I joined WKOW as a Quintern at the beginning of January to fulfill an internship requirement to complete my undergraduate journalism degree at Northwestern University.
I had previously worked at other stations who let me report, but because this was my last internship before graduating, I wanted to get as much reporting experience as possible so that I would be ready to transition into a full-time job somewhere.
Madison is a big market, so I had hoped that I might be able to report two or three times per week. Starting on my very first day as a Quintern, I was treated like a valued member of the news team. I was given a comprehensive overview of how the station operates both on philosophical and practical levels, and I was given thorough training on all of the systems and equipment.
I was sent out on my first story, and not long after that I was reporting every day with my packages airing in either the 5 or 6 p.m. newscast five days per week. After each story aired, the news director personally took me aside to give me critical feedback that I could directly implement in my next story.
It was less than two weeks between the beginning of my Quinternship and the start of my reporting five days per week. Less than a month after the start of my Quinternship, a full-time position opened up and was offered to me. I accepted the offer, and I was able to easily transition from the Quinternship into the full-time position because I was already being treated like a full-time employee.
The Quinternship program gave me the ability to learn, develop and refine critical reporting skills in a real-world environment, which led me directly and quickly into the first full-time position of my career. Truly, this was my ideal internship scenario. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.