Student Voices: Intern Edition “WBL is What You Make of It”

Student Voices

by Andy C.

“I’ve been yearning for the experiences and professional growth I’m getting everyday at [GCPS TV].”

When you think of the term intern, what immediately pops into your head? To me, I think of someone running around the office tending to the needs of senior staffers, getting their coffee, copying meeting agendas and performing the lowest of tasks in the office. For me and my experiences, that could not be farther from the truth. I work for Gwinnett County Public Schools’ EMMY award-winning educational access TV station, GCPS TV, producing long-form programming and timely Focus Moment news stories as well as assisting in live and live-to-tape in-studio and on-location productions. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been yearning for the experiences and professional growth I’m getting everyday at the station. As I begin to reflect on my past year at GCPS TV, I realize how grateful I am to be apart of such an amazing team of industry professionals.

I have always been treated as a professional; I’ve been able to contribute to many major projects in many different ways and have been able to take the lead on multiple productions, which, if I’m being honest, has been the best part.

“If you put in 50% effort, you’ll get 50% of what the program offers.”

I can remember my first individual piece was, ironically, covering  the Work Based Learning (WBL) program in Gwinnett’s high schools. I was able to interview multiple people who, in their own unique way, impacted the program. From executive directors to local school coordinators to the students, I realized one central idea about WBL–WBL is what you make it. If you put in 50% effort, you’ll get 50% of what the program offers. Likewise, if you put your all into your internship, you reap the most out of this program. If you truly want to grow as a professional, I highly recommend this program; however, if you just want to leave school early and work your required 10 hours, this is not for you. And, quite frankly, if you feel that way, you shouldn’t be in the program to begin with.

The biggest challenge I have faced is learning my place. I am really, really enthusiastic to say the least. I’ll get my project and I’ll run to the ends of the earth with it, no matter what. Sometimes that’s great, but other times it’s not. I’ve been able to learn when that is appropriate and when remembering my place is important. As much as I’d love to be more, I’m just the intern and I have to remember that sometimes.

“I’ve been able to learn so much as a professional; I’ve been able to make meaningful connections; I’ve found a love for positions that I would’ve otherwise looked over and I’ve grown.”

Overall, my experiences at GCPS TV have been revolutionary for me. I’ve been able to learn so much as a professional; I’ve been able to make meaningful connections; I’ve found a love for positions that I would’ve otherwise looked over and I’ve grown. That’s the biggest thing — I grew as student, a journalist and as a professional. This has been the greatest joy of my life and I can’t wait for what next year has in store for me.

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