Internships in journalism are key to your development within the field. These positions are stepping stones, skill builders, and networking hot spots. Here are some incremental steps and tips to help yourself succeed:
Step One: Make a plan!
Internships build upon one another, especially in the journalism world. Start with the school paper (Berkeley Beacon I’m looking at you!) or another on-campus publication, take that experience to get your first local news organization internship (GateHouse Media/Wicked Local is a great Boston area example) or find remote writing opportunities, use these experiences to then apply to a larger urban paper – The Boston Globe, The Miami Herald, The Pittsburgh Gazette, from there you can look towards an even larger scale new organization like the Washington Post or the New York Times.
Step Two: Let the internship description guide you!
Organizations will be clear about what they are looking for, make sure you are reading and following suit. Do you have the past experience they require? Do your clips match their requirements? They have these requirements for a reason.
Step Three: Get your materials together and make sure they are buttoned up!
As a journalist, you, more than anyone, need to provide error-free, hyper-focused, strong materials. Your cover letter and resume should be clear and reflective of your skills/added value. Your writing submissions should showcase your varied abilities, try to include different types of your work (examples: a feature, quick turnaround piece – including live tweets a the scene, interview, ect.). Use the Career Development Center, the Writing Center or a faculty mentor to give your submission a once over before you hit send!
Step Four: What do you bring to the table?
The large media organization internship programs are extremely competitive, think of ways to showcase what you bring to the table. Try to make the person reviewing your materials remember you – through an impactful story, funny experience, or interesting background. This can be done through your cover letter or a sample writing submission. You still want to follow the rules (see step 2), but make sure you are showcasing your extra-ordinary or highlight that ‘one thing’ that allows you to bring a different perspective to the organization.
Step Five: Know your deadlines…and they are fast approaching!
Here is a link to some of the major news organizations upcoming deadlines – some are as early as October 1st! If you are planning to apply now make sure to pay particular attention to steps 2-4. If you are planning to apply in the future use these tips to help you make a plan.
Few other important notes: The Career Development Center will be hosting Dallas Morning News and The Boston Globe for on-campus interviews in October. Make sure to get your materials in ASAP – Dallas Morning News is due 10/1 and Boston Globe Co-Op applications are due 10/15. There will also be some great journalism oriented interns employers at our 10/3 internship fair. We are here to support you as you start taking advantage of all of these opportunities, stop by our walk-ins M-F, 1-3pm (first come first served 15-minute appointments) or make an appointment with your counselor on Handshake (under Career Center, appointments).