Election Fever | Endowment Intern Jenna

Moments before the Democratic debate at the University of South Carolina.

This week was incredibly exciting. Monday and Tuesday were full of new opportunities and challenges, as I helped prepare for the gubernatorial primary debates. I tried my hand at being "A2," or audio production assistant, Monday morning at Drayton Hall. This involved laying microphone cables, connecting them to their corresponding spaces on the correct audio box and then using the headset to check that they were functioning properly. Shortly before the debate started, I had the opportunity to briefly meet Democratic candidate James Smith as he entered the building. On Tuesday my co-workers got to know me a little better, as I told a summarized version of my entire life story on stage and on mic in order to test closed captioning.

Later that evening I headed over to the studio to help set up and brainstorm questions for the Ready to Vote! special live stream. As a last-minute decision to have a more balanced ratio of male to female panelists during the discussion, I was asked to sit in. You can watch the discussion on ETV’s Facebook page. 

On Wednesday, I organized a spreadsheet of all of the S.C. House of Representatives up for re-election. I surprisingly enjoyed this process, which initially seemed intimidating. It involved cross-referencing the data with a list of current incumbents. From there, I either deleted, bolded, italicized or underlined each candidate according to their party affiliation, incumbent status and opposition in either the primary or general election. Albeit confusing at first, I eventually found my rhythm and was able to edit it quickly.

On Thursday, I sat in the control room during the taping of This Week in South Carolina and was able to watch how the show was "live edited" by producers. Additionally, I copyedited the Democratic debate transcript for grammar, punctuation and discrepancies.  One of my favorite experiences, so far, has been the intimate moments behind the scenes, such as the debates, This Week in SC or SC Lede. Working here still feels surreal, and I absolutely love working in an environment that allows me to participate in events outside of the traditional office realm.