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From Quintern to News Director: an example for future journalists of what’s possible

Kristen Shill is a Quincy Media success story. In a few short years, she’s advanced from news intern to running the news department at WQOW in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Shill applied for Quincy’s paid internship program as a Senior with a journalism major at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. She started her Quinternship during her final semester, in the spring of 2013. She said like most college students trying for a new opportunity, she was a little leery to apply.

“I think the News Director at the time had to talk me into it a little bit because I was so busy already,” Shill said. “I’m glad she did!”

Around the time her internship was about to end, a multi-media journalist position opened at the station and Shill was the perfect fit. Her hands-on experience gave her an inside track. She knew the people, the workflow, the equipment and the community. She had also demonstrated her skills in a way you just can’t match with a resume reel. The News Director asked her to stay on and work in production until the reporter finished her commitment and she could fill the spot. Little did Shill know that this was just the start of her advancement through the ranks.

Shill moved from reporter to producer,  producing all the evening newscasts at one time or another. While producing the 5 p.m. show, Shill also picked up Assignment Manager responsibilities. She took on the title of Executive Producer, next.

“My Quinternship was the base my entire career at Quincy was built on,” Shill said.

In 2018, Shill advanced to Assistant News Director. She took over for as News Director from the retiring Dan Schillinger in the spring of 2019. Shill credits her Quinternship for opening the door. “It gave managers a chance to see what I was capable of. I’m glad Quincy is a company that works hard to recognize and retain talent.”

Her message to college students considering a career in television or digital media is simple. Apply!

“You’ll gain hands-on experience that no classroom can duplicate,” she said. “You’ll gain feedback to perfect your craft. You will make contacts that will help you on your career path. You’ll get your foot in the door at a great company. I think the better question is: why shouldn’t someone apply? Oh, and you get paid!”

To apply for a Quinternship, click here

Clint Berge

Clint Berge is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager for Eau Claire’s Own WQOW News 18.
Report any website issues to him at cberge@wqow.com

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