Blake Sandlin — Murray Ledger & Times Intern

Making it ‘The Big Time’; Summer intern reflects on experience at Ledger & Times

By BLAKE SANDLIN, bsandlin@murrayledger.com

Blake Sandlin

Every school year, from August through May, I scour the internet in search of the perfect journalism internship, one that couples my passion for sports writing with my appetite for developing as a journalist.

Regardless of the rigor, prestige or credentials required of each position, I threw as many darts on the dart board as possible, hoping one of them would stick and yield an unparalleled opportunity with a renowned organization. 

I applied for positions with the Los Angeles Rams, The Ringer, CNN, and Turner Sports, and while several organizations offered interviews, ultimately none of my darts stuck.

So I somewhat reluctantly turned to opportunities with a Kentucky Press Association internship for the second straight year. Ultimately, I chose to undergo my internship at the Murray Ledger & Times. Having originally set my sights on interning at a larger media company, I admittedly approached my summer internship with my college-town paper with a small sense of reproach and disappointment.

As I was just beginning my internship, I met a mentor of mine for lunch and he offered simple, yet insightful advice that spoke volumes to me: “Make wherever you are ‘The Big Time.’” What ensued over the next 10 weeks surpassed my expectations and taught me the value in maximizing every opportunity, regardless of stature. 

That piece of advice shaped how I approached the entirety of my internship. I tried to keep that outlook whether that included covering the most mundane subjects – like board and council meetings that I’m 100 percent convinced no one laid an eyeball on – or the more exciting moments of the job like watching my favorite quarterback in Marcus Mariota air it out while covering the Tennessee Titans’ training camp.

Sure, I wrote a lot of stories, took a lot of photos and honed my skills as a reporter, but the most valuable lesson I learned this summer was that I don’t need a CNN to be an effective, impactful journalist. People are everywhere, and each has a story that demands telling. I’m indebted to the Murray Ledger & Times for granting me that chance.

Thank you to Mike, Hawkins, John, Jordan, Parker, Martha, Bryce and Bryan, as well as the rest of the welcoming staff at the Ledger, for investing in me during my short stint here. I’m better because of it, and will embark on my junior year at Murray State with a renewed appreciation for dedicated journalists who make wherever they are “The Big Time.”

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