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Charlie Warzel '10, right, with Meet the Press host David Gregory.
Charlie Warzel '10, right, with Meet the Press host David Gregory.

Charlie Warzel '10 Interns at Meet the Press

by Nora Grenfell '12

By Nora Grenfell '12  |  Contact Holly Foster 315-859-4068
Posted February 20, 2009
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As a January '07 admit, Charlie Warzel wasn't sure where he wanted to spend his junior year when the time came to think about off-campus study. Most of his friends were traveling abroad, but he had already spent his first semester in London before coming to the Hill in the spring of 2007. Instead of venturing to Europe, Warzel has found himself in an incredibly unique situation: interning at NBC's Meet the Press.

Warzel is a junior majoring in government (with a possible theater minor) from Bryn Mawr, Pa. This semester he is participating in the Hamilton Program in Washington D.C., which offers students the opportunity to expand their education outside of the college setting.

Warzel is one of four interns at Meet the Press, one of the most highly respected news programs in the country. His primary responsibility is to assist the researchers who coordinate the show. Sometimes this entails combing newspapers and news channels alongside the researchers, or it might mean transcribing interviews that host David Gregory might want to reference.

Warzel had never explored his interest in media before, but after deciding to do the D.C. program he sent an application to Meet the Press through its Web site. After two follow-up phone calls (which he suggests "they really appreciated"), he landed an interview with the man who is now his boss.

On Sundays the interns have to arrive at 4:45 a.m. to prepare for the live nation-wide broadcast at 9 a.m. While most of the country is still asleep, they are scanning the nation's newspapers to compile a briefing of the day's most immediate issues. At 8 a.m. the guests will arrive, which on any given day might mean senators, congressman or authors. The interns present them with their news packets so that the guests can prepare for the show.

Although it is "insanely early," Warzel calls it "the best part." He's met notable figures such as Senator John Kerry, Tom Brokaw, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s son. Recently he had the opportunity to sit down with Luke Russert, son of the late Tim Russert who hosted Meet the Press until his death this past summer. "I spent two hours talking to him about the future of journalism and his take on how it will evolve," says Warzel. "It's really amazing that I get to sit down with someone who is so well known – his father was obviously an icon. I'll take that kind of thing back [to Hamilton]."

The Hamilton Program in Washington D.C. allows students to find internships based on their own individual interests. In addition to work experience, participants take an academic seminar that sets the theme of the term.

Warzel stresses that the D.C. program is not solely for government majors. "Washington is the town for interns," he says. "The (Hamilton) program relies on your being very independent and gives you a really good opportunity to try out a field."

"It's been really amazing getting to sit down and pick the brains of these people," recalls Warzel of his experience. "Sometime soon I'll be able to sit down with David Gregory and ask him how he got started. I'm not sure if journalism is the road I'm going to take, but if I do I will have a lot of great contacts and insights from people who are already at the top." 

-- by Nora Grenfell '12

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