Rooster Global News Network
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Shana-Kay Hart

Major: Communication Arts and Sciences, Spanish
Minor: Latin American Studies
Hometown: Wynnewood, PA

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I came across my two-week internship seminar with Rooster Global News Network through a friend who received an email blast from her university's career opportunity services. My friend saw that the internship was a travel journalism and photography related opportunity based in Cuba and immediately thought it would be a great opportunity for me, knowing my interest in and passion for travel journalism, as well as my curiosity to learn more about photography. I visited RGNN's website myself to get more information about the organization and the programs they offer, and from there I submitted my application.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The RGNN Cuba internship seminar consisted of two parts: journalism and photography. My program members and I trained with experts and mentors in these two fields to attain the skills necessary to work in the travel journalism industry. Through editorial meetings, journalism workshops, photography & video workshops, along with mentoring and feedback sessions, we each produced a total of two articles to create our very own travel guide to Cuba; this was published in digital format through the news agency by the end of our program. More than that, each of the 16 students “graduated” with a portfolio of publications, a Travel Journalism & Photography Internship Certification, a Certification of Academic Credit, and a Letter of Recommendation of Merit upon completion from acclaimed journalist Benjamin Jones, who also acted as the Editor-in-Chief of the seminar. We spent the first half of our two-week program in Havana, and the last week in Trinidad, Cuba.

This program encouraged me to take my writing and myself seriously and gave me the motivation I needed to pursue my dream of becoming a journalist one day.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Each workshop of the seminar was different, and I learned something new every day. I enjoyed our workshops and mentoring sessions especially because they offered the opportunity to work side by side with an expert who specializes in the field and receive instantaneous feedback. Since I am not a journalism major, I came into this internship not knowing the basics of the field; because of the interactive and holistic nature of the program, I can confidently say that I know how to go about researching, interviewing for, writing, and pitching an article to a publication company, as well as capturing the “money shot” with any camera. Academically, this experience enhanced my creative and general writing skill sets and developed my journalistic abilities.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My internship with RGNN was incomparable to and unlike any experience I have had before. I came into the program not knowing what to expect and had many doubts because I am not majoring in journalism. However, I forced myself to start the program with a specific mindset and to look at it for what it was: a learning experience. I told myself to not be intimidated if I found that I was the least experienced writer or if someone took better pictures than me, but to instead use my colleagues and mentors as resources to learn from in order to perfect my own skills. By the end, this program encouraged me to take my writing and myself seriously and gave me the motivation I needed to pursue my dream of becoming a journalist one day. I hope to work as a journalist for publications such as Conde Nast, Travel & Leisure, or Afar Magazine, and I believe this internship experience is a step in the right direction for me.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would most definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students because it is an amazing, once in a lifetime opportunity. The experience this organization provided me with is unlike any experience I will probably receive inside a classroom, and I am so thankful for the chance to bring back everything I have learned to Penn State.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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