Career Moves: Internship helps jump-start Elon junior’s pursuit of journalism career

Bryan Anderson ’18 is supplementing his experience through a summer internship with one of the state’s largest newspapers by tapping into vital career tools at the SPDC.

Bryan Anderson '18

Building upon his years of hard work in student media with Elon News Network, Bryan Anderson ’18 landed a political reporting internship with the Raleigh News & Observer during the summer of 2016.

Working for one of the state’s largest newspapers during a particularly heated presidential race, Anderson was able to hone his skills as a journalist and leverage what he learned on the campaign trail as he returned to Elon in the fall. And thanks to the help of the Student Professional Development Center, Anderson has been able to fine-tune his resume, boost his professional website and be better prepared for that next news assignment.

Anderson is featured in the Career Moves series of profiles on the recent recent experience of students and alumni who work alongside professionals in the Student Professional Development Center to explore career interests, find jobs and internship opportunities, prepare for interviews, improve graduate school application materials and more. 

Tell me about your recent internship with the News & Observer of Raleigh.

I interned for the Raleigh News & Observer during the most recent summer. It is a mid-sized news organization based in North Carolina’s capital city. I worked as a political reporting intern, covering everything from state legislature activities to presidential campaign events. 

How did your interest in the internship develop?

My interest in the internship first developed in the fall of my sophomore year. I was taking a course called Reporting for the Public Good. A professor put me in touch with a mentor who had connections at the News & Observer because he used to work there. After making several phone calls, I finally got an offer to be an intern. I quickly accepted the position and got started from day one. 

What did you learned from the experience?

From my experience, I learned to embrace every opportunity that came my way. I never said “no” and always did my best to perform to the best of which I was capable. I learned about the importance that the institution of journalism and fair and balanced reporting has in our public discourse. The experience made me a better journalist and showed me the value of hands-on reporting. I pitched story ideas, used a plethora of multimedia storytelling platforms and consistently looked for ways to improve.

Who did you work with in the Student Professional Development Center to prepare, and what help did you receive?

The SPDC is a terrific resource all students should embrace. I received resume feedback and constructive criticism on my professional website while gaining valuable advice about proper uses of social media. Amber McCraw, assistant director of career services in the School of Communications, is a valuable resource that all students, especially those pursuing a career in communications, should utilize. Her passion shows each and every day. She simply wants to help students get to where they want to be. I took a Winter Term Transition Strategies course that reaffirmed some of the skill sets I already had. For those who are underclassmen or are in need of enhancing their professional skills, I’d highly recommend the SPDC.

What recommendations would you share with other students about career development and the Student Professional Development Center?

Elon has many tremendous students, and it is very easy to feel you are not doing enough. I urge people not to compare themselves to other people. Effort is between you and you alone. If you do your best to perform to the best of which you are capable, that is success. The SPDC is just one of the many sites Elon has that can help you maximize your potential.

Which faculty members did you work with to prepare and what help did you receive?

Michael Skube helped me get into the door with the News & Observer by putting me in touch with a couple people. Janna Anderson taught Reporting for the Public Good, which really pushed me to strive for journalistic excellence. Those are perhaps two of the strongest mentors I have at Elon. I like to think I’ve done my best to create my own opportunities. Professor Anderson was instrumental in giving me the drive and confidence I currently have. Professor Skube was a person who helped look through my writing portfolio and offer advice.