By Sherin Samuel
When I got the internship to work with Michael D’Antonio, I was nervous at first as I did not know a lot about politicians. But after completing my internship, I realized that I’d had nothing to be worried about.
The internship ran from the beginning of winter break until the middle of spring semester. It consisted of doing research on politicians in Washington, D.C. and the people who surround them. D’Antonio is a veteran journalist and author who is incredibly knowledgeable. Working for him was a wonderful experience. Hearing him talk, I realized how well he knew the structures of government and the behind-the-scenes of politics.
During this internship, my peers and I were mainly asked to research politicians for the book D’Antonio was working on. It gave me a background of what investigative research is like. You search for facts and compile them in a way where they make a story. I had to look at past years and make a timeline of how certain representatives’ theories had changed. This included looking at all their previous public speeches or interviews. I’ll be honest: At times, it was tedious. It took a while to compile everything, but I realized that I had to put aside some time each week so that I wasn’t doing all the work the night before my deadline. Improving on my time management skills was definitely a result of this internship.
One thing I really appreciated about working for D’Antonio is that he was very understanding that we all had school while we were doing the internship. D’Antonio made sure to give us enough time to do our research, and gave us very reasonable deadlines. So, for future students who want to take up an internship but think they won’t be able to handle it with all their classes, I definitely think that this internship is for you. You will have enough time to be able to complete your work along with classes, as long as you leave a couple of hours in your schedule for it. Another pro that made this internship very flexible, for me was that it was an at-home internship. I did all my work from the comfort of my home. For student journalists, this is extremely helpful when you are trying to balance work, school and clubs, since you don’t have to be traveling around. Though there were the occasional meetups with D’Antonio and my fellow interns, these were all located at school.
I did not have much experience in investigative journalism before, so I am really grateful for the opportunity to get a little sneak peak at what it’s like. I know I definitely want to go into a career that has to do with journalism, but I am not exactly sure what. Completing this internship let me experience one of the many concentrations that there are in the journalism field. Although I really enjoyed the time I had during my work, I came to the realization that investigative journalism is probably not a path that I want to go on. It’s definitely very interesting, but I realized that I would go crazy if all I did was research stuff. I would not have come to this realization without experiencing this internship. Internships are such an important way to try out and undergo new things that you don’t exactly know if you would enjoy, without having to stick with it long term.
This internship is an amazing chance for students who thoroughly enjoy keeping up with politics and the U.S. government, but also who do not mind doing the bulk of research that comes with it. I highly recommend it.