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Internship with Campaigns and Elections Magazine through Penn State’s Washington Program
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Anna Foley

Paterno Fellow
Majors: Communication Arts & Sciences, Spanish
Hometown: Raleigh, NC

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I applied to and was selected to take part in the Penn State Washington Program. The internship coordinator, Scott Colburn, put me in contact with my supervisor and arranged a phone interview.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My internship allowed me to act as a Campaigns and Elections staff writer. The entire editorial department consisted of my supervisor, another intern, and myself. So we were tasked with the responsibility of writing the majority of the magazine's online content. I covered news in the campaign industry, court cases, election results, and conference panels. I also contributed to the magazine's print content. For my articles, I researched and interviewed sources myself. For a few of my articles, I was sent to various political conferences around Washington, DC. There, I took notes and extracted the most relevant story ideas for the magazine's readership.

"The hands-on nature of this internship was incredibly eye-opening. I came to understand the field better, expand my portfolio, and contribute to the news cycle."

How did this experience impact you academically?

This experience was very helpful academically. I'm not in the College of Communications, nor am I a journalism major. I realize that this is difficult, especially because I am pursuing a career in journalism. So having hands-on experience in the industry is invaluable. At Campaigns and Elections, I was treated as a staff writer. The hands-on nature of this internship was incredibly eye-opening. I came to understand the field better, expand my portfolio, and contribute to the news cycle.

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

As stated before, I want to pursue a career in journalism. So this experience was invaluable, because I was able to experience the industry first-hand. I gained a variety of skills including interviewing skills, how to decipher press releases, note taking skills, and writing in the AP style. I was also able to network quite a bit during this experience. I met a lot of people in the political industry. While I'm not pursuing a career in politics, the people that I met are quite powerful. They now recognize my name from my articles, which could lead to name recognition and opportunities later on.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students? If yes, why?

Yes. I got a lot of experience and the opportunity to add to my portfolio of work.

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