Summer Interns Ready to Learn, Work with Key Media

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BY JAKE GONZALEZ
AND JUSTIN TRAUSCH

FOR THE OBSERVER

OPELIKA —

The Observer is pleased to welcome two new interns for the summer.

JAKE GONZALEZ

The newest addition to The Observer’s interns this summer is soon-to-be Auburn University graduate Jake Gonzalez.

As a native of Hoover, Alabama, orange-and-blue blood runs deep in his veins. His grandparents, parents and brother all graduated from Auburn, mostly with engineering degrees, but Gonzalez decided that just wasn’t for him.

“I got bored,” he said. “I did engineering stuff basically all throughout high school, and by the time I got to college, I was still doing the same things. I just wanted something new.”

Gonzalez switched his major to journalism when he was a sophomore and never looked back. A “jack-of-all-trades” in his own words, he has been writing for the Auburn Plainsman for the past two years and served as the sports director at Eagle Eye TV for his senior year.

“I don’t like to brag, but I feel like I can do everything,” he said. “I can write, I can film and I can talk in front of a camera and have no problems. I just feel like I can do all of that pretty well.”

As far as his plans go for after graduation, Gonzalez said he prefers to keep his options open for anything that might come his way. One thing is for certain, though: His passion lies with sports.

“I wouldn’t really mind anything, to be honest,” he said. “I like the broadcast side of things. I like the production side of stuff. I really enjoy doing that. I would like to go into that, but obviously, if an opportunity doesn’t come that way then I’m more than happy to go into the writing side of it.”

Gonzalez said he would prefer to stick with college sports, particularly basketball as opposed to professional because of the competitive atmosphere that surrounds each game. The pros have too many meaningless regular season games for his liking, he said.

“Every game seems to be a big matchup in college,” he said. “In the NBA, a team can go 73-9 in the regular season and still not win the championship. In college, if a team loses 15 games, their season could be over. Each game is extremely important.”

Gonzalez said he is hoping to improve his writing skills and gain valuable experience from his internship with The Observer.

“You can never get enough experience — learning from mistakes and basically how to avoid mistakes at the end of it,” he said. “The more writing you do, the better you get, and really, it’s just any opportunity to write is beneficial.”

In his free time, you can find Gonzalez working on his golf game at a local course, playing basketball with some friends at Auburn’s Rec Center or relaxing at home enjoying any sporting event that may be on that night.

JUSTIN TRAUSCH

Justin Trausch, one of two new summer interns at The Observer, is a senior at Auburn University majoring in journalism. Trausch is set to graduate from Auburn in August 2022 and plans to move to Austin, Texas, once he graduates.

“I want to work for some sort of professional sports team or college team,” Trausch said. “I’m very indecisive in exactly what I want to do after I graduate.”

Trausch is originally from a town of about 2,000 people in northern Illinois and has no real connections to Auburn or the state of Alabama.

“I came to Auburn on a whim,” Trausch said. “I wanted to go somewhere that was warm and was like a medium-size town and landed on Auburn.”

Trausch is relatively new to the writing side of journalism. In his time at Auburn, the majority of his writing has been in his journalism classes, and his work has been on the television and production side of journalism.

Trausch spent time working for War Eagle Productions as a video board operator and camera technician. He also kept team statistics.

“I kind of do just a bunch of random stuff for them,” Trausch said.

If he isn’t working for War Eagle Productions or The Observer, he is working at the Robert Trent Jones golf course in Opelika or spending his time at the campus recreation center working out.

“I go to the gym a lot,” he said. “I am a gym rat. I love lifting weights and being in the gym. I go there sometimes to play basketball, but mainly I’m lifting weights.”

His favorite memory at Auburn was when he went to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this past fall and watched the Tigers beat LSU on the road for the first time in 20 years. Trausch said he loves watching any Auburn sport including basketball and baseball.

One of his favorite sports to watch is soccer, and the team he follows is Manchester City in England’s Premier League.

“I will literally watch any sport of any kind,” Trasuch said. “Basketball, hockey, baseball, soccer — it doesn’t matter. If I have the opportunity to watch it, I am.”

During this summer internship, Trausch said he is looking to work on his writing skills and get some true guidance for what he wants to do when he graduates.

“I want to improve my writing skills,” he said. “They are okay right now, but I know it can be so much better. Another thing is that it can help point me into the direction that I want to head once I officially graduate. If I find that I don’t like the writing side of things, I have at least narrowed down my options.”

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