I received just showed me how my voice has an impact on people and what things I need to work on for next time.

This internship was not only great work experience and career planning, but it was a chance to connect with all my old friends. I was able to see all my best friends growing up, some that I haven’t seen in years. It was so great to see everyone and have things pick up right where they left off.
About halfway through my internship, my boss was assigned a month long documentary. I had the amazing opportunity to hop on a plane and live in the beautiful city of Atlanta for a month and work at CNN Headquarters. I absolutely loved working with the documentary unit and every morning walking past the giant CNN sign made me so thankful for everything this opportunity has brought me. My last week in Atlanta was the week of the Boston bombings. On Tuesday of that week, the documentary unit decided to crash an hour-long documentary for that Friday. This was such a great experience because I got to go through the whole process start to finish at a fast pace. It was long hours and hard work, but I got to step up to the plate and put everything I learned to good use. After flying back to D.C. , I was getting ready for my final few days before packing up and heading home. I walked into work on Monday for the documentary phone conference and found out there was another documentary crash for that Friday. Before I knew it, I was back on a plane to Atlanta! I love flying and not being in one place for too long, so this was so exciting for me.
Leaving Atlanta the second time was truly the end of my internship, and flying back home I just thought about everything I did for the past 3 months. I always knew I had the right major, but I was never sure exactly what I wanted to do with it, which made me hesitant. This semester has been such a relief to find out exactly what I love to do. Just the feeling of knowing no matter how late you stay working, you’re still excited to wake up early and go to work the next day. Thank you to my family, James and my best friends who supported me through out the whole experience and stayed in on Friday/Saturday nights to watch the specials I helped work on. I’m ready for senior year and excited to see what the future has in store!