So my internship is over and I have to say, I had the best time in my life. For anyone interested in learning more about health issues and policy and in North Carolina, then North Carolina Health News is for you!
As an intern, I learned a lot of neat things, like how to push my way through big crowds and hunt down sources, but I also got to do a lot of cool things. Here’s a list of things I got to do as an intern:
10. I got to watch a bunch of reporters get angry at politicians.
Now when you make a schedule, you are supposed to stick to it. Politicians don’t like that. Many times throughout the session, meetings were cancelled and new meetings were held (like the infamous 2 minute Rules Committee meetings). Sometimes, they had meetings in secret, like the time one the Senate recessed its session and decided to have a meeting and came back with a bunch of stuff. The faces in the pressroom were priceless.
9. I only made my addiction to coffee worse.
I knew I had an issue with coffee, but listening to politicians drone on about things (somethings things they don’t know much about), you have to stay awake somehow. It’s safe to say Starbucks basically owns me and I can’t get away from their grasp. Even as I’m writing this, I’m drinking a Caramel Frappucino, which by the way, they actually spelled my name right this time!
8. I wrote about stuff I actually care about.
As a pre-med student and a science nut (I watch science documentaries for fun… stop judging me), being about to report on issues and topics I actually cared about made the experience that more valuable. From mental health policy to community clinics, I got to talk to people from all walks of life and share their story.
7. My inner sass came out.
My friends are well aware of this, but sometimes, I can be sassy. Not in a mean way, more like in a comical fashion. My boss found this funny when I told her “no, I can’t do that, just kidding!” (I really was kidding, Rose. Seriously!) Also when sources wouldn’t talk to me, I wasn’t afraid to push them (not like physically… like “well I mean the facts are there, you can’t hide from it” type of way). Basically, I learned how to assert myself. Maybe that should have been the subhead here….
Spending almost my entire summer in Raleigh allowed me to explore the area around me. Besides from the sketch-tastic hotels in the area (but really…), I really enjoyed the dining options in the area. Like this lovely Lebanese place I went to with my boss.
5. I got to talk to politicians.
Not everyone can say they’ve spoken to a state Representative or Senator. Though I’m not fond of their constant bickering in session (though it is quite funny to listen to), most of them were actually really nice to talk to! They even asked me about school and what I was planning on doing with my life (which I still don’t have a clear answer for). It was nice to know that these big shots are people too (well… sorta kinda).
4. I got my own office.
Part of my internship was spending a week with the North Carolina Medical Society with the media department. Here, I got to attend their communication meetings and even got to meet the CEO. I also got my own office, which came with a lovely desk, a computer and even my own personal landline.
3. My stories got picked up by other news sites.
Now as a writer, getting your story passed around is pretty cool. It’s even better when it is picked up by a national health news site! Many of my stories were picked up by Kaiser Health News and let’s just say, I was pretty happy! Another story also got picked up by The Charlotte Observer‘s website.
2. I actually like to listen to Senate/House sessions… even when I don’t have to.
You know you have absolutely no social life or a life in general when you find yourself listening to the Senate debate bills and the budget at 10 p.m. at night, after you already went home and are off duty. I actually did this instead of watching something on Netflix or YouTube. What has my life become???
1. I met the governor of North Carolina.
On my last day of my internship, my boss suggested I go to the governor’s press conference. It was held in his office, which wasn’t big enough to fit all of the TV crews and reporters, but we figured it out. As other reporters goofed around and took selfies, I kind of just awkwardly stood in the back and took a ridiculous number of photos. It was pretty neat to listen to and funny to watch his cabinet members stand behind him for the entire time, smiling and nodding to everything he said.
All in all, it was one of the best summers I had and I can say that truthfully. I gained so many skills, met tons of important people, and I can proudly say I wrote for North Carolina Health News! Make sure to check them out!