By Jenna French

On August 31, I started my first college internship at Buffalo Toronto Public Media’s NPR station known as WBFO. As my journey at Canisius College comes to a close and with graduation just months away, I decided to apply for an internship in hopes of gaining real-world experience. As a journalism major, I have come to learn throughout the years that journalists are now expected to have more than just writing skills. Now journalists are expected to be able to take photos, edit video content, or post engaging content on their social media pages. With this in mind, I recognized that I needed to strengthen these skills, and I thought that completing an internship at WBFO would give me more experience in the field of broadcast journalism.

While at Canisius, I have mainly focused on my writing skills to prepare myself for a career in the field of journalism. For example, I decided to also major in English to work on my writing, critical thinking, and research skills. Additionally, I have been part of Canisius’ student-run newspaper known as The Griffin. I started as a reporter for the news section my freshman year. With the help of The Griffin’s staff, I learned a lot and was able to eventually be part of the editorial team my sophomore year. Also, I began to write stories for our features section, and I started my own column that focuses on fashion.

With these goals in mind, I secured an internship at WBFO. Honestly, I was nervous to start because I have never completed an internship in college. In high school, I completed an internship at the Buffalo Spree, but I knew that an internship in college would greatly differ. For example, I knew that this would be a more hands-on internship and that I would have more responsibilities. Despite this anxiety, I was very excited to start my internship at WBFO and gain more experience. I felt a sense of comfort knowing that Emyle Watkins, a friend, and my mentor from The Griffin, was a reporter at WBFO that I would frequently work with.

On my first day, I received my own building pass that I would use to represent WBFO in the field or move around the building.

Currently, I am completing week three of my internship, and I am still settling in. Over the past few weeks, I have shadowed a couple reporters and got to meet the staff. On my first two days, I mainly shadowed one of their radio hosts Mark Wozniak who has been at WBFO for most of his career. I was able to watch him as he went live to report on stories that other reporters worked on. He also wrote some of his own stories and really showed me how radios produce and wrote their stories.

Last week, I really started to dive in and work on some of my own pieces. Alongside Emyle, I wrote my first few script and cuts. Also, I conducted my first interview at WBFO, and I was able to speak with a representative from the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Erie County. Emyle later used this information to write a story that I helped work on.

In the coming weeks, I really hope to master Adobe Audition and start working on posts for their social media pages. I’m really thankful to have this oppourunity and I cannot wait for the rest of my journey at WBFO.