Intern insight: The Orange County Register

Tyler Rose Ratzlaff

By Ava Gambero, Andrea Liu, Jenna Shapiro, Writer

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Spending the summer confined indoors and typing away for hours while everybody else has made a beeline for the beach does not sound enticing to the average teenager. Yet, as interns at The Orange County Register, that is exactly what we did. And we loved it.

Through June, July and the beginning of Aug., we went from our small journalism classrooms to the multi-level orange-and-aqua-colored building of The Register. We logged most of our 150 hours on the third level in the newsroom, a quiet and open space where only low murmurs and clacking keys broke the silence.

“The internship is an exciting chance to explore a profession that eventually could take you across the realm of human experience and across the globe,” Dennis Foley, the Register internship program coordinator, said.

And, he said, a great way to begin our careers as professional journalists was in our communities.

Essentially, to prepare for our journeys as globe-trotting journalists, we first had to toddle as interns at our local Register.

Jenna Shapiro: I worked with Features editor Andre Mouchard. I proposed story ideas, helped Mouchard meticulously edit articles and created a video for ocregister.com. I also wrote a story about a Sage Hill student who was training for the United States Military Academy at West Point for print.

Andrea Liu: I hand-selected articles moving through the wire and edited them for the paper. Every day I met with Mathis Chazanov, the Nation and World News editor, and they negotiated space on the template for their stories. I cut, trimmed and revised articles to fit, and worked with designers on pages.

The skills we learned from our training will be utilized in our senior years as Editors-in-Chief at our respective school newspapers.

Foley agrees.

“Interns will produce work that will be published online and in print, acquire ideas to take back to their student publications, and consider journalism as a career,” he said.

In addition to all that, we met sarcastic journalists, eccentric designers, fastidious editors and spirited photographers. We delighted in the workplace banter while keeping one eye always glued to CNN. We struggled with the break room vending machine and the sludge-spitting coffee machine.

This internship gave us invaluable work experience, career advice from mentors and insight into our own professional aspirations. In the end, we definitely preferred our days in the newsroom to those at the beach.

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