Ellie McCoy: 60 Minutes
JRNL Major Ellie McCoy Interned with 60 Minutes
Describe your internship. Where were you and what did you do?
This semester I have been given the amazing opportunity to intern in New York City at CBS Network, specifically 60 Minutes. As someone who has been watching this show my entire life, this was an internship I only ever thought that I would dream of. At 60 Minutes, interns get to do a lot of work and gain a lot of invaluable experience. A lot of my job requires conducting and delivering research, collecting and watching video footage and any other small tasks that help to get the story to air. This internship has been 100% production based, so we do a lot of behind the scenes work. I, along with 4 other interns, have had the chance to watch correspondents in the studio and at shoots, help producers and associate producers finish their pieces and so much more.
How did you develop this internship? What advice do you have for others?
Auburn's curriculum did a great job preparing me to become a great journalist. My classes have taught me the basics, and helped me perfect my skills in several areas of journalism; I truly believe Auburn teachers its journalism students to be well-equipped "one-man-band" journalists. However, I believe that the best experience I have gotten has been through Eagle Eye TV. I joined Eagle Eye as a sophomore, and during my time there have been able to apply all of the skills that have been taught to me by my professors. Eagle Eye gave me the opportunity to anchor, report, produce, edit and produce online content. With my involvement, I have been able to perfect my skills by applying them in a real-world setting, rather than a classroom setting. There is no better experience than hands-on experience. Eagle Eye led me to my first internship at WTVM, where I interned during the summer of 2018. At this internship, I was able to see an even more fast-paced, real news environment. I got to learn from extremely well-rounded journalists, who taught me what it was like to be on a true 24/7 news cycle. My experiences at WTVM and Eagle Eye combined not only helped me get this internship, but helped me excel while I have been here. I knew I was going to do my journalism internship either in the fall or spring of my senior year, and decided in the summer to shoot my shot and apply for big internships for the fall. My thought was, that if I didn't get accepted for the fall term, that they would at least have seen my resume before applying for the spring term. I was so excited to be offered an internship with CBS, and glad that I had ended up applying for the fall. Missing a football season is always hard, but I can always come back to Auburn for a football season; it's not every day that you get to walk the same halls as some of the best journalists in the country. It was extremely humbling to be able to have this experience.
As for advice: Get as much experience as possible. I have heard from so many people that what you do at school is what hiring managers want to see. They want to see that you were involved and constantly working to make yourself the best in your field. Join Eagle Eye or the Plainsman-- if you think you don't have time, you should make time! Hands-on experience could not be more important! I also highly recommend getting two internships if you have time for it-- start early! I was able to gain credit for both internships, because one was taken as Applied Journalism and the other was taken as my Journalism Internship. I highly recommend this to all students. As great as any on campus involvement can be, working in a professional setting is the best preparation possible. Also-- apply for those big internships! I did not think that I would get an internship at WTVM, and that led me to have the confidence to send an application to CBS. You have to have the confidence to try, or you will never know if you would have gotten it. Worst case scenario, you get a no, and you're back to where you started! Never second-guess yourself, and believe that you are qualified.
What are the most important things you learned during the internship—both inside the office and out?
I have definitely learned how important it is to ask questions-- it's ok! No one expects you to know exactly what you are doing at all times, so make sure you clarify as much as needed, so that you can produce the best work possible. Also, treat every assignment like a final project: make sure it looks organized, neat and well-done. Lastly, talk to those around you. It has been really cool at CBS to learn that so many people in the office also started as interns. The people around you, whether it's another intern or a senior producer, will have a different perspective and can offer some really great advice. Outside of the office, I have really gotten the chance to be a part of the working world. I am back to a structured schedule, with long hours and it seems like there is never enough time in the day. Take care of yourself! If you are at your best, your work will be at your best, and both are very important.
What advice do you have for interns during the internship experience?
My advice goes a lot along with what I was saying in the last question-- always ask questions, treat every assignment like a final project and learn from those around you. Be curious, you are a journalist! Learn as much as you can, volunteer to do stuff and always ask if anyone needs help. Volunteering to do something can be great, because if you do it well, they will likely come back to you when it comes time for another task.
Last Updated: December 17, 2018