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Reflections on Working at The Buzz & The Value of an Internship

Alex Daily's experience

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Alex Daily

Alex Daily, a journalism major at Indiana University, helping out at the 2014 Dive-In Movie Night. She’s interned at The Buzz two summers in a row.

After completing my summer internship last year, I thought it would be the last time I walked through The Buzz’s doors. The next week I was off to Indiana University to start my freshman year of college, and while I couldn’t be more excited for the opportunities that awaited me, it was hard to leave The Buzz behind.

In those few short months, I experienced how a magazine publication is run, what I liked and didn’t like within journalism, and the value of editing and drafting a story. Most importantly though, I learned how to ask the right questions: an interview is only as good as the questions you ask. As editor, Joni Hoffman, always says, “Dig deeper! It’s the nuggets you want!”

Throughout college, that became my mantra. I started writing for the school newspaper, throwing myself into a medium that was very different from what I was used to at The Buzz. Being a daily publication, most articles had to be written the same day the pitch was received, giving little to no time for strong interviews, a change from The Buzz’s monthly publication schedule.

However, I still made an effort to have complete interviews for my articles, learning that when people are most comfortable, they give the best insight.

Returning to The Buzz for a second summer offered me another chance to explore more sides of journalism and further develop my skills as a reporter. I went on advertising sales calls, visited various museums in Houston and wrote about the experiences and interactions with the visitors, and had the opportunity to write a feature length article.

As I prepare to return to Indiana University in the next week, I come with more confidence in myself as a journalist; very few people can say they’ve been published multiple times in a magazine read by 58,000 before entering their sophomore year of college.

However, what I value most about my internship is the sense of community that The Buzz Magazines embodies. Though each staff member has their own work, everyone still gathers to celebrate birthdays, baby showers, and proofing days with lunch. The Buzz is a family, one that truly appreciates each employee’s ideas, even those of an intern.

The best piece of advice I can give interns is to ask: request to sit in on meetings, talk to the other workers about what their jobs are like or any career advice they have. Do not become lazy and complacent and only do the minimum asked of you. Show your dedication in the assignments you complete; it will be recognized. Challenge yourself, but ask for help when needed.

Most importantly, do not immediately reject an internship just because it is unpaid. Career advice, discovering your true passion, and connecting with other professionals in your field is more valuable; who knows where that internship could lead.

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