Interning is an extremely valuable and wonderful experience that helps students gain that relevant knowledge, hands-on skills, and allows them to be able to experience their area of interest first-hand, while establishing connections in the field all at the same time.
But most importantly, internships allow students to get their feet wet and find out if that specific field is something they can see themselves doing as a full-time job.
Moving from the security of school life to the insecurity of the real world as an intern is extremely daunting, but for 2012 graduate, Michelle Nelson, that internship helped her make the most important decision in her career life.
“…Originally I thought I would be a news reporter but things changed. Now I’m finally doing what I love,” says Nelson.
Only after a mere seven months upon receiving her degree and diploma in April 2012, Guelph-Humber graduate, Michelle Nelson, landed a spot at The Weather Network in October 2012.
But working at The Weather Network was not Nelson’s initial plan nor was it where she interned.
Nelson always thought she wanted to be a reporter and chose Guelph-Humber knowing that she wanted to get into television broadcast.
She interned at CHEX TV in her hometown of Peterborough after a teacher at Guelph-Humber recommended that she try and get in with a smaller station.
“By doing this it gave me the on-camera experience that I needed,” said Nelson. “Within my first week of my internship I had a packaged item on TV. He was right!”
Nelson says that although she knew how to use a camera, her internship was a whole other ball game.
“Not only do you do your own camera work, editing, writing, producing, and the whole packaging of the item, you have a very limited time to do it in,” she says. “I couldn’t get my story done in time. This happened the first week and after that I had to step it up.”
But Nelson shortly realized as a videographer at her internship that covering ‘hard news’ wasn’t really her niche. Following her coverage of a man that had been stabbed, Nelson witnessed the death of the man first-hand which she explains to have left her in complete distress.
“…I was following around another reporter who had years of experience. We got to the scene just shortly after the ambulance. The man’s lifeless body was right in front of us. If you have never seen anyone die before- it’s a shock.”
Nelson knew she was too emotional to handle it upon returning to the station and getting another assignment handed to her on a vehicle that had caught on fire and the woman had died inside. “This left a nasty taste in my mouth,” she recalled.
“…I would be sent out to get shots of a crash, or interview family members of the deceased. This was part of the job. And that’s what I had always thought I wanted to do. But I was wrong,” Nelson said.
But she did not let her spirits down. She quickly moved on over to The Weather Network as an on-air presenter, to fulfill her fascination with weather.
“I can’t tell you how good it feels to be doing something you love to do. I always wanted a job that would fit for me. And I think I’ve found it,” Nelson said.
Nelson advises current GH students to not be lazy and to always believe in themselves. “It takes a lot of hard work to make it in the media industry. Over the past two years I have invested so much time into my career. I don’t think I have ever worked so hard in my life,” she said.
“It takes focus, but also the willingness to try new things and put 110 per cent into whatever you do…You just have to dive in sooner or later. Or else you’ll miss out on an opportunity.”
As seen in the Radix published on Mar. 4, 2013