The Intern Diaries – Liz Bassani ’14
Name: Elisabeth Bassani ’14
Minor: Education Studies
Hometown: Havertown, Pennsylvania
Over the summer, junior Lis Bassani worked as an Education Programs Intern at WHYY, a public radio and television station based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. WHYY focuses on arts and education in both local and national news. The station broadcasts to the greater Philadelphia area, all of Delaware, and part of southwestern New Jersey. As a PBS affiliate, WHYY is a member-based organization which strives to promote community events and programs. WHYY appeals to a wide range of ages and interests.
Basani’s daily tasks included data collection and analysis. In addition, she was given the opportunity to collaborate on longer-term projects with the Education Programs Department. She was published twice for “View, Do, Read,” a monthly article which encourages children to watch a PBS program, engage in an activity related to the show, and then read a book with a similar theme.
Bassani researched how WHYY could reach out to local teachers and gain support for professional development programs thought social media. She also helped with an annual program called “Why I Like This Book,” where students send in an application to WHYY describing their favorite book. The program selects seven out of the 1,000 applicants to film commercials that air between programs on local PBS television stations.
Unfortunately, all internships at WHYY are unpaid. However, Bassani was able to make due, WHYY allowed her to work part-time, giving her time to earn money.
“I was lucky to have the flexibility to earn money by babysitting on the side while also saving by living at home,” she said.
Overall, working at WHYY was a great learning experience for her. Many interns return to the organization as full-time employees.
“I would definitely love to work at WHYY or another public media station. It was exciting to see constant development and growth and witness the dynamic of public media in action. I enjoyed working with a younger group of people, and meeting other interns in college,” said Bassani.
Before her internship, she had never given much thought to public media or non-profit organizations as a career option. But by the end of the summer, she had changed her mind.
“Working at WHYY or a similar company was definitely something I could see myself doing,” said Bassani.
To students looking for summer 2013 internships, Bassani recommends branching outside of your comfort zone. She also recommends considering unpaid internships in the hope that your desired organization will allow you flexibility in your work schedule.
“The last thing you want to do is limit your options by only applying for paid internships or for those that align with your major. The purpose of internships is not only to boost your resume, but also to help you figure out your interests,” Liz said.
In essence, be fearless. Chances are you will end up with a productive and enriching experience like Bassani.