Internships are invaluable (as if i’m telling you something you didn’t know)

My Page 1 play for my Indian Museum storyPractice makes perfect.

After my internship at The Oklahoman this summer, I truly couldn’t agree more.

I didn’t realize how much I needed to improve this summer until I arrived at the Oklahoman, and my copy came under the scrutiny of the editors here.

My first few stories were under par, and I was worried I had failed the editors’ litmus test. As discouraged as I might have been, they kept their faith in me, and in a few weeks, I was pumping out cleaner copy every day.

One of those stories was the one shown on the right. With the patience of Rick Green, the local desk editor here, I turned what was a mind-numbing numbers story into something truly valuable to the reader.

I should say that I had two goals this summer, and I would have been happy with just one of them being accomplished: Either (A): Get good play on the front page, or (B): Have two stories run on the same day.

I guess I set my goals pretty low, because the staff did more than their share to ensure that I got great stories and that they were well-played on the page. For example, in my first week, I had two front page stories.

One was on FEMA’s response to Oklahoma’s tornado damage. The other was this one.

Not only that, but in one edition I claimed the front page CP, and then had a second article teased on the front page as well. That broke both goals I wanted to achieve.

Another time, in yesterday’s edition, August 4, I got CP on the Page 1 AND on the Metro front.

I really can’t believe all the good that has come out of this internship for me.

I’ve made some amazing connections with some extraordinary journalists and interns here.

My writing went from typical fresh-out-of-j-school approach, to a more polished, professional style.

I’m still nowhere close to where I want to be as a storyteller. But give me two more years, and I might just be hirable. *Hint, Hint to any newspaper recruiters reading this*.

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