Surya Milner.

The Times Record - Brunswick, ME

Project Description

Robert S. Goodfriend Summer Internship Fund

My story begins in the Montana backcountry. I was sixteen years old, struggling to swing a pick mattock over my head and contemplating the irony of dismembering tree roots and disturbing other fresh earth to build trails with the Conservation Corps, which I had devoted that summer to. As I wrestled with the underpinnings of a particularly robust evergreen, a woman with a kind smile, a slight stature, and a small notebook approached me. She was a reporter for the local newspaper, she told me, and was wondering if she could ask some questions. She did, and then she watched for a while before disappearing down the mountain. Her visit was brief, and our interaction relatively routine. But her presence stayed with me as one to admire, as a woman whose desire to tell a story led her to remote corners of the country, to converse with perfect strangers, and, sometimes, to inspire them. Since that balmy summer day, I’ve aspired to be a journalist.

There are several ways to tell a story, and the mechanisms through which the modern story is told are manifold; from my generation’s obsession with internet memes to the dense readings Bowdoin students consume for class each week, stories are integral to the way we connect the strings, and the dots, of our given environments and of our lives. I choose journalism because I believe in telling stories—because I believe that it can bring communities together and incite change. This is also the reason why I’m applying for Bowdoin Career Planning’s Funded Internship Grant in order to accept a summer internship with The Times Record, a local, community-focused, Brunswick-based newspaper. At The Times Record, I will form connections with members of the Brunswick community, write about what matters to them, and publish stories that are reflective of their lives and their interests. I will produce short- and long-form articles on deadline, venture into features and news reporting, develop photojournalism skills, and, in the process, cultivate a marketable repertoire as I pursue my career path. An internship at The Times Record will push me to think creatively about the stories that I write, to explore various angles, be on a constant lookout for in my day-to-day life in Brunswick, and possibly to even develop my own beat. The onus will be on me to delve into each story, research it fully, and craft it into a piece that I can add to my portfolio. I expect my time at The Times Record to be an experience that connects me to both the Brunswick community as well as my broader professional aspirations in the fields of journalism and media.

When I applied to Bowdoin, I was asked to write an essay on one of the College’s values, one of which was listed as “Connection to Place.” I wrote about Montana, about my time with the Conservation Corps, the years I’ve spent there, and the ways it’s informed my sense of self—my appreciation for the outdoors, my commitment to environmental stewardship, and my dedication to giving of myself what I can to the people and the places that I call home. My time at Bowdoin has forged a new connection to place—to Brunswick, to pine-speckled hills and endless expanse of ocean, from Baxter State Park to the narrow dorm room with slanted ceilings in which I rest my head each night—a place that I would be amiss to discredit in molding the person I am today. The Times Record is, above else, a publication for the Brunswick community, and I would be honored to spend a summer building a relationship with that community, solidifying my connection to this coastal Maine town, and getting one step closer to my career ambitions in the process. The stories that I tell with The Times Record may not lead me up mountains—yet—likely, they’ll lead me into the small businesses and backyards of a town that, by the time I graduate, I’ll have spent almost four full seasonal rotations in. I hope that when that time comes, I’ll be able to say that I know Brunswick for more than just Bowdoin, but as the small New England town that showed me its people and its process for a summer, and a glimpse at my future career along the way.

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