Internship Spotlight: James Sadowski & ABC6

During the 2022 Summer Intersession, rising senior James Sadowski completed an internship at ABC6. Read on to learn about his experience as a News Intern!

If you’re interested in doing your own internship but don’t know where to start, make an appointment with your Career Advisor by going to Handshake.

What was your internship? I was a News Intern at ABC6.

Why were you initially interested in this internship? I was initially interested in this internship because post-graduation I would like to be an on-air news reporter for a broadcast TV station.

How did you find your internship? I did a lot of research on every broadcast station in the area. I wanted to intern in (Boston, MA, and Providence, Rhode Island) and I found the ABC6 news internship on their website.

What did you do as part of your internship? Each shift I took the initiative to ask a reporter to go out on assignment and help them cover whatever story they were assigned (something that I did not have to do). I got to help cover a wide variety of stories from crimes in Providence, to Game 6 of the NBA Finals where the Celtics lost to the Warriors. That was a great experience because we got to go to Boston which the RI stations do not do often. I was also able to help reporters conduct interviews and ask questions while also securing sources to interview. I often wrote voice-over stories for the anchors to read in the 4, 5, and 6 p.m. broadcasts as well as helped shoot video on the news station’s cameras, ensuring people did not interfere with the reporter’s live shots. Personally, I got to shoot videos previewing stories they were covering for later broadcasts, and every once in a while, I operated the teleprompter for the 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. broadcasts. I was able to do my own stand-ups for each story I covered with a reporter. Then finally, on one occasion when we did not have enough reporters to cover all the story ideas from the morning meeting, I took the place of a reporter and went out and conducted a full interview with the TSA New England Media Spokesperson at T.F. Green Airport. Afterward, I got compliments from all my co-workers saying the interview was well done.

Has this internship helped you work towards your future career goals? If so, how? Interning at ABC6 has most definitely helped me work towards my future career goals. I want to be an on-air reporter at a broadcast TV news station when I graduate, and during each shift during this internship I lived and breathed that. I was out with a reporter nearly every shift and I got to observe their process of doing a story while also assisting them at the same time. I was able to leave my own small mark on stories in that way. I became very close with everyone in the newsroom and made meaningful connections. A big part of landing a role as an on-air broadcast TV news reporter is having a reel of some of your best work. I got to do my own stand-ups on stories, which are essentially fake live shots, and in one of my best, I put a reel I already began making in my broadcast journalism course I took last semester. I did this internship right after I had my broadcast journalism course in Spring 2022 so I already had solid experience in the fundamentals of working in TV news and I got to build more and more upon them.

What was your biggest lesson/takeaway from the internship? There are some things only an internship like I had with WLNE-TV ABC6 can teach you even with the fantastic production journalism courses RWU has. I got to help cover Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the TD Garden (where the Celtics unfortunately lost and didn’t win the championship) and experience setting up and executing a remote newscast. I helped troubleshoot equipment difficulties that came up, trying to broadcast outside the Garden, and had the rare experience of helping cover a championship game in one of the four major US sports. Some reporters never get the chance to do that, let alone a summer intern from Roger Williams University.

What advice would you give to someone interested in a similar internship opportunity? This goes for any job really, but take the initiative to get the most out of your internships. After the morning meetings I always asked a reporter to go out and had great learning experiences helping cover a wide variety of stories. If I couldn’t go out, I always made sure to ask producers if they needed me to write anything for the broadcasts and I also helped with the broadcasts while they were going on, occasionally operating the teleprompter at times. I kept myself busy and so should you if you want the most out of your job or internship. People notice when you ask for work to do or to go out with a reporter as I did. One reporter told me they saw me asking to write or go out once the morning meeting was over and they said to me, “I saw that and I said ‘Wow! Jimmy’s got a good head on his shoulders!'”

By Mary Santoro
Mary Santoro Director of Career Services