Taking the Lead

by Jean Lee, Class of 2016

Imagine walking into the office everyday but instead of just sitting at a boring desk, you are sitting next to a blinking red sign that reads, “On Air.”  That is exactly what happens for me.jean2

This past semester, I worked in the dotcom department with the Senior Politics Editor at Fox News, helping him find stories and occasionally writing some of my own.  The coolest thing was seeing my name on top of an article that thousands of people were reading and commenting on!  It was an awesome experience, but I would not have been prepared for it if I didn’t have my Media Studies background.  In Media Studies classes, you have such a diverse education on the many facets of the media.  I have had classes in everything from basic production practices, to the social change present in the media, and the various media theories and their critical approaches.

Without the knowledge I learned in my Introduction to Journalism class, I would not have been as successful at my internship at FoxNews.com.  Professor Gresko taught me everything I could possibly need to know to write a good news story.  The first thirty-five words you read are perhaps the most important words in the story; it’s called the lead.  Professor Gresko trained the class to know exactly what to say to make a good lead, and also how to properly organize the story.  Everything I learned in my class helped me to write multiple stories that were actually in the top 10 most viewed stories for that day on FoxNews.com.  One story I wrote actually received over 181,000 views.  Another story broke the top 10 most-viewed stories on the website within the hour that I wrote it. 

Watching the comment section of the stories I wrote increase by the hundreds each hour was an amazing thing to watch.  Every time I reviewed my stories, I was so thankful for what I have learned so far in my time here at CUA.

Going to school in Washington DC gave me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t find anywhere else.  Not only am I privy to awesome internships during the school year and not just during the summer, but I am able to literally be a pjean1art of history.  During the inauguration of President Obama, I was able to work on “Morning Joe” and meet people like Chris Matthews and Colin Powell as they enjoyed the festivities in DC.  I also was able to be at the White House on election night.  The energy in the city was incredible!  I am able to take all that I learn inside and outside of the classroom to my internships.

Of course the knowledge we learn is important, but the work ethic the professors show us helped me to land my second internship at Fox News, where I am currently working.  I was supposed to help out on the Assignment Desk, which I have been told is one of the most difficult yet rewarding jobs at the news organization.  Just days before my first day, my internship program called me up.  They said that since I made such a positive impact in my last position, they wanted to know if I would be interested in being Greta Van Susteren’s personal assistant while they looked for a more permanent replacement.  Obviously, I said yes immediately and I am having an amazing time so far!  I have been able  to meet amazing talent at Fox News, see how a news show like “On The Record” is created and produced, and I even sat in the studio during the show!

The one thing that everyone tells me is to make the most of my internship opportunity.  They tell me to ask as many questions and meet as many people as I can.  My first go-around at Fox News, I wish I did that more.  I think of my second internship as another opportunity to network and hopefully be one step closer to that coveted job after graduation.  CUA’s Media Studies Department has been so helpful and supportive ofjean3 what I want to do; I am forever thankful for each and every one of them.   I encourage anyone who has even an ounce of passion for some facet of the media to become a Media Studies major, because you will definitely fall in love.


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