by Nicole Coutlangus, SMWC journalism intern
Even with three years of hands-on experience in her desired field, Jade Scott, a senior at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and editor-in-chief of the Woods newspaper, makes an excellent case for achieving a well-rounded understanding of your discipline. A native of Rockville, Ind., and a journalism and media major, Scott completed an internship this spring with the Terre Haute Children’s Museum as a public relations intern.
Though Jade’s internship was a requirement for her major, she wholeheartedly feels that it was an indispensable part of her education. At the museum, she found herself in unfamiliar territory: “In my major, and in my job as editor, I am very focused on the print and broadcasting aspects of journalism. I had never experienced the PR side.” The internship had Scott creating brochures and pamphlets, taking photographs, completing crisis communication plans, and writing press releases; she experienced professional projects with real-world deadlines. She also found herself learning an entirely new level of interaction, given the networking qualities of the job. “It’s a great route if you are a people person.”
Jade is certainly a self-regulated individual. Between editing the paper, going to school full time, and thriving in her PR internship, she shows that a broad scope of skills and achievements are vital to future success: “I was able to grow professionally in this internship because I was given assignments and then I had to make the time in my schedule to accomplish them. I held myself accountable for getting projects done on time, just like I will have to do when I leave the college environment.”
Jade, whom many have described as a skilled communicator, believes that networking was a key aspect of her internship; not surprisingly, she was asked to come back to the Terre Haute Children’s Museum this summer. Beyond that, though, she feels that working side-by-side with Lynn Hughes, executive director, opened many other doors: “Working personally with Lynn was great. She is so kind, and she knows so much.”
Hughes, a 2008 graduate of SMWC’s Master of Leadership Development program, certainly feels that Jade is already on her way; in evaluating her intern’s performance, she gave a glittering response: “Jade is a wonderful communicator who is talented and self-motivated. She’s not the type to complete a project and just wait for the next thing to come along. She’s the type of worker that any employer would love to have.” By leaving such a lasting impression on her boss, Jade has taken a great step towards future employment in any branch of her chosen field.
When asked if she had a favorite memory of her internship, Jade smiled: “It’s a toss-up.” “Seeing my first press release in the Tribune Star was pretty amazing,” she mused, “and it felt great to be a part of the museum’s biggest fundraiser, ‘100 Men Who Cook.’ I was able to see how the networking, the publicity, how everything comes together. And it was fun to be a part of something so much bigger than myself.” Part of Jade’s involvement in the fundraiser included setting up, ensuring its smooth execution, and taking publicity photos of the event.
Then, at the end of the conversation, Jade commented, matter-of-factly, “You know, it would be silly not to do an internship. It opens so many doors.” Indubitably, many other interns would have to agree.