What’s Your Internship?: Kevin Dowd

Photo courtesy of Kevin Dowd

Photo courtesy of Kevin Dowd

Student: Kevin Dowd

Major: Journalism and Creative Writing

Grade: Junior

Position: Editorial Intern at SeattlePI.com (June 2012 to Sept 2012), Unpaid/For credit, 15-20 hours/week

Duties included:

“My main job was to blog about both Seattle and national sports for the PI’s blogging network. Sometimes I would get assignments from my supervisor, but more often it was just me looking around the internet for interesting things to write about and then pursuing those on my own. I also had a chance to cover a few Mariners baseball games.”

How did you find out about it?

I found an application on the internship page of the Communication department’s website and decided it was something in which I was interested.”

What made you decide to apply?

I really wanted to spend my summer writing in some capacity, and this was one of the few options in which I would have had the chance to write about sports. Plus, I grew up in Seattle, so just getting a chance to write for the PI had some cache with me.”

What did you like most about it?

From a journalistic perspective, it was great to get some experience writing directly for the web, specifically in using hyperlinks and embedding videos within my stories. From a pure-fun perspective, it was very cool and a very good learning experience to cover games at Safeco Field.”

Is there anything you would have changed?

It would have been great to spend a little more time doing actual event and game coverage, but there are only so many sports going on during the summer. The autonomy also at times got overwhelming — I feel like I definitely wasted a few hours just messing around on the internet because I had nothing to do.”

What was the working environment like?

It was very relaxed and comfortable — much lower-stress than I was anticipating before I started. I think that sort of reflects the changing business model of the PI during the past five or so years; instead of focusing on real event coverage and breaking news, the site has definitely shifted toward aggregation and from-a-distance reporting, which I think naturally lends itself to creating a less-stressful environment than in a traditional print newsroom.”

How did the internship help your career or future goals?

I’d like to be a writer, and I assume the internet isn’t going anywhere in the near future, so it was very helpful learning to write for the web in a more casual style. More specifically, I’d love to be a sports writer, and so spending good chunks of my days immersed in and writing about sports is always fun. It was also good experience to adjust to a work flow other than what we have at The Daily; the more flexible I can be in terms of working with editors and other reporters, the better.”

What was your favorite accomplishment while at the internship?

“It was very cool to be covering the game at Safeco Field the day Ichiro got traded to the Yankees, who the Mariners happened to be playing that night. Here’s one of the stories I wrote that day.”

Next up for Kevin: “I’m interning in the sports department at The Seattle Times this spring.”