Written by Joe Starrs, Director – Institute on Political Journalism
Jasmine Campbell has very clear goals. She wants to be working in television as a reporter or news anchor. This past summer she took an important step toward that goal by completing a broadcast television internship with the Institute on Political Journalism (IPJ). She interned within sight of Capitol Hill at the Washington, DC bureau of cable television station, Spectrum News NY1. Her duties included interviewing members of the House and Senate, helping the news crew with their gear and researching stories for every broadcast day. As a recent graduate of the College of Charleston, Jasmine knew she needed more experience to be competitive. She got that experience – and more – with TFAS.
WHAT WAS THE MOST INTEREST THING YOU DID AT YOUR INTERNSHIP?
The most interesting thing I did at my internship was interviewing members of Congress when it came to issues that matters most such as the Health Care bill. Before coming to DC I didn’t know what bills were passed in Congress and I didn’t consider the impact it had on my family. Once I was up close and personal with lawmakers, it opened my eyes to their personal views and put in perspective how detrimental and vital these bills are for the American people. That really interested me!
WHAT DID YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT LIVING IN DC?
I loved the city aspect of DC I come from a really small town in South Carolina, so it felt good to live in a city a lot bigger than what I’m used to. Everything was fast paced and you can tell how motivated everyone was around you, so that made me love the city even more.
HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR DC SUMMER HELPED YOU GROW PROFESSIONALLY?
This summer helped me grow professionally because I now feel like I can walk in any room and talk to anyone there. Whether it’s the CEO or a peer, I’m able to engage in conversations and network with professionals to expand my horizons and meet colleagues anywhere I go.
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF THE PROGRAM?
The most challenging aspect of the program was honestly the class. I took an economics class while there, and it was my first time taking the class since high school. I was a bit intimidated at first, but I learned a lot about supply and demand and how the government works with other countries in terms of trade.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TFAS SPONSORED EVENT?
My favorite was definitely the Alumni Round Table. Meeting so many alumni who are successful in their professional career was really inspiring. And the food was excellent.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO STUDENTS CONSIDERING THE PROGRAM?
If you’re thinking about attending TFAS, I say go for it! It was my first time being in DC and I learned and experienced so much while there; I don’t regret it for a second. There’s a reason it’s number one in Google when searching for an internship in DC.
At the end of the summer, Jasmine was one of six students invited to speak at the closing ceremony marking the completion of the TFAS summer institutes. In her remarks she shared this story:
I was with the news producer at my internship, Courtney Pence. We were sitting in a coffee shop, waiting for the interview to start, and just having casual small talk. I began to tell her about my worries and how I was really worried going into the industry with just two broadcasting interviews under my belt. She stopped me during my sentence and said, “You can do this. Everything up until this very moment, you worked towards this. You have what it takes. Now you have to execute and show these news directors what I already know.” At that very moment, I wasn’t just a small girl from a small town. No matter what insecurities I had, I worked hard for these opportunities. It’s my job not to let them past by.
For more information on IPJ please visit www.DCinternships.org.