It feels like just yesterday that I was walking in for my first day at Press Publications and trying to hide my inner panic as Lead Editor Shannon Granholm placed a story list on my desk with seven items I had never heard of before. Now almost eight weeks later I am wondering where time has gone and feeling down about leaving all of the wonderful people that have accepted me and helped me grow as a journalist.
This was my first real experience applying my collegiate studies in a professional environment, and at the beginning of the summer I struggled the first few weeks with feelings of self doubt and uncertainty. I had only done a handful of work for the Bethel University newspaper, The Clarion, leading up to this internship and naturally, working with professionals in a new environment as a 20 year old felt a little intimidating. But from day one, every single person I met at Press Publications welcomed me with open arms and made me feel like I belonged which helped ease that uncertainty very quickly.
My favorite part about this experience has been getting to meet and talk to so many people and hear their unique stories. To me, that is the best thing about journalism, and I have been really lucky to hear some incredible stories from local citizens and have done my best to tell those stories in meaningful ways. One of the many things I have learned from this internship is that not every story is going to be action packed, life or death, or unfathomable to the reader, and learning to take what is in front of me and write it in an engaging and truth-centered way is something I hope to continue working on.
One of the things that has made this experience so enjoyable for me is the support and encouragement I have gotten from community members, whether I have gotten the chance to speak with them or not. I remember pretty early on in the summer getting a direct message on Instagram from a community member saying how much they enjoyed reading one of my articles and being so ecstatic about it. It’s been incredible to hear feedback from colleagues and community members throughout the summer on articles I have written, and it truly does fuel the passion I have for this industry and the things it has to offer.
Now that I am coming to the end of this internship I am definitely going to miss coming into the Press Publications office every week, seeing and working with all of the talented people who work so hard to present meaningful information to the public and getting the chance to connect with community members and hear their stories. But despite all of that, I am ready to take everything I have learned into the next phase of life. The rest of the summer I will be taking some much needed vacation time with my family, trying to win a state championship with my town ball team and getting ready for my junior year at Bethel University. This fall I am going to be on staff for The Clarion for the first time as the sports editor and am very excited to apply everything I have learned this summer into that role.
I still have a lot of things to figure out in terms of my future and what I want to ultimately pursue after college, but this experience has provided some much needed guidance in helping me realize my passion for journalism. Every interview, team meeting and interaction I have had at Press Publications has fueled that fire for me and I can not thank everyone enough for that.
It has been a pleasure getting to write for the local community and everyone in our coverage area and I miss it already.
Caden Christiansen is an intern at Press Publications.