Although I’ve learned a huge amount from my internship while working in the field, some of the most stimulating and educative experiences have been the weekly editorial meetings. There, I really get a chance to interact with my colleagues, giving suggestions for their ideas while also presenting my own.
Often, this is my only chance during the week to explain myself as a journalist — why I used certain angles in stories, who I chose to interview, what I would like to write about next. My colleagues give me great feedback and are there to help me work through any issues I face in the field — I learn greatly from the dialogue of it all. Plus, it’s an extremely gratifying feeling to help a colleague with his/her piece; it really makes me feel as though I’m contributing, which, as we’ve touched on multiple times in class, is a big deal for us “millennials.”
Going into the internship, though, the editorial meetings were an aspect of the job I was actually somewhat worried about. At my last internship, I worked at a publication with a much larger staff. Its meetings were pretty intimidating, especially since they chose not to put me on the weekly peer-editing list. Eventually, I fell into an unhelpful routine of not speaking at all during the meetings. I even became a little angry for their initial refusal to hear me out, when I should have been concentrating on finding other ways to contribute (one of my few regrets of the experience).
So, when I first entered the office last month at my new internship, I made sure to try to make a big impression at our first meeting. Since then, I’ve developed a routine of speaking often with enthusiasm. Although I never felt disrespected at my last internship, I feel much more of an equal here. And, I believe I’m getting a lot more out of my experience, as the meetings really are useful in continuing my growth as a writer.