It sunk in the second I stepped off the plane at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. I knew that with college behind me, this internship would not be like the others. I didn’t have the school year as a buffer anymore. I had to end my internship at the Star Tribune with a job.
As soon as my internship started, I began putting the goals I made during the Chips Quinn orientation program in motion with the hopes of landing a job.
Goal 1: Constantly pitch stories to my editor
I sent my editor weekly emails with ideas. I kept on the lookout for stories while writing stories I had already pitched. Waiting to hear back from sources, I scoured the Internet. I reached out to leaders in the community. I felt more proud of the stories I pitched that landed on the cover of the newspaper than the ones I didn’t pitch.
Goal 2: Establish long-lasting connections in the newsroom
I asked reporters in the newsroom for advice on my stories. I asked them how I could ask better questions, improve my writing and develop relationships with sources. I had to make reporters see that I would make a good fit in their newsroom. I got rid of my mindset that my position was temporary, and tried to leave a lasting impression.
Goal 3: Get to know newsroom leaders
I had interviewed the governor and city leaders, but talking to the heads of the newsroom seemed daunting. If I wanted to stay at the paper, I knew I had to make the effort. When I finally got coffee with the executive editor, the meeting went better than I thought it would. I left my internship with a full-time job at the paper and all my Chips Quinn goals crossed off.
Now, I need a new set of goals.