When you’re an intern, most of your internship will be listening and learning. Internships are for you to learn new things and hone your skills, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice. Because I am the only intern in my boss’s office, my boss likes to “pick my brain” as he would say. During your internship you may be asked to give an opinion, idea, etc. but give it wisely. Your voice is very important, especially in the journalism field. Does it mean that you should give your opinion all of the time? No. You don’t want to be the intern that steps on people’s toes or is constantly making comments about every single project and every single task. You’re an intern, embrace it!
I have observed my boss’s social media pages for weeks now and I have some ideas on how to improve them and gain more followers. I have been a little hesitant but all I have to do is ask if it’s okay to email the two people who do his social media, giving my feedback. Now, I am not going to be rude and say “this, this and that are all wrong. It’s supposed to be this way.” I have experience dealing with social media so I feel like it’s okay to give my opinion and throw out some ideas, but I’ve waited. I could have started off right away throwing out my social media ideas and what needs to be changed. However, I waited till my last week because I was able to make fully observe and take note of what I noticed. I took my time and now I can give strong, credible recommendations on how to improve his social media pages.
“You don’t want your credibility banana to turn brown, but you do want to speak out about what you believe in.” -Bradley Whitford
As you grow as a professional during your undergrad and post-grad years your voice will grow and your opinion will gain value. At the beginning it’s always best to listen, observe and learn about what’s going around you. As you gain more experience you gain the ability to give your opinion and feedback. Your voice will start off shaky but experience helps you hone your voice and figure out what that voice says. Remember though, there will always be someone out there that is smarter and better at their job than you. It’s okay, you have a voice and they have a voice. In journalism, that’s what counts.