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|| News Item: Posted 2004-07-28

The Intern Diaries: Alyssa Schukar
By Alyssa Schukar, Hampton Roads Daily Press

Photo by Alyssa Schukar / Daily Press

Photo by Alyssa Schukar / Daily Press

From left, Chad Wallace, Anthony Watkins, Brittany Morgan, Kelli Werstein, Travis Mulkey and Ryan McDougal crowd together between games on to look at pictures from a party.
(Editors Note: Since it's summer Sports Shooter asked several college students serving internships to write about their experiences during their first few weeks "in the real world." This is the first of two parts.)

I'm from Nebraska, and though more of a city girl than a farm girl, I have gotten a new taste of city life at my internship at the Daily Press, a newspaper on the Virginia Peninsula.

Now, that's about as far east as I've ever ventured. I spent my first two weeks getting lost, mostly. As far as I can tell, people out here don't go by cardinal directions, so in very little time I've had to become overly familiar with my map book.

Staff photographer Adrin Snider put it best when he said that he can tell when people are not from around here because they're always trying to figure out where they are by looking for the sun. That's just not possible with tall trees and weather that constantly changes.

After a two-day drive down to Virginia, I was pretty antsy to get going --- I wanted to take pictures. I started on a Monday but did not shoot my first assignment for print until Wednesday.

My boss, photo editor Dennis Tennant, told me to spend the first couple of days on a photo scavenger hunt, which is a good way to figure out how all of these interlocking cities on the peninsula and surrounding area work. I was sent to get a picture of "Beautiful Downtown Phoebus" in Hampton.

The sun was on its way down, and the light was pretty nice. I saw a young kid playing with his toy gun on the steps to a bicycle shop while his mom put luggage in her car.

I'm one of those people who gets pretty bored with just taking pictures of inanimate objects, so I thought I'd talk to the woman for a while, snap off a few frames and be on my way, having knocked off one of those scavenger hunt requirements.

I know it's a little corny, but I have to admit it was pretty cool to tell the woman I worked for the Daily Press - a professional newspaper with a circulation that goes beyond college students on a campus, like the university paper I work for back home. The photo was nothing special, but it felt like a release - it was the beginning of my professional life, the beginning of what I hope to do when I graduate in a couple of years.

There have been highlights and low points, but I can't help but think that no matter what assignment I'm sent on, it's pretty great that my summer job is taking photos for a newspaper. I am just glad to be here and hope that I can finish the internship feeling like I gave it my best.

(For more information about Alyssa and to see samples of her work:

Related Links:
Alyssa's member page
The Intern Diaries, Part 2: Alyssa Schukar

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Old habits die hard, renewed my SS membership again! Renewed ::..