What’s Your Internship?: Ana Sofia Knauf

Ana Sofia KnaufStudent: Ana Sofia Knauf

Major: Journalism

Grade: Senior

Position: Opinion and Editorial Writing Intern at The Seattle Times (April 2013 to June 2013), Unpaid, can be for credit, 20 hours/week

Duties include:

“I write opinion columns and editorials representing The Seattle Times’ editorial board. When I am assigned a topic or my pitch is accepted, I do background research and hold interviews to prepare myself to begin writing my editorial or column. As I put together my piece, I bring in drafts to review with my editors and to bounce ideas off of them.”

How did you find out about it?

“I was recommended by Jessica Partnow to apply for the internship.”  

What made you decide to apply?

“A chance to intern at The Seattle Times is an amazing opportunity! I couldn’t pass up being able to work with some of the nation’s best reporters. Also, my writing background is mostly in arts and entertainment writing. I thought that having an opportunity to work at a newspaper would afford me the chance to become a more well-rounded writer.”

What do you like most about it?

“I like that I am able to pitch my own ideas to the head Editorial editors. It was a little daunting at first, but I was able to overcome my nervousness and throw my ideas out there. They have been very receptive and help me go more in-depth in forming my ideas.”

Is there anything you would change?

“Honestly, I cannot think of anything. They have been really flexible with my schedule and have been receptive toward my pitches.”

What is the working environment like?

“At first, the internship was very slow. Compared to my previous internship which had me doing fact-checking, copy-editing, blogging, and more, my only job at The Times is to write. During the time in the office, I conduct my background research, draft my editorials, and conduct interviews. The quiet can be kind of unnerving sometimes.”

How do you think it will help you and your career or future goals?

“Eventually, I would like to do video and photo reporting abroad about human rights issues. As an editorial writer, it is important to take a stand with my opinions to persuade my audience. I think it is important to be able to do this in the written and visual formats.”

What’s your favorite accomplishment so far?

“My first published editorial (found here) was a really big deal. It is one thing to see your work published online, but to see it in a tangible newspaper was pretty mind-blowing.”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

“To my fellow students, I know we keep hearing that ‘networking is everything’ and I know that it is hard. The opportunities we get are not only a product of our hard work, but of the connections we strive to make and maintain. Find yourselves mentors and do not be afraid to look to the people who have been teaching you these last four years.”