EDITOR’S NOTE: Liyna Anwar spent her summer interning as a reporter for the Coastline Pilot. Here are her reflections on the experience.
Coming into this internship, I really didn’t know what to expect.
I was never part of my high school newspaper or yearbook. I have always been a curious person, and listening to someone tell a story about an experience or their life always captivated me.
But I guess I never realized that curiosity would fit well into the realm of journalism. So as I entered my first year at UCLA I decided that I would try to learn more about it.
I began copy editing and writing occasional datelines for a news magazine on campus and after a friend’s suggestion, also joined the reporting team for the campus radio station. She knew I was a dork who listened to NPR a lot and thought it would be a good idea if I applied.
It was during these experiences where I really began to grow a strong interest in the whole concept of journalism.
So as summer approached I knew that instead of wasting away watching endless reruns of “Project Runway,” I could intern at a newspaper.
After sending some writing samples and being interviewed by City Editor Cindy Frazier, I got the internship. I was pretty excited that I would be interning at a real newspaper, but nervous considering I had never written for any kind of paper before.
“Wait, did she see that I had no published clips?” and “They know my only main experience with journalism has been with radio, right?” and “Oh, God. I really hope they didn’t listen to my lame piece about Bollywood” were just a few of the thoughts that ran through my head.
But as I am typing this on my last day at the summer internship, I can safely say that it has been great. Coming in and being able to write an article during the first week of my internship was something that I really didn’t expect I’d be able to do.
Most of my friends who had interned at papers before warned me that usually interns don’t get to write many articles, if any at all. But Cindy let me start right away — that’s the best way to get experience; jump right into the writing, she told me.
And writing has only been half of the job. Going out to interviews, I was able to meet some really fascinating people. From the couple who own and operate the Aviation Arts Gallery to the experts at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Laguna Beach is filled with people who lead interesting lives.
And although parking in Laguna is always a pain, I always looked forward to driving here to meet someone new and to hear what they had to say.
September is still stirring with activity, and frankly, I’m a little sad I won’t be able to cover them.
With the temperatures still high and the beach beckoning, I realize how much I’m going to miss the beach while I’m back at UCLA. Only in Laguna is it possible to conduct an interview while your feet are in the sand.
My junior year at school has started, and I am excited. Not just because it is a new year and I get to see those friends that I haven’t seen all summer, but because I can go into the year now knowing so much more about journalism.
I learned a lot this summer, and I am really thankful that I got this opportunity.
From how a newsroom works to how page layouts are designed to how to parallel park on South Coast Highway, I have gained a wealth of knowledge that I never would have expected to get.
Perhaps this time I’ll start off the school year not with the usual decaying summer brain, but with a mind refreshed and ready to tackle new adventures in journalism.