I was only a sophomore when my magazine professor, Carol Holstead, told me about the American Society of Magazine Editors’ internship program. I was only eligible the summer after my junior year, and I spent the following year working toward the internship.
So when I received an email last March saying that I had gotten the internship, I was ecstatic (in fact, I burst out into tears). A few weeks later, I found out that I’d be spending my summer in New York working at ESSENCE magazine, a publication for African-American women.
Last summer was by far the most incredible experience of my life, mostly because the editors didn’t treat me like an intern. I worked in the entertainment and books departments of the magazine. I wrote book and movie reviews, did Q&As with celebrities and readers, and I attended a variety of press events and movie screenings – both with and in place of my editors.
Needless to say, I am beyond ready to return to New York. I’m planning on moving back to the city after graduation to (knock on wood) land a position at my dream job – ESSENCE magazine.
Taylor Lewis ~ Journalism senior studying news and information and Spanish
When you are working on your passion, your job doesn’t seem like work at all. I discovered what my passion was by working on something that I wasn’t passionate about whatsoever.
For the first two years of college, I thought I wanted to be in front of the camera reporting news. When I received the news that I got an internship at CNBC, I was thrilled. After a few weeks, however, I discovered that I wasn’t looking to report the news at all; I was interested in working more directly with clients and team members. This is how I discovered I really love marketing and public relations.
After my first week in strategic communication classes at the J-School, I could not wait to learn more. I even was lucky enough to score an internship on a marketing team with six other interns this year. Not only do I get to work with a bunch of people I enjoy, but I get to do the things I love to do. Whether I am working on social media or discussing advertisements and commercials for the company, I am thankful everyday that I found what I am truly good at, and what I truly love.
Maggie Clark ~ Journalism senior studying strategic communication
This past summer I interned with Propaganda3, a digital production company in Kansas City, Mo. I worked closely with the CEO and president, writing technology-themed blog posts and reviewing apps for the company’s blog. I received an immersive education on the digital industry, witnessed the company’s hiring process and attended workplace meetings.
Having an internship is extremely valuable and the advantages have extended far beyond simply adding one more thing to my resume. I further developed my skills in communication, time-management and adaptability, while getting the feel of a real workplace atmosphere. Not only did I get to gain skills applicable to what I want to do in the future, but I actually provided a service for the company. I was fortunate enough to be welcomed into a workplace that measured my progress, enhanced my skill set and actually cared about how I was doing. I was a part of the team.
Working closely with leaders in the company has connected me to many other business owners around Kansas City. The networking opportunities that come from having an internship will end up making a tremendous difference post-graduation, particularly in the web development sector that I’m interested in!
If you have any questions about my internship or want to see my portfolio, you can find me at natparker.com.
Natalie Parker ~ Journalism junior studying strategic communication and global and international studies
I came to KU with two passions: medicine and writing. I had dreams of going to school and becoming a doctor, but I also wanted to take classes that would improve my writing skills. At my first visit with a KU career counselor, I was pleasantly surprised to find I’d be able to follow both of my passions if I majored in journalism and followed the pre-medicine track.
I interned at the Shawnee Mission Medical Center during my senior year. As the hospital’s marketing and communications intern, I wrote news releases and articles for local news media including the Kansas City Star, helped promote special events, and collaborated with hospital departments to create informational materials.
A few of my favorite experiences were promoting SMMC’s Speaking of Women’s Health event which drew 2,000 attendees, and writing articles for SMMC’s e-newsletter Health Connection.
My internship gave me the opportunity to combine both of my interests in medicine and writing in a real-world, professional setting. I owe my preparation for this experience to the skills I learned in my journalism classes and from my outstanding journalism professors. The J-School opened new doors that allowed me to follow my dreams. Since graduating in May, I’ve followed my dreams further and I’m working on Cerner Corporation’s health care marketing team.
Lindsay Ullyot ~ 2012 graduate in journalism strategic communications and science
I just finished a public relations and event planning internship at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association. It was one of the most hands-on experiences I’ve had in my college career.
I worked in a small office, so everything I did was important to the organization’s success. I wrote thank you letters to donors, created Facebook advertisements, made promotional materials, and helped execute a major breast cancer awareness event.
I found out about the internship on the J-School’s online internship and job database. The J-School Career Center posts internships and jobs there almost on a weekly basis.
Whether you’re earning class credit or getting paid, I encourage everyone to do an internship. The J-School Career Center is the place to start.
Wylee Shofler ~ Journalism senior studying strategic communication
Current news and information student Kelly Stroda is interning at The Dallas Morning News this summer.
Stroda keeps the rapidly-growing metropolitan area up to date on entertainment news with a blog on guidelive.com as well as cuts multimedia news packages about events around town.
Her package on the opening of Dallas – Fort Worth’s first Trader Joe’s is an excellent example of the multimedia journalism principles we teach at the KU J-School.
As you can see from the story and the screen shots to the left, Stroda and a coworker used live tweets, photo galleries, video footage, and an online story to encapsulate the anticipated opening.
Students learn these skills in classes like JOUR 304 Media Writing, JOUR 415 Multimedia Reporting, JOUR 550 Digital Media, and many more (view more classes here).
Wayne Larson ~ KU J-School Recruiter
Even with everything you learn in getting a journalism degree from KU, there are some things you can’t learn in a classroom.
It was the first day of my internship at WOWT Channel 6 in Omaha last summer and I was ecstatic to be the only news intern at the station. I knew I’d be getting hands-on experience but I didn’t know I’d be getting so much of it so quickly.
On my first day the reporter and I were called to a bank robbery in South Omaha. The suspect had fled to a house in North Omaha with the money he’d stolen, so we went to check things out.
I figured the police would just bust down the door, go arrest the suspect, and that’d be that. But when we got there, it looked as though half of the Omaha Police Department was stationed around the house, all heavily armed. It was intimidating, seeing police officers run around with guns but it was exciting to see it all up-close while helping report what was going on.
When my mom called to ask how my first day was I left quite a bit out because if you’re not a reporter yourself you don’t understand that there’s some danger that can come with being in the field. But that’s half the fun; it’s a rush, and, getting that experience was something I’ll never forget.
Laura Sather ~ Journalism senior studying news and information and English
I have a love of theater. My grandmother introduced live theater to me at an early age and since then I’ve been involved in numerous productions. However, I don’t have any delusions of grandeur about my on-stage skills. Thankfully, I have a second passion — writing.
These two traits make journalism perfect for me. Sophomore year I was looking through the J-School’s Career Center and found an internship posting for the Theater League of Kansas City. My passion for theater must have been evident in my cover letter because I got an interview and subsequently landed the position. My internship at the Theater League then led to my current job as the marketing assistant at the Lied Center of Kansas, KU’s on-campus performing arts center.
These two opportunities in arts administration helped me discover exactly what I want to do with my degree. Everyday I get to plan promotions for live performances and my work is something that I genuinely believe in.
I’ve found no matter what your passion is, there is someone out there who needs help promoting it. The J-School makes it possible for a student’s passion to be an important part of their education, and hopefully, their future careers.
Elise Poston ~ Journalism senior studying strategic communication
Current student Jayson Jenks‘ story about the history of KU basketball and current coach Bill Self was featured on ESPN’s Grantland in mid March.
Jenks’ achievement is an example of how current Jayhawk Journalists produce high-quality work, which is often recognized on a national level, on a daily basis.
In addition to journalism classes at KU, Jenks has refined his craft by working on the University Daily Kansan and the Topeka Capital-Journal.
Set to graduate in May, Jenks’ will undoubtedly add this to his resume of great accomplishments while at the KU J-School.
Wayne Larson ~ KU J-School Recruiter
Journalism students at KU are lucky to have a career center located conveniently in 120 Stauffer-Flint. The Journalism Career Center can help students no matter what stage of the job search they are at. Whether you are exploring different journalism career tracks, needing your resume polished, or seeking help with a cover letter, this is the place to go.
Students can set up appointments with the Center throughout the week or stop in during walk-in periods.
After an initial visit, they may suggest setting up a follow-up appointment a few weeks later to discuss more options and review edited resumes and cover letters.
The Center’s website is also a great resource. Here, students can link to the J-School’s online listing service and find journalism internships and jobs.
The Center also hosts a career fair every spring. For a list of past participating companies, click here.
Personally, the career center has helped me tremendously in starting out on my own career path. The advice I received was up-to-date, specific and has given me much needed confidence while applying / interviewing for professional jobs.
Kaitee Tyner ~ Journalism senior studying strategic communication
It was last January that I began panicking because I didn’t have summer plans. I pored through the KU J-School’s Career Center website and called local magazines to find an internship program. I sent my resume to Kansas City Homes & Gardens, and after an interview, I got the internship.
During the 10-week internship, I wrote articles for five issues of the magazine, sorted through winners of a home remodeling competition, wrote blurbs about projects, edited pages and wrote captions. I also accompanied the editor on a kitchen remodel photo shoot and wrote an article about the project. For one assignment, I sorted through dozens of press releases to find the most impressive kitchen and bathroom products. I then emailed companies for photos and wrote descriptions for each product.
It was amazing to see how a real magazine functioned. What was more exciting was seeing my printed work and knowing people were reading it. Because I was able to learn a little bit about a lot of things, I got everything out of the internship I had hoped for.
Taylor Lewis ~ Journalism junior studying news and information