I have been so busy working at this news station. I have now been to the White House multiple times, and gotten to meet Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Chobani and the World Entrepreneur of the Year; Steve Case, former cheif executive officer of AOL; Farooq Kathwari, CEO of Ethan Allen; the founder of Voice Bunny; and many more great people who met with President Obama about immigration and the opportunities that America provides. I have been running around helping with interviews, and just yesterday I was actually able to provide the interviewee. It was a friend of mine that speaks Spanish, and we needed a student that could speak to us about the effect that the doubling of student loans will have on the middle class and Hispanic community. Not only was I successful at that, but I also managed to hold my first interview last week with a reverend that was part of an immigration reform protest in front of the Capitol. The office was very busy as the immigration reform bill was slowly being altered and voted on. Since Thursday, we have gotten to sit back a little bit, and are just looking forward for the Fourth of July and Congress recces. I also helped out with Jorge Ramos, anchor for the Noticiero Univision and the Saturday segment of Al Punto, with a discussion with senators and the chairmen of organizations that deal with the Hispanic community and immigration. It was held in the Kennedy Caucus room, with hours of preparation. I have been overwhelmed with joy and experience at this internship.
On Tuesday, the interns got to visit The Experience Room. This is a room that features all of the newest products that we plan on or are currently rolling out into retail. There was so much cool technology in the room, including Bluetooth headphones and speakers, iPhone charging cases and video conference calling technology that hooks up through your television. It was really cool to be able to see new technology before it is even being sold in our stores!
Every Friday, I work with the Live Operations team. I’ve been learning a lot about the importance of quick problem solving, prioritizing what’s most important, and logging information. When it comes to live environments, a lot of things can go wrong and a lot of things you just have to learn through experience.
It’s pretty exciting getting to see all the different screens operating with information that’s constantly updated. It’s a lot to take in at once, but the seasoned pros that work in there every weekend have everything down to a science. A lot of times, whiteboards are used to sketch out concepts, describe details of a schedule, or keep race-specific information so that the whole team is on the same page. It’s like a game plan. Everyone works really well together.
This room has about 4 TV screens, a projector and huge power strips everywhere. I really wish I knew how many power outlets there are in there! It’s officially called the training room and I can see why: I’m definitely learning a lot!
Recap: This summer my main internship project is called Hometown Stories, and I will be pitching stories about all of the interns to their hometown newspapers. I thought I’d explain my project by detailing the various steps in the project and what I have been able to take away from each one.
Step 2: Find the story using information from a form, and talking to interns more if necessary.
The second step of my Hometown Stories project is definitely one of my favorites. This is probably because it starts with a highlighter and a pen, and I love highlighting and marking things up. So, I read everything they provide me on their forms and write down other tidbits I’ve learned. I then try to pull what I think is the most interesting about each person. It may be something about the intern personally, or about the project they are working on throughout their internship.
For example, one intern just returned from a year abroad in France, so in my pitch to his hometown newspapers I emphasized the whirl-wind year he has been having and the fact that his knowledge of French and the things he learned while traveling in France is helpful in his internship in the Visitor Services department.
For another intern, a Geology student working in the Center for Earth & Planetary Studies, I decided to focus on her intern project, which involves searching images of Mars’s surface to look for lava flows and looking into evidence of ancient lakes and rivers on Mars. Because there is inherent interest in the exploration of other planets, I chose to emphasize this aspect.
These are just two examples of pitches that I am working on—I have over 15 forms turned in by interns and I anticipate receiving more so my work is cut out for me, but I really enjoy learning about and finding a unique story angle for each intern. In the end, the challenge is figuring out which angle would be of the most interest to the readers of the newspapers I am pitching, which leads us to the third step…
I’ll cover Step 3 in my next post!
Last week was absolutely… crazy, fun, exciting, stressful, life changing. I had the opportunity to interview two actors, one on Wednesday, June 26, and the other on Thursday, June 27. For this post, I want to talk about just the first one.
My first interview was with Gildart Jackson, a British actor who is currently playing Giles, the butler on ABC’s reality show “Whodunnit?” The experience was one-of-a-kind, and after roughly half a week of prep, I learned a lot.
The biggest thing I learned is research is essential. How well you research the person you are interviewing is a huge factor in creating a well thought out interview. I spent most of the days leading up to my interview doing nothing but research. I searched his IMDb account, narrowed down his roles and spent countless hours watching clips and interviews to help me understand who this person was.
To know that when Gildart Jackson asked me, “Have you seen this?” or “Have you seen that?” and I could reply back saying, “Yes I have!” and then discuss it with him, is an empowering feeling. Not only did it make him excited to talk about the shows, it made me excited to know I could hold that conversation with him.
The other most important thing is how you set up your interview space. I made sure I had put myself in a quiet area with little to no distraction, with my phone and laptop plugged in. I pulled up IMDb along with my questions, and I had a document up that allowed me to record the interview.
I won’t sit here and gush too much about how amazing it was talking with Gildart Jackson, but what I will say is how thankful I am for this opportunity. I knew when I started my internship, I’d have the chance to interview celebrities, artists and authors, but I never knew it’d actually happen. So, I send one million thanks to The Daily Quirk and the wonderful managing editor for making this happen!
However, I do have one more thing to share. After the interview went live, something awesome happened. One of the contestants from the show “Whodunnit?” took the time to favorite the tweet about my article posted by The Daily Quirk. I know, it’s nothing too special, but to me it made me feel on top of the world.
You can read my interview with Gildart Jackson here: http://thedailyquirk.com/2013/06/29/an-interview-with-whodunnit-star-gildart-jackson/