Five things I learned in the Newhouse in New York program this semester

by Saniya More

December 18, 2018
Saniya More standing in front of the CBS building where she did her internship during the fall of 2018.
Saniya More stands in front of the CBS building in New York where she interned for the fall 2018 semester.

I spent this fall participating in Newhouse in New York, an intensive program based in New York City, where Newhouse students intern during the day and take classes at night. Here are the five most important things I learned during my time in “the Big Apple.”

1. Your internship is what you make of it.

I spent the semester interning at CBS News, where I worked in the radio department. It was my first time interning at a legacy media company, and I didn’t have a lot of experience in audio reporting. I was pretty nervous, but determined to do my best.

There are very few internships where people will simply hand you work to do. You may be given some basic responsibilities, but that doesn’t mean that’s all you should take on. Walk around the office and ask people if there is anything you can do to help out. Don’t annoy people—be mindful of their time and make sure you are helping, not hindering. No one is going to tell you what to do; it’s up to you to ask for work and offer your time.

2. Appreciate others and say thank you!

Newhouse in New York director Cheryl Brody Franklin always tells us that the most important, meaningful thing a young professional can do is send handwritten thank-you notes to people they’ve met. It might be difficult to hand write a thank-you note to each and every person you encounter, but even a thoughtful email can go a long way! People take time out of their day to help you, so the least you can do is say thank you. And trust me, they will remember you for it!

3. The world does not revolve around you.

In big cities like New York, you feel it even more. Everyone is on a different schedule and has different priorities. If someone doesn’t get back to you instantly, don’t take it personally. Follow up in a thoughtful way. You are not the center of the universe, so be mindful of other people’s personal and professional lives.

4. Network smarter, not harder.

This is a classic case of “quality over quantity.” Tools like LinkedIn are great to meet people in companies you hope to work for someday, but network with the people near you, too! Look around the office, check your Facebook friends list and set up coffee dates with people you think you could have a productive conversation with. It’s better to have 10 meaningful connections than 100 meaningless ones.

5. Worry less, live more.

It’s so easy to get caught up in school and work and forget to enjoy life. Make sure you are giving yourself time to wind down. Engage in activities that interest and relax you. Spend time with old friends, and make new ones, too. Stay in touch with family. Have fun!

Saniya More is a senior broadcast and digital journalism major at the Newhouse School.