This summer has taught me so many things: from politics to professionally, and even personally.
At the end of last semester, I just felt really worn out and exhausted. I really just needed to recharge and get excited about learning again. And after a few weeks at home, I was ready to move on to my new adventure in Washington, D.C. with ABC News.
I was so excited to be working at a network with people who I had been watching for years. The first time we worked together, Lana Zak, a very talented correspondent whom I now consider a mentor and friend, told me that there is nothing like working with people you respect and admire, and learning the craft alongside them. And she was absolutely right.
I have worked with some of the most intelligent, talented, hard-working individuals I have ever met. And when you work with people who love what they do everyday and are always looking to be better than the day before, it really sticks with you. Anyone who knows me knows I am a workaholic, always looking for ways to better myself and my storytelling - and I did just that this summer under the guidance of the NewsOne team.
Over three months with the NewsOne team, I worked on location at Capitol Hill, I was on the scene of the Congressional shooting in Alexandria, VA, visited the White House and the Pentagon, and produced an entire day of live shots outside the Supreme Court on Decision Day on my own. It was the summer of a lifetime, and I couldn't be more thankful to the NewsOne team for taking a chance on me and letting me join their family for a few months.
I fell in love with D.C. and the fast paced political news - which is something I am truly interested in pursuing in the future. I just felt totally in my element at the D.C. Bureau. I felt like I was home, exactly where I was supposed to be.
And it's funny, because I applied to almost 40 different internship programs for the summer, and I had failed to hear from anyone, until NewsOne. I was so discouraged, thinking I was going to wind up working at home again this summer. Instead, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime, working at my dream job in a city I fell in love with. Sometimes, you just have to be patient and wait for the right opportunity for you, which is something I am slowly learning.
This summer also provided a great deal of clarity about what I want in the future. I told people at the beginning of the summer that I was interested in producing and reporting, and to an extent, that's still true. But now I have realized I really want to be a political correspondent, and my background in producing will be an asset to my reporting. I was told multiple times over the summer that in this business, you have to know it all. And so I am in the mindset of learning it all, and being a great multimedia journalist so that one day I can be an even better correspondent.
Another invaluable lesson: capitalize on every learning experience possible. If I didn't know how to do something, I asked someone to show me how or explain something. Or if someone had a question or needed something done, I was the first to volunteer. By being vocal and willing to step up, I really made myself part of the team and received more opportunities to contribute to the efforts, including producing outside SCOTUS solo. I asked Faisal, our producer at NewsOne to show me how to produce a live shot, how to dial out IFB phones and set up live capabilities, and so he knew I could handle going out on my own. Don't be afraid to step up, make your talents known, and don't be afraid to ask questions and learn new things. Asking questions isn't a weakness, it's a strength, proving your pride won't get in the way of you completing a task.
So thank you, ABC and NewsOne, for the incredible opportunities you have afforded me this summer. I am more hungry than ever to continue chasing the dream and to become a political correspondent. I can't wait to come back to visit soon!
The staff of ABC NewsOne - I miss them so much already!