My internship here is almost over.
Looking back, things have changed so much. I was so nervous at the beginning. When I received my first assignment, before I was even back at school, I hadn’t researched, interviewed or written all summer. All of a sudden, I had five stories and one quiz to write. I was so worried that I would royally screw up.
I remember my first interview. Except for a couple of my young teenage years when all I did was sit and chat on the phone with my friends, I have hated talking on the phone. I don’t like that I can’t read people’s emotions on the other side of the line. I don’t know how they are reacting to what I say and if I should stop or continue talking. I can’t see their expressions and hand gestures when they are explaining a concept or telling a story. I can’t tell when they are chuckling under their breath.
Up until I started with St. Louis Woman Magazine, I had only done a handful of phone interviews. I always scheduled interviews face-to-face. So for my first one, I had so much trouble just dialing. I sat with the phone in my hand for a good 10 minutes mentally preparing.
Now it’s a different story.
Phone interviews have transformed into something so simple. Pick up the phone. Dial. Ask a couple questions. Say thank you. Hang up. Write.
This is only one little area in which I have improved. Thankfully, I didn’t royally screw up, just little screw-ups along the way. I didn’t get a photo for one of my first profiles. I kept spelling important words wrong. I didn’t pay attention to details of the magazine’s style, such as “says” versus “said.” I waited till the last minute to get some photos for the Happenings section.
The thing is, all of those mistakes have added up to lessons learned. Thank goodness for editors. I don’t know what I would have done without Rebecca. Although I’m sure my mess-ups have been frustrating, she has been patient and definitely turned my internship into a very useful and beneficial learning experience.
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by Morgan Brown