Allen, who hails from Tampa, landed an internship this summer writing for the editorial pages of the tenth largest newspaper in the country and the third largest newspaper in New York. The communication major and journalism minor applied for internships at other publications in Tampa, Washington, D.C. and New York before settling on the Post.
“It was the biggest opportunity, the one that would open the most doors,” Allen said. “This one just seemed like the perfect fit.”
She often hears the adage that journalism is a craft that’s learned by doing — and she’s been pumping out one or two articles each day. It’s taken some time for her to embrace the tabloid’s snarky style, a departure from the straightforward newswriting she does when she’s turning in a story for her journalism classes at PBA.
“Just being in a newsroom is so different,” Allen said. “Even when it’s quiet, there’s this nervous energy, always, that I love.”
The New York Post’s Op-ed Editor Sohrab Ahmari called Allen “intrepid” and “hard-working.”
“She's just starting her senior year, yet she's already filing away byline after byline with our FASTTAKES feature (plus numerous unsigned editorials). She's got hustle. She'll go far,” Ahmari said on Twitter.
Allen previously served as The Beacon’s managing editor and wrote about the White House. She has twice traveled to South America on PBA mission trips and written about those experiences. She published a three-part series on human trafficking in Guyana and the people who are working to end it. Allen dreams of becoming a foreign correspondent.
She is driven, focused and sure of herself — but very humble, said Dr. Israel Balderas, The Beacon’s faculty adviser and an assistant professor of journalism.
“She came in knowing exactly where she wanted to work and what she wanted to do,” Balderas said. “I knew right away that I had to challenge her and push her.”
Other journalism students are honing their skills this summer, too. Junior Amber Amortegui, is an intern for Study Breaks, a website run by outstanding college journalism students around the country. She earned the position based on her writing and award-winning podcast, Balderas said. Senior Rachida Harper is contributing to ULoop.com, an online student marketplace. She will intern for the site in the fall.
Sarah Roulette, podcast producer for The Beacon, is in the Middle East, showing “Four Families in Mafraq” to the Syrian refugee families profiled in the documentary that she and fellow student Tim DeMoss filmed and produced last year. The Fort Worth Indie Film Showcase selected it as a featurette to show at the festival at the end of July.
“This is a summer we can look at with a lot of successes,” Balderas said.
Photo 1: Ashley Allen, rising senior and editor-in-chief of The Beacon, poses for a photo with Dr. Israel Balderas, assistant professor of journalism and adviser to The Beacon, in the office of the New York Post, where she is interning.
Photo 2: Ashley Allen poses for a photo in the New York Post's office. She is writing for the editorial pages of the tabloid, where she is interning this summer.