It is very rare to secure a multi-summer internship that both pays for the work you do AND provides matching scholarship funds for school. Not only did the Emma Bowen Foundation help to support my professional development by allowing me to grow over years with the same company, but they also supported my education. Furthermore, the opportunity to be challenged by difficult tasks right out of high school motivated me to become a high-achieving employee; I wasn't fetching coffee for my co-workers, I was treated as a colleague among peers. As someone just starting their career, this is truly invaluable.
At the Foundation level, I was quite disappointed that I was never invited to attend the Link Mentoring Initiative, something that (seemingly) a large majority of Emma Bowen interns were able to take advantage of. Also, there seemed to be limited, established opportunities for interns who wanted to engage work in the media industry with their interests in the natural sciences, apart from broadcast meteorology. There were a handful of interns who were in this boat (myself included), and we were expected to take our own initiative to pursue integrated science and media work. Finally, as a Corporation for Public Broadcasting-sponsored intern, my experience in the program was very different from the large majority of other interns. This became most obvious when all the interns gathered for the annual Summer Conference, where we heard from speakers that addressed topics that weren't always relevant to me. It would have been great to have more realized support for CPB interns.
However, it is important for me to note that the above concerns only arose because I was a minority among interns to experience these issues. Overall, I am grateful, if not indebted, to the amazing support provided by the Emma Bowen Foundation. From a KFAI perspective, I could not have asked for a better working environment or co-workers.
Advice to Potential Interns
If you're serious about investing in your future NOW, and you know you will go into the media field (or at least see the benefits of working in the media field, regardless of your occupation later in life), I see absolutely no reason to not apply for an Emma Bowen Foundation internship. There is nothing (and I mean nothing) like it in the nation. I do not exaggerate when I say there is no way you can walk away from the program with less than what you started with. I cannot express enough how grateful I am to have taken part in this internship. If anything, looking back, I regret not taking my internship seriously enough and not making the most of the (short!) four years I was in it.
Sample Interview Questions
* Why do you want to be part of the Emma Bowen Foundation internship program?
* What do you anticipate learning in your 4-5 years of the internship?
* What do you hope to take away from the internship?
Advice to Management
* It would be wonderful if everyone could participate in the Link Mentoring Initiative. If that is not possible, please do not give the perception that everyone will.
* I would encourage the Foundation to constantly expand their view of what types of jobs the "media industry" consists of. For example, the intersection of science and media is a growing field, and it would do you well to offer internships in this area.
* Please acknowledge the fact that Corporation for Public Broadcasting interns have a very different experience than the rest of the interns. Any supplemental support for CPB interns, given their nonprofit work role, would be much appreciated.