It sounds strange to say that my dream internship was in central Pennsylvania. Aren’t there only cows there? You are probably asking. While the answer is yes outside Harrisburg, it’s also home to one of the most unique state legislatures.
And that’s exactly what the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents’ Association internship was to me: a dream from start to finish.
Every day was a new day to navigate the state’s complex political atmosphere. A fresh start to attend a heated committee meeting, run upstairs to the state Supreme Court for documents, or just generally get lost trying to figure out how to get into each chamber.
During my internship, I had the privilege to write about how the state legislature was handling the #MeToo movement occurring within its halls, the Commonwealth Court’s spending habits and secrecy, and the Senate’s close-but-no-cigar effort to redistrict state lines – just to name a few. I also got to make a ton of dumb intern mistakes, learning that there really can’t be a stupid question (A special sorry to PennLive’s Jan Murphy, for breaking a piece of the tripod and almost dropping it in the river).
Even better, I got to learn from reporters I deeply admire and look up to. Some of my greatest insights came from just listening in on the Harrisburg bureau reporters as they refused political spin and never got discouraged as sources turned them down.
I now use the tools I gained this summer each day to report and edit my peers’ work in my capacity as Editor in Chief of my student newspaper, The Temple News, and as an intern at the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Maybe it’s my naïveté as a young journalist, but going to work in the PLCA suite of the Capitol building each day never felt like I had to go to an internship. I looked forward to it every day for my 10 weeks. I can’t think of another internship where you get thrown into a statehouse head on and get to learn the style and philosophy of six news organizations.
The PLCA internship was the best experience and I’ll forever be grateful for my time there. I can’t recommend it enough for any student journalist interested in political reporting.
PLCA Summer 2018 Intern
Temple University Senior