Tuesday, January 2, 2018

You can't win a scholarship if you don't apply

(This post is an update from Jan. 31, 2017.)

Here's the thing about UMass. Sure, it's big, and sure, it's sometimes crazy and it feels like no one cares about you. But here's the other thing: if you reach out, you can almost always find help.

A student just told me a story about not having any money. This student was worried about not being able to come back in the fall. The student met with an advisor at Financial Aid, and the advisor walked through all this person's options, where the student was from, what the student's financial situation was. Asked many questions. The student ended up with a scholarship that helped ensure a return to UMass in the fall. This never would have happened if that student hadn't gone to the Financial Aid office and asked for help.

Which brings me to scholarships. There's probably more than $250,000 in scholarships about to be handed out over the next few months. Some are straight scholarships, others go to help fund research or study abroad. Still others defray the costs of  summer internships, which, in journalism, generally go unpaid. So if you want to spend the summer in New York, read on.

I hear you now: I won't bother applying because there are so many applications I can't be competitive, and I never win anything. But this isn't the Powerball, where there are 7 bajillion other players from 50 states. It's UMass! I sit on many review committees for scholarships and I can tell you, if you just put some time and effort into your applications and essays, you have a pretty good chance.  But you need to apply.

How do you win some of this money? Look at every list below and see what you're eligible for. Don't wait until the last minute. If the application requires a financial need, make sure that you're on record with the Financial Aid office. If you're not, be sure to include a financial need statement of your own that spells out your circumstances. Make sure you have a great looking resume (see my Career Tips handout on the right for a good model). Then, write a great essay. What makes a great essay? Heart and substance. More than a few drafts. Solid spelling, punctuation and grammar. Run it through the Hemingway App and Grammarly. Have a friend read it.  Here's some great advice from SBS Advising. And here's my advice.

If there's enough interest, I'll host a workshop this semester. In the meantime, I'll be posting the available scholarships as I find them. Three words: APPLY, APPLY, APPLY.

Scholarships for 2018
The UMass Alumni Association offers more than $100,000 in scholarships each year. I love these because most of them are donated by UMass alumni. Check this list out, because some of the requirements are so specific that the applicant pool is very limited.

School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Scholarships include scholarships to fund research, study abroad and other areas. If you are doing study abroad, apply for these! 
Journalism Dept. Scholarships are given out to Journalism majors only. If you are in other departments, check their websites for major-specific scholarships.

New England Newspaper Publishers Association $1,000 scholarships for college students pursuing a career in journalism.

Broadcast student? Apply for the Student Broadcaster Scholarship. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Take it from an intern, Fall 2017 edition

I always ask interns to post about their experiences at the end of an internship, so check this space for tips and advice.

Here's what our summer 2017 interns had to say about their experiences. And here's what our summer 2016 interns reported back.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

From the mailbox: more internships!

More internships arrive in my inbox daily. Before you apply, have me or another editor  look at all your materials for typos, grammatical errors and overall fabulosity. You can check in at the work-study table in the hub for a consult, or make an appointment on my online calendar, in the upper right hand column: About Me section.

The International Radio and Television Society New York City Summer Fellowship Program  sound phenomenal: All expenses paid, nine weeks of mentoring and training in the Big Apple. It's super competitive, so if you're applying, please meet with me to be sure your materials are in top shape. Deadline is December 3, 2017.

If you are interested in covering business and technology (and if you want to work in Boston, you really should be), the American Graphics Institute is offering a paid summer 2018 internship  covering these industries in Boston. Could be the start of a beautiful relationship. The deadline is November 30, 2017.

Magazinistas! Don't forget the American Magazine Editors Internship application is due Dec. 1, 2017.

I will update this posting as internships arrive. Meanwhile, get that LinkedIn, resume, online portfolio and cover letter tuned up and ready to go...

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Tips for senior year job hunters

Several seniors have stopped by my office lately to talk about job hunting, and, though it's probably too early for actually applying for jobs in journalism, there's a lot you can do to make yourself employable before graduation day.

First, I encourage you to sign up for the Journalism Launchpad Class in the spring. It's a one-credit, five week class that gets you in gear to job hunt. We cover lots of topics, including networking, resumes, Linkedin, practice interviews, and issues like early career personal finance, managing student loan debt and how to negotiate for more money. Students who have taken the class say it changed the way they approach the job hunt, and many of them get jobs as a result of the tools and insights they pick up in this class.

Second, get your professional materials: resume, online portfolio and Linkedin profile in the best shape you can: this means, updated, concise, well-written and no typos. This takes time, and should not be left to the last minute. Many students put a lot of work into perfecting the resume and leave the LinkedIn as an afterthought. Don't do that. Both must be in perfect shape. You want an employer to look you up online and find your work easily.

Beef up your LinkedIn: Check out the "Ask for Recommendation" link on your profile. (This is way more valuable than those "endorsements.") Ask an employer to post a recommendation for you right onto your profile. It's one more way to impress a potential employer. Be sure to connect with groups and individuals you have worked with on internships.

Third, ask yourself the question we'll be exploring in the Launchpad class: "What do I want to do, and where do I want to be doing it?"

The answer to this will change many times, of course, but you don't need all the answers, you just need one for now. Try things out. If you want to be a photographer a a small weekly newspaper out west, (like recent graduate Shannon Broderick), then start searching on the journalism job sites on this page. And do what Shannon did, shoot your heart out for the Daily Collegian and Amherst Wire, so you have a solid portfolio of work to show an employer, AND impress a few teachers, so you get a terrific set of recommendations from faculty members when an editor calls.  All these steps are doable right now.

Fourth, learn about the employment landscape you want to work in. Read industry websites and trade publications, like the sites on the right hand column of this page. Follow sites like MEO Jobs  and Mediabistro on Twitter. Find the companies doing what you want to be doing, and follow them on social media. If you want to work in magazines, find the companies that publish magazines and learn everything you can about them. HINT: these would include Meredith, Hearst, Conde Nast, Rodale. Do some job searches to see the titles and what the work entails. Figure out what skills are needed. And work on getting them while you're here on campus. (And while you're at it, set up an alert, so you'll keep up with changes in the industry, like the sale of Rodale to Hearst.)

Five, keep up with technology--the software, the hardware, the ethical impacts.  Every company is a technology company right now, regardless of what field you want to work in. And that means quite possibly, that the job you will have when you graduate, doesn't even exist yet. Here's a great site from the Reynolds Journalism Institute about new jobs...keep your eye on this. You might find your future here.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Want a great internship next summer? Fall deadlines coming up

One of my Bucket List items is to help get a UMass Journalism student to the New York Times or Washington Post next summer. If you think you are that person, NOW is the time to apply. Most nationally competitive internships have fall deadlines, so you need to get cracking.

Here's Poynter's list of top internships. This is a fantastic roundup that includes sites like Politico, and it gives you an idea of what's out there. If you're a first or second-year student, this will give you an idea of what to shoot for. Build that resume with student media and lower level internships, so you'll be ready.

And while we're on Poynter, here's a webinar called "Flourish, Don't Flounder, At Your First Internship or Job."

Here's another list from the Student Press Law Center.

The Washington Post Summer Internship Program: deadline: Oct. 6.

Boston Globe Internship Program:  deadline: Oct. 22.

The Dow Jones News Internship Program: deadline: Nov. 1.

The New York Times is looking for interns in reporting, interactive news, video, audio, audience development, and much more. Deadline: Nov. 1. (This link looks like they haven't upped their aps yet, but they have a wide range of internships, so keep checking.)

Miami Herald Internship Program: deadline: Oct. 31.

Here's  a list of more internships. 

Want to work at a magazine? Here's info from the American Society of Magazine Editors 2018 Internship Program.

I will help you build your application package. You should have at least one or two smaller internships, and employers are also looking for campus media experience.

These programs get hundreds of applications for about a dozen slots in each shop. It will not be easy and odds are that you won't get in on the first try. Apply anyway. You'll learn a lot, and the judges will remember you next time.

Before we meet, please read the posts below and be sure that you have a solid resume prepared according to my Career Tips Handout in the right hand column of this page, as well as a Pressfolios or Wordpress site with your clips, and a solid Linkedin profile.

Clean up your social media presence and get your Twitter feed up and running and tweet some smart things. (I recently had an editor tell me she would have hired a student, but that she wished he was a better tweeter.) You can get a resume review with Julie or Lucy out in the Hub; they'll be posting their schedule in the Monday Memo.

I want to see the package that you'd be sending out, and we'll make sure it best represents you and your work.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The interns tell all...2017 edition

Each summer, UMass Journalism students fan out around the country on summer internships. I ask them to report back with a post about their experiences, what they learned, what they wish they'd known before they started, and advice to fellow students about internships and career planning. Here we go.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Got a summer internship? Here's how to register for the credits

If you are registering for summer internship credits, you must fill out an Academic Contract through Career Services, and then pay for the credits through Continuing and Professional Education.

Please take a look at the Internship Checklist in the right-hand column of this page for instructions, and take a look at this screencast , which explains how the Academic Contract and registration process works.

Your course number is JOURNAL 398, and you should put my name as your academic sponsor. Please get in touch with me to talk about the number of credits. This will depend on the number of hours total you will be working this summer.

 If you have any questions, please come by my office or email me.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Summer Internship starting line: your digital professional credentials

If you're gearing up for an internship search, you need to have your credentials ready to go. Here are my three suggestions. A few students have come in for resume work and tell me they'll get to their LinkedIn profiles later. Big mistake. (One person in my Launchpad class had a profile picture from high school yearbook. WUT? No.)  Have everything perfect and ready to go (including a professional photo) before you send out the resume.

If you're coming to speak with me about an internship, please do this work before we meet. It will speed up the process.

1. A functional resume. I recommend the functional resume, which is a little different from others, because it emphasizes your skills, and gives you a chance to sell these skills to an employer right out of the box. Sometimes you can "jump the line" because you have a particular skill that an employer is looking for. You can find a model of this resume in the Career Tips handouts on the right hand sidebar of this site. Remember that your campus media work is not an "activity," but "experience," and get it up high. Julie or Lucy offer resume feedback hours out in the Hub. Have one of them take a look and help you revise.

2. A solid LinkedIn profile. Spend some time on this. (You'll find LinkedIn advice in this blog, read through the posts!) Develop a well-written and edited summary with lots of keywords, and an emphasis on your solid skills and results.  Get a good professional photograph. Talk to profs or former employers or internship supervisors and ask to Link In with them, and ask if they'd provide a recommendation for you on your LinkedIn profile.

3. A digital portfolio with links to your published work. Buy your domain name and put up a site. You can do this with a simple Wordpress site, or with a terrific site like Pressfolios. Be sure to put a LinkedIn badge on your page. Get the code for your profile at LinkedIn.com/profiles/public-profile-settings. Your badge size options and the code is in the lower right hand column. Embed your Twitter and/or Instagram feed.

4. PDF's of ten of your best clips, in case an employer wants them printable. These should include breaking news, enterprise stories, features---a range of your best work--stored on Dropbox so you can access them anywhere and e-mail or print them as needed. This gives you the flexibility for employers who want hard copy.

5. Business cards. You can get these at Staples, or online at Vistaprint.com. On this card, you should have the LinkedIn address and your portfolio address.

Here's a post from Romenesko about how graduating journalism students should present their clips to potential employers. 

Do some hunting around on the sites on the right hand column of this site. Sign up online via my calendar at the top of the right hand column on this page. See you soon!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Keeping tabs on Trump

Preparing to teach Entrepreneurial Journalism this semester, I was looking around for examples of media organizations developing new products to address an informational need. And here's a big one: covering President Donald J.  Trump--his words, his actions, his impact. There's almost too much to keep up with, but there's so much at stake.

Here are some ways media entrepreneurs and traditional media outlets are approaching the task. If you have an addition, send it along!

The Trump Tracker, by The Boston Globe.

Can He Do That?, a podcast produced by The Washington Post.

The Trump Twitter Archive. Searchable by topics and words!

The TrumpCast, by Slate. Podcast about the president.

Track Trump was developed by some tech folks and academics, including Sam Altman, the president of Y Combinator, which funds tech startups.

The Trump-O-Meter is an outgrowth of Politifact's Truth-O-Meter.

TrumpTracker at Github measures promises and progress.

Politico's 45 blog offers a daily roundup.

The Trump Promise Tracker by ABC News, keeps tabs on campaign promises.

The Trump Archive has video clips of television shows, rallies and other material.

Snopes debunks a lot of topics, but is also in the game when it comes to covering Trump.

Friday, July 29, 2016

The interns tell all

My internship "season" starts in September, when I go around to Intro and Journalism 300 classes and do my schpiel about internships, and start bugging students to apply for the big ones, which mostly have deadlines during the fall semester. If you know me, you know I'm going to tell you to do as many as you can, and to have a strategy that builds up to a high profile internship when you're a rising senior. This can really help you be "job-ready" come graduation time.

I advise students to think of summer as their "third semester" and build those work skills and their professional network when they're not in the classroom. Most students come back from summer internships with a new focus on what they want to do, and a new desire to learn things. That's what every prof loves.

Don't take my word for it, though. The best promoters of internships are the interns themselves, and this time of year I ask everyone to post about their experiences. Here's what students reported back last summer on their internship experiences.

This summer's crop has posted below. I hope you'll take a look at the comments section below,  and come see me in my office about getting an internship.

Take it away, interns!