Thursday, June 4, 2009

The beginning of a wonderful opportunity

My name is Katie and I am a junior journalism major and international studies minor. During the spring semester I was looking for internships for the summer on AU Career Web and I came across a posting from an international news agency, Inter Press Service (IPS). I applied because I figured, hey what's the chance they'll call me back and I wouldn't mind staying in DC for the summer. But a week or so later they called and offered me a position for the summer! I researched the organization and found some of their stories on EBSCO for a paper I was doing on Sudan so I was really excited about this opportunity.

Unfortunately my first few days in DC didn't go so well, I couldn't get a hold of my supervisor and when I did they said they had to make sure they still needed me. I was so nervous that I stayed in DC for nothing, but a day later he called me back and said I needed to come in for an interview. So I looked up the address of their office and saw they were in the National Press Building. As a journalism major this was like a dream come true!

The day of my interview I was really nervous and I got there really early. I went up to where their offices were and just walked around the floor looking at all the agencies I could be working alongside in the near future and it felt amazing. When I walked into the office I was shocked at how small the room was, there were three desks crammed into a room with tons of filing cabinets and books and newspaper clippings were everywhere. But I knew that when I became a journalist, this was how my office would look too.

My interview was going really well, I talked to my supervisor and the director of the Washington, DC bureau of IPS and then they asked me what year I was at AU. When I said I was a junior the director looked at me and said that they don't hire undergrads, but they were willing to give me a test. Next thing I knew I was handed a pile of research, a report from Human Rights Watch about Congo, and articles about the UN's response and I was told to send them a story by the next day at 5 p.m. They also told me I needed to call Human Rights Watch to get a reaction about what was being done in light of their report.

As soon as I got home I started reading and working on my article. I wrote until midnight that night and then finally went to bed with a plan to call Human Rights Watch the next morning. But when the next day came and I called Human Rights Watch no one was answering their phones, either in New York or Washington so I was panicked. I finished my article and sent it in to IPS explaining that there was no one in the Human Rights Watch office. I called to confirm that my supervisor got it and he instantly said, I've read some of it and I like it, it's really well-written. Relief does not even describe what I felt.

The next day I was offered the internship and began my new job as a reporter for IPS. I could not even wait to start!

For this blog I'll tell you about what I do for IPS and all about covering stories for an international news organization. It's a lot of fun but it definitely has it's moments!

No comments:

Post a Comment