Not many 18-year-olds travel from another country for an internship. But that is exactly what Anna Stark, of Frankfurt, Germany, did.
Stark is completing a summer photography internship at The Missourian as a school requirement.
Washington is not new to her though. During the 2011-’12 school year, she came over as a foreign exchange student, attending St. Francis Borgia Regional High School.
Her host parents then and now are Robin and Jeff Birke of Washington.
Stark said she thought the internship would not only provide her with a taste of journalism, but give her the opportunity to visit with her host parents and friends she made here.
“I’ve always really liked reading articles, especially in newspapers,” she said, adding that her dad reads two daily papers, one weekly paper and news online.
Stark also enjoys photography, so an internship with the Washington newspaper was very appealing.
Working at The Missourian has helped hone her English skills. In Germany, students are required to learn two foreign languages. Stark chose English and French.
Her internship began in June. She will head back home in August.
So far, Stark has spent a lot of time photographing the Fair queen contestants at various activities, as well as America in Bloom projects, summer camp and daycare activities, and construction work. She also helped cover the Great Race, which made a pit stop in Downtown Washington last month.
And while she finds the internship interesting, “The deadlines are pretty crazy,” she noted.
“It’s fun, but there are stressful days,” Stark said. “There is a lot of pressure to get everything done before deadline.”
Stark said taking photos is what she expected, but said she had no idea there were so many behind the scene steps to producing good newspaper-quality photos.
With mentor, Missourian Photo Editor Jeanne Miller Wood, Stark said she has learned a lot about photography and journalism.
“She’s not too strict and at the same time you learn something,” she said. “She’s awesome. She’s great and she knows what she’s doing.”
As a photography intern, Stark primarily works with Miller Wood, but said she thinks highly of the entire Missourian staff.
“The Missourian is like a family. Everyone says hello and everyone knows each other,” she said. “I’m really glad they gave me the opportunity to do this internship.”
Although she’s not sure what she wants to do after high school, Stark said journalism is definitely a possibility. She would like to further explore the writing aspect of the profession.
“I don’t know where my strengths lie,” said Stark, who is the daughter of Hans and Doris Stark. She will attend her final year at Gymnasium, a school for advanced students, in Germany this fall.