Summer in D.C.
I began my summer with an eager spirit.This would be a different experience for me, because I have never had an internship before. My first couple of weeks were filled with passive responses. I do not like conflict and didn't want to step on anyone's toes. When my supervisor, Kathleen Struck, would ask us what we were working and the group fell silent I would answer for the entire team. My rational for this was if no one said anything Struck would get upset. But, I did not know was in return for my speedy was the workload of half of my group. Since I always answered for the group I somehow was left responsible for most of the general assignments she would give. I went along with this until half way through my internship. The number of random tasks I had to complete was becoming too much to handle. This was partially because I had been doing another intern's work on top of my own. I told my boss what was going on after not being able to get him to do his fair share. She was happy I told her and said she would handle the problem.
However, the issues did not stop there. Struck, was still giving me random assignments to complete. This frustrated me, because I would be in the middle of working on something she had assigned and she would ask me to start something else. So, I would try to finish my first assignment to start the next. Whenever I would tell her what I was working on she would bring up the importance of the new thing she had assigned. That is when I learned to finish whatever she asked me to do. Exactly when she asked me to do it. That is also when I stopped completing all the group assignments on my own.
Once I got those two things down packed I started finish more assignments and taking control of my internship. I still felt stressed because there was no guarantee what might be assigned or changed. But I learned how to somewhat predict what my supervisor might say and that helped a little. At the end of the summer session I finally got what I had been waiting for..."a good job" on a video. This summer I learned to keep pushing no matter what is ahead. At times, it seemed like I would never get anything done. When I felt like that I thought back to why I was in D.C. in the first place. I reminded myself that the purpose of my internship here was to get a work place experience in a city like no other. This always helped, because no matter what happened during my internship I was doing just that.
Personal professional Objectives
One of my goals for this summer was to expand on my editing and producing skills. This is something that I successfully did. For the majority of the time I was at VOA I was the only one on my team that video editing skills. This meant if I had a question I had to figure it out on my own. Which was actually great for me. I learn better by doing. I would not have learned as much as I did if someone would have just given me the answers. I think I successfully made a point to meet this objective.
Another goal of mine was to network. In the beginning of the summer it seemed like it would be a challenge to meet that contacts. However, half way through the summer I really started to take advantage of my environment. I started tagging along with an intern to meet the other journalist that worked in the building. This objective will be based on how well I keep in contact with all of my contacts. I plan on giving everyone thank you cards. I would say I am on target to meet this objective.
The hardest objective I set for myself was time management. This was something I worked on all summer. My time management skills were improved because of the amount of task I had to complete on a daily basis. I knew that if I wanted to get everything done I had to sit down and schedule my day out. I wouldn't say I have completely met the goal, but I know I am definitely getting there.
Working on my leadership skills was a very important objective for me. This objective was met when I found myself guiding the team on projects. I learned that it is important to be confident in yourself when leading a team. Something that I worked on was learning to watch how I phrased things. In the beginning of the summer I would phrase everything as a suggestion.When in actuality the directions I gave were instructions that could have helped the group perform better. I am very proud of myself for meeting this objective. I would give myself a high achievement star for it.
In my first list of personal professional objectives I wrote, "By the end of the summer I would like to have a clear view of what I want to do after graduation." I still do not know where I exactly I want to work. But I do know television is still my path. This was decided after I talked to the reporters at VOA. They told me what it was like for them when they were leaving college and how much they love reporting now. Although I did not get the clear cut answer that I wanted, it did put my mind at ease. I would give a medium achievement ranking for this.
To Whom It May Concern,
Sierra Morris was an intern with Voice of America's Student Union for Summer 2017.
Her duties focused on video editing and production. Sierra skillfully took raw footage from a field trip to a national monument and produced an interesting and informative video for our college-age audience. Please see the video here.
Sierra was a good team player who required little management. She worked diligently and ensured that assignments were completed. Her video skills were in great demand as video and social media are our main platforms for distribution.
If I had any direction for her, it would be to pay more attention to detail, such as names and places. Journalism requires precision, and this is not a skill that Sierra cannot master.
Thank you for sending Sierra our way this semester. We look forward to hosting more University of Missouri Journalism School interns in the future.
Digital Managing Editor/Student Union
Central News 117
(202) 382-7672 desk
(978) 505-5523 cell or text