Internships hone skills for senior communication major

The fast pace and global reach of communication appeals to Tsering Yangchen ’14 of Madison, Wis., a communication major with an interest in broadcast journalism. “Communication is everywhere, whether it’s email, social media or letters,” Yangchen says. “It’s how you connect with the people around you.

“I also like reporting news to people,” she says. “I think you should always be aware of what’s going on around the world. I like broadcast journalism because that visual kind of communication can be most effective. People are so busy. They don’t have time to sit down and read a newspaper. Now, they can just click a button on their iPad, computer or Kindle. I want to be that person who reports the breaking news to them.”

Yangchen is of Tibetan heritage but was born in the Red Cross Refugee Camp in Nepal in 1992.

In 1993, her mother was chosen to obtain a visa to come to the United States. She was sponsored by a couple from Madison, Wis., and began working to obtain visas to bring her family here. It would be five years before Yangchen and her father joined her.

“Coming to the United States meant freedom from the strict government in Nepal and escaping the hard life back there,” Yangchen says. “Over there, education is not free so my mom didn’t want me and my sister to grow up like that. Women can either become stay-at-home mothers or prostitutes. There are not a lot of options.”
Internships hone skills for senior communication major

Her mother’s original sponsors, whom Yangchen calls her “American grandparents,” helped her look at possible colleges. “I’m a first-generation (college) student, and I didn’t even know what college was.”

She applied to 10, and Ripon College was the first school to get back to her. “I’ll give this school a chance,” she thought. “I took the tour, and I just really liked the campus. I felt at home here.”

Internships have rapidly expanded Yangchen’s communication skills. As a junior, she was a news media assistant for NBC 26 television in Green Bay, helping write the news and learning about time management.

“It’s very fast-paced in the news world,” she says. “Once you find breaking news, you need to make calls immediately, and you have to be the first one to get the news. I like that. It’s challenging.”

During the past summer, she was a news production intern at NBC 15 television in Madison, Wis. There, she did video editing and was a floor director for the morning shift, cueing the news anchors during breaks about how much time they had before they were back on the air.

At Ripon College, she is an intern for the Office of Marketing and Communications, writing articles for Ripon Magazine and the college website and working on video editing. She also is an ambassador and intern for the Admission office, and serves as residence hall assistant for
international students attending Green Lake High School.

“Internships help students understand how the real world works,” Yangchen says. “You get the knowledge and understanding that you don’t really get in the classroom. You’re also able to network and meet people.”

During Fall Break, Yangchen participated in the Career Discovery Tour to learn about different career paths and network with successful Ripon College alumni in the Washington, D.C., area. Among them were Aurora Nelson ’99, a producer at CBS Television, and Susan Bundock ’82, an executive producer at C-Span.

“Both of these women are incredible and doing great,” Yangchen says. “They’re my inspiration. I want to do what they do.”
She now plans to apply for jobs in the Washington, D.C., area. “After going on the trip and meeting these alumni from Ripon who have come so far, it made me believe in myself that I can be there as well,” Yangchen says.

Yangchen is looking forward to finding out how far her communication skills will take her.

“You have to know your audience,” she says. “You have to know who you’re talking to. Then you can adapt your communication skills.”