I grabbed my friend’s arm and shook the life out of him when I found out. I’d been in the backseat of my journalism advisor’s car, on the way back to school, when Kyle called me and congratulated me on getting the internship.
Emails were then sent, applications were signed, and the orientation meeting was scheduled. It was a warm Wednesday evening when I stepped into Spring Lobby for the first time. One by one, the interns filed in. We lingered with awkward chunks of spaces between each other. That space would diminish rapidly within the following six weeks.
I Snapchatted my L.A. Times ID when I got it. I still remember how my best friend replied to it with encouraging words, giving me the extra boost I needed to really kick butt. But my best friend wasn’t my only personal cheerleader. I had my mentor.
Throughout the summer, aerospace and business reporter Sam Masunaga shared a love for dogs with me. Once a week, she took me out for lunch and coffee to catch up, talk about the week’s events, and discuss my enterprise project, which was an art pitch we developed and presented at the Culminating Showcase. But I’ll talk more about that later. Eventually, Sam became more than just my mentor. She was a friend and someone I learned to truly appreciate and respect.
In addition to Sam, I also met many other professionals. Kyle took the courtesy of introducing us interns to different people across the newsroom. I also met plenty of people outside of the L.A. Times building while I was out on assignment, including student athletes and different museum managers.
From these people and experiences, both my journalistic and life skills grew. I learned how to use a DSLR and how to better approach interviewees. I learned how to keep myself safe when out on assignment and received insight on the future of journalism. I realized that it was okay to be unsure about what I wanted to do in life, and I think that came as a relief to all the interns.
On July 26, we presented everything we did in the span of six weeks at our Culminating Showcase. We talked about the arts and sports stories we covered, and our civic engagement project, Speak for Yourself. Then, we spoke about our enterprise stories individually.
It was great to see every body all dressed up, but boy, was I nervous. Talking in front of crowds generally don’t faze me, but I remember halfway through my speech, I had a very strange, overwhelming moment in which I finally understood the phrase “legs felt like jello”. Yet, nervousness and all, it just made the experience more enjoyable.
I’d like to say that is the entire internship in a nutshell, but honestly, there was so much more to it. I wish I could accurately describe this experience, but some things are so amazing that they just can’t be put to words.
In this internship, I started to wear sunglasses, spent too much money on food, got lost on public transportation, and did so much more. I could travel the whole world, but it wouldn’t compare to the experience I had here, in Los Angeles, under the Los Angeles Times, as an HS Insider intern.