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Jordyn Johnson: Summer Reflections

Jordyn Johnson

When I was a kid, I looked forward to summer nearly all school year. I was always so excited to spend time at the pool, hang out with friends and have some time off to relax. Now, though, I look forward to summer for a different reason—internships.

In my opinion, having internship experience is one of the most crucial out-of-class experiences a person can do during their collegiate career. It gives you real-world job experience that honestly can’t be found anywhere else.

This summer, I worked as an intern at the Charleston Gazette-Mail, my hometown newspaper. However, I wasn’t just going on coffee runs and making copies, I was working as an actual reporter at a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper.

I wrote around 50 articles in the 13 weeks I was there, adding a lot more to my portfolio than before. Not only have was I able to cover local news, state news, court cases and write a variety of feature pieces, I also got to go more in-depth with stories.

Some of my favorite moments were having the very first article I wrote on the front page, getting to attend a presidential candidate’s town hall, attending interesting court cases and writing articles that I felt actually impacted someone in some way. Having my very last article on the front page was also a plus. 

It was really amazing being able to have so much free rein as an intern and having the ability to writing things I was actually interested in. I definitely was able to learn and grow as a writer through the help of the different editors and reporters in the newsroom who were invaluable to me throughout the experience. 

There was a wonderful camaraderie in the Gazette-Mail newsroom, and I definitely felt more than welcome from the moment I walked in on my first day.

This internship made me feel like an actual journalist, and I know it give me the practical skills and connections that I can use throughout my career.

I feel as though I have brought back so much knowledge to my position at the Daily Athenaeum, WVU’s student newspaper, that I couldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

I’m so grateful for being chosen as one of two interns for the Charleston Gazette-Mail for this summer because it definitely changed my career as a young journalist!