Two BVH students participate in journalism internship
February 16, 2020
Two Bonita Vista High (BVH) student journalists, sophomores Alexa Vazquez and Carina Muñiz, were selected for a paid student internship where they exercised their abilities as young journalists in the field. The internship involved reporting on specific speakers and panels at the National Conference on Education (NCE), and their work will be published in the American Association of School Administrator’s (AASA) newsletter.
“I’m looking forward to challenging myself and the experience I’ll get by meeting other journalists, sharing experiences and growing off each other,” Muñiz said prior to the internship. “I’m excited for [following] the process a real reporter goes through and bringing back the things I learned to my newspaper staff.”
The internship, which lasted from Feb. 13 to Feb. 17, provided the students with an opportunity to be exposed to what the work of a professional journalist is like. IB English/Literature HL, Speech and Debate coach and the students’ newspaper advisor, Eric Helle, sees the internship as a window into the real world of journalism and a helpful learning experience for the teenage writers.
“Whenever you’re given an opportunity to work with an organization that does professional work, you get to see what their workflow is, what their demands are and you have a great opportunity to meet people who are in your field. You get a taste for whether you really like this kind of work or not,” Helle said.
Professional journalists work on a tight schedule, and the internship emulated this structure. The students had to brainstorm, pick out their assignment, go and conduct their interviews, write and compose their story and have it edited within the span of three to four hours.
“[We will] learn how to manage real-time stress, since we are going to be under really tight time constraints, so I am going to have to be always moving — which is something I’ve learned in high school. But it’s really going to be tested at this event,” Vazquez said.
Being their newspaper advisor, Helle stated before the internship began that he wanted the two students to absorb all of the new and useful skills that they would learn during their internship and bring it back to their school newspaper.
“I think that when students have internships like this, it’s good for the student, but it’s also good for everyone on that staff who can gain from their experiences,” Helle said.
Vazquez and Muñiz were encouraged by Helle to apply for the internship because of the journalistic potential that both students have and their already prominent roles on their newspaper staff; Vazquez as an Opinion Section Editor and Muñiz as a News Section Editor. According to Helle, each student has their strengths, and the internship serves as an opportunity for them to further themselves in journalism.
“Their [Muñiz’s and Vazquez’s] characteristics are work ethic, solid writing and a perception that they, as individuals, want more on staff than where they are. [They also] want to continue to grow in the profession. They approach their work, for their age, [with] a great sense of professionalism,” Helle said.