Internship Inspiration from the Protests in Wisconsin

Photo by edkohler

What a week for Wisconsin! There are so many internship-related directions I could take the blog – political internships, education-related internships, criminal justice internships…

What I’ve opted to highlight is internships in the media. Local media have been covering the story in Madison since day one. However, after the Democratic Senators fled Wisconsin yesterday, national news outlets have blown up with the story. Obviously, the media – traditional and new – play an important role in our society.

So how can you begin building experience in the field? Here are some ideas:

On the Local Front

  • Newspapers: Some of the state’s major newspapers are options for internships. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel lists their various internships – marketing, design, and of course, editorial and reporting – on their jobs website. The Wisconsin State Journal and Capital Times are owned by Capital Newspapers, so opportunities with both can be found on their joint jobs page.
  • Television: The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association has bundled TV internship contacts for many state stations. In addition to the contact person, they provide basic information on responsibilities, pay, and requirements.

** The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association is hosting their 2011 Student Seminar on Saturday, March 5 in Middleton. Learn about resume writing, interviewing, appearance, and preparation for the broadcasting field.

On the National Front

  • Newspapers: Obviously, the three major U.S. papers – The Wall Street Journal, USA TODAY, and the New York Times – all have competitive internship programs. However, they would likely provide incredible experience. The Wall Street Journal offers a variety of opportunities, including some abroad, but they do have a fall application deadline for the following summer (so you could start planning for Summer 2012). USA TODAY also has a summer internship application deadline in December, but, on occasion, a student can secure an internship after their initial deadlines. The New York Times, with opportunities obviously based in New York, have a variety of internship options as well.
  • Television: To look for internship opportunities with CNN is to open up opportunities with all Turner Broadcasting System channels, including truTV, TNT, and TBS. Fox News has Fox News Channel University (FNCU). In addition to information on their various internship positions, their site becomes a centralized professional development resource for potential interns and a location to feature work by current and former Fox News interns.

Obviously, this only skims the surface of opportunities in the media. However, I hope it provides motivation and ideas for further exploration.

Intern Spotlight: Rose Schneider ’12

Rose Schneider 2

Rose Schneider, Junior (May 2012)
Major: International Journalism
Minors: Advertising & Multimedia
Internship: Intern with the Portage County Gazette

What interested you in this internship?

I’m a person who likes to be the best I can be at any given thing. I was interested in the internship position at the Portage County Gazette because I have my career goals set very high. I am an international journalism major and I aspire to work for National Geographic after graduating from Deakin in Melbourne, Australia. I know having every advantage possible is crucial when being compared to another possible candidate for any job but especially when applying for a position at the National Geographic Society.

How did you find out about the internship and approximately how long did it take you to secure it?

I found out about the internship by calling around different newspapers in and around my hometown. I was looking for an opportunity to expand my journalistic knowledge and practice things I had learned in classes at UW-Whitewater

I first contacted the Gazette in February [2010] and they told me to contact them again when the end of the semester got closer. From the time I talked to the managing editor at the end of April, I knew I had the position. Our conversations went very well and I think it was obvious to both of us that I would be a good addition to their staff for the summer.

Describe your internship experience.

The internship at the Portage County Gazette required me to be a flexible and responsible writer. There were days where I would come in and the managing editor would hand me an address and say you have an interview here in 20 minutes. I’d be expected to go to the location, get the story and pictures, then go back to the office and put the story together for that night’s paper.

One of the great things about my internship was that I was given enough leeway to go out and find my own stories. When I was assigned stories, the editor never told me how to approach them or what to look for when going out with a camera and my notebook. There was enough faith placed in me that I was free to attack any event from any angle I chose. I appreciated that more than anything, because I learned so much about myself as a journalist. And because of that freedom, I was able to develop my writing style in new ways.

There were some weeks I would write anywhere from one to three articles for the Gazette. Most of the time, I would shoot my own pictures for my stories and sometimes for other writers’ articles as well. If I shot the picture, I was responsible for writing the cutline to accompany it.

Every week I spent at least five hours reading copy for the paper. I made edits on every section ranging from obituaries to front page news. Performing copyedits was especially helpful because it was a quick way to immerse myself deeper into the world of AP style and familiarize myself with the proper usage of common words and phrases.

Since the beginning of my internship at the Gazette, I’ve written 29 articles, interviewing people from all different professions including police officers, professors, librarians, council members, high school students, dance coaches, and small children, to name a few.

How did this opportunity relate to your career goals?

This opportunity related directly to my career goals because it gave me the opportunity to develop myself further as a journalist. Also, on a personal note, it gave me the chance to prove to myself that I’m a good writer. I believe anytime a person has the opportunity to have an experience that will better themselves that he or she should take advantage of it. My experience was great because I got to work closely with so many different people in the community and by doing so, I put my name out there as a fresh and ambitious writer.

What have you learned from your internship?

  1. Always have your camera and a notepad with you because you never know when you’ll see something that may be breaking news.
  2. Never think you know how the story will turn out because the person you’re doing the article on may break their collar bone in front of you.
  3. Don’t be afraid to call someone back to double-check a fact. They will appreciate the accuracy when the article appears in print.
  4. Do a bit of research on the person you’re interviewing when possible. Generally, people like it when you’re knowledgeable about what they’re passionate about.
  5. Don’t be afraid to harass someone about getting back to you. It’s your article and your butt on the line. Call or email as much as you need to get the story done on time. That person may have accidentally thrown away your number. Twice.
  6. Never be afraid to ask co-workers questions or for feedback. You will learn so much.
  7. Always do your best. You never know when another paper will pick up your story.

What advice would you give to other students about internships?

They’re wonderful. Try to take advantage of as many as you can and build good relationships with your co-workers. What you will learn is invaluable if you’re passionate about what you’re doing.

Have you had an outstanding internship experience like Rose did? Tell employers, faculty, and fellow UW-W students what made your internship experience so great! Be featured in the Intern Spotlight! To learn more, please visit the UW-W Intern of the Month Program information page.

It’s Internship Search Season!

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Welcome back UW-W students! Are you all ready for the spring semester? Ready to start the search for the “perfect” summer internship? ‘Tis the season!

I’m going to use this first post of the spring semester to give an overview of some new resources and upcoming events to help you in your quest to find an internship.

  • UWW Internship Week, March 1-4
    • I’ll be pounding the pavement to promote all of the UWW internship resources, answer your internship questions, and provide guidance for your search. I’ll be running an Internship Search Bootcamp on Monday, March 1 and will be hosting Internship Outposts in various locations around campus throughout the week. FYI – there will be prizes involved! Stay tuned to the Student Internships Blog and Twitter for more information.
  • More Field-Specific Resources
  • Intern Spotlight
    • The Intern Spotlight feature on the blog started late last semester and will continue this semester. I’m so glad to have finally added this feature – the insight and advice provided by current and past UWW interns is amazing! If you didn’t see the Spotlights from last semester, be sure to check them out: Michael Van Den Bosch ’08 and Danielle Calkins ’10. If you have or had an internship experience and think that other students could benefit from your story, please email me a brief synopsis of your internship story to be considered for a future Intern Spotlight.

I’m really excited about the semester ahead! I know the internship search can be challenging, so please let me know how I can assist you in the process. Have a great spring semester!

Photo by David Pfeffer (http://www.flickr.com/photos/bytenik/ / CC BY 2.0)

Intern Spotlight: Danielle Calkins ’10

Danielle Calkins

Danielle Calkins, Senior (May 2010)
Major: Print Journalism
Minor:
Multimedia Digital Arts
Internships:
Editorial Intern with Reader’s Digest Association; Social Media & Marketing Intern with Nei-Turner Media Group

Describe your internship experiences.

This past summer, I was fortunate to intern with two extremely interesting publishing companies. Most of my time was spent at the Reader’s Digest Association in Greendale, WI. There I worked as an editorial intern for the Taste of Home books department. This was my absolute dream internship because I have always dreamed of working for a food publication. My time spent with the Taste of Home department was an extremely informative and beneficial experience. I worked as a writer and editor for both retail and direct market books for Taste of Home and Pillsbury brands, assisted in the overall graphic design of these books, as well as shadowed in the photo studio and test kitchens.

I spent my remaining summer as a social media and marketing intern for Nei-Turner Media Group in William’s Bay, WI. This internship was another amazing experience that I was fortunate enough to continue working at throughout the school year. Currently, I handle the social media and online marketing aspects of the company’s various magazines, including Modern Bliss Magazine, At The Lake Magazine, and Experience Milwaukee Magazine. I am also working as an editorial assistant for the magazines, which creates the perfect balance between my love for writing and the conversion to online journalism the industry is currently experiencing.

What strategies did you use to find your internships?

While searching for internships, I became very fond of Big Shoes Network (www.bigshoesnetwork.com), which is where I found my internship with the Reader’s Digest Association. My position with Nei-Turner was also posted on Big Shoes, but I first found the internship by searching through local publications. I knew At The Lake Magazine was a publication I was interested in from the Lake Geneva area, so I simply contacted the editor of the magazine and sent her my resume and portfolio. For both internships, I went through various interviews and was eventually offered positions with both companies.

What have you learned from your internship experiences?

I could not have asked to learn more out of my two internships. On top of learning what it was like to work in a real-world setting of two publishing companies, I was able to network with brilliant industry professionals. Not only was I able to enjoy these positions over the summer, but each week I am able to learn more at Nei-Turner and continue to advance my knowledge of the industry as I near graduation.

What advice would you give to students exploring internships or beginning their search for an internship?

Students who are beginning to search for internships should know that the entire process takes time and it is important not to become overwhelmed. For me, it was extremely vital to stay organized and keep track of which internships I was applying for. I made sure to have a complete resume, as well as a portfolio of all my published work to show in my interviews. On top of this, I created smaller portfolios that I could leave at each interview for them to further review and consider. My main word of advice, though, is to stay focused yet calm during your internship search. For me at least, my internships didn’t come easy, but in the end I realized my hard work truly paid off.

Other thoughts or advice?

One more word of advice, at least for my industry [journalism], don’t underestimate the power of social media to connect to industry professionals. I cannot tell you how many people I have networked with via Facebook and Twitter, and how much these sites truly advanced my internship search. Especially on Twitter, I was able to find internship openings, as well as talk to publishers and editors of magazines I was interested in working for. It really is a powerful tool!

Have an interesting internship story to tell? Would you like to be considered for a future Intern Spotlight feature? Please email a brief synopsis of your experience to me, Laura Jacobs, at MorrowL@uww.edu.

New: Field-Specific Resources

Some new resources have been added to the UW-Whitewater Student Internships website. In the “How to Find an Internship” section, you can now access lists of field-specific internship programs and resources.

The current menu of fields includes the following:

Within each section, you will find notes on internship opportunities in or near Whitewater. You will find information on internship programs in Wisconsin and beyond. You will also find links to additional resources related to the field. Eventually, resources to help you in creating your own internship in the field will be added.

Are there any areas of interest that haven’t been covered? Do you have information on programs or resources that you don’t see currently listed?

There is also a link to the International Internships section of the site. The International Internships page has been recently revamped, so be sure to check it out.

In addition, the Internship Search Plan has also been revised. Again, check it out if you haven’t already seen it. It’s a helpful tool at any point of your internship search.

 

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Finally, I want to welcome my colleagues’ new blog to the web: Career Spotlight. Ron Buchholz, Kathy Craney, and Ellen Hatfield will be writing about permanent job search strategies, the employer perspective, development of your personal brand, how to present yourself professionally, and success on the job. They are very excited about blogging and are very passionate about teaching students how to succeed in their professional careers. You will now find a feed to their most recent posts on the right-hand side of this blog.

 

We’re only a couple of weeks away from the beginning of the fall semester. Remember that the staff in Career & Leadership Development are available to help you connect with co-curricular activies, identify internship opportunities, and prepare to graduate to the professional world. Stop in and see us soon!

 

Photo by D Sharon Pruitt (pinksherbert)

 

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