By Sara Sonnack
At 3:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings when most people my age were either still awake or just getting home, I was leaving for work. Being on a Tuesday through Saturday schedule while working for “CBS This Morning: Saturday” took some getting used to. It also introduced the Saturday afternoon nap into my schedule. This internship was a lot of hard work and some of my free time had to be sacrificed, but I learned a lot along the way.
The biggest thing I learned was that I shouldn’t have to take “No” as a final answer if I want to make it in this industry. My biggest worry is getting a job after I graduate from school. A lot of people gave us interns advice on how to get jobs in this business. No two people from anchorman, Scott Pelley, to CBS News Chairman, Jeff Fager, took the same path. This is both good news and bad news to me. It would be a lot simpler looking into the future knowing that there is a clear path I have to take. However, I also have the opportunity to make my own way. I’ve learned that as long as I stay persistent doors will open. Scott Pelley said he was told “No” a lot along the way, and today, well, he’s Scott Pelley. There’s tremendous hope in that.
I learned a lot also from just being a fly on the way in the newsroom this particular summer. The horrible shooting in Aurora gave me the opportunity to experience the news industry from the inside during a huge breaking news situation. It was a long day on Friday hunting down the appropriate guests for the show the next day. I also saw firsthand how people in the newsroom are able to detach themselves from the situation. They are still able to laugh and joke with one another. None of them were insensitive, but it really showed me how to be a professional. News comes first.
During this internship I had a few moments when I didn’t know if this was exactly what I wanted to do. Winning the intern group competition helped cement the thought that I have something in me that is worth exploring in this industry. However, the biggest moment that cemented that this is where I belong was actually on my last day, Saturday morning August 11.
When I walked into the newsroom that morning, both the broadcast producer, Tami Ruiz, and the executive producer, Michael Rosen, told me that I was going to go out with a bang. Mitt Romney decided he was going to announce his choice of running mate that morning. I spent part of my morning finding as many photos as I could of Paul Ryan. However, when it came time for the actual announcement I was right where I belonged, in the control room. I couldn’t tell you a single word that Romney or Ryan said that morning. I could tell you that at one point the director, Chip Colley, turned around to speak to Michael Rosen and in the middle of their conversation, he was still directing the show, shouting directions, literally flying off the use of the eyes in the back of his head. Both Tami and Michael were right, my last day there did end with a bang. I know that I belong in a control room. I got chills in there. It was magic.