Winter Sports Journalism

Riley McDonald headshot
Riley McDonald
Emphasis Area
Business Administration

Riley McDonald interned as a contributing writer, researcher, and publisher for SnowBrains, a winter sports publication.

How did you get your internship and why did you choose it?

I happened upon my internship through Instagram. I had been following the account for SnowBrains for some time and saw they posted that they were hiring interns. From there, I sent in my application and made it through the initial selection. Next, I wrote a trial article and interviewed with the founder of SnowBrains. That went well, and from there I was hired and started immediately!

I had never had ambitions of becoming a journalist. In fact, I had always considered English to be my worst subject in school. However, I see college as a time to grow and explore, so I did just that. I reached for something far-fetched and that resulted in a wonderful learning experience and an opportunity to cultivate skills that opened new doors to me.

What kind of work did you do throughout your internship experience?

My work for SnowBrains consisted of typical journalistic activities: writing, researching, and editing. Unexpectedly, the majority of my time each week was consumed with research and finding pictures that were legal to post to the website. I also spent a significant amount of time writing the articles. Finally, the editing process was extensive and included learning new skills like search engine optimization (SEO).

What is unique about your situation that influenced your internship selection? 

Something unique about my experience was the decision to switch my scholastic and professional path. When I first enrolled at UA, I was on the path to be a Veterinarian. I left the Pre-Vet program and switched to Applied Humanities. Being that I had just changed everything, I was in a unique position to explore any and every opportunity to find a new passion in life!
How did your Applied Humanities major coursework help prepare you for the internship experience?

I found the PAH 383: Pre-Internship: Building Career Readiness especially helpful. That class played a major role in landing me my internship. I followed the lesson plans and assignments to tailor my resume. Additionally, the class helped immensely in guiding me in how to tailor my LinkedIn profile to highlight my professional accomplishments and ambitions to appeal to companies like SnowBrains. The actions I took through the assignments in that course had a direct impact in securing this internship. 
What did you find challenging about your internship? 

I found the time requirements the most challenging. I am a full-time student with a full-time job. 
Taking on an internship on top of that was a hefty ask upon myself. I learned that being ambitious is great; however, it is crucial to know your limitations. Perhaps, I could’ve given more of myself to each requirement if I had less boxes to check off from my to do list. 
How has your internship experience influenced your plans for your future?

My internship helped me cultivate a more concrete understanding of what I want to do professionally. After starting the internship, I started exploring the profession of journalism. While I enjoyed it, I found parts of the role to be not quite right for me. That led me to explore marketing, where I could use my newfound writing skills and experience in a different capacity. Well… surprise, surprise that wasn’t for me either! However, it started me on the path to the job I currently have now, all thanks to the world opened by my internship.