1. WHAT IS A FOR-CREDIT INTERNSHIP?
A for-credit internship is a good way to get professional experience before you graduate.
All journalism majors who plan to work in the field after graduation need to get on-the-job experience while in college. There are several ways to do this. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Many students will choose to get experience in several ways. One way to get experience is to enroll in Journalism 4091, Supervised Field Internship.
2. HOW DOES A FOR-CREDIT INTERNSHIP COMPARE WITH OTHER TYPES OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
3. WHO CAN DO A FOR-CREDIT INTERNSHIP?
Journalism 4091 (Supervised Field Internship) is open only with the consent of the instructor. To be eligible you must complete Journalism 2000W, 2001W and 3020 (Newswriting I and II and Law of Libel and Communication).
Recommended: Complete an additional course -- Journalism 3040W (Radio and TV Newswriting) -- if you are seeking a broadcast news internship.
Recommended: *Complete an additional course -- Journalism 3030W (Copy Editing I) -- if you are seeking an editing internship.
4. WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME? WHAT CAN I EXPECT?You should be able to report, write or edit at the level that would be expected of someone in his or her first professional job. You will not be merely following working journalists around, or getting coffee. You will be doing the job.
You are expected to work hard, to make brief weekly reports on your progress, to meet periodically with your instructor and to submit a 1,000-word summary at the end of the semester. Print journalists are expected to submit copies of all of their clips. Broadcast journalists are expected to submit a tape, if they have one.
You can expect solid professional experience that will help you when you look for your first fulltime job. You can expect your work supervisor to give you meaningful work and guidance. You can expect your instructor to monitor your progress, to offer advice when needed and to intervene if significant problems arise.
5. WHEN SHOULD I APPLY?
You apply in the semester preceding the internship. Apply in the fall for the spring. Apply in the spring for a summer or fall internship. Applications MUST be submitted by the end of the fifth week of the semester.
6. WHERE DO FOR-CREDIT INTERNS WORK?
Where you work depends in large part on your skills and career goals. When we have students who have specialized interests, we try very hard to find internships that fit those students. Often, however, students find that our regular internship sites fit their needs well. These are some of the places where we have placed interns recently: The Hartford Courant, CTNewsJunkie, the Journal Inquirer, The (Willimantic) Chronicle, The (New London) Day, the Meriden Record-Journal, WFSB, WVIT, WILI, WTIC, WTNH, WLNE (Providence), FoxCT, News12 (Norwalk), CBS3 (Springfield), WABC (New York), ABC Sports Radio (New York), UConn Athletic Communications, ctnow.com, the Connecticut Mental Health Association, Hartford Business Journal, Fitness Magazine, Eastern Connecticut Health Network, Insurance News Network and the press office of the state Democrats.
7. HOW DOES THE ADVISING SYSTEM WORK?
Before starting the first semester, students usually are advised by staff members in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences advisory office. Those advisors show students the mechanics of the registration process and acquaint them with the General Education Requirements. Once on campus, pre-majors are advised within the department by a staff member who advises only pre-majors. When students are admitted to the major, they are advised by faculty members in the department. The student and his or her advisor discuss the student's interests and career goals and outline a plan of study and experiential activities designed to meet those goals and satisfy the requirements of the college and the department. The plan is kept in the student's permanent file in the department.
Each semester students refer to the plan of study when choosing courses for the next semester. The department provides ample opportunities for students to review their course selections with faculty members. When the courses are approved, the department allows the student to register online.
8. WHY SHOULD I DO A FOR-CREDIT INTERNSHIP?
For the experience. Pure and simple.
9. HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Pick up an application form in the Journalism Resource Center, Arjona 428. Return it to Becky by the deadline -- the end of the fifth week of the semester preceding the internship. If your application is accepted, the instructor will meet with you and discuss a site for your internship.
The internship site decides whether it will accept you as an intern. In some cases (TV stations in particular) the site may have its own application form. In all cases, you will be asked to go for an interview. It's a good idea to have a basic resume available. If you need help, your instructor can provide a brief guide on how to prepare a resume. Career Services also offers regular assistance with resume preparation.
10. HOW DO I GET A PAID INTERNSHIP?
State and national news organizations often offer paid summer jobs that are called internships. Many of these internships have very early application deadlines -- some as early as Nov. 1. A student who is interested in applying to a national internship program should start scouting for information early in the fall semester. News about internships is posted in the student resource room (Arjona 428) as soon as it arrives. Students should check there frequently.
The Detroit Free Press provides excellent information and links to internship sites here.
Students interested in newspaper internships should go to the ASNE internship page, which has listings from around the country. Students interested in magazine internships should check the website of the American Society of Magazine Editors. The Dow Jones Newspaper Fund offers a variety of excellent paid internships. The department administers a screening test for those internsips each spring.
Students looking for paid internships should also consider joining professional organizations (most of which offer low student membership fees) for the assistance and opportunities that they provide. Those groups include: the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television Digital News Association, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Native American Journalists Association, the South Asian Journalists Association and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.
Faculty advisors can offer advice about worthwhile national internship programs and provide guidance about how and when to apply for local jobs.