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Oct 12 / Colin Kennedy

B/R Internship has offered benefits beyond my ability to describe them

Colin KennedyFor the Love of the Page is a series in which current and former Bleacher Report Sportswriting Interns explain why they write and what they’ve learned.

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I was a bit hesitant when I was approached about applying for Bleacher Report’s Sportswriting Internship program. With a 16-credit course load and numerous extracurricular activities already consuming much of my weekly schedule, the addition of a work-intensive program seemed ambitious.

But midway through the 12-week session, I have no regrets, and I am pleased to say that the internship has offered benefits that transcend my writing abilities.

Of course the improvements in my writing skills have been both significant and noticeable. But the systematic organization of the program has also helped me manage my time more competently and increase productivity.

The three predetermined assignments and one on-call day per week provide writers with the same type of structure that will be found across the competitive journalism industry. And the incorporation of firm deadlines and strict content standards offers invaluable professional experience that can’t be obtained in college.

Perhaps the greatest benefit I have reaped from the B/R internship program thus far, however, has to do with the content assigned each week.

While personal preferences and interests are constantly considered, occasional unrelated headlines are included in the assignments we receive each week. The incorporation of unfamiliar topics has forced me to adapt to foreign subjects and conduct thorough research before crafting my piece.

Writing on matters like English Premier League soccer and Olympic platform diving has introduced me to an entirely new world of sports and broadened my intellectual horizons as a whole. My work rate and efficiency have also improved during my time in the internship program.

The firm deadlines have forced me to research my topic and outline my piece before I begin writing. Mapping out the key points and areas of focus ahead of time has made the actual writing process much quicker and simpler.

In addition to the aforementioned and obvious products of the program, the past seven weeks have allowed me to craft and develop my own writing style. Originally, I worried that the quality of my writing might suffer because of the high volume of work that I am expected to produce, but that hasn’t been the case.

In fact, since the program began, I have received numerous compliments from readers regarding my style and have even been offered paid positions. My page-view counts have increased, and my portfolio has tripled.

Looking back, I can’t describe the importance of my decision to apply for the B/R internship program—even as a writer with an extensive vocabulary. Name recognition is nice, but the unexpected benefits have helped improve my writing immensely.

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Colin Kennedy is participating in the Summer/Fall Internship class. Follow him on Twitter @ColinKennedy10

  • Adam Grice

    I would really love the opportunity to get on an internship, I too am in a similar situation. I am currently studying a degree at University in creative writing with the hopes of verging into the world of sports journalism, being Australian, sport is part of my being. This story is an inspiration to those who aspire to be a writer. I can not begin to say how much it would mean to me, if I were fortunate enough to be accepted into this program. I am currently writing a piece, that I hope, will gain me admission into the program. I will be that 15% that gets accepted!