Making Waves

As a magazine journalism major and a member of the Drake rowing team, Monica Worsley found a perfect summer internship with USRowing. The fact that the London Olympics happened at the same time was a bonus.

By Monica Worsley

My three-month internship with the USRowing Association in Princeton, N.J. (the parent organization of the U.S. National Rowing teams) drew on everything I have come to enjoy at Drake.

As part of the Drake rowing team, I found the chance to meet both novice and world-class rowers an unforgettable experience. As a journalist, the opportunity to represent the USRowing brand with my writing tested and sharpened my skills.

I realized how fortunate I was for the knowledge gained my first two years of college. Lessons learned from the Drake SJMC professors allowed me to complete a majority of my job tasks from day one. The process of learning how to fulfill the remaining expectations and exploring unanticipated opportunities reiterated the message that first-hand experience offers an understanding that the classroom cannot.

Here are a few of my “gold medal” moments:

  • Taking photographs of the Olympic Trials this June near Princeton, N.J. Managing a new camera, horrible lightening and trying to honor the rule of thirds while on a media launch before 11 a.m. left me feeling less than confident. But a photo credit from later in the week convinced me that at least one other person thought I had the goods!
  • Covering the NCAA Division I, II and III Championships my first weekend on the job. Here I learned one of the most important lessons of the summer: Drake SJMC professors are exceptionally generous with article and project deadlines.
  • Overcoming confusion with the ins and outs of the back end of the USRowing website in order to update photo galleries and post press releases and news features.
  • Maintaining a professional demeanor while pursuing leads and interacting with people whom I consider legends in the realm of professional rowers was extremely difficult. Yet I managed to avoid earning the reputation as a “star struck” USRowing intern.
  • Posting a story on the USRowing website and subsequently promoting the article on the USRowing Facebook page and Twitter page drove home a few lessons. I now understand that in the field of journalism and communications, writers are their own best resource. Social media websites allow for greater audience exposure and interaction. A flip camera used for an on-the-spot interview uploaded to YouTube became a new opportunity for a wider array of individuals to see the content I created.
  • Starting a story from a hunch as the sun rises and posting the article or release with my photographs and plenty of pride in my work before sunset. Priceless.
  • Gaining the confidence of my superiors to cover the final regatta of the summer as the lone USRowing contact point was the icing on the cake. It may not have been a trip to London but it was a great culmination to my internship.

The final proof of my efforts will appear in the form of articles and photographs in an annual magazine the“USRowing 2012 Yearbook,” mailed to members of the USRowing association early next year.

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