My name is Hannah Smith, a first-year student at Chapman University with a major in Political Science and Communication. I aspire to minor in Journalism in future years, and have a deep affiliation with journalistic writing; thus influencing my decision to write for Chapman’s newspaper, The Panther, and pursue a Wilkinson blog-writing position.
This semester, I interned with The Voice of Wilkinson: a blog publication under the Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Primarily focusing on the “Engaging the World: Leading the Conversation on Ethnic Studies” series, I had the fortune to learn about and cover campus events relating to identity, culture, ethnicity, and more.
Throughout this internship, I gained knowledge on networking within communities, developed and refined my journalistic writing skills, and was provided the opportunity to experience real-world journalism. I am very grateful to have gained skill and confidence in the area of journalism, and best of all to have learned more about identity and culture through the Ethnic Studies events I provided coverage on.
Each event granted me eye-opening insight into topics ranging from literary activism in the LGBTQIA+ community, to art activism in the Chicano community and Jewish communities. It was incredible to gain such a wide range of global perspectives and knowledge in just one semester through this internship. Each and every one of these events was impactful on me as an individual, particularly my very first blog coverage of the semester.
The first event I attended explored Sikh identity in the United States. I was able to hear from members of the Sikh community about their take on how racial, cultural, and ethnic biases should be confronted in a multicultural country like the US. Due to the fact that I was born following the tragic event of 9/11, I had little personal knowledge of the biases the Sikh community faced directly following the event, and it was deeply impactful for me to gain that perspective and awareness.
It was deeply revelating to learn about how societies in the United States contain micro-aggressions and biases that may reflect onto their daily lives without them knowing. I was sincerely grateful to have the opportunity to gain insight into a community I had never quite heard from before in the main media, and learn from them about advocating against biases in everyday life. I felt empowered to promote change in my community, and each and every event I attended and covered left me with the same sentiments.
Journalistic pursuits are all about inquisitiveness, and the endless pursuit to gain knowledge and perspective about the world around us. I recommend anyone pursue a journalistic internship such as Wilkinson’s blogs, not just to pursue the field of journalism, but also to have the opportunity to network with cultures, ethnicities, and communities one might not otherwise connect with in their life.