Telegram Intern - Now a University of Michigan Grad
June 24, 2021
Former Telegram intern Gail Monds graduated from the University of Michigan this past April and now holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Screen Studies. Monds interned with the Telegram for one semester as part of the requirements for completing the Journalism and Screen Studies program. She previously enjoyed a career in engineering, holding both bachelor's and master's degrees in Civil Engineering. She had previously attended Michigan Technological and Wayne State Universities. Monds was employed with the Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit, beginning in 1985 and retiring in 2019.
So what sent this already highly educated woman back to college as retirement drew near? "I wanted to get a degree from U of M, that was the beginning of my motivation," she recalls. "I wanted to go back to school because I wanted to do something other than engineering." In 2014, Monds enrolled at the University of Michigan's Dearborn campus and began pursuing a degree in English. As an avid reader, Monds considered an English degree to be a natural goal to her, but recalls finding the curriculum uninspiring. She then changed her academic focus to journalism and found the program to be a good fit as she learned about both writing and filmmaking.
"Journalism, I think it's a great field. It's about telling the truth, putting a story out there. I really enjoy it," she says. As she worked her way through the course of study, she says what she learned changed her perspective from being one who consumes news to one who produces the news and similar stories. As an engineer, she had plenty of writing experience and says the coursework at U of M and news assignments completed while interning at the Telegram helped to develop her writing and direct it to the purpose of telling a story.
Although the internship was undertaken remotely like the rest of her university classes due to COVID-19, Monds says she experience was a good one. She wrote news stories on local policing, health and wellness, downriver events and programs, and even wrote about upcoming events on the Community Calendar. "I learned a lot about different aspects of the community, particularly downriver," she says.
Though she has completed her internship, Monds will not be going very far as she will now be a contributing reporter for the Telegram. "I'm really trying to help the community, tell them what's available and try to give them as much information as possible," she says of her new assignment. "What I will bring is a well-rounded picture of the event that I'm covering.