Imagine a breaking story happens. You jump into a news van and cruise to the location. You get to experience the action play out in front of you and watch reporters capture the reactions of the people involved. Okay, so most people will probably never do this in their lives, but for U-Jin Lee it all became a reality this past summer.
U-Jin, a senior Communication Studies major, was given the chance to intern at My9 News, a sister station to Fox 5, for three months. “It was really eye-opening, you get to see how the media operates under pressure and time constraints”, says U-Jin.
The aspiring broadcast journalist explained that her typical day included going into the station at nine in the morning, and if there was breaking news, U-Jin traveled with the cameramen and news reporters to the different locations. I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot more exciting than a typical day during my summer. Naturally, I had to ask what was the most interesting story she saw being covered.
U-Jin said she got to interview four high school girls who succeeded in their petition to the U.S. Congress in getting the first female mediator for the presidential elections in 20 years. “I thought that was so cool that they could make a difference and that I could be a part of it,” says U-Jin.
You might be wondering, “Did she get to be on television?” Although U-Jin did get to ask the questions, the camera was just on the girls – and of course on U-Jin’s hand holding the microphone. But hey, that’s one more hand than most of us will ever get on television.
Fortunately for U-Jin, her jobs at the station didn’t end there. U-Jin also had the opportunity to help decide what news stories would be aired to the public. “I helped producers with the 10 o’ clock news by looking at patch websites [local news websites] and obtaining what I thought were news worthy stories,” says U-Jin. It is safe to say she didn’t hold a mundane internship with days of filing papers and fetching coffee for superiors.
What she loved was that her internship allowed her to not only be hands on, but it also gave her valuable experience for the future.
“I got to practice a lot in front of the camera and then I got to keep the reels for myself and for the next step in my career, which is applying to grad schools,” says U-Jin.
She plans on applying to graduate schools in New York City and holds this internship as something that will help her get there.
In addition to her hands-on experience, U-Jin was also lucky enough to meet My9News’ main anchors, Brenda Blackmon and Harry Martin and pick their brains for advice.
“They shared with me their personal experiences and steps in becoming reporters like them,” saysU-Jin.
U-Jin revealed that in a conversation with the news anchor, “Harry Martin told me, ‘If it really is your passion, there is no reason it can’t happen.’ And that just inspired me.”