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Oct 26 / John Degroote

How the B/R Sportswriting Internship expands a writer’s horizons

John DegrooteFor 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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When I got the email confirming that I would be a part of the Bleacher Report Sportswriting Internship, I was beyond excited.

B/R was a site that I visited on a daily basis already, so to be able to contribute was an opportunity that I was eager for.

I came in with all kinds of high expectations about what I would get from the internship, and the program exceeded them. I learned how to become a more complete writer and refine the skills I already had.

My favorite part of the internship thus far has been the on-call days, which forced me to expand my horizons. This was especially true during the Olympics. I wrote articles about topics I had very little knowledge of, such as track and field and beach volleyball. I enjoyed learning and researching the sports, and when I hit the publish button, I felt proud of what I was putting out there. It also gives you a newfound respect for sports you may have not paid attention to before.

What made me the most nervous coming into the internship was dealing with comments and negative reviews. There were a fair share of negative comments, but eventually, I learned how to look past the negativity and embrace the readers who wanted to have a conversation about the topic. If you get a few thousand views on an article, there are bound to be some who disagree with you.

My journalism classes at Arizona State University have given me the basic skills I need on the job, but there has not been a class that has taught me as much as the Bleacher Report Sportswriting Internship has. The attention to style and accuracy of information has given me the habits all good writers should have.

The program has also given me a great portfolio. I now have more than 75 articles that I am proud to show off to potential employers, friends and family.

My main advice to future interns is to embrace all the tools the internship provides to you. Editors, other writers and even the readers can be a wealth of knowledge. They can all give you tips and advice on how to become an improved writer that will prove invaluable down the road.

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John Degroote participated in the Summer/Fall internship class. Follow him on Twitter @John_Degroote