Grady InternViews: Tee Dickinson

Grady InternViews: Tee Dickinson

June 29, 2023

This is part of a series where we ask Grady College students to describe their summer internship experience.  

Tee Dickinson is a fourth-year Entertainment and Media Studies student working with NewsNation Network as part of Grady’s inaugural Chicago Field Study and Internship Program. Read on as he provides insight into what this internship looks like.

Briefly describe your internship and responsibilities.Graphic with a black background and microphone. Text reads: Major: Entertainment and Media Studies, Title: Production intern, Company: NewsNation Network, Location: Chicago, Illinois.

I’m working as a production intern at NewsNation Network in Chicago this summer. My responsibilities vary on a day-to-day basis, but I’m primarily responsible for writing scripts for the air, researching and pitching stories, identifying prospective guests, sourcing videos from social media, and editing segment clips.

What does the structure of your internship look like?

Interestingly enough, my internship has no structure. When I was hired, I was told by producers that this internship would be an opportunity for me to learn whatever I’d like and to try new things out, as long as I’m making an effort to reach out to employees about new work opportunities. I honestly love that my job gives me so much creative freedom. It’s helped me to expand my network and makes my workdays a lot more exciting knowing each day will be different.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced?

I’d say the biggest challenge I’ve faced so far is dealing with breaking news, working on the fly, and adapting to a fast-paced news environment. It takes time, but it’s definitely something you need to get accustomed to if you want to work in this industry.

What has been your favorite part about your internship so far? Tell us a story if you have one!

The people! I work with some of the nicest, most hardworking people at NewsNation. I feel like the people you work with really make or break the work experience in any industry, but everyone here has been so supportive, and they make each day in the office so much fun.

How have the classes you’ve taken at Grady prepared you for this internship?

My classes in Grady have prepared me for this internship by teaching me the importance of telling stories that will make the biggest impact; the stories that really resonate with audiences, that teach people about the things that matter, and further spark our imagination for the stories we tell in the future. I’ve been fortunate to learn from some of the most amazing professors in Grady and I’m so grateful for all their wisdom, guidance and encouragement over the past 3 years.

Student sitting at a NewsNation Live desk
Dickinson sits at a NewsNation desk during his summer internship in Chicago. (Photo: Submitted)
What’s your advice to other students looking for a similar opportunity?

Try everything. Never say no to an opportunity. Doing this will set you up with lots of different skills and will make you adaptable and versatile. Employers in the media industry want to find a well-rounded individual that they can mold into the type of employee who will succeed within their organization.

How will this role guide your future career path?

I feel like my role at NewsNation will provide me with a solid foundation to explore more avenues in the media industry. I’m focused on developing my skills in multimedia production while also staying open to new opportunities that will guide me towards a fulfilling and impactful career.

What’s your career goal?

Honestly, I don’t have a specific career goal set in stone at the moment. I’m passionate about a lot of different media formats, so my goal is to continue expanding my proficiency in creating compelling multimedia stories and leverage the resources and experiences that are available to me.

What lessons will you take back with you to the classroom in the fall?

For one thing, I feel like my internship has taught me valuable lessons that sharpened my skills in research, writing, and multimedia storytelling. But more importantly, I feel like my internship has helped me to better understand the importance of accuracy, fairness, and objectivity in reporting. NewsNation is the fastest-growing cable news network in America committed to comprehensive, unbiased, fact-based reporting, which is something you don’t see much of in news anymore. I not only want to carry lessons like these back to school with me in the fall, but also want to use them to my advantage as I continue to tell stories in the future.

How has this role helped you discover what you are passionate about?

I feel like if there’s one thing I discovered I’m passionate about while in this role, it’s people. I care a lot about people. I love learning about people and their communities, hearing their stories, building relationships and networks, etc. Engaging with people from different backgrounds both in my work and in my personal life has really helped me to expand my horizons, and I want my work in the media industry to have a positive impact on those who consume it.

If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?

Be kinder to yourself and understand that failure is a stepping stone towards progress rather than a reflection of your worth or abilities. It’s important to approach failure with a growth mindset in order to discover new paths of success.

What’s your favorite part about living in Chicago?

I love that there’s always something happening in Chicago, especially during the summer. Whether it be an art gallery, a street festival, or a Cubs game, there’s always something going on in Chicago that really brings the community together, and I love that I get to be part of it for the next five weeks.