May 26, 2024
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May 26, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Looking Back on My Summer Internship

I did not know what I was getting into when I applied to be a Jewish Link intern. My mom showed me an ad for the internship in one of the issues of the newspaper, and I was doubtful at first. But I had nothing else planned for the summer yet, so I pursued the opportunity. The professional experience was what really drew me to the program. I’m an editor-in-chief of my school newspaper, so I figured it would be good experience. Also, as a foreigner in Teaneck, all of the restaurants in the Plaza made it enticing.

Now, sitting at my desk in The Jewish Link office after six weeks of writing for the newspaper, I appreciate my foresight from that night in March. What makes The Link unique is that while it is a small community paper, it has the respect in the community as their sole news source. Here I got on the front page twice, learned how to write, interview and copy edit, and understood how to see the world from the perspective of the press. I also learned to manage my time better, since my schedule was self-determined and I had deadlines to meet. And as for any skepticism I had before I applied, all has been resolved.

On my first day in the office back in June I was unsure how legitimate the experience would be. To some extent, all local newspapers are smaller than they seem. While the staff create a more personal, intimate experience for the intern, they could also show an inaccurate picture of what the industry looks like. However, at The Jewish Link I feel like I got the best of both worlds. While the office is relaxed and easygoing, the newspaper has the respect of the community as an appreciated news source for the area. At the same time, the production process is relatively simple from the writer’s perspective, but it is still official enough to emulate a large paper. The development of the issue each week was organized and thought-out. While it was easygoing, it was professional and worthwhile.

As for personal growth from this experience, I know for sure that I am a better writer than I was two months ago. I have gotten great exposure to the multiple levels of editing, which will help me on endeavors like my school newspaper. I practiced interacting with clients and community members, whether through a phone interview, by email or in person. I had to work together with other members of the staff and other interns, honing my ability to work successfully with others. I learned to be more creative by being tasked to create headlines and make articles interesting and worth the read. I established my ability to take criticism and to change my vision for a project midway through my work. I practiced being a reporter, not because I want to know, but because the public deserves to know. I wasn’t breaking backpage controversy, but what I was reporting was still worth knowing. I learned how to be an asset to a business. And that is the most valuable skill I developed over this summer.

Would I do it again? Possibly. Was it worth my time? Definitely. It’s a step on the path to success. And my invaluable experience will take me places I never thought I could go.

By Zach Marcus


 Zach Marcus is a rising senior at Rae Kushner Yeshiva High School and was a Jewish Link summer intern.

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