News

February 26, 2008

Christine Welsh ’08 Finds Direction for Future During Hands-On Externship at ABC World News

She plans to enter news industry upon graduation

Christine Welsh ’08 (Long Valley, N.J.) is a government and law major with a minor in anthropology and sociology. She participated in an externship at ABC World News this January, where she worked with Barbara Friedman P’11, producer for ABC World News, and simultaneously, discovered a path for her future. Externships are two-to-five-day experiences job-shadowing an alumnus or alumna or student’s parent during the January interim session. The following is a first-person account of Welsh’s experience.

As my final semester at Lafayette rolls around, I am busy exploring many different career options. Some common questions people are always asking me now are “What are your plans for the future?” and “What are you doing once you graduate?” While I do not have a specific job plan at the moment, I finally do know what path I want to pursue and a career that I know I am meant to be in. In efforts to see what careers are available, I applied for an externship through Career Services and I believe it was one of the best decisions I made at Lafayette.

The day I found out that I would be an extern at ABC News, I was ecstatic. While I only worked at ABC for one week, I learned more about the broadcasting world than I could have imagined. The one person that I need to thank the most is my host Barbara Friedman, a producer at World News with Charles Gibson.

When I arrived at ABC, Barbara quickly introduced me to the World News team and made me feel more than comfortable as I adapted to the fast-paced surroundings. Barbara sat down with me and began to explain the process of how news is gathered, created, and eventually broadcasted — all in one day’s work.

As a producer, Barbara receives her story in the morning and is assigned to a specific editing room and news correspondent in order to create a segment for the night’s news. I immediately was taught how to log incoming news feeds in the database, how to work with an editing program called AVID, how graphics are created, and how to communicate with the executive producer about the progress of each story.

Barbara made sure I was a part of researching the story, finding specific sound-bites, and really grasping the process. I became familiar with how the news is created every day and how each specific story evolves into the final product we see every evening.

It was clear the news-making process requires every single member of the team to do his/her part. During my week, specifically, I helped work on news pieces involving the presidential primaries, a topic that has been fascinating to me as a government and law major.

What I brought away from this experience was the lasting friendship with my host, Barbara. She dedicated so much of her time to teach me everything she knows and to make sure I left NYC with a better understanding of how news is created and then broadcasted. Barbara is extremely passionate about her role as a producer and I could see how she enjoyed the people she worked with and the assignments she received.

After only one week, I realized that I want to be a part of the news-making world upon my graduation. While it is a career path that involves a tremendous amount of commitment and requires one to work in a stressful and intense environment, I think it brings new and exciting challenges every day and a unique thrill to want to go to work every morning.

Welsh is a co-captain of the College’s Dance Team, a Writing Associate, and a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority for which she has served as the education chairperson and vice president of academic excellence. She served on her freshman class council from 2004-05 and on the Residence Hall Council from 2004-07. She has participated in marketing and media internships in New Jersey and New York.

  • Internships/Externships
  • Career Services
  • Government & Law
  • Anthropology & Sociology

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