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How Working for NPR in LA Opened Her Eyes to the World of Public Radio

What does a day in life working for NPR look like? Jane Jozefowicz shares what she loves about working in public radio, how it felt to move to LA, and how she has managed to balance her job with checking off everything on her LA bucket list!

Name: Jane Jozefowicz

Job Title: Engagement Intern (KPCC, Southern California Public Radio)

Location: Los Angeles, California

College: University of Chicago

Year: (Rising) Junior

Major: Linguistics Major, Computer Science Minor

What are you doing this summer?

This summer, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity of interning for 89.3 KPCC, NPR’s leading Los Angeles affiliate station. KPCC’s news team produces daily and enterprise journalism across a range of topics including: politics, education, public safety, the environment, health, transportation, the regional economy and immigration.

I’m interning specifically with the Engagement team. KPCC’s forum programs, live events, and community engagement team bring unique and relevant face-to-face programming to the region. We also do a lot of membership outreach and manage all of the engagement platforms the station utilizes (such as Public Insight Network, Hearken, GroundSource, etc.).

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I love asking this question, but I hate answering it. I’ve always said that I want to do something that benefits humanity. Whether that be pursuing journalism, audiology, or making my parents happy and going to law school—we’ll find out!

Jane and her team after recording a show.

How did you get your internship?

Over winter break, I spent a couple days scouring UChicago’s job posting site Handshake. I applied to 10 or so internships in Chicago since I’m from the suburbs. KPCC was my only outlier location-wise, and then it was the first job I heard back from! I had three phone interviews and was offered a position.

Jane and her fellow interns during a meeting with her boss.

What do you wish you had known during your internship search?

I applied to a range of internships, so I can’t say I have advice for people looking for journalism internships specifically. My general advice would be to keep an open mind, do your research before going into an interview, have questions prepared, and always qualify what you say about yourself with concrete examples.

What does a day in the life look like?

My day starts at 6:00 a.m. on the dot! Everyone says you need a car in L.A., and I’ve found it to be incredibly true. I have a bit of a commute, so I leave the house at 7:30 to make it to my office by 8:00.

I’m usually the first of the interns to arrive, so my day starts off pretty quiet. I spend the first hour or so catching up on emails and tasks that have been sent to me. I’ll connect with my boss around this time and ask her what’s in store for the day.

Producers of the local news show “Take Two” recording a segment on reusable straws.

The main project we are working on is KPCC’s community-driven series “Unheard L.A. — the stories of where you live.” This free live storytelling series puts Angelenos center stage as they share first-person experiences of life in Southern California through spoken word, music, poetry, magic, and other forms.

I have the fun job of connecting with storytellers and potential performers for our show. I read their submissions, make edits, and invite them in for auditions. My scheduling actually worked out such that I’m around for some of the live events. I get to work backstage, take pictures, and sometimes even run around with a mobile recording device to interview audience members.

When I’m in office, I’ll usually take my lunch at noon and step outside for some fresh air. On Tuesdays, we have “Lunch and Learn” seminars where members of the KPCC team will teach us about different aspects of the station. Some of these have included: how to pitch a story, social media, audio production, and podcasting.

KPCC recently revived the hyper-local News, Food, Arts & Events site (Chance the Rapper just purchased Chicago’s franchise,!). Angelenos are invited to contribute and ask questions about their neighborhoods. I’ve gotten to write a few short pieces from these submissions.

Jane hiked the Hollywood sign!

My work day wraps up around 5:00 p.m.! My childhood best friend found a job in L.A. this summer with me, so we live together in the (very hip) neighborhood of Silver Lake. In the evenings, we meet up with other friends around the city, explore nearby neighborhoods, or cook dinner on our nights in.

Every weekend, we try to cross 5 or 6 items off our L.A. To-Do List. Some of my favorite things we’ve done include: hiking up to the Hollywood sign, picnicking at the Griffith Park Observatory, cliff jumping in Malibu Creek State Park, and meeting Lola the celebrity sloth at the Wildlife Learning Center!

Jane and Lola the Sloth.

How has this job changed what you see yourself doing in the future?

I would be totally happy if I could do this job full time! The work I’ve gotten to do has been both interesting and rewarding, and I feel like I’m being challenged every day. Not to mention, I love the social aspect of engagement.

I also appreciate the fact that NPR is a non-for-profit organization that depends, in large part, on listener support and not on advertising revenue. This means there are no annoying commercials, but more importantly, the viewpoints expressed are not beholden to any particular interests.

UChicago does not offer journalism as a major, so it’s a little daunting to think about trying to jump into that field post graduation. Regardless, I have learned so much this summer, and I’m incredibly thankful for this opportunity.

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