By Kiri Salinas
Editor’s Note: Stephen Koepp is a 1978 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire with a Bachelors degree in Journalism. The Stephen Koepp Journalism Fellowship is awarded to a student who shows excellent promise and skill as a journalist.
My time as the second Stephen Koepp fellow was incredible! I was nervous the whole plane ride to New York and on my first day at TIME Inc. Steve and his family welcomed me in with open arms and were very eager to show me around Brooklyn and Manhattan. I am still grateful for their hospitality and for how they welcomed me into their family for a short three weeks.
I had no clue what I was getting myself into since I had little to no experience working for a website. On my first day, I was introduced to the Breaking News Video Team. This small team of five people were the people I would learn from for those next three weeks. During my time there, I was able to work on my video editing and writing skills. Right off the bat, the team had me working on projects of my own, which was scary to think about.
My process was pretty simple. I would get assigned an article that was gaining popularity on the site. I would find video that complimented the story. I edited the appropriate videos, summarized the article in 4-5 sentences and uploaded and posted the video to TIME.com. The team was welcoming and willing to stop and help me with any questions/problems I had.
I covered multiple stories, from a gorilla’s death to turmeric not being a miracle spice. It was incredible to know that my work was being put out there on such a big platform. Every day I saved the videos I worked on and now I have up to 20 videos that were solely produced by me.
Besides working, I took advantage of my weekends by going to a variety of tourist sights and musicals on Broadway. Before I knew it, I had become a pro with the subway system. I got to explore multiple Manhattan spots like Central Park, Times Square and the World Trade Center Observatory.
Overall, my experience was amazing and it is all thanks to Steve Koepp and his family: Lesley, Charlie and Patrick. Also the team at TIME Inc. whose members taught me valuable skills: Chris Gransigner, Anne Most, Lauren Bogholtz, Joey Lautrup and Joyce Lee. I knew that I was in for an experience of a lifetime, but little did I know that I would meet such incredible people along the way.