Spring Capital Semester came to a close on May 3 with a commencement ceremony and reception held at TFAS Headquarters. Intern supervisors, mentors, faculty, staff and families joined keynote speaker Tom Palmer of the ATLAS Economic Research Foundation in celebration, congratulating the students on all their accomplishments throughout the course of the semester.
For one driven student, Samantha-Jo Roth of the University of Arizona, this past semester is sure to be one to remember. From the moment Roth stepped foot in the nation’s capital, she was making the most of the program, and within days of moving into her apartment, she was covering the 57th Presidential Inauguration as a reporter for her internship at Time Warner Cable. We asked her to sum up this unique experience in her own words:
“Working and living in Washington, DC during such an exciting time in our nation’s history has exceeded my expectations thus far. As an aspiring broadcast journalist, I knew it was crucial for me to get work experience in the capital. I wasn’t sure what my duties would be as an intern in the media industry, but I was determined to spend a semester in Washington.
During my first week with my internship at the Time Warner Cable local news bureau, I covered the 57th Presidential Inauguration. My boss applied for press credentials on my behalf in early November, although I was told it wasn’t likely that I would be approved. As soon as I arrived in Washington, the city was overflowing with people. Decorations for the inauguration were on every corner, and barricades and fences were being put in place for the ceremony. While I was moving into my new apartment, I got an email from my boss explaining that my credentials had been confirmed. I couldn’t have been more excited.
The day of the inauguration felt like a dream. Words cannot describe what that historic day was like for me. I woke up at 2:30 a.m. to go through the media security checkpoints. I then took my place on the media riser before the ceremony began. It was the most surreal feeling. Looking around, I saw a sea of network anchors and reporters. It was a surprise and an honor to be standing in the same place, wearing the same credentials as these distinguished and successful media personnel. I was probably the youngest person covering the inauguration with television news, and I was the only intern in the media area. From the riser, I could see rows of people gathered around the Washington monument. I was so high up that they all looked like ants.
When President Obama spoke, I could have sworn he was looking and speaking directly to me. The experience was something that I will remember for the rest of my life. I feel so fortunate to have had this opportunity in my very first week on the job. I refuse to accept that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, and I hope to be covering the inauguration of a future president in my career as a political reporter.”
To read more about Roth’s experiences in D.C., visit her blog at www.samijoroth.com under the tab “SJ in DC.”