Insights on Internships: 5 Questions with Samantha Kummerer

Samantha Kummerer

Meet Samantha Kummerer, an undergraduate student from Bartlett, Illinois. Kummerer is studying Convergence Journalism, with an emphasis in Broadcast Reporting, and plans to graduate in December 2016. (Interview by Chad Brewster and Sophia Lauriello.)

Where are you interning, and what are you doing?
I am interning at NBC5 Chicago with the investigative unit. As a researcher on the team, my daily tasks include fielding story tips from viewers, shadowing investigative reporters on shoots and assisting producers with in-depth investigations.

What’s your favorite thing about this internship?
My favorite thing about my internship at NBC5 is that I get to research and develop stories over an extended period of time, rather than just for an afternoon like in most newsrooms. I get to develop relationships with sources and watch as stories get more complex or turn in a new direction. I really enjoy gaining skills to uncover the truth that include background checking, filing FOIA requests, and assisting on undercover shoots. For me, journalism is about more than just informing but also about protecting the people and uncovering injustices. My internship has shown me how vital that role in the profession is and how gratifying it can be.

What is one course you’ve taken at the Missouri that prepared you for this internship?
Convergence Reporting was one of the hardest classes I’ve ever taken, but it is also that class that I refer to on a daily basis. In my internship, I listen to hundreds of people with story tips or complaints, and it is my job to decide which ones could actually be feasible TV stories. Convergence Reporting drills into you what makes a compelling story, and I refer back to the lessons I learned during that semester when making decisions at NBC5 daily.

Beyond technical skills, what else have you learned at the J-School?
The J-School has provided me with so much more than a list under the skills category on my resume. When you intern with students from other universities, I really think the value of the Missouri School of Journalism becomes apparent. Where other interns may be just learning how a newsroom works, I’ve already worked in numerous newsrooms just in Columbia alone. And I’ve found the more experience you have, the more confidence you have. I have confidence in writing, in interviewing and in talking to my co-workers on a professional level because I already have done so much on a smaller scale.

Any advice for current students looking to get an internship?
I would recommend trying different things for your internships. Experiment in the type of work you do, in the places you work and the news you cover. Prior to NBC5, I gained hands on experience in a local market through my work at KOMU-TV and experience in an international market with my internship at Reuters in Brussels. Now, I am gaining experience working within a city. The variety of jobs and locations I have worked before graduate has definitely helped me get a better idea of what I want my future to look like.

Updated: July 27, 2019