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Jul 24 / Alberto Chapa

Success story: B/R internship helped put a career in my sights

Alberto ChapaA Bleacher Report internship offers an attractive list of benefits: exposure, experience, prestige, opportunity, etc. All of them were enticing to me, a young prospective journalism student who, despite various aspirations, had done little to push myself toward my goal of being paid to write for a living.

These obvious perks were initially what attracted me to the internship program, but the subtle ways in which the program affected and improved my craft and critical thinking were ultimately what I found most valuable. By being pushed out of my comfort zone in terms of content, style and work ethic, I was able to grow in both my appreciation and understanding of writing as an art form and service, as well as how to apply my new skills in the modern journalism landscape.

I started out in the program last March and, almost immediately, it changed how I viewed writing. While I had always considered myself an astute and insightful sports mind (as almost all in this program surely do), the first few weeks of the curriculum showed me I had much to learn about the modern form of sports writing.

The learning curve was steep, as I was forced to adjust to deadlines, objectivity and an audience unforgiving of poor research or quality.

Despite difficulty and frustration in the initial weeks, I became a more confident and credible writer as I progressed through the program. My assignment editors helped me develop into a more well-rounded and impartial thinker by expanding my horizon of topics beyond my favorite teams or topics. By the end of
the program, I felt confident in my ability to attack any topic or contrarian angle, a result of the wide range I was asked to cover during the internship.

The benefits I had received from partaking in the program had already become apparent by the time I finished my 10 weeks with B/R, and the offer at the end to continue as a Featured Columnist covering my college team (the Oregon Ducks) only solidified my belief in the internship as a great gateway to opportunities.

On top of that, I am also completing my second internship with the company, this time with its main office in San Francisco. So far, it’s affording me even more learning opportunities that I hope to apply toward my now much more attainable goal of being paid to talk about sports.

As I begin these first significant steps toward a career often considered a pipe dream, I have the internship program to thank for putting me on this path to success.

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Check out Alberto’s B/R profile.