Discover the industry.
In the news and sports industries, you need more than just a degree to be successful. Your internships should serve as a learning opportunity for practical skills development and as an opportunity to discover your interests, goals and strengths in the field. Through hands-on experience and guidance from industry professionals, you will be prepared to begin work in the industry upon completion of your undergraduate coursework.
In addition to gaining valuable skills and experience, almost all employers say they consider their successful past interns for jobs first. Should no jobs be available, they often recommend their interns for other jobs in the industry.
The Internship Process
Students in the electronic news track of the Journalism and Creative Media major are required to complete at least two separate internship experiences through the JCM internship (JCM 382) course. Each credit hour requires 90 hours of work during the semester. You can complete one internship working 270 hours total, or two separate internships working 90 hours in each. We recommend reserving at least one internship experience for completion near the end of your undergraduate experience at UA. Not only will this help keep your contacts and resume reel up to date, you may also be able to time your graduation with a job opening at your internship location.
Remember: The timing of your internship depends on several factors you may want to discuss with your major professor. It is also wise to consider, when possible, placing these two, one-hour credits in a semester where you will not go over your full-time hours limit and have to pay extra tuition.
A Step-by-Step Guide
- Read all of the information on this page twice.
- Find an internship. Don’t forget that most internships don’t pay. If they do, great! If not, plan for housing costs. Consider your geographic options (usually you will base out of your home or a relative’s home but you may consider a low cost college dorm option). After narrowing your choices to specific locations hit the internet search engine of your choice and search for your job choice and “internships.” It’s that easy to start the search. You may also want to talk to your internship coordinator for tips.
- Complete the internship contract form and have your on-site internship coordinator (at the station or company) sign it.
- Deliver the contract to the internship coordinator’s office mail box. You can also email attach it to get it to your internship site and have them email it to your emphasis coordinator. In this case, a signature is not required.
Make a lasting impression.
- Use your internships to learn about every aspect of the business you can. You may be surprised to discover new jobs you didn’t know existed or jobs you didn’t know were perfectly suited for you.
- Absorb everything! It is a wonderful form of learning.
- Contribute every day. Bring your ideas, dress for the job, come early, stay late. Make the most of every opportunity. Balance your professional attitude with your fun personality. These are the kind of people everyone wants to work with and, therefore, the people they hire.
- Keep a daily journal on Blackboard. It is required for your internship and it will help you realize all that you’re learning. If you had a rough day, it will give you a chance to vent. Further, it will help your UA internship coordinator know if there are work environment problems he or she needs to address.
- Remember, evaluation is done more in the classroom than in the stressful work environment.
- In a stressful work environment, people tend to criticize you when you’re wrong but there is little time for praise. Learn from the criticism but don’t feel overwhelmed. Each day is a new chance to establish your reputation in the industry.
Before you leave your internship, write thank you notes to everyone you worked closely with. They will be appreciated! Also, keep up with those people after you leave your internship through e-mail. Let them know your career goals and expected graduation date often, you never know when they might have a position available!
Make copies of all of the work you complete and the references and critiques you receive from your supervisor. This will prove helpful in the future.