Gaining confidence through WSHU

  • August 1, 2018

By Jordan Boyd

Interning at WSHU was a very interesting experience for me, as it was the first time I’ve ever been thrown into a situation where I was doing real, conventional journalism without any teachers behind me. It’s not something I’m used to. I’ve always been aiming to go into the world of entertainment, more specifically, journalism covering the tech industry video games, and VR in particular. 

I figured an internship at WSHU would help me set myself apart and help me gain valuable experience that I could even apply to the online publication I work for. I’m happy to say that it most certainly did help me a lot and I feel as though I have skills that’ll easily set me apart from other tech writers who may solely cover their niches and never branch out. I learned that I could break out of my comfort zone, confidently talk to people I’ve never met about topics I wasn’t always familiar with, and clearly broadcast my voice to thousands of listeners across Long Island and Connecticut.

Two people who I haven’t spoken to in a long time messaged me on Facebook out of the blue during my internship saying that they were so surprised to hear my voice on the radio, and that gave me a really rewarding feeling, a feeling that makes me only want to better myself more and go even further with my work more than I ever have before. Because of WSHU, I’d also say that I’m far more confident in selecting different cuts from interviews, press conferences and more. 

WSHU helped me remember why I was interested in journalism in the first place, it allows me to cover a slew of different things and go to different places. I love meeting different people and hearing their stories. I’ll never forget one specific story I did about a couple that has been living a waste-free lifestyle for over three years now, interviewing the wife was fantastic and even made me look at some of the ways I’ve been living my own life. It’s stories like these that’ll help you grow as a journalist and a person. 

The one thing I’d say that I wish I knew would probably be the style of writing I’d have to adapt to. Every story I did at WSHU wasn’t always so different from the things I’ve covered in previous classes. But with WSHU, I needed to write scripts so that the information I was delivering to audiences was as concise as possible and typically presentable in under a minute. 

I’ve been writing public pieces for almost two years now online so it was very hard at times for me to adjust some of the commonplace things that I had just grown so used to while working at my current publication. Thankfully, Terry Sheridan, the Long Island branch managing editor, was a great guide and mentor in getting out of those bad habits and I felt pretty confident in writing my own scripts by the end of the internship. 

If you’re a commuter like me who’s going to Stony Brook University for journalism, I’d say that WSHU is a fantastic internship that’ll teach you a lot about yourself and if you can really handle field work as a conventional journalist. I constantly found myself going out of my comfort zone and I’m more confident than I’ve ever been before with going into my final, and likely hardest, year at Stony Brook University taking classes like 371 and 490. If you’re ever not feeling confident, Terry is a great source of knowledge and he’ll always be available to lend a helping hand. 

Because of WSHU I’m ready to continue tackling hard-hitting stories and hopefully using the experience I’ve learned to set myself apart and propel myself into the journalism industry or something close to it in my selected niche.