My life as an intern for The Minot Daily News has certainly kept me on my toes and all ears these past few weeks, but I've enjoyed every moment of living what could possibly be my profession in a few years.
Earlier this year, Magic City Campus proposed a summer internship program in which students could earn high school credit and in some instances be paid. I took on the offer and sent in my application, in hopes it would bring me to this newspaper. As you can see, I was accepted as their intern, and was immediately put to work on articles such as "Tent of encouragement" and "Getting back on track." Given the chance to do what I love while listening to others' stories gave me the opportunity to actually realize why I was doing this.
Most of the stories I covered were on the flood, but they were different adventures every time. From getting yelled at for trespassing, to climbing through moldy, flooded homes in a skirt, I gladly took in the experience for all it was worth. I must confess, seeing my name in a byline was one of the most exhilarating parts of this internship, but so were many other aspects. For instance, speaking with Red Cross volunteers and Salvation Army officials led to a conversation that was not only inspiring, but uplifting. After spending many hours writing and speaking with individuals about several topics, I realized how much I love doing this not just writing, but finding out people's side of things, and understanding that what they have to say is important.
We live in a world where communication is a controlling aspect of life, and yet we know nothing about talking to each other in an organized and formal manner. Finding a way to change that has become a large goal for me, but taking small steps is part of the long journey.
Now, as you all know, this is a review of my internship, and obviously not everything was fun and games. There were some people I ran into who treated me unfairly because my affiliation with the press. But going into journalism, I knew trouble could lie ahead with interviews, quotations, and people being held responsible for their actions. Fortunately, there were no major issues, just small complications such as individuals refusing to be quoted, interviewed, and taking responsibility for their comments.
I felt it was a little bit of a challenge for me to prove that it didn't matter if I was 16, I could still write like a reporter. This isn't about age, or identity, or even social status, it's about telling the story like a professional.
Becoming a writer is something I've wanted to do for a while, but I never really grasped the idea that it was possible until now. Everyone has a story to tell, and I want to write about it. But finding a way to channel that drive into a book or article has become a struggle with the flood and other stress that has affected everyone. This internship helped me find a way to do just that, and brought life back to a level of normalcy.
I recommend any student, whether in high school or college, look into applying for an internship in your desired field. Not only is it an eye-opener to what the job entails, but it may change your mind. I began this internship hoping that someday I would write for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, or the L.A. Times, but I realized that wasn't quite what I want to do. It's not that this wasn't an incredible experience and opportunity, because it was. But it made me think about options that would include my other desired field the fashion industry.
Coming from North Dakota, I realize there will be an array of reactions from both locals and those in the fashion world, but if a funny look or comment is expected to stop me, then people have another thing coming.
As for where I'm going after this, that will just have to be a story covered at a later time.
(Amber Zolondek will be a senior at Minot High School this fall)