Summer Memories | Endowment Intern Sean

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin holds a press conference regarding the vote for the new University of South Carolina president

One week after a very slow Fourth of July week and things have picked up steadily around the office. I admit, it was a little tough getting back to work after the extended 4th of July holiday, but it was another exciting week with lots of time out of the office on stories, so that made it even better. I got to see more of Columbia (though being a native, I was already pretty familiar), starting with a visit to check out USC's new Social Media Insights lab at the journalism school. It was a very neat tool that should be really useful for SCETV to incorporate in the future, like during election coverage. Leaving the office as a group has been the most fun part of this internship and the visit to USC was no exception. Everyone's personality changes for the better the second we get off-campus, and Aimee, Gavin and A.T. all cracking jokes made that trip the most enjoyable one of the internship, so far.

The very next day, the whole This Week in South Carolina crew made the trip to USC to film the last show of the summer, and therefore, my last TWISC. For the first time since my first show, we had a full crew, so I got to spend the day in the control room and see how things work behind the scenes. Even though we waited for close to an hour for our second guest to show up (who ended up being a replacement guest), it was still a lot of fun. Then on Thursday, Gavin and I went to a last-minute press conference held at the State House about the controversial USC president search. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, a brief recap: back in April, protests over four controversial finalists caused the Board of Trustees to announce they would restart the process and look for new candidates. Then suddenly this week, Gov. Henry McMaster said he was forcing a vote for retired Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen for Friday, July 12. This caused even more outrage as most students and faculty were out of town for summer break and could not voice their concerns over this breach of trust from April.

This story was starting to crescendo and the press conference made us both realize this could be a huge story. A lot of powerful speakers, the background of a potential illegal meeting of the board, and a state senator saying this could lead to new legislation all made the feeling very surreal. It's a feeling I don't think I will ever get over as a journalist. Gavin and I were making plans for today (Friday), including more coverage of this story as the proposed vote was to happen. However, shortly after we returned to ETV, a judge blocked the meeting, agreeing that it broke state law saying the board needed five days notice. This will be an interesting story to continue to follow over the coming weeks, even as I get ready to head north again for college.

So after three days of Columbia sightseeing, you might be thinking that's a full week. Well, that wasn't everything for me. The main project I have been working on this week is a 2-minute montage of everything I've worked on this summer for the Endowment Intern Luncheon next week (ok, it's actually 2 minutes, 27 seconds, but I couldn't fit it all in 2 minutes). When us interns were told of this early in the week, my officemate Sarah and I both groaned at the thought of having to speak and present our work. I can't speak for her, but once I got going on my montage I found it really enjoyable. I don't typically get to do montages at college (I leave that to more creative editors), but it was good to flex my metaphorical editing muscles a bit and do some really cool stuff. It also made me realize how much I've done in seven short weeks this summer. Next week is kind of the "Intern Week," but I will write about that when we get there. I'm worn out from a long, productive and exhausting week, but I will take that any week over a boring and slow week.