This is the column I wrote for my final week at the Saint City News, where I spent these last 4 months at as a summer student intern:
Goodbye St. Albert!
Actually, let’s back up. Hi, my name is Linda Hoang and I never formally introduced myself since starting at the Saint City News back in May.
I’m an Edmontonian journalism student going into my second year at Grant MacEwan College this fall, and for the past four months I have been the Saint City News’s summer student intern.
Up until my first day on the job back at the beginning of May, I had never stepped foot in St. Albert.
Sure I knew it was a city close to Edmonton and yes, I knew there was a trail leading to it by the North Edmonton movie theatre I frequent, but for the last 19 years prior to four months ago, I had never known this city.
And what a shame that was!
Every day for these last four months I have experienced so much of your wonderful city and spoken to so many of you wonderful St. Albertans, that a part of me wishes I could continue to experience it all every day once my internship is over (which it has now, as you read this).
Throughout my four-month journey here, I have met and spoken to a countless number of interesting people with unique backgrounds, special stories, and captivating words to share with me, words and stories I am proud to say that I then shared with the rest of St. Albert.
I wrote stories about remarkable non-profit organizations and what they were trying to do to make the city a better place (sounds cheesy, I know, but it’s true and these people with these organizations really were making a difference).
I wrote stories about the city’s new bylaws, school’s new programs and initiatives, and how province-wide rules affected St. Albertans.
I spoke to people who were raising money for good causes they genuinely believed in.
I spoke to incredibly talented young performers, writers, directors, set designers, and chefs.
My time with this paper gave me the opportunity to experience my first ever Rainmaker Rodeo, St. Albert International Children’s Festival, Outdoor Farmer’s Market, and Rock’n August Festival.
My time with this paper gave me the opportunity to learn that road systems that use names instead of numbers really isn’t that hard to understand and become familiar with after all (it also gave me the opportunity to make Google Maps and Directions my number one most visited website).
My time with this paper gave me the opportunity to see how inviting and willing to talk so many of you are (while at the time showing me how so many of you are rarely ever at your desk or by your phone when I call).
I thank you, St. Albertans, for welcoming me into your city with your open arms.
I thank you, St. Albertans, for letting me spend 120 days exploring your beautiful city from Riel Business Park to downtown Perron Street all the way out to the Sturgeon Valley Golf and Country Club.
I thank you, St. Albertans, for allowing me into your thoughts and letting me capture your words into published and ever-lasting stories that I am proud to clip out and display in my portfolio.
I am so honoured and happy to have been able to spend my summer here in this city.
This was an incredible opportunity that I will remember always.
I have big dreams and goals for myself, and in the future, when I am in that dream job I hope to be in, and someone asks me where I got my start, I will say, while bursting with pride and beaming with fond memories, that I started in the wonderful City of St. Albert.
To that end, I will reiterate my original words at the start of this column:
Goodbye St. Albert!
And thank you.
There is of course a number of things I didn’t mention.
The ups and the downs that I’ve written about on this blog.
But honestly, I have learned SO much.
This has been a truly incredible experience for me and I could not express how lucky I feel, how lucky I am, to have been given this opportunity. Even the work experience that follows at the end of 2nd year Journalism is only 6 weeks, not 4 months. I am so grateful that I was able to experience this– journalism, being a reporter, covering meetings, meeting new people, honing interview skills, dealing with deadlines, dealing with people not calling me back, dealing with how to manage my time, everything that I dealt with and that I encountered these last 4 months– I am so grateful that so glad that I did this. There were a lot of bad moments, near the beginning especially, worries I had, that have since been diffused.
I, from the beginning, have always wanted to go into the broadcast journalism route, but this experience in print journalism has been SO enlightening and I think has given me such breadth of knowledge and experience, and yet there is still so much more I hadn’t encountered this summer, and so much I need to work on and improve upon.
Basically, in the overall scheme of things,
I had fun. I learned a lot. It was a great experience. My co-workers were amazing.
And I had a great summer.