This is a blog post written by our Ball State Intern Queen Campus Ambassador, Taylor Ellis. If you attend Ball State and want to get blog for InternQueen.com comment on this blog and we&ll introduce you to our Ball State gal, Taylor!
By: Taylor Ellis
Journalism isn’t your typical major that is learned completely inside the classroom. While I do believe that my classes have improved my writing skills, I think my most valuable lessons have been learned from being involved in student media and listening to professionals speak on the industry. You can’t just go to class and expect to land a journalism internship. You have to take the initiative outside the classroom to show potential employers that you are serious about improving your skills. Here are 5 tips on how to land a journalism internship:
1. GET INVOLVED-I know I’ve said it before and it sounds cliché, but it truly is the only way to stand apart from the rest of your fellow students. Anyone can show up in class everyday and do their assignments, but it shows so much more initiative when someone is willing to push themselves to get involved and gain experience. Your assignments usually don’t impress employers, but your clips from student media will.
2. MOVE UP- So now you’re working for student media, but don’t stop there! Continue to push yourself to get more involved and take on more responsibility. After you feel comfortable with this, apply for editor positions. While you probably won’t get to work on as many of your own stories, you get great leadership experience to put on a resume and will improve your editing skills. Some of these positions are even paid depending on the position!
3. ATTEND SPECIAL EVENTS AND CONFERENCES-There are typically several Society of Professional Journalists conventions and conferences, and your university might even bring in professionals from the industry. Go to as many of these as you can because you never know who you may meet! I went to a fashion convention in Chicago with my fashion class and chose to attend a fashion-reporting workshop while I was there. After the workshop, I introduced myself to the Editor in Chief of Michigan Avenue Magazine. She gave me her card and months later I landed a journalism internship with her publication!
4. NETWORK-Like I said above, always be aware of potential contacts and professionals who could help you land an internship. Believe it or not, your professors are actually some of the best people to network with! They usually have worked for major publications and can give you advice on how to go about landing an internship. Get to know your professors and respect them and they usually will return the favor by helping you out with internships!
5. USE YOUR RESOURCES- There are thousands of journalism internships out there; however, it can be overwhelming to try to sort through them all. I suggest listing some of your dream publications and local publications and looking for their internship postings first. Use sites like ed2010.com and Intern Queen to narrow down your list to about 10 internships to apply for. If you try to apply for more than this you’ll be going cover letter crazy!
Remember that journalism is a very competitive field; therefore you have to stand out from your peers. I think if you do the five things above as well as strive to do your best in your classes that you will be on your way to landing your dream journalism internship!