Summer internship a lesson in relationships
By: Jenica Foster
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013 03:23 pm
It was the most stressful and exhausting summer I have ever had, but interning at the Western Wheel was the best learning experience I could have hoped for.
For the first time in my life I felt needed at work. I was treated as an equal and people depended on me. They trusted me to get my stories done on time and done well.
Thatís a wonderful feeling knowing someone has faith in your abilities.
As a result of this faith, I have gained the confidence to go with my skills.
When I first started this job back in May, I was nervous to pick up the phone and call someone I had never met before. I would circle the block a couple of times in my car and then recite a pep talk before meeting with the person I was about to interview.
I knew I couldnít enter the office again if I didnít come back with the information for a story. So, I adopted Nikeís phrase, ďJust do it.Ē Itís a simple as that.
It was a thrill to conquer that fear of failure or rejection. As I was thrown into new situations, that thrill kept growing. Itís like Iíve been on a high all summer.
That high was intensified when the June 20 flood hit. I was thrown into situations I had no idea how to handle and it seemed like I was a victim struggling through the waters at times. Although, on the outside I threw on a brave face and jumped right in.
Like most people, after the initial shock wore off, I wanted life to get back to normal. It was difficult listening to devastating stories over and over again. After so much flood coverage it felt like it would never end. It still hasnít, but itís an important job informing the public and I feel honoured to be a part of that.
While the news stories were great growth opportunities, my favourite stories featured people across the foothills, like the woman who turned 100 or the Oilfieldsí graduate who treats his body like a temple.
With each profile, I was brought into anotherís world and I was able to share their story.
Complete strangers opened up to me and we created this bond of trust. I was taken down different roads full of memories I never would have turned onto otherwise.
These past four months Iíve learned journalism is about creating relationships.
Before I started this job I thought journalism was about extracting stories and relaying them to the public in unique ways. Instead, it truly is about creating a bond with complete strangers and sharing an experience or a memory together. Itís about connecting with the people in Okotoks, which I am thankful I had the opportunity to do so.
At the end of the day Iím leaving people with a collage of memories welded into a story.
Most importantly, journalism isnít just a job; itís a way of life.