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Abby Baughan: Today Show Intern

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ohio U chapter.
  1. HCOU: What is your year and major?

Abby Baughan: I am a sophomore Journalism major on the Strategic Communication track.

  1. HCOU: How did you first hear about the Today Show internship?

AB: I heard about the TODAY internship in an email that Karen Peters sent out to the entire J-School. I decided to apply because I am a personal fan of the TODAY Show and it sounded like a great opportunity.

  1. HCOU: What was the process before getting the internship?

AB: The application process was kind of complicated. It started with submitting my application, resume and cover letter to NBC through the journalism school. TODAY picked four people to be interviewed and I was one of them. I was only a freshman when I found out that I would be interviewed and the other three candidates were juniors, so I didn’t think I had much of a shot. From the time I found out I got an interview in early April, I watched the show almost daily and watched every clip that was put on TODAY.com and their YouTube channel. I was constantly studying all of the anchors and producers. I wanted to be as prepared as possible. I didn’t end up actually being interviewed until late July and found out later that day that I got the internship.

  1. HCOU: Was it a paid internship? If so, how much?

AB: It was a paid internship. We made $10/hour and I worked full time (40 hours per week).

  1. HCOU: Tell me the average day you had at the office (what you did, etc)

AB: There wasn’t really an “average day” at work. It was constantly changing. We rotated shifts between the Green Room (scheduling cars for guests and anchors, catering to guests and escorting them onto set), Control 1A (music cues, research, coffee runs, anything that the producers need help with for the first two hours), Control 72 (same as Control 1A, but for the second two hours), office (answering phones, delivering mail, etc.), Ambush Makeover (a segment they do every Thursday where they pick two people from the plaza and give them makeovers) and Plaza (entertaining and interacting with guests on the plaza). Those shifts would happen in the morning while the show was actually on the air. After we would go off the air, most of my time was spend helping producers with research, going on shoots, logging tape and doing office-type work.

6. HCOU: What was your favorite part?

AB: My favorite part was all of the connections that I got to make, all of the people that I got to meet and all of the experiences that I got to have. I met all of the TODAY Show talent and talent from other NBC shows. I got to work at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, go to Democracy Plaza during the election, work in Control 1A the morning after the election and volunteer at the News Emmys. I met with Matt Lauer which was cool because he went to OU and always really loves to meet his OU interns. Also, working in 30 Rock is the coolest thing ever. It feels like you’re in a TV show all day long. It’s amazing. I also had the experience of living in New York City during all of the Christmas festivities which was pretty surreal. 

7. HCOU: What’s your best memory?

AB: My best memory was working at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Another intern and I got to work pretty closely with Al Roker while he hosted the pre-show. After the pre-show, we got to just stay at the parade and watch it from the front row with other people from NBC. It was pretty cool because I’ve watched the parade on TV every year since I was a little kid and seeing it up close and in real life was a dream come true. I also got to see Carol Burnett live at the Beacon Theatre which was absolutely insane. I’m such a big fan of hers and she was so funny. That’s a night I’ll never forget. 

8. HCOU: Where did you stay in NYC?

AB: I lived on the Upper East Side, which usually makes the Gossip Girl fans go crazy. It was a very nice area. It wasn’t as glamorous as you would think, though. I actually lived in a student/intern residence inside of a Jewish community center of sorts. It was interesting. My room was really small and I had a roommate that I didn’t know. It was actually one of the cheapest last minutes options that I could find because I only had about three weeks to find a place to live. The commute to work from my residence was very easy via subway, which made things a lot easier.

9. HCOU: What did you do while you weren’t on the job?

AB: While I wasn’t on the job, I liked to go adventuring around the city. I lived three blocks from Central Park, so I went there a lot and would just walk around and take it all in. My boyfriend came to visit me in October and we went to the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park and rented a canoe. That’s one of my favorite memories. My favorite part of Manhattan is Battery Park, so I would go down there a lot too and just walk along the water. I have three little sisters, ages 9, 8 and 3, and I spent a lot of time Facetiming them while I walked around the city so that they could see everything. The food in New York is amazing, so I liked to try new types of food too. There is a Japanese restaurant on the Upper East Side called Guzan that I still crave to this day and a place called Bonjour Crepes and Wine that I crave pretty often too. There was a gluten free bakery a few blocks over from me called Noglu (which was convenient because I have celiac disease and can’t eat gluten) so I would go there every weekend and get muffins. The people who worked there actually knew my name and expected me on Sunday mornings. 

(Photos courtesy of Abby Baughan)

Just a quirky fashion journalist trying to get it right!