Brennon Dixson

DixsonClass of 2017
Major: Journalism
Chips Quinn Scholar – Long Beach Press Telegram

1. How did you apply for this internship?

Through the Freedom Forum Institute’s – Chips Quinn Scholars Program website online. It didn’t take long to apply for it, and they’ll take your resume and pass it around to newspapers across the nation.

2. What were your daily tasks?

First, the Chips Quinn program flew me and others from across the country out to Nashville for a week long training session covering multimedia journalism. We networked with former program participants, were responsible for creating and editing videos on our phones and DSLR cameras, and learned what to expect in a real-world newsroom. After the training, I was placed at the Press Telegram where I was able to gain experience as an editorial intern. I was responsible for finding stories, crafting copy and other tasks that would prepare me for future jobs in Torrance and Santa Clarita.

3. What skills were needed for this position? And do you think CSULB prepared you for it?

I’d say the most important skill was good communication — asking questions, speaking up when you don’t know something and sounding sure of yourself. Whether it was finding stories, digging information out of sources or conveying certain things to my editor, communication was always key in my opinion.

I’m not sure if this is a skill but “ENERGY” was a word that often came up when I was an intern. So try to have the skills to exude confidence and positivity even if you have no idea what you’re doing or don’t feel capable about a task, then communicate to figure out what you should be doing. Also…learn to write and type quickly.

CSULB definitely gave me the tools to succeed in my position. The classes that forced me to crank out small stories almost every day, the newscast that I participated in with Frank Williams and my time at KBEACH/The Daily 49er all helped me find success in my internship. In fact, I feel I was only able to secure the Chips Quinn internship because I had some familiarity with multimedia journalism, which was an emphasis in almost all of my classes at CSULB.

4. What was the highlight of your internship?

The whole three months. I’m inclined to say it was my week in Nashville because I met some inspiring young journalists and my future editor Frank Suraci. (I miss that dude.) But I learned and covered so much to boil it down to a highlight or single event.

5. How do you think this internship benefitted your career?

I don’t think I’d have a career if it wasn’t for my Chips Quinn internship. Coming out of college I knew that I was behind because I lacked the true job experience that I felt many others in my graduating class had. I lucked out by being accepted into the Chips Quinn program and it helped introduce me to journalists who helped me in ways that I wouldn’t be able to fully cover here. So even if you don’t think you’ll get an internship or job, I urge you to apply because I once thought the same. And now I’m constantly getting told I have a future in this crazy industry that I have dreamed of working in forever.