Brian O’Neill ’16 (Wayland, Mass.) got a close look at the newspaper industry over the January break in an externship hosted by Henry Dubroff ’72, chairman and editor of the Pacific Coast Business Times in Santa Barbara, Calif.
O’Neill shadowed Stephen Nellis, senior editor, and worked on several projects.
“I helped them make a list of the most expensive zip codes near Santa Barbara, sat in on a few meetings where the journalists in the office discussed ideas for the next few issues, and helped edit a few articles,” says O’Neill. “They even sent me out to do my own little project (not for publication), which involved interviewing a person at Chipotle and taking note of his response and then writing a reverse-pyramid-style article that they critiqued for me.”
He also particularly enjoyed spending time with Dubroff.
“He took me around one day and gave me a brief cultural and economic history of the area around where the office was,” says O’Neill. “He knows a ton of businessmen and bankers around there from hosting events and writing articles.”
“It was great for Brian to get some real-world contact with our small news team,” says Dubroff. “It was a way for him to try on the persona of a business journalist and see if there was a good fit. It was also a great way for me to get a student’s relatively unvarnished perspective on what’s happening on campus.”
For O’Neill, the week opened his eyes to the newspaper world.
“This was more like a miniature internship with zero prior experience in the field,” he says. “Needless to say, it was an extremely valuable experience.”