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|| SportsShooter.com: News Item: Posted 2006-10-05

Intern Diaries: Omaha and Palm Beach
'Photojournalism internships offer some of the best ways to develop your craft and also to grow as a person.'

By Alyssa Schukar, World-Herald and The Post

Photo by Alyssa Schukar/The Palm Beach Post

Photo by Alyssa Schukar/The Palm Beach Post

Tom Petty takes a bow to a sold-out crowd during a homecoming concert with his band, the Heartbreakers, at the University of Florida O'Connell Center on Thursday, Sept. 22.
(Editor's note: At the end of each summer, it has been a tradition at the Sports Shooter Newsletter to have several students share their experiences working at an internship.)

I'm a little bit of a nomad. In the past three years, I've moved seven times. You're probably thinking that I'm a glutton for punishment. The truth is that for all of the irritation, pulled muscles and strain caused by these moves, I managed to have three of the most memorable years to date because four of those moves have involved internships, sometimes across the country.

Photojournalism internships offer some of the best ways to develop your craft and also to grow as a person. I've found that when I move to a new part of the country, a new culture, new sights and new opportunities surround me. These things always appear a little sharper when I'm in a new situation, especially one that is so different from what I'm used to.

I have been blessed with the opportunity this year to do two internships back-to-back. The first was over the summer at the Omaha World-Herald in Nebraska, and the second, which I recently started, is at the Palm Beach Post in southern Florida.

I wanted to do back-to-back internships for a number of reasons. I thoroughly enjoy meeting new people and seeing new parts of the country. Also, the more experience I can gain while I'm still able to move to new locations, the more equipped I will be to do good work when I finally settle down in February (cross your fingers!) for a job.

Having worked nearby while in school, I was already familiar with the photographers and editors at the World-Herald, so my editor, Craig Chandler, tossed me into the shooting rotation immediately. In fact, my first two days were spent shooting the Nebraska High School State Track and Field Championships. I had a blast.

Later in the summer, I was given the opportunity to photograph President Bush, the College World-Series, and a story on a world-class power lifter. I have found that I do best when I'm under pressure to succeed, and the World-Herald gave me many different opportunities to do so throughout the summer.

Photo by Alyssa Schukar / Omaha World-Herald

Photo by Alyssa Schukar / Omaha World-Herald

Humphrey St. Francis's Kendra Bender looks at the finish line after falling in the final stretch of the Class D 300 meter low hurdles as Silver Lake's Jordane Choquette wins the race at the Nebraska High School State Track meet at Burke High School.
Internships are adventures in a lot of ways. Newspapers in particular offer opportunities to be exposed to situations I would have otherwise never seen, so the more situations I can encounter, the better I am for them.

For example, at the Palm Beach Post, I was assigned to shoot a triathlon. I set four alarms for 5:30 in the morning and sprang out of bed, weary-eyed but excited to see the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean. (They have an ocean here!)

Less than two weeks later, I was sent on a three-day trip to Gainesville, where a reporter and I covered Tom Petty as he played with the Heartbreakers in his hometown.

Though I am still fresh-faced at the Palm Beach Post, I am excited to see how the fall develops. In addition to being surrounded by some great photographers, I am excited to take advantage of opportunities to further my education. For example, editor John Lopinot is helping me develop my multimedia skills.

I have to admit that I'm a little sad that my internship career is coming to an end. I have really lucked out with the caliber of people I've been able to work with, and I owe large amounts of gratitude to these photographers. They have helped the experiences become meaningful and lasting.


(Alyssa Schukar is a recent graduate of the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. You can view her work at: http://www.sportsshooter.com/alyssaschukar.)

Related Links:
Alyssa's member page

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