Missy Schrott, '17

September 19, 2016
English and journalism major gains real-world writing experience

A film festival. The world championship of pogo-sticking. An indie musician start-up incubator. A zine fair.

For Missy Schrott, ’17, each week at her summer internship brought a new assignment, but her challenge was always the same: write an article that would get young professionals in Pittsburgh excited about cultural events taking place in their city.

Schrott, an English and journalism double major, interned for NakYouOut.com, a website that highlights arts and entertainment events in Pittsburgh. “We’re trying to get a younger audience to see what Pittsburgh has to offer, get some culture, and have some fun,” she said.

For an aspiring journalist like Schrott, it was great real-world experience, learning to work independently with minimal supervision in a fast-paced environment. For the two preview articles and one event listing she was assigned each week, she would research and gather details, conduct interviews, and turn in finished articles on time for feedback from her editor.

Schrott discovered that freedom and independence came with a lot of responsibility. Working at a small media outlet like NakYouOut.com meant that she didn’t have a team of copy editors looking over her work, which forced her to pore over every article she wrote, checking for grammar and AP Style, before submitting it to her editor. “I know she’s busy, she might not catch something,” Schrott said. “The responsibility is scary, but it’s a good experience to have.”

Schrott enjoyed the variety of assignments and the creativity that writing about entertainment and culture offered. Some of her favorite stories included the blooming of the botanical garden’s corpse flower, which she fashioned into a mock horror story, and writing about fundraising events to keep a local music venue from closing its doors. “It was a call to action to get people to help out and make sure that this place that a lot of Pittsburghers love would still be there,” she said.

While she didn’t have experience writing about cultural events before NakYouOut, Schrott says her summer internship has her considering the field after graduation. “I’m open to a lot of different fields and opportunities, but I’ve definitely become more interested in entertainment writing because of this internship,” she said.