By Anna Riley

My name is Anna Riley and I started interning at the Opelika Observer in the middle of May this year. I grew up in Rome, Georgia, but have been going to Auburn University for the last four years and officially graduate on Aug. 4 with a bachelor’s degree in communication and a minor in business.
I love that Opelika reminds me a lot of my home, Rome. They are both small towns with a lot of history, a loving community and both are continuously growing.
Before interning at the Opelika Observer, I considered myself to be a very shy person and avoided interaction, especially phone calls, at all costs.
My writing skills were not up to par and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as a career. I had no idea what to expect coming into this internship because I’ve never had a job that requires you to interview various individuals or to write stories.
I couldn’t even tell you the last time I read an actual newspaper!
I was especially scared about the interviewing aspect of this internship because of my shy and awkward nature. But, working here for the past two months has really forced me out of my comfort zone and has brought up my confidence level. I am no longer afraid to speak to individuals that I don’t personally know and actually consider myself to be a much better communicator than before.
With this internship, you never know what to expect. Getting to interview such diverse groups of people about various topics can be extremely entertaining.
The other day I had no plans to interview anyone and the next thing I knew, I was on a yoga mat doing an intense workout for a story!
Working here has also tremendously improved my writing skills, which I will be able to use to my advantage in whatever career choice I may choose down the road.
The staff here at the Opelika Observer have been so welcoming and friendly and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with.
I have Michelle Key and Morgan Bryce to thank for such a fun and positive working environment, where I have learned so much not only about journalism, but about myself as well. I also couldn’t have asked for a better community to work in.
Opelika is full of lively people who aspire to do good and it is truly inspiring.
Although I never thought I would want to have a career in journalism, working at the Opelika Observer has really changed my mind and I am beyond excited for the upcoming opportunities that this internship has given me.