By Michael Hemmerle
When I began searching for internships, I had a difficult time finding programs that I liked or thought would be a good fit for me. I applied for only a few, including the Eugene S. Pulliam internship program for Summer 2022. I thought this internship in particular would be the best for me and what I wanted to accomplish, which was gaining experience and learning from professionals. I nervously filled out the application form, provided what was asked, and sent it off hoping I would be one of the 10 selected participants.
Applying for internships was a nerve-wracking experience. You have no control over if you will be selected or not, so you just have to wait and hope you get picked. I didn’t hear anything about the Pulliam internship for a while. I thought I wasn’t selected because the website said results would be released in late February, but I learned my fate in late March, early April. So, it was unexpected, but I was ecstatic that I finally got an internship that I liked. I would be interning at the Journal & Courier newspaper in Lafayette, Ind.
I was nervous to start at the Journal & Courier but couldn’t wait to get started. While working for the J&C, I wrote articles over many different topics; one about a delivery driver saving children from a burning home was published by USA Today. I was sent a press release about the events and spun it into an article. Once it was finished, another reporter, Ron Wilkins, helped complete the story. It’s still shocking that an article I helped write was published by a big media outlet, but the only thing I care about is if people read my articles and learn something from them or get a new perspective.
I also enjoyed covering the local baseball team, the Lafayette Aviators. They are in the Prospect League, which is essentially a summer baseball league for college players. The guys on the team were very nice, personable, and easy to speak with, so I got the most enjoyment from chatting with them and writing stories about specific players.
During my internship, I hoped to learn about the journalism industry from professionals, and I was not disappointed. I picked up valuable experience that has been beneficial for me as a writer. The staff at the Journal & Courier were tight-knit and offered lots of knowledge, like how to work on a deadline, better my interviewing skills, and communicate with co-workers. It was a great experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything. This program helped me realize I can be a journalist and that I am capable of great things. I was sad when it ended, but I was content with what I accomplished during my time working for them. All in all, it was a fantastic experience that taught me a lot. I’m glad I was chosen and had the experience that I did.
Michael Hemmerle is a senior studying sports journalism at IUPUI. Follow him on Twitter at @MichaelHemmerle.