Once you land your dream internship, where do you go from there? Many students take on internships with the hopes of coming out with a job. Although it’s never a guarantee, there’s always opportunity to put yourself out there and get noticed. Recent Ryerson University journalism graduate Marie Alcober shares insight into how she went from an intern to a web producer at the Business News Network (BNN).
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m a curious, fly-by-the-seat-off-my-pants kind of girl. I don’t shy away from new things and I’m not afraid to admit that I know very little. That’s what’s so great about the journalism industry. I get the opportunity to meet smart people and learn from their expertise everyday.
How did you first land your internship with BNN?
To be able to graduate, I had to complete an internship program during my fourth year at Ryerson University. The only goal I set for myself, really, was to do an internship that would really put me out of my comfort zone. I figured that this was my last chance to try something different before going into the “real world.” Initially, I had planned to do reporting in the Philippines, where I thought I could test my resilience. But when that didn’t pan out, I thought of the second hardest type of journalism that I thought I could never do: business. So I emailed my internship coordinator and she gave me a contact at BNN. I emailed the network’s executive producer and got an interview in two weeks.
What attracted you to this company?
The fact that it’s the only TV channel in Canada that focuses only on business and finance news. It’s a great place to have an immersive learning experience because you don’t get pulled into different areas of news.
What skills did you learn during your internship?
I learned to actually read reports—cover to cover. Journalism school teaches students to listen for “juicy quotes” but a lot of reporting is simply poring over documents. Surprisingly, in most cases the more interesting points are only glossed over in page one. You’ve got to dig deep.
How long did you intern with BNN?
What was the most valuable thing you took from your internship experience?
When you throw yourself into a situation knowing that everything about it will be new and unfamiliar, it sort of gives you a sense of self like never before. That’s probably the most valuable thing I took from this—a self-assurance that I can dip my toes into all sorts of new and unfamiliar endeavors and not be afraid of them.
How did you turn your internship into a job?
The truth of it is, I simply asked. I let my supervisor know that I would make myself available for them if they ever need any help. I asked if I could stay on as an intern, so I could get the hang of everything, in case they needed someone to fill in during the holidays.
What role do you have within the company now?
I’m part of BNN.ca‘s web team. I edit and post videos and wire stories to the website. I also write mini-articles that go along with interview segments. Basically, I help make sure that the television segments are translated into web content that’s hopefully valuable to both the core BNN viewers and the wider online audience as well.
What advice do you have for other interns?
Don’t pretend like you know it all. The veterans will see right through you. And besides, it’s easier for you to absorb your surroundings when you let yourself become a blank slate.