Molly Nagle is a Junior at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, studying Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. She is currently an intern at MediaTracks Communications. You can listen to her stories on the Radio Health Journal and Viewpoints.
By: Molly Nagle
My experience as an intern has been an invaluable one. Working closely with experts who have been in the radio game for as long as I’ve been alive has given me the chance to learn and avoid mistakes that rookies often make in the competitive field of Broadcast Journalism.
I work as an intern at MediaTracks Communications, a leader in providing audio and radio services to PR agencies, and a producer of syndicated, long-form radio shows. Playing on over 750 stations across the country, the stories in Radio Health Journal and Viewpoints are heard by over six million listeners each week. As an intern with the company, I have the privilege to write content for both shows. In the seven weeks I have been at MediaTracks, I have written eight stories for air, three of which I also produced. My writing has improved greatly since my start back in May, and with a little less than half of my internship left, there is still time for even more improvement.
The hands-on experience I’ve gotten here is unbelievable, and something that exists exclusively with smaller companies—a factor that students should keep in mind when applying to internships. We all fall victim to the allure of having a “big name” company on your resume, but the truth of the matter is that you simply don’t get the same opportunities there as you do with smaller companies. After being upset when I did not get the internship with NBC’s Meet the Press that I interviewed for, I can now safely say that everything worked out for the best, and I couldn’t be happier with interning and learning here at MediaTracks.
As an intern, I have come to learn that you get out what you put into your internship. If you really want to improve, and get the most out of your time, you’re going to have to work hard. Of course, that gets a lot easier when you are surrounded by a staff that is grateful for the work you do, and happy that you are there, as it is here. (Can you tell I like my internship?) I’ve definitely learned to not be afraid to ask for more work if I have nothing to do. Time flies when you’re busy working on a project, and it’s the best way to improve, and experience more of what it’s like to actually work in the industry. And after all, isn’t that what internships are meant to do?
I’ve also learned that you can’t be afraid to just go for it. Going into my junior year of School, I have two internships on my resume. And while most internships do have an age requirement, I have managed to skirt that in the past. There’s no harm in applying, and I am so happy that I did. There is only so much that can be taught in the classroom, and the truth is, you really don’t know if you’re going to like a job until you actually get out there and try it. I didn’t want to wait until I was half way through school to get an internship, and realize that I didn’t care for the profession.
So what would my advice be to someone thinking about an internship? DO IT. Seriously, even if you aren’t certain that its what you want to do in the future, take the opportunity if you’re given it. You never know what doors you’ll unlock, or passions you’ll discover unless you give it a try. There is a quote by Tina Fey that I adore, and plan to hang in my room, so I am reminded everyday: “Say yes, and you’ll figure it out afterwards.” Whether it’s to an internship, or a project while interning, never pass up an opportunity to expand your horizons, and do something that you’ve never done before. This advice seems to have worked for Tina, and if I am half as fortunate as her in my future career, I’d say I’m doing ok.
Molly, thanks for taking the time to share this with us! Students, start searching for an internship now!