Career Services Center - St. Cloud State University

Career Services Center - St. Cloud State University

Visit Us On:

Find Us on Facebook!Join Us on LinkedInVisit our YouTube Channel

SCSU Career Services

Intern Blog

Kevin's Story -- TV Journalism and Political Science

Monday, May 2, 2011

Kevin Hurd

1st entry: February 18, 2011

Hi everyone,

My name is Kevin Hurd and I am a senior at St. Cloud State. I am majoring in Mass Communications with an emphasis in TV journalism and a minor in Political Science. I will be graduating this coming May 2011. As with many fields, hands-on-experience is so important in broadcast. Being able to write solidly, communicate clearly and provide samples of your work via scripts, video or online postings are helpful. A lot of these skills can be enhanced by doing an internship.

Throughout my college career I interned at a St. Cloud publication as well as a TV network affiliate in Minneapolis. Now, I am doing my final internship at a national TV network's bureau in Washington D.C.

In the case of this internship, it was about "who you know, who you meet and who you stay in touch with." I met someone who worked at the bureau while attending a conference in Las Vegas for our Society of Professional Journalists chapter at SCSU. We stayed in touch and he was able to help provide guidance on how I could apply for an internship. I have also worked for this network when they were in St. Paul for the 2008 Republican Convention. Staying in touch with my supervisors from that time was also helpful.

Now I am about one month into the internship. I work approximately between 32-35 hours each week. My day starts around 9:30 a.m and ends around 5:00 p.m. Other opportunities may permit me to come in earlier or stay later. I was really surprised at how hands-on a national internship can be. I work specifically with the network's political blog on their website. I help research stories, post pictures and write my own articles. Being able to better my writing skills and having my work published on their website is a unique and great experience.

In addition, I have the opportunity to learning from other people within the bureau. I have been able to sit on some shows that were done live from here, spend time with correspondents and observe how news are delivered at the national level. I also felt like I know more about politics now than I have ever known before.

I cannot wait to continue writing and researching, as well as learning from the different staff that help put out programming and information on TV and online for the country.

2nd entry: March 1, 2011

Hello again from Washington--

Things have been going very well at my internship. I have been here a little over a month now and I felt that what I'm learning and experiencing is what I expected. My hope is to get a sense of what things are like both in the network bureau and also out in the field. Last week I had the chance to accompany the Justice correspondent to the Supreme Court. I got to sit in on a case and hear how the Supreme Court heard it. I was surprised how quick and efficient they were.

Everyone here is really good about interacting with and helping interns when we need it. We had lunch with a correspondent who shared some of the stories he has done over the years, offered some advice to us and took questions too. Most of the correspondents or anyone in the building will offer help to if you go up and ask for it.

During an internship, it is also important to tailor what you are learning and experiencing to your own needs and make the internship beneficial to you. This past week I told some people that even though I'm interning at a national network, I will most likely seek out a job working at the local TV news station. This was good to be mentioned because some of the advice they will give me could be about how I can implement my experiences at the network at a local level.

Doing this internship also gives me some perspective on network news and how it operates. That perspective will be beneficial to me in any type of news job I am working at (in any location). So, even if an internship is not exactly the place you will be working at one day, the experience and exposure will open your perspectives.

 

3rd entry: March 17, 2011

Good morning from Washington,

We are about halfway through March and closing in on under a month and a half left here in the capital city. It's hard to believe that time can be going so fast.

Last week I had the chance to cover an event that involved 2 prominent senators. They were speaking on their experience in Libya and their perspectives on how the United States should direct its foreign policy at the country. That experience allowed me to culminate my experiences at St. Cloud State (and past internships) to better understand how to cover the event. I listened, took notes and attempted to answer questions. When I came back to the bureau, I put together a story and used research from the internet to support it. While the story didn't go online that day because of time and space, it was still a good academic exercise to write it. And the experience of covering an event involving the senators was something I will always remember.

It is really important to hang onto your connections as well. One thing that helped me with getting the internship was hanging onto a connection in New York that I met in Minneapolis. We have stayed in touch over the years. Since I am out here, I recently took some time to go visit her at the network headquarters in New York. I met her there previously but it was fun to walk around and tour the building again. She encouraged me to apply for entry jobs at one of the bureaus within the company when I graduate. While I'm not sure if that's the route I will go, I'm glad to know I have her backing. So, one of the most important things I have learned is that connections matter.

As I mentioned it is important to take full advantage of an internship and do everything you can. In the coming weeks I will be spending some time outside of the political unit. I will be shadowing with a Washington producer for the network's morning show. I will also hopefully spend some time out with a correspondant again.

4th Entry

It's hard to believe how fast the last month has gone. It seems like it was just the middle of March and now it's already almost the end of April. This means that my time here in Washington is getting ready to come to a close. But I have a lot of good things to reflect on as I am getting ready to wrap up my internship.

My experience at the bureau has been fantastic. When doing an internship, you have to do a mental cost-benefit analysis. Going out of state to one of the most expensive cities in the country and working for no pay is certainly something to seriously consider before signing up for an internship. Going in, I needed to bank on the hope that the experience I would gain would be worth it. 

Looking back, I think it has been worth it. Just being in this environment of a TV network in Washington is a learning experience every day. Recently, I have had the chance to sit in on pieces that were edited for the network's morning show and evening newscast. I also got to talk with the editors and producers and hear about their work in television over the years. 

We had lunch with a producer of the network's weekly news magazine. He showed us pieces that he helped produce throughout the years and shared information about his career. Later, I'm hoping to have the chance to sit down and talk with him individually.

I got to be part of the network's nightly newscast crew for a couple nights as well. I usually sit in on "the morning call" which is where all the bureaus around the country and world talk about what is happening in their location. In addition, I sat in during the afternoon call and then got to see the newscast from the control room.

And finally, I got to see another aspect of how the network does pieces from the field. I got to be a production hand while we put together an evening show that was taped and will air on the network later this summer.

All of these experiences along with being able to participate in activities around the nation's capitol are worth the investment of moving here and not receiving pay. The experience, memories and new perspectives I have gotten are worth it. I also see it as an investment--I know my time here will help me personally and professionally in the future and may take me in new directions that I have not gone before.

If you're considering an internship (whether it's nearby your school or not), consider whether the experience you'll gain outweighs the cost of not being paid and not being in the classroom. Also, consider if it's an investment. Particularly, whether you will grow from the experience and it helps you personally and professionally in the future.

5th Entry

It’s hard to believe that I'm on my last week of the internship. So far I have spent it tying all of the loose ends together by meeting with people I haven't talked with yet, seeing things I haven't seen and asked questions that I have been wondering. This is really the week where I want to get a lot of stuff in.

I had the chance to sit down with a producer who gave me a lot of good advice about career direction. He used to work in local news and at one time lived near Minneapolis. He also looked at my resume and offered advice on my video stories. I've found networking and meeting people the most important part of the internship. It’s possible that one day he will be able to lead me to someone who may have an opportunity for me -- or maybe he will tell me something important I will be able to use. It seems like most people at my internship have been really helpful when we have questions. They know we are the up'n comers and will one day do what they do.

I also have had the chance to go to the White House. I was so close to seeing the president but his schedule changed. Still, it was a great opportunity to do something not normally part of my daily responsibilities. Make time for things like this in an internship -- the opportunity to do interesting and new things, even if it doesn't fit with the role you are playing in the organization.

Like I said, hard to believe it’s almost over. During the rest of the week I will continue to talk and reach out to as many people as I can. Also, I will look for any opportunities that come about. In my next post, I will reflect upon the semester.

6th Entry

The semester has come to a close and now it’s time to offer my final thoughts about the internship experience.

As a whole, I have had an enjoyable experience at the network as well as in Washington DC. For me, the two things I needed to justify were cost and location. The value of the internship needed to exceed the price of living in Washington as well as not being at SCSU to see my friends. It also needed to exceed what I would learn in the classroom. I believe it exceeded all of those and I got a good value for my time there. When thinking about and evaluating an internship, I think measuring this opportunity cost is important -- especially if it’s unpaid.

I talked a lot in my last post about the need to build contacts. The thing I liked the best was having so many seasoned professionals around me the whole time.  A lot of them have worked in different places around the country and the world and can offer a wealth of advice. They also have many contacts of their own that are just a call away. I will stay in touch with these people by occasional emails -- and now with Facebook and Twitter, they can know what I'm doing too.

Looking back, I'm also proud of the fact that I got to experience and see so many different areas and aspects of the network. I have a good understanding of how everything works as a whole -- not just one little piece. I think this is so important. Use the freedom of an internship to explore different aspects of an organization. While I had normal daily duties, I'm glad I took hold of opportunities to deviate from the norm and check out some stuff I otherwise wouldn't see. This included The White House, Supreme Court and a live shot for the network's morning show just to name  a few.

The one other piece of advice is to plan ahead. An internship will go by fast and there is limited time to take hold of all of these opportunities it has to offer. Know what you want to see, do and ask. For my internship, we had a lot of access to people, resources and chances to go places. So, I wanted to make sure I did everything I could.

I hope you have found my blog helpful this semester. Internships -- even unpaid -- can be an investment. Think about it before you go and weigh your options, but consider what you will get out of it. It has been a fun ride this semester and I hope you enjoyed it too!

The semester has come to a close and now it’s time to offer my final thoughts about the internship experience.

As a whole, I have had an enjoyable experience at the network as well as in Washington DC. For me, the two things I needed to justify were cost and location. The value of the internship needed to exceed the price of living in Washington as well as not being at SCSU to see my friends. It also needed to exceed what I would learn in the classroom. I believe it exceeded all of those and I got a good value for my time there. When thinking about and evaluating an internship, I think measuring this opportunity cost is important -- especially if it’s unpaid.

I talked a lot in my last post about the need to build contacts. The thing I liked the best was having so many seasoned professionals around me the whole time.  A lot of them have worked in different places around the country and the world and can offer a wealth of advice. They also have many contacts of their own that are just a call away. I will stay in touch with these people by occasional emails -- and now with Facebook and Twitter, they can know what I'm doing too.

Looking back, I'm also proud of the fact that I got to experience and see so many different areas and aspects of the network. I have a good understanding of how everything works as a whole -- not just one little piece. I think this is so important. Use the freedom of an internship to explore different aspects of an organization. While I had normal daily duties, I'm glad I took hold of opportunities to deviate from the norm and check out some stuff I otherwise wouldn't see. This included The White House, Supreme Court and a live shot for the network's morning show just to name  a few.

The one other piece of advice is to plan ahead. An internship will go by fast and there is limited time to take hold of all of these opportunities it has to offer. Know what you want to see, do and ask. For my internship, we had a lot of access to people, resources and chances to go places. So, I wanted to make sure I did everything I could.

I hope you have found my blog helpful this semester. Internships -- even unpaid -- can be an investment. Think about it before you go and weigh your options, but consider what you will get out of it. It has been a fun ride this semester and I hope you enjoyed it too!

- Kevin Hurd

Archive

Untitled Document