Last weekend, I had the opportunity to interview another fellow journalist intern, this time sitting down with Julia Salazar, a senior at CSI who is currently interning and publishing articles for the Staten Island Advance. She’s majoring in communications with a focus in journalism and a minor in photography. The internship is a huge opportunity for her and any other aspiring journalist, and I was eager to hear about it.

We all start somewhere with our passions, some of us spontaneously stumble across our future, and others hold onto an interest for all of their lives. Julia had a bit of both from her experiences before taking up the internship.

“I’ve always liked writing and reading and stuff like that. Journalism is something I kind of kept in the back of my mind; it took me a really long time to figure out what I wanted to major in… To be truthful, I flipped a coin to pick my major,” she said with a laugh. “It was between English and journalism, but I’ve always wanted to be on a platform, where I can share my thoughts to people and have it reach an audience, so journalism fits that.”

Julia found her internship as easily as anyone else, simply by applying and getting lucky.

“I had somebody pass along my résumé but she never got back to me…so I went on their [Staten Island Advance] Website and just applied to the internship.”

And as for how she felt and her actual duties on the job, she said, “I like being an intern there; it’s a lot of fun. They don’t have me on a set beat, my manager asked what I’d be more interested in and I said more entertainment so he tries to give me those stories,” Julia said. “They treat me like a reporter; they understand that I am an intern and I’m learning. I’m given stories, I write the stories, sometimes I take my own photos.”

As a reporter, there are a wide range of issues to cover, even here on Staten Island. From issues big and small, it’s impossible to cover everything as one person, and a lot of reporters have a specialty: sports, fashion, advice columns, etc.

“One of the things I wrote about which got to the front page was the documentary about the Cherry Lane Cemetery. I think it goes hand in hand with the pressing issues of racism and inclusivity within communities.” The Cherry Lane Cemetery is quite significant for having been a massive burial ground for African American residents and former slaves. Julie detailed this alongside the recent documentary written about the cemetery in her article on

“Even the article I wrote (in which Julia details the disability-inclusive City Access New York Inter-Agency Bowling League) was about how organizations are trying to create more inclusive spaces, not just for people of different races but for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.”

Julia was rather tongue tied when asked who she would jump at the chance to interview, if some miracle happened. I suggested a local Staten Island celebrity, though in my wildest dreams I would love to interview the lead singer from Fall Out Boy. A fashionista as well as a journalist in training, Julia said “You know what, I would want, because I wanted to get more into fashion, Anna Wintour (the editor of Vogue). I would love to interview her, that would be really interesting to see how she started and how she got to where she is now.”

Now that’s the kind of passion for work ethic I love to hear about. Julia impressed me with her own work ethic, and had this advice to give to other people looking for internships: “I would say even if you don’t think you’re qualified, apply, apply, apply. I didn’t think I would get the Staten Island internship and for some reason they accepted me. Any experience that you can get at school, like how I did The Banner newspaper for a little bit, I think that helped me a lot. Get as much experience as you can. It’s not as nerve wracking as people think it is.”

I was grateful for this interview opportunity, and like Julia, I encourage students to seek out internships whenever possible, as the experience working in a future career field is invaluable. Julia will be graduating after this semester, and I wish her and all others who are graduating soon the best of luck.

By Laura Bello