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.


Ryan said...

Hi, my name is Ryan and this summer I interned at the Worcester Telegram and Gazette as a sports desk intern.

I worked at the Telegram & Gazette for 12 weeks, and covered a variety of events while I was there. My responsibilities included writing game stories and features, submitting stories on deadline, and in some cases, working in the newsroom.

I was primarily assigned to cover the Worcester Bravehearts, a summer baseball team, but also wrote about players the Worcester Railers signed to its hockey team, and some local youth softball. I also got the opportunity to go to Patriots OTA's in June and Training Camp in August--where I wrote two separate player features. I went to Fenway Park to cover the Red Sox, and I went to Bruins Development Camp and wrote another feature on a prospective player. I wasn't expecting to go to multiple professional events so the chance to learn from the best-of-the-best and get some experience in that kind of environment was incredibly valuable.

The skill I feel that I improved upon the most during my internship is writing under pressure. The majority of my assignments I covered required me to write and submit stories quickly. This was a skill I didn't have beforehand and I was worried about it going in, however the more times I worked at it, the easier it got. My confidence level is now much higher in that regard and I'm fortunate I got multiple chances to work on that.

My advice to any journalism student looking for an internship is to not be afraid to ask questions. I got my internship at the Telegram and Gazette by emailing the sports editor and asking if they had any intern spots available. Similarly, I asked to go to Bruins Camp, thinking it wasn't going to happen, but then they set me up and I was free to go. Even though you might not think it'll work out for you, it can never hurt just to ask and get some feedback.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

My name is Hayley and I was a multimedia reporter at Wicked Local and Gatehouse Media New England this summer. My internship started in June with my first assignment covering my high school’s 2017 graduation.

During my time with Wicked Local, I wrote many feature and human interest stories for towns on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I was given three to four assignments a week and would spend Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays in an office working alongside the editor in chief and several other reporters.

Taking Journalism 300 and having experience writing for the Massachusetts Daily Collegian definitely helped with my confidence going into this internship. I was very comfortable conducting interviews and working on the tight deadlines I was given.

My advice to students applying to internships is to be determined and patient! The process of applying for internships can be frustrating, as this was certainly not the only program I applied to for this summer. As long as you’re persistent, you’ll find something you are interested in. Once at an internship, make sure to really prove yourself. Many companies offer jobs to students after graduation who have previously interned with them. You want to make sure you’re setting yourself up for these kinds of opportunities.

Considering this was my first internship, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but it really confirmed for me that reporting is something I would like to make a career out of after college. I am very appreciative of this experience and I look forward to future internships and jobs in journalism.

Good luck!
-Hayley Johnson

Jack Danberg said...

Hi, my name is Jack Danberg and I interned at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette this summer. At the T&G, I worked at the local news desk. This was a great desk to work at because it quickened and advanced my reporting skills. Additionally, it was a great location for me to listen in on what other reporters and editors were talking about and working on.

Before taking this internship, the only prior journalism class I had taken was J300 with Prof. Foudy. The course curriculum and Prof. Foudy’s instruction of it very much prepared me for the assignments I worked on at the T&G. While at the T&G I learned more about the internal dynamics and chain of command in the newsroom, which is really important and not something that can be easily understood by just reading about it in a textbook.

After having such a great learning experience, I plan broadening my professional experiences and interests by focusing on the other disciplines I am interested in such as education and English. For students interested in applying for internships, whether it be at the T&G or not, my advice for them is to aim high and go for it. You really won’t know if you like the working in a newsroom or any work environment until you jump right in. The professional experience I gained from the T&G was extremely helpful as I go forward in determining a career. I really encourage all students to seek out the experience of working in a specific professional environment.

Be Bold. Good Luck!


Anonymous said...

HEY! My name is Danielle Roma and I interned at North South Productions this summer in New York City to serve on the Development team for one of America’s largest independent television producers. With credits including History Channel, TLC, Discovery Channel, TruTV, A&E, Food Network, Sundance, Speed and Travel Channel, I conducted an immense amount of research on potential series/episodes as well as prospective hosts for the new series/episodes. On a biweekly basis I participated in meetings where I would pitch my ideas to people in my field of development. Impractical Jokers and Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta are fan favorite shows produced by North South and I had the opportunity to work alongside both of them. I sat in for one-on-one video editing lessons and was even invited on a couple of sets!

As for now, I plan on returning to UMass for my senior year, take courses relating to my field of interest, keep an eye out for potential post grad options, and enjoy the ride! I know there are endless opportunities out there and I know I will eventually find my niche.

My advice to you is to put yourself out there. I was late in the process of applying to internships, I didn’t even want to do one this summer at all, but I am beyond thankful I did for the matter of the experience and growing connections. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and always keep your options open. Don’t jump at the first opportunity you see because there are plenty out there waiting for you.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name's Morgan Hughes and I interned at WLNE/ABC6 News in Providence, R.I. this summer. I helped out with the assignment desk -- watching scanners, social media and other news outlets to find news for each broadcast -- and also assisted reporters in reporting, shooting, editing and script writing. Because this TV station is not under a strict union like NBC, I was able to pretty much get my hands into anything I wanted to try. I truly felt like a real part of the team, and some of the reporters even felt like friends to me. Bonus: I was in the right place at the right time for this internship, because they needed a weekend assignment desk editor (working solo posting web stories, managing content for shows, calling the shots on which stories to pursue), and they decided hired me over the other four interns. Throughout the summer I worked about 30 hours a week with nights and weekends.

UMass Journalism genuinely prepared me well with a high set of standards for myself as a reporter and editor, and a value for community journalism. My ideas for social media and unique stories were always well received, thanks to Amherst Wire. Our department seriously is ahead of the curve with our technology and new media innovation.

My advice to anyone looking to nail an internship is to stand out. I applied last summer to this same internship and didn't get it. This year, I applied earlier, checked in on my application, and engaged with the station on social media. Once I got here, I made myself known by asking smart questions, getting to know people, and never being afraid to let my skills and ideas be known. I think what got me hired by WLNE, besides timing, was that I always made it clear I was willing to go the extra mile.

Up next, I'm looking for an internship where I can really flex my multimedia skills and experiment with trending multimedia tools. Also, I'm hoping for a place where I can be a part of a team, not just 'the intern,' because WLNE was just great. For classes, now that I've dipped my feet in the water for television news, it's time to take some more multimedia classes like broadcast journalism and radio podcasting.

Jessica Picard said...

Hi! My name is Jessica and this summer I interned as a photojournalist at the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.

At the Gazette I was given the opportunity to go out and work on my own as a real photojournalist, taking portraits, covering events, and running out to breaking news situations. I covered fires, car crashes, a suspicious package being inspected by the bomb squad, and much more. I gained experience in photo editing, interviewing, writing concise captions, and photography in general.

I only have one semester left, and so will now be looking for jobs in the journalism field. My internship at the Telegram and Gazette solidified for me that journalism, especially photojournalism, is what I want to be doing as a career.

My advice to anyone even thinking about a career in journalism is to DO AN INTERNSHIP. There is no other way to gain that kind of experience than by just going out and doing it. Classes can teach ethics, writing, and technical skills, but nothing compares to working in a real newsroom. Especially when you need a portfolio and clips of your work to show to future employers. Once at your internship, be brave, bold, and ask questions. It can be surprising how just asking questions that you were maybe afraid to ask can open doors and lead to new opportunities.

Good luck!

-Jess Picard

Anonymous said...


My name is Dan Orencole and I interned with the Boston Cannons lacrosse team.

With the Boston Cannons, I was given the opportunity to serve as a beat writer. The primary responsibility for me was similar to that of a beat writer. I wrote game previews, recaps and also was given the freedom to write feature stories and player profiles. I also had the opportunity to run the Cannons social media accounts including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. My feature stories that ran on the site were about Will Manny and Brodie Merrill. The feature on Merrill received over 1,000 shares on various social media accounts for the team.

The internship was the last requirement for me before I receive my diploma.

My advice to anyone even thinking about a career in journalism is to be prepared to cope with failure. Before you reach success in the field, most people deal with a situation that they failed in. Another word of advice is to go with your gut instinct regarding a career decision and use resources within the journalism department at UMass Amherst. Personally, I didn't network within the journalism department as I transferred into the department and never really integrated myself with those around me. Luckily I was self-driven enough to get the internship with the Cannons and land a job with a newspaper in Connecticut covering sports just a few months following graduation.

Reach as high as possible but be willing to settle at first and also be ready to change locations. I'm not a fan of the state of Connecticut personally but that's where I got my first interview and job offer so here I am.

Last piece of advice, write with emotion.

Best of luck to all and go UMass!

-Dan Orencole

John said...

Hi, my name is John Bondarek and I am a graduating senior here at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Journalism Department.
Over the course of this Fall 2017 semester I had the pleasure of being a news intern at IHeart Media Cape Cod which owns WXTK-WCOD-WEEI-WCIB.
During my time at spent at the station I was able to learn a vast majority of the in's and out's of the radio news industry, such as how to thoughtfully and thoroughly craft a story, collect audio, interview guests, and build up my own personal rolodex of sources.
My day could start as early as 5am and end as late as 11pm, but with that being said, I would not have changed what I did for the world.
A typical day for me would consist of writing press releases for air, learning how to use programs such as Adobe Audition, NexGen, Scott Studio’s, AP News Wire, and much more. I also had the pleasure of taking voice coaching lessons from the stations Assistant News Director. This experience helped me to even secure a spot on the WMUA campus radio news program as an evening anchor.
On days that I was not in the studio, I would rather be crafting stories remotely from here in Amherst, or I would be out gathering stories and audio from different events happening around the Cape. During this time I was able to gain a lot of knowledge about public interaction, as well as I was able to build up reliable sources for different stories.
From State Representatives, to local government leaders, and even the Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker, and Lieutenant Governor, Karyn Polito, I interviewed close to a hundred different subjects during my internship.
I would say that an internship is absolutely worth doing because they truly get your feet wet in the field that you want to get into. In addition to that more often than not, internships result in a job offer from where you interned after you get out of college. I am very grateful for the opportunity that IHeart gave me, and I plan to build upon my skills that I learned there, as I now turn to the real world.

Best of luck on all of your internships! Go UMass!

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