Brief, but brilliant, Tammy Trujillo’s Intern Insider: Getting the Most Out of Your Internship in the Entertainment Field was a vital resource in preparing me for the ins and outs of a media internship.
To preface, my very first internship was for a daily newspaper, not the form of journalism this book is geared towards, yet I was still able to apply almost all of her advice and information to my experiences throughout the summer. Regardless, the book is mostly centered around broadcast journalism internships as Trujillo has both taught and reported in the broadcast field. To cut a long story short, she just gets it and it was refreshing to hear advice from someone who knows the business inside out. There is no cheap talk in these pages that could lead you to believe any of this will be a walk in the park. Trujillo knows the challenges any intern is going to face and she did not shy away from sharing the reality of the road ahead.
The book is divided into four different sections of any internship: Before the Internship, Getting the Internship, During the Internship, and After the Internship. I really enjoyed this set-up because it guides you through the “in-betweens.” Allow me to expound. During my summer internship, I focused on the last two parts while I was there. However, during that same internship, I was introduced to the possibility of a second one, so I was able to find all of the information I needed for pursuing that at the beginning.
Every section has multiple chapters, so it is easy to break up the information and prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed. In the first two sections, there is crucial information and examples of things such as perfecting your cover letter and resume and then other chapters touching on the importance of putting yourself out there and not giving up in this inevitably frustrating and trying process. The best part of “before sections” was the chapter on “What’s Next?” It can be so hard to figure out what to do after an interview. Do you send a thank-you note? An email? A fruit basket?! Do people even do that anymore? Is it too much? Not enough? How long should I wait before I call? Stop. Trujillo has this down to a science (just like everything else, it seems!)
As for the other two sections, I studied these the most and there are some wonderful hidden gems in every read-through. I personally really enjoyed her chapter on “Getting Noticed Without Making a Scene.” It is mental block for most interns to calculate their place in their work environment, but Trujillo recommends you act as though you belong—that is now a motto I stick by. If I think and act as though I fit right in with this group of professionals, who is to say I don’t? Being an intern does not make you any less of an employee or part of the team and I am grateful Trujillo never let me forget it. There is also a great section about being a “pro-active intern” and I can’t stress this one enough. She is exactly right, your internship is only what you make it. If you come in prepared and aware of what you want, you can take the steps to achieve those goals. If not, you could be setting yourself up for a lot of “what-ifs” and disappointment.
Trujillo ends this masterpiece with advice on what to do when you mess up, what to do when disaster strikes among co-worker relationships and how to put this whole experience into perspective. According to her, an internship is simply a “ long audition for a job.” I like that. If that is so, the show must go on.
In conclusion, this book is an essential for any journalist’s collection. At a mere 106 pages, she couldn’t have made it any easier to tag along on all of your internship adventures. As for me, I am heading to NBC News in New York City this week to intern in their long-form department and you can bet this gem always has a spot in my briefcase. May this be my best “audition” yet.
A recent graduate of Hoover HIgh School, North Canton, Ohio, Jamie Landers is entrenched in her first year at the Cronkite School of Journalism. In addition, she is a Special Events Producer for School Video News and has anchored many of our events including the annual Ohio Education Technology Conference broadcasts and the Student Production Awards of the Ohio Valley National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
While at Hoover High School, she was involved in her school’s broadcast class, HVTV News, produced and hosted “Up to Date,” a TV11 show that stepped away from the school and community to focus on breaking down national headlines.
Her time permitting, we hope to follow Jamie's journey through Cronkite and share her experiences with other aspiring broadcast journalists.
You can learn more about Jamie Landers at jamielanderslive.com and in this interview https://vimeo.com/212493726