Indiana INTERNnet celebrated internship excellence on February 26, 2019 at the 13th Annual IMPACT Awards Luncheon. Though the event is over, and the winners have been announced, we are continuing to celebrate the nominees’ successes.
These are their stories.
Emily Miles plans to graduate from Indiana University-Bloomington in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and specialization in audio. She currently works as the Audio and Special Projects Specialist at the IU-Bloomington Office of the Provost & Executive Vice President and helps run the student podcast American Student Radio.
Indiana INTERNnet: You are a graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, correct? What made you interested in pursuing that?
Emily Miles: I graduate from Indiana University-Bloomington in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, which is my major. My specialization within my major is audio, so that means production, broadcast and podcast. I’m minoring in Spanish, Latino studies, and folklore and ethnomusicology, which work together surprisingly well. I’ve always loved people and believed in the power of stories, so journalism seemed like the natural choice. Then, the minute I was exposed to the medium of sound, I fell in love. It provides the intimacy of voice while limiting reliance on visual stereotypes. On top of that, there is such great potential for experimental and artistic storytelling in sound.
IIN: Describe your internship experience with WNIN News. What were your favorite aspects?
EM: WNIN News is a segment of the NPR member station in Evansville, IN. With them, I specifically focused on the station’s bilingual podcast, ¿Qué Pasa, Midwest? I had two immediate supervisors and one editor over them. Each was supportive and encouraged me to take the reins of my internship and make it the sort of thing that will best help me. As a duty-driven and serially self-sacrificial person, I took on the task of creating brand standards for the podcast — a thing that has very little to do with what I’ve studied. This included developing a color scheme, a small collection of typefaces, a newsletter format, a business card design, a media kit for sales, and several post templates. I also developed a posting schedule to keep posts both topically varied and temporally consistent. Aside from branding and social media, I collected some recordings and gave the main host-producer feedback on her episode drafts. In addition to my work for ¿Qué Pasa, Midwest?, I produced several spots and features for the radio. My stories included a preview of the HOLA Latino Festival, a look into the significance of the annual Pride Picnic, and an audio-video feature on the Mesker Park Zoo’s first giant anteater in 50 years.
IIN: What was the most challenging project you were assigned?
EM: The most challenging aspect of my internship came in the last month and a half, when my editor encouraged me to take on a capstone reporting project. After days of swirling ideas in my head, I came across a young woman who has single-handedly branded several of the most celebrated new businesses in town. Her work caused me to think about the mass of young people doing innovative and progressive work in the city I had always known as a miserable place. Then, one of my supervisors sent me a pitch from a young software innovator in town. From there, I reached out to everyone I could in hopes of determining what changed in the city to suddenly unleash a swell of innovations and quality-of-life improvements. What resulted was a four-part series about the factors contributing to change, how people feel in this moment, and the next steps the community can take. Upon its release, that project maintained a place at the top of the website views chart and garnered responses from young people who had been wondering the same thing I had and who were happy to see something positive in their hometown.
IIN: How many internships have you completed? Could you describe the benefits you’ve gained from these experiences?
EM: My first internship was with Tucker Publishing Group, known best for Evansville Living Magazine. That was the summer after my freshman year of college, and I needed a lot of guidance, but there were there for me. Everyone from the company owners to the editorial staff to the business staff treated me like family from the beginning. Then, when the managing editor accepted another job and the position sat unfilled for a few weeks, the staff writer and I doubled down to write almost a whole magazine. I learned that summer how to be part of a highly collaborative team and how to strike out and just get the work done. Above all, perhaps, I learned the importance of community publications and the depth of my own community. Since then, I’ve interned with the IU Bloomington Office of the Provost & Executive Vice President for about five semesters and WNIN for a summer. Each place has offered guidance after hours and beyond the end date of the internship, making clear to me the weight of workplace relationships. You can’t just work — you have to be part of the team.
IIN: What are your future plans and career goals?
EM: I’ll likely work for Indiana University for a year or two, producing digital audio products. Beyond that, I’m open. As long as I can serve a community by helping people get their stories heard, I’ll be happy. One day, I would like to work with an organization like YR Media or RadioActive Youth Media to help young people learn the skills necessary to responsibly and effectively tell their stories and the stories of their communities.
Emily at the Latino health fair, interviewing a woman who works with the local parks service and who was one of the many booth representatives Emily briefly spoke with.