How I landed internships at CNN and NBC
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How I landed internships at CNN and NBC


All successful people have at least
one thing in common. They’ve all had training. So today I’m going to teach you how
I land in my dream internships and hopefully my tips will help you land your dream internship and hopefully your dream job. Hi everyone. My name is Amber and I’m the creator of Girl with Drive, where I help
ambitious millennials reach their goals. So after I graduated college, my first job was at the Huffington
Post which is now HuffPost. And I truly attest me getting that job to having different
internships. I’m super passionate about this
subject. I preach it all the time that
internships are one of the most important things
college students can do. In this video, I’m going to talk just a little bit
of how I got my dream internship at NBC and CNN and then give some tips on how I landed them. So the first step to all of this, was that I started early. I started to apply for internships at the end of my freshman year of
college. I truly think like you can’t even
wait to your junior year anymore to start thinking about getting an
internship. You have to start early. I went to my school’s career center and I spoke to a career counselor and she really helped me craft my resume and my cover letter. And at the time I was only working for my school’s paper but it really helped just having a second pair of eyes to look at my applications and I applied for a lot of internships that summer. I think I applied for like 25 or 30 and I only heard back from I think
three or four. And I did something kind of unique. I did two virtual internships. So a virtual internship is just like a regular internship but you actually stay at home and you don’t go to an office. So I was a social media intern for a college magazine. And I was an editorial intern a lifestyle online magazine. And those really helped me get my clips together. And so it just really built my
resume. And personally I think to start off with, instead of doing a regular first
internship, try to do a virtual internship. After that summer of my freshman
year, I did another internship that was virtual and it was reviewing reality TV shows. So at the time, I really thought I wanted to be this entertainment reporter. And I love reality TV so I thought it would be a great
mix. And I would like work with like the Style
Network a lot and Bravo and they would send me episodes, a DVD episodes months before things would premiere and then I would like to interview
the stars of the show. So this is when Love and Hip Hop Atlanta was first
premiering. Jerseylicious, Tia and Tamera, the Jersey Shore I think was just
ending. Like I would interview like Pauly D and them and I remember I had a blast doing it but that internship really taught me that I liked watching entertainment and not being in
entertainment. Like I find it relaxing to watch
reality TV. I don’t want to cover reality TV. But through that internship I was
writing two or three times a week for a website. And I was getting more traction and my Twitter was kind of growing a
little bit and that’s why I really like was able to craft a personal brand. So I knew that I wanted to move into
harder news. And that’s when I applied for my internship at NBC Washington. So I think what really stood out I think two things really helped
me stand out. One was that I had a website and that’s like so crucial now I think even like four or five years ago students didn’t
really have a website, now it’s a requirement. You need a website. Mine wasn’t even the best. It was
this little Wix website. And I think had Katy Perry music in the background. It wasn’t great by any means but it had my clips on there and it had my bio and it had what I wanted to do. It had the bare minimum and you know my future boss said you know every student I interviewed
didn’t have a website, but you did. And the second thing I did that was a little different was I had a really great cover letter. I think the cover letter is where
you need to bring it the most. And I said: In high school I was voted the biggest gossiper
because I have to know all the facts to a
story. So I made what others think is like a negative attribute and I made it really positive. And it showed my personality and that I was creative. So that helped me stand out. And then while I was at that
internship I think I did a few things that
helped me get NBC News. So the first thing I did was I never acted like an intern. I acted like an employee trying to get a promotion. So I would go in there early. I would be prepared. I would speak up in meetings and I didn’t wait for someone to always tell me what to do. So of course I did my regular job
duties and then I did those flawlessly (I
think). And then when big things would happen I would always jump in. So I was there during a during the Boston Marathon bombings. So as an intern you just really need
to know your place and know like I’m not going to be an
anchor talking about this. I’m not going to be the main one
writing the story. But I’m still going to help
out. So what I did, I think I was about to leave because
I had to finish a paper or something and then I was asked to say later
because I think the bombings happened and it was in the middle of
the day. And I just thought to myself you know how many people from the
DMV area are there for the marathon? So I went to the official website and I was typing in zip codes and it was like 15 people from Northern Virginia were at the
race, 50 people from Georgetown were there. And so then I just typed it up in an e-mail and I sent it to the producer who was working on the show, the web producer and like just a few people and they read it on air. So it’s something like small that I
did. But of course I put on my resume
because I worked on it. Having an internship means that you
get to network for free. And I would try to get to know
everybody and this is how I ended up getting
my internship at NBC News. So I was at the ice cream truck. They had an ice cream truck that
would come every Friday, to give employees free ice cream. While I was at the truck, there’s a guy next to me who I never
saw before. I was like, “Hi how are you?” And
then I was like, “What do you do here?”
And he said I work for NBC News. NBC News and NBC Washington were in the same
building but they operated very separately. So he was like, “Do you want a tour?” And I was
like, “Yeah.” So he took me on a tour and it was like huge. And honestly I was so star struck. I just saw everyone on the wall and all these reporters I was like oh my gosh I have to I have to work here. So then he introduced me to the
internship coordinator and this was like the end of my
junior year. And I was at NBC Washington for two
semesters at that point. So I was like you know I am looking for for a fall
internship. Are there any openings? Because I think I had missed the
deadline at that point. She was like yeah
just send your resume ASAP. So always keep your resume updated. And I sent her my resume and long story short, I was hired. I was hired as a general assignment intern which means I didn’t have a show to work on like everyone
else and I really had to carve out my own space as an intern. So I did a few things. I shadowed every single department. I mean I shadowed marketing, I shadowed finance, I shadowed the video department. I shadowed everyone because I think it’s really important in any job to know what other people do. If you want to be reporter, don’t you shadow reporters. You need a need to shadow that
camera person. You need to shadow that producer. You need to know what everyone does because once you know how an
organization works from the inside out, man you’re golden. So in addition to shadowing
different departments, I would also do stakeouts. So a stakeout means your watching something for a long period of time and seeing if any important person comes. So every morning when I got in, I would do a White House stakeout and look at the White House camera and scrub through footage and see if anyone important was
there who wasn’t scheduled to be there. And then I would write it down and you have to identify people
correctly. So that’s how I got to know
different faces and different people’s positions. So I’m coming to the end of the first semester of my senior year. So I’m going to my last semester and I really thought I needed at
least one more internship. And I had already applied for CNN twice before. I was like let me do a third time. So I applied my third time and I finally got a callback. The other two times I even get a
call. And it was for political show. And I interviewed for the position. And honestly CNN was the hardest interview I’ve ever had to date. It was like you had to know it. You know sometimes in interviews you
can kind of fluff it. But no, you had to know it. You couldn’t look up things. So they would ask me like: Who was the governor of New Mexico? A who was the. Secretary Defense? like things like
you had to know it. You couldn’t just
make up any random person. And that’s why I attest having NBC to getting CNN because I did all those stakeouts and scrubbing and knowing footage really well, it helped me identify people and knowing people’s positions and knowing current events. And that’s what helped me get CNN. During my time at CNN, there are a few big stories. The Malaysian Airlines flight went missing and we were gearing up for the 2016 presidential election. So I think I would get in at least
10:00 a.m. and I wouldn’t leave until 7pm or 8pm. I did this not because I was like trying to get a
job but because I was really just trying
to learn as much as I could. And I think that’s really important
as it intern. I think everyone is like especially when they were about to graduate
like, “I just have to get a job. I just have to get a job,” but they don’t really enjoy the
moment and the process that they’re going
through. And while I was at CNN, I had a lot of people look at my resume. I think it’s really
important to have people in the field that you want to go into look at your resume. Don’t just rely on the Career Center. Ask people in the field that you
want to be in too. And so one of my top tips would be to have a really quantifiable and detailed resume. For example, I would have never wrote on my
resume: “wrote articles.” I would write: “Wrote 7-10 weekly articles on this subject, this subject and this subject. I’m going to have a much more
detailed resume video coming up soon. So I really hope my internship journey/story could help all of you. And I think the main takeaway is
that there’s different paths to get to where you want to be. So you know I did virtual
internships, I did a lot of networking and I did a lot of shadowing. But in the end I always just took
initiative in every situation I was in. That’s my main thing that I want to give to you, is to take the
initiative to when your an intern because that can lead to the next internship. So if you liked this video, please like and comment below and consider subscribing to my
YouTube channel because I’m going to be making a
whole bunch more videos on how to write a bomb resume and how to do a a bomb cover letter. So until then, thank you for watching.

About Ralph Robinson

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19 thoughts on “How I landed internships at CNN and NBC

  1. That's awesome tho …u get to see the inside track of the news world…if I could do anything over I would have took several internships after college

  2. This is great thank you so much!!! I'm going into political journalism as well and everyone keeps telling me to just work for the local paper but I don't want to settle, and it's encouraging to hear stories of people like you. I found this video just at the right time as I'm applying for a couple of DC internships, so hopefully your tips will help! 🙂

  3. Great video with great tips do they offer traineeship with disadvantages background there ? Here in UK do have internship but mostly traineeship they do accept some disadvantages it all comes with great application did they offer you job role after your internship? Loved the video 😊

  4. I finished my CNN London internship earlier this year. Wish this video was around as you have great tips! My interview wasn't hard – which is definitely an anomaly – but I think the fact I'd shadowed and had experience there before helped my application stand out. I now freelance there and I'm learning a lot! My dream job is to be a reporter or anchor one day.

  5. You're such a natural. I love that you're just you. I'm in DC for a summer internship, but I'm applying for fall internships right now. This was super helpful. Thank you!

  6. Do you have any in depth interview prep videos? I have an nbc and cnn digital interviews this week and I don’t feel prepared at all. I’ve done a ton of prep, but I don’t think I’m ready. (My interview are for PR and Comm)

    I’ve also never had a media internship. I’m surprised to even have an opportunity to interview. I haven’t the slightest idea what to expect.

  7. Hello, thanks for the tips! But what was the entertainment media internship that you did before you went into hard news?

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