Jackson State University junior Mia Pettigrew has secured not one but two internships this spring semester. She is sharpening her media skills working with WLBT, the local NBC-affiliated television news station, and Nissan/the Black Automotive Media Group.
Pettigrew said she was especially shocked to receive an internship from WLBT. The journalism and media studies major searched the website looking for an internship tab but could not find the option.
“On a whim, I applied to a regular position… I never thought they would contact me. I just wanted them to look at my resume and have me on their radar for next year. I almost cried when I saw my email,” she said. “I was so shocked. Even still, I feel so blessed. I feel even more honored knowing that only four to five students from across the area had been selected, and I made the cut.”
Pettigrew revealed that she has always second-guessed herself and felt uneasy about her career choice and if she would be successful in the media field. She even questioned the likelihood of her finding a job after college.
“My acceptance into these internships really solidified the feeling that I can make it in this industry. I feel a lot more confident in my future now, and I am sure that I will have a job upon graduating from JSU,” she said.
At WLBT, Pettigrew shadows news professionals and learns various skills such as working the Associated Press’s Electronic News Production System, editing videos, show production, and anchoring the latest news.
The Chicago native shared that her journalistic aspirations began early in life.
“Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always had a passion for speaking. It’s really funny because for the longest my mom had this voicemail of me as a baby, and I was like crying in the back, and she gave me the phone, and I’m like, ‘No, I want to talk,’” she recalled.
From that moment, Pettigrew became increasingly interested in and comfortable with speaking. In middle school, she joined a media production organization. She subsequently landed a position in her high school’s newspaper. Pettigrew shared that those extracurricular activities prepared her for a prosperous future as a JSU student and news anchor.
“I have a great time (at WLBT). Everyone is so welcoming. I was really surprised. Initially, I was intimidated walking into this situation because I felt like I was so young and inexperienced, but I really can say, Jackson state prepared me well,” she said.
Pettigrew is also joining 12 other JSU students in a 10-week initiative from Black Automotive Media Group titled The Driving Force. According to a press release, the program will showcase African American scholastic talent to automobile companies while mentoring them in the journalism field. Since the initiative is partnered with Nissan, Pettigrew will be reporting on subjects centered on Nissan and the industry.