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TRF Student Drew Muckell on His Newhouse NYC Experience


Senior TRF major and The Colbert Report intern Drew Muckell reflects on his semester as a Newhouse NYC student. 

I’m writing this post from the comfortable green sofa in the family room of my parent’s house. I have a cup of hot chocolate and a blanket, and today was one of the first days this fall that I have been able to get 10 hours of sleep. For lunch, I had leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner, as I have for the past few days.

This week off from classes and my internship at The Colbert Report has given me the perfect opportunity to relax and look back on my past few months in New York City. Being around my closest friends and family for the first time this fall has also forced me to really think about everything the Newhouse NYC program has allowed me to do. Everyone I know asks the same things when I talk to them: “How are classes going?” “Do you like the city?” “What’s Stephen Colbert like in real life?”

These questions are always fun to answer because the people asking them really care. I know they want my classes to go well and for me to love working in NYC. They also want to know that I am working for a genuinely good-hearted comedian who cares about his employees. This week has reminded me about the little differences in the questions loved ones ask.

Instead of “How are classes?” my dad will ask, “What are you learning in your classes?”

My mom asked me the other day, “Are you happy in the city?” rather than asking if I like it.

My girlfriend always asks how I like working with Stephen Colbert, which is awkward because I’m an intern, not an executive producer. I help out in the big picture where I can, but I don’t sit down with the man himself and write each night’s episode.

Loved ones have a way of asking the right questions, and fielding these personal inquiries all week has provoked me to reminisce on my NYC adventure. This may sound strange, but being around family and friends has especially reminded me that this is my adventure. It was my decision to study in the city. It was my decision to intern at The Colbert Report, and choosing what I want to put in and get out of this experience continues to be my decision.

Looking back on it, the Newhouse NYC program has done a great job of empowering students by allowing us to make these sorts of decisions. I find myself telling my friends and family about all of the alumni I have met and all of the companies I’ve visited this fall just as much as I do about my internship.

I’ve said it before, but this experience helped us most just by taking us out of traditional classrooms and plugging us into real work places. Newhouse classes have been valuable in teaching me about the entertainment industry, and now I get to live it. Bob Thompson’s class discussed The Colbert Report at one point, and now I’m there.

Overall, my NYC experience has been educational, experiential and exciting, and being around my friends and family this past week reminded me how thankful I am. I’ll always be thankful for this program and for the people I’ve met here that have helped me. Come graduation in May, I know I’ll be even more grateful for Newhouse NYC because I’m confident it will help me get my first full-time job.

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