SDSU Student Thrives at National Media Organization Internship
After Quinn Owen walks across the stage at Viejas Arena, he will pack his bags and head to Washington D.C. to work full-time for ABC News. His success can be traced back through his numerous internships and extracurricular experiences at San Diego State.
Owen was offered the post-graduation job with ABC News because he has experience in Washington D.C. and they were familiar with his work. Back in January, Owen was a junior staffer for the ABC News correspondent team assigned to the west lawn of Capitol Hill during the presidential election.
Owen’s internship experience began in fall 2016 interning with the NBC News national politics show “Meet the Press.” At “Meet the Press,” Owen assisted with editorial and production work for the show. He was responsible for escorting and assisting high profile guests including Vice President (then candidate) Mike Pence, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Gov. John Kasich. He worked with the show’s staff to produce interview segments which involved research and a variety of pre-production responsibilities. On Sundays, he was on-set, sitting in for the guests and analysts while the crew rehearsed for the live broadcast to ensure the show went smoothly. After each show, he worked on digital content for the NBC News website.
Owen was originally offered a summer internship at “Meet the Press” but also had an offer from ABC News to intern with “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” for the same time. Luckily he was ahead in units and could complete his required fall courses online, so he took advantage of both internship offers.
At “This Week,” Owen spent the summer of 2016 in New York City, covering the biggest news in politics for ABC News. He was able to connect with political analysts, reporters, and interns from other shows like “Good Morning America” and “20/20.” This wasn’t Owen’s first internship with a well-known organization; he spent summer of 2015 in Los Angeles with NPR News working on “Morning Edition,” the most-listened to radio news show in the country.
One of his pieces from NPR, “Rated No. 1 Courtney Conlogue seeks world championship title,” won first place in the Radio News Reporting category at The Society of Professional Journalists’ National Mark of Excellence Awards in 2015.
During his time at SDSU, Owen took advantage of every opportunity to hone his craft. He interned for the nonprofit news organization inewsource as an Investigative Assistant, learning to do deep research and critical reporting on complex topics. In his freshman year he joined the staff of The Daily Aztec, and he served as News Director for the nationally recognized student media organization, KCR College Radio.
“At The Daily Aztec I got the traditional publication experience, while KCR allowed me to experiment with media as a non-professional,” Owen said. “They were different, but alike in that they gave me experience.”
Owen also joined KPBS his freshman year as a newsroom administrative assistant, and then transitioned into a production assistant for the radio and television producers. It was at KPBS that Owen began to create his own work, eventually getting to report on-air.
“The NPR experience is really what got my foot in the door for covering national stories,” said Owen. “It’s a huge asset to have KPBS on campus. It provides so many opportunities for students across various disciplines to build amazing skills.”
In addition to his internships, classes he took, involvement with student organizations and scholarships have helped him get to where he is today. Owen is the recipient of multiple scholarships from San Diego State that have been created specifically for journalism students.
“My internships serve so many great purposes,” Owen said. “I can develop important skills and learn how a national show is put together. I also get to meet all kinds of people who are working at the highest level of the profession, and are influential in the national discourse we all have about politics and how we govern the country. To learn from them is life-changing.”