April 15, 2024
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April 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Looking Back as an Intern

When I first saw that call for interns in The Jewish Link, I was deep in Yeshivat Har Etzion and was kind of floundering for what to do over the summer. I didn’t have a clear idea of what options there really were for me, what to expect from them, or how to pursue them. However, The Jewish Link’s application was simple and easy, and so I jumped at the opportunity. Although I still wasn’t sure what to expect—most interns apparently spend their time getting coffee—I was interested in seeing a professional workplace in action nonetheless. I was still in school, and didn’t quite have firsthand experience with that kind of environment. In the classroom, I was used to assignments with clearly delineated subjects, rubrics and grades, and so I was keen to see how I’d work in a different setting, even if it would be at the very bottom of the ladder.

However, what I got was something even better. Even on the very first morning, I was in an editorial meeting with the publishers and editors, talking about what we were working on and future assignments. I wasn’t given a specific mentor or supervisor to babysit me, I was given a cubicle and an interview to do. I hadn’t even done much stuff like this before the internship, but I was still trusted to be a proper journalist, just like anyone else on the team, and it felt great.

Of course, that’s not to say I didn’t have help. There was a wonderful intern coordinator, Hannah Kirsch, who helped me get settled and introduced me to the general workflow and the other interns. I’d talk to her and the editor, Elizabeth Kratz, for a second pair of eyes on my articles, or advice on how to write interview questions or cover an event. And naturally, both of them were helpful and happy to share the style guide or previous articles as examples to help me out.

But for the most part, I loved how much freedom working here gave me. I was largely in charge of how and when I would research and write the stories I was assigned. In fact, that was one of the most interesting parts of the whole experience—I was not only seeing the process by which something actually ends up as an article, but I was right there doing it. There weren’t scheduled times to be in and out or take breaks, either. I could more or less go as I pleased, which was great for how I like to get work done. I didn’t have to worry about coming late because of traffic, or leaving a bit early for other appointments, and there was no problem with me meeting up with friends for lunch.

Another interesting part was the stories I was actually doing. I got to talk to the CEOs of a whipped cream company and shake hands with a congressman. When I interviewed a Jeopardy! contestant, it wasn’t just research for work, it was also fascinating. I got to hear what it was like to be on national TV, and talk about how general knowledge can help you connect with all sorts of people.

Looking back on my time as an intern, I’d say it was certainly a worthwhile experience. I got to enter into a professional world I’d never seen before, and look out on the world through that lens. I got to learn how to ask questions, push for answers and turn those answers into a proper article, published in The Jewish Link.


Eitan Nissel was a summer intern at The Jewish Link, and is set to start Shana Bet at the Gush.

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