It was a typical day at the Shulman residence, with the phone ringing off the hook with calls from car sellers, reminders from the dentist of an upcoming appointment, and someone insisting that whoever had answered the phone won the lottery. As the phone rang once again, Chani Shulman waited a brief minute for someone else to pick up the phone and then realized that she was the only one home. When she got up to answer the call, her grandmother excitedly shared her news: “Chani, Grandpa and I read your article in The Jewish Link and we were so impressed!” With that, more phone calls began to pile in from family and friends alike.
I loved getting these phone calls. It was a reward after the effort of writing an article. How to write articles, however, was not the only thing I learned when interning at The Jewish Link. In fact, it is only one of five primary lessons that I attained during my internship.
I also learned:
1) That other interns and coworkers can be your friends.
Although my computer can be quite friendly and enticing, there is nothing like human interaction to keep work life interesting. One of the highlights of my week would be attending the Thursday meeting comprised of Moshe, Elizabeth, the other interns and Phil on the phone. Another highlight would be going out for lunch with the other interns. Although I walked into this internship as a shy and timid high school student, the friendly environment that my coworkers and fellow interns created helped me come out of my shell.
2) To appreciate the editor.
I have learned to value an editor as an additional, impartial set of eyes. Prior to this internship I underestimated the importance of the editor. Now I realize that no article can be printed without the help of an editor.
3) To find the best seat for me.
The aforementioned statement of my shy start-up in this internship led me to choose a seat in a cubicle far away in the back, while all the other interns were sitting surrounded by each other in the front of the office. I got used to shutting myself out in that cubicle and tended to keep to myself; that is, until Elizabeth changed my seat. She told me that she wanted to hear more from me and she felt it would be beneficial for me to sit with the other interns in the front. That seat change was probably the best antidote for my reserved mentality. It led me to volunteer more and to socialize with the other interns and employees.
4) How to write proper newspaper articles.
During my internship, I learned all there is to know on writing a standard news article; from how to interview someone, to properly capitalizing a title using AP Style, to understand how to use and apply the Wall Street Journal lede. Prior to this internship, I did not even know what the Wall Street Journal lede was. Now, not only do I know that this is a hook that draws readers in with a short anecdote, but I have even used it in articles such as this one. Through constantly writing, rewriting and editing articles, I have learned more about the art of journalism.
5) That I am a reporter!
Perhaps sensing my introverted personality, Elizabeth gave me great advice at the beginning of my internship: “You are a reporter!” She informed me that although I may be the youngest reporter attending a certain event, and maybe the only intern present, I am still a reporter. This simple statement gave me the confidence boost I needed to better cover a story.
From writing about Judge Ruchie Freier to writing about a girl who wants to attend seminary, I have enjoyed writing and researching for every article (particularly the research I conducted in trying new ice cream flavors at Ice Cream on Grand!). I am so grateful for the opportunity to intern at The Jewish Link and so thankful for all the advice, information and lessons I acquired. Thank you to Moshe and Elizabeth for giving me the opportunity to intern at The Jewish Link. Also, Elizabeth, thank you for changing my seat and telling me I was a reporter. Thank you to Jill, Risa, Jen, Nina, Dena, Jenny and Phil for being so kind to me and for all the assistance you have provided. (And thank you, Jill, for saving me from the thunder/lightning storm!) Thank you to my fellow interns, Lizzie, Miri, Tani, Rachel, Sara, Esti, Dov, Mairav and Ariella, for making this internship more than the relationship between me and my computer. Finally, a special thank you to the readers of The Jewish Link for making all the hard work that goes into writing articles worth it.
By Chani Shulman
Chani Shulman, a rising sophomore at Manhattan High School for Girls, was a summer intern at The Jewish Link.