The Columns

Interns at Work: Will Bartlett ’15 CBS News, New York, NY

— by on September 5th, 2016

Will Bartlett '15

“The adrenaline rush you get when you’re on set during the broadcast is a feeling unlike any other.”

How did you learn about this internship?

A W&L alum actually works at CBS News and put me in touch with the director of the intern program.

What gave you the edge in landing this internship?

I felt like my interview was what really gave me the edge. I was really well prepared going into it. I make a point to watch the news a few times a week, so I knew I was up to date with current events, which gave me the knowledge I needed to do well and in turn gave me a lot of confidence.

Describe your daily duties.

Unlike most news internships that require a lot of coffee orders and menial errands, I genuinely felt like I contributed to the daily airing of CBS This Morning, the department to which I was assigned. Depending on which shift I was working (either 4 AM – noon, 10 AM – 6 PM, or 2 PM or 10 PM) I had a variety of tasks. Early in the morning, a lot of the time I was helping producers get ready for the show, while during the day I was either researching stories, transcribing interviews, pulling old footage from the archives, or looking into a future pitch for the show.

What was your favorite part or perk of the internship?

Just the feeling you get when you’re working behind the scenes on live television. It may seem like the show is going smoothly on your television, but in reality it’s extremely chaotic, and no show is ever perfect. The adrenaline rush you get when you’re on set during the broadcast is a feeling unlike any other. Seeing Charlie Rose at work and having James Brown (the sportscaster, not the late musician) tell me how excited he was for football season was pretty unbelievable, too.

How did you like living in the city where the internship was located?

Being from New Jersey, I actually commuted in every day. Regardless, New York is unlike any other city I’ve ever been in, and being there every day was awesome. The city really is hectic 24/7, which is right up my alley, and made it a great second home for the summer.

What key takeaways/skills will you bring back to W&L?

I’m going to bring back a confidence to think for myself. Early on in the summer, I always ran pitch ideas past a few of my younger colleagues to get their thoughts before I spoke up in meetings, but by the end I trusted my eye for a story and would pitch an idea when I felt like it was worthy. I think I can carry this over in many facets of my W&L life, but specifically in the classroom. I’m not going to be afraid to say something if I have an idea I find interesting because if I can say something in front of a room of 20-some-odd adults, I can say something in a room full of my peers.

What advice would you give to students interested in a position like this?

Don’t be afraid to use the connections you have. Positions like these can be very competitive, but W&L has an extensive alumni network, and it was great to connect with professionals in the field.

Will you pursue a career in this field after graduation?

I’m certainly going to try. Unlike finance internships, offers in news are not given out at the end of the summer and are done on a rolling basis when you’re available to begin work, so it may be better to ask me this in May.

Describe your experience in a single word.

Surreal.