By Gina Beach
Stories in this student-led and -written Outlook series highlight the distinctive summer internships and work experiences of students from across the academic spectrum.
Watching Brooks Jarosz at work in his fifth-floor office in the Radio and Television Building, it's easy to see that he's in his element. Tall and unassuming, he juggles phone calls, news tips, questions and greetings with the confidence of a WOUB-TV go-to person.
It could be that Jarosz, a senior broadcast journalism major in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism who already has a wealth of hands-on experience, is feeling even more self-assured after a summer opportunity with ABC's Brian Ross Investigative Unit. Jarosz, originally of Sylvania, Ohio, was one of four students nationwide -- and the only undergraduate -- chosen for this year's ABC fellowships sponsored by the Carnegie Corp. of New York.
Working in the New York ABC office, Jarosz contributed Web stories to The Blotter, including an in-depth look at bridge safety in the United States. The four fellows also collaborated on a major investigation on worker safety, portions of which will air this fall on "Nightline," "World News" and "Good Morning America."
"This internship was not about getting coffee and making copies," said Jarosz, who did field reporting, research and interviews, sometimes as an undercover reporter for the investigative unit. "Meeting Brian Ross made me realize my respect is very high for the ethical nature he has when approaching news."
Jarosz is no stranger to television production, having worked both behind and in front of the camera. This fall, he is director of WOUB-TV's high school football show "Gridiron Glory." He's also a reporter and anchor for the weeknight news program "Newswatch" and a development producer for the station. And last spring, Jarosz served as a production assistant when FOX News reported on the Ohio primary election via live broadcasts from Ohio University.
"He's got an incredible work ethic," said Jeannie Jeffers, director of development and communication for WOUB, who nominated Jarosz for the Scripps College of Communication Student Employee of the Year award that he earned last school year. "Other students truly look up to him."
Jarosz said working at WOUB has taught him volumes -- and prepared him for his ABC fellowship.
He's had the goal of interning with a major news network interning with the Toledo FOX, CBS and ABC affiliates in high school. His experience with ABC didn't disappoint.
"It's been a dream come true," he said. Among many lessons, Jarosz said he learned how better to multitask in a fast-paced environment.
That skill was especially important when news of former Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards' extramarital affair broke. At noon that day, ABC posted an online Blotter story and began working on a full story to air on that evening's "World News."
"We basically had six hours," Jarosz said. "We were scrambling and working together, and the whole time we had other stories going on the Web."
Jarosz plans to work with journalism faculty to establish a nominating committee so other students can apply for the ABC fellowship. Scripps faculty member Mary Rogus, Jarosz's adviser, is totally on board.
"We certainly want to make sure we give the opportunity to future students to take advantage of this phenomenal fellowship," she said. "We'll do whatever we can."
Updated Oct. 28, 2008, to include Jarosz's hometown.
Introduction updated Sept. 19, 2008.