I feel like God’s luckiest creature because I spent the last three months living a very real dream, running alongside the big dogs.
I have long admired CNN for various reasons, and had aimed at interning there when I began mapping out my career aspirations. I respect its goal to be fair and “middle of the road,” and am captivated by the way they have embraced technology, trends and change to sit as a key player in the news market across age groups. CNN programming does not dominate TV ratings, but their mobile application is the most downloaded in Apple’s app store and the work that their digital team has been producing is nothing short of spectacular (check out ATL24). It’s all very exciting for someone coming into an evolving news market, who has watched as media outlets struggle and even fight change.
These are the reasons I came to CNN. My experience there is why I hope to be back.
I had the opportunity to intern with the CNN Newsource department, which produces content for over 800 CNN affiliates. I worked with some of the most talented people I have ever met, and was welcomed by them with enthusiasm. There were no shortages of assignments, no one skimped on advice and insider tricks, even the busiest people across the different departments took seconds, minutes and hours of their days to share what they knew would come in handy and allow me to watch them do what I eventually hope to do myself.
I had the opportunity to write, to interview, to report, to fact-check and to meet politicians, experts and other sources.
All of this during one of the busiest three months the D.C. bureau has seen. I landed in D.C. as a shooter claimed lives in Washington’s Navy Yard. Two weeks later, the government shutdown. Days later, a mentally-ill woman would be shot outside the office of the capitol, while law makers tried to end the shutdown and avert the impending crash of the debt-ceiling. Live shots for CNN affiliates during the Los Angeles Airport shooting were produced out of the D.C. bureau, and Nelson Mandela passed away the day before my last day.
I can’t possibly explain the excitement behind every assignment, but while at CNN, I truly felt like I finally had a foot in the big leagues. Many of the people we worked with, beginning with Bureau Chief Sam Feist, were CNN interns themselves. Thanks to Sam and the countless others who shared the stories of their journey here, I leave with a clearer vision of the role I eventually hope to play, and the understanding that there are so many jobs within, everything could change with one offer.
The taste of politics I got while at CNN convinced me it’s the game I want to play, and the time in Washington, the city that I love, where I want to do it.