Tomorrow begins today: The wRap on my Rappler internship
As my "batchmates" posted graduation photos on social media, marched to get their diplomas and their sablays shifted, and tried their best to act like adults, there I was interviewing sources, writing articles, pitching stories, and going out in the field as part of my internship program at Rappler.
My internship came a bit later than usual, but being a 21-year-old did not free me from the constant life question of whether I am cut out to be what I wanted to be, or rather, if being a journalist is really what I wanted to be in the future.
And on my very first day, I was reminded of that fear.
"Why choose an internship at Rappler over a vacation at home?" This was one of the questions asked to us interns by our supervisor.
Aside from it being required by my school, I also wanted hands-on experience to learn what I can't inside the four walls of the classroom as this was what I will hopefully be doing in the future. To that, my supervisor jokingly said, "Or not."
For years, I have always questioned whether I am on the right track, and hearing those two words made me anxious for what's ahead. This internship may make me realize that the media industry is just not for me, but it can also be an affirmation of what I can do. With those thoughts in mind, I chose, or rather tried to imbibe the latter thought.
To rap and to ripple
Being in media entails one to be social, and that may have been my biggest problem during the internship. I'm generally a shy person and can easily be overcome with self-doubt. I remember taking a pass on the first assignment up for grabs because I was not sure if I can do it.
But I soon realized that I wouldn't be learning as much if I take a step back. I learned to take initiative and eventually volunteered as much as I can for articles to write, assignments to take, and events and shoots to help out with.
I got to be part of the production team for the United Nationalist Alliance launch rally coverage, for an event coverage with Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, for exclusive interviews with Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, and for various shoots inside and outside of the office.
I also got to write stories that helped others achieve their dreams and goals. United World College scholar Zharina Casil's story was the first article I wrote for Move PH. Zharina says that she was able to confirm her attendance at the UWC Maastricht, in the Netherlands with the help of the Rappler article. (READ: Small-town gril dreams big)
It is definitely true that our stories have the ability to change people's lives.
In line with Rappler's mood meter, my internship was a roller coaster ride of emotions: Happy for covered events and published articles, amused by co-interns and mentors, sad for missed opportunities and unmet expectations, and afraid because of mistakes done. But mostly, Rappler's internship program inspired me.
It was a privilege to have been part of the production team for exclusive interviews, events, and reports, to have written for MovePH, to have learned from my mentors, and to have been in the same room as Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.
The whole internship reminded me of why I pursued journalism in the first place: Because I wanted to write and produce untold stories worthy of being shared to the world, and hopefully bring about change in their lives in the process.
In the end, I realized that my internship is in fact a taste of what I may be doing in the future, and it is exciting! Because as they say in Rappler, "Tomorrow begins today!" – Rappler.com
Grazielle Chua is a Rappler intern.
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