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Why One Student Left Arkansas to Work in Cleveland for the Summer 

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Internships are an invaluable part of the career preparation process and in terms of landing your first real job, the one that starts your career. Without interning at a company or publication like this one, it becomes all the more difficult to get real work experience in your field under your belt before graduating college. You might even learn more at your internship than you do in some of your classes.

Internships also allow you to test drive a career, so to speak. So they deserve to be taken seriously.

Taking on an internship out of state is exciting and challenging. Depending on the city you're coming from, there may be more opportunities in a new state.

If you are considering an out-of-state internship, it helps if you know someone in that state who will let you stay with them while you're interning. If you are interning out of state it's probably best to do so over the summer when your class load is light and your schedule allows for more free time. You're going to want to put in hours at your internship while becoming acquainted with your new city and possibly also working a part-time job.

I moved to Cleveland from Little Rock, Arkansas, which has a metro population of 724,385 versus Cleveland's 2 million. It's a pretty big change, and there's a lot to cover for the local alt-weekly. Because of Cleveland's size and location, Scene covers news and writes stories spanning the entire Northeast Ohio region.

It's great to have a variety of story options to write about, expanding my portfolio while also giving me a byline to show future employers. Scene is constantly working on multiple stories, ranging from labor-intensive slideshows detailing the best spots in the city for things to do, to longform, in-depth features that expose Cleveland's faults or problems in a fair and critical manner. There is plenty going on in the city to write about; it's just a matter of making the most out of the internship.

By now everyone who lives in Cleveland knows the city is going through a "renaissance." As someone who had never considered moving to Cleveland — or even interning here — I was constantly impressed by the city all summer. Not that this city needs the validation of a 24-year-old from Arkansas, but Cleveland feels like a legitimate city, not just sprawl.

I lived right off Coventry and frequented the Grog Shop for shows that I could conveniently walk to. That is just one of many neighborhoods worth exploring. While Cleveland is spread out —and god knows why it's divided into so many "cities" (c'mon, Lakewood and Cleveland Heights are just Cleveland) — I liked the many neighborhoods that make Cleveland so unique. Each one felt distinct, almost like a smaller borough. And the weather this summer was almost always perfect, compared to the humid South I'm used to.

I'm thankful for my internship at Scene and not because they asked me to write this, but because it provided some real insight into my field while providing constructive feedback on ways to improve my craft, all while allowing me to get to know a gem of a city.

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