Delaney Hiegert is looking forward to getting her junior year at Newman University started. She has a whole new set of skills that she will be bringing to the table as she begins her role as editor in chief of the university newspaper, The Vantage.
Hiegert wanted to spend her summer learning more about journalism and found just the right place. She began e-mail conversations with a few people at her hometown paper, the Topeka Capital-Journal, asking about summer internship opportunities. After being told there wasn’t anything available or approved, she stated her case, told them she was great for the job, and waited to hear back.
Finally, she was informed that two internship positions had been approved and created, so she prepared her portfolio and delivered it to them. “I did a phone interview while I was in Texas for softball conference games,” said Hiegert, adding with a chuckle, “I had to kick my roommates out so I could concentrate on the interview.”
Hiegert’s hard work and perseverance paid off, and she began her new summer job as a Features reporter covering the 50th anniversary of the Topeka tornado that killed 17 and injured more than 500 people. Soon, her range became clear and she was given a wider variety of responsibilities.
“I ended up covering more than feature stories like new businesses, news events, press releases, and I even covered court cases a couple of times. I would also live-tweet events,” she said. But her opportunities continued to grow from there. “They asked if I could do some ad designs, and I designed some in-house strip ads that we ran on our website, but for the most part I was reporting.”
Being back in her hometown has given Hiegert the opportunity to see family and save some money by not having extra living expenses. She will return for her third year at Newman in early August so she can play her part as an orientation leader for incoming freshman and as a facilitator for the Traditions and Transitions seminar.
As for what she’s taking from the experience, Hiegert said, “The most important skill I’ve grown was learning to be adaptive and flexible. It’s especially important in journalism.” She added, “This experience has provided me with some opportunities to branch out and network. I definitely have some more people in my address book now.”
Hiegert encouraged others to look for internships as well. “In general I think it’s important that students take advantage of internships. It’s really important to not only grow as an individual, but to find out if it’s a career you really want to pursue.”