You did it! You finally got the call that you are going to be one of the interns for your dream television network!
This is exactly how I felt once I got that call. The excitement passed and was replaced with nerves and curiosity. What was I going to be doing for the next two months? Well, this question will be present in all the minds of a “to-be” intern and I am here to answer it.
People are going to tell you that you will basically be a “helper”: getting coffee and food for the producers, reporters, and anchors; essentially doing the jobs they don’t want to do. At least, this is what I thought as I walked through the doors of CTV BC. But I was shortly proven very wrong.
I was told to wear “business casual”; two familiar words that when put together, were like I had never seen them before. I mistakenly chose to wear a business skirt with a dress shirt and a blazer. In simple terms, I was not dressing as myself and I was most definitely not comfortable; two things that are important to standing out at an internship.
I sat down and smiled at the other intern, looking like a lost puppy. Within minutes, one of the main producers sat beside me and started teaching me everything there was to know. She also reassured me that I would make mistakes and that it would be okay. She told me I would be researching story ideas, answering phone calls, transferring phone calls (the hardest part of my job), and the most exciting part, doing actual interviews.
At first, I thought the last part about me going out on interviews would never happen. Why send an intern out when you can send an actual reporter? But this was also a mistake; my very first day I was sent out on an interview! The one drawback is that you are given the questions you are meant to ask only five minutes before you meet the interviewee.
Throughout the two months, I met countless reporters, producers, and anchors and they have all been so supportive. Everyone that works in the studio was once in my shoes, so they were more than willing to help. Getting this internship was the highlight of my summer and also helped me find out that journalism was a career worth pursuing.
Writer Jessica at CTV BC! -->
Here are some internship survival tips to remember:
Walk into work everyday with a big smile on your face. Introduce yourself to everyone that you come across to make a name for yourself.
Wear clothing that is comfortable and presentable (black jeans, flats and a nice shirt), but make sure to wear something that still expresses your personality.
Eat lunch in the staff room. This is where you are going to meet the most people and be able to talk to them about their careers.
People are always willing to talk about their experiences, career, or their journey to get to where they are now. All you have to do is ask.
If you are ever unsure of how to do something, do not hesitate to ask.
When you go out on interviews, don’t only use the questions written for you. Be creative and ask your own, it will impress those around you and create great material for the story.
The hours can be pretty unbearable, so make sure to get a good night’s sleep!
You will most likely not be getting paid, so a part-time job on the side may be necessary.
Just enjoy every second, it is truly a once in a lifetime experience!