Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The interns tell all, summer 2019 edition

One of the best parts of my summer is the week I read the papers written by students who have completed a summer internship. I know there's a lot of controversy about internships, particularly unpaid, and whether they're exploitive. Certainly the "unpaid" aspect is a problem for most students, and in some workplaces, students do serve as an unpaid labor source. (We try to root these employers out and don't encourage students to work there.)

What the critics miss is the invaluable array of experiences, skills and contacts that our students make during these internships.

Plus, the fun they have.

One student ended up covering the Stanley Cup playoffs, while another learned some valuable lessons about trust (or lack thereof) in the media working at a small local newspaper. Other students built their communication/social media skills working for the baseball teams in the New England Collegiate Baseball League. Their experiences drumming up excitement and covering the teams sounded straight out of  Bull Durham, a great baseball movie that still holds up.

But I digress.

Each semester, I ask interns to offer some advice for fellow students. Here they go.


Unknown said...

My internship was creative and kept me on my toes. I learned to be organized while keeping an open mind to all artistic directions. My advice overall for internships is to explore early. I did not know as a freshman that there are specific deadlines for applying for internships in spring which occur during winter, sometimes even fall- I recommend getting a jumpstart as soon as you feel interested! I used websites such as, Glassdoor,, Google, LinkedIn, (specific to editorial careers)... I recommend applying on a variety of websites and keeping a consistent profile on each site. Make sure you have the correct information even down to the details of your current address. I recommend having a proper resume and CV on your page if the site offers that. Having a good resume and CV is crucial before even applying for the internship- it's the first indicator of who you are to the recruiters. Aside from the application process, my biggest piece of advice is to enjoy the internship- learn new skills, master those skills, learn more about your work/learning style, meet people/network; overall just enjoy the process of getting into your field. I am thankful for the people I met during my internship and I am confident that they will be a part of my life for a long time. I continue to use the skills I learned there even in my everyday life. I have become more patient, more detail oriented and a better story teller.

Other tips:
-Have a resume/CV ASAP, have someone like B.J. or your advisor go over it
-Have a professional website or Pressfolio where you can showcase your work/skills
-Show off your creative skills on your social media and keep it clean of course
-Stay involved with the companies you work for on social media
-Stay active in using the skills you learn on your internship!

Sarah Jacobs said...

This summer, I covered sports for the Daily Hampshire Gazette. It was mostly Legion and little league baseball, with some softball and volleyball mixed in. I also took calls in the office of games that we didn't have reporters at so that we had scores for the paper the next day, and I input the fall schedules for all the colleges into the database. I worked on an investigative piece about the Hampshire Regional YMCA that is still in progress.
Although I had a pretty good idea that I do not want to work at a newspaper, I needed the internship requirement to graduate, and I knew it was going to be good experience no matter what.
My biggest tips for incoming freshmen:
1) It is never too early to at least start looking for an internship. You don't have to have one after your freshman year, and in fact, a lot of places won't hire you as a freshman. But start looking and see what you might be interested in in the future.
2) Don't be afraid to speak up for yourself at the job. I was the only female intern, and I found that I was being asked into the office more than fellow male interns, so I asked for more games to cover.
3) Save all of the stories you do at the internship so that you can start compiling your portfolio.

Unknown said...

I interned with the sports section at the Daily Hampshire Gazette this summer. Working for a local newspaper that covers a number of towns kept things interesting because you never knew where you would end up on anyway and you never knew what you would be covering. This was a very eye opening experience and showed me the life of a journalist at a regional paper. There were several lessons I learned, that although I had been told before, didn't actually click until I experienced the situation for myself.

Some tips I would give to anyone interested in internships would be:

1. Get going early so you can have exposure to as many different experiences as possible.
2. Don't be afraid to do something that scares you or is out of your comfort zone, because you may end up loving it.
3. No matter where you intern, make as many connections as possible. You never know who you may meet that could help you with a professional opportunity in the future.
4. Keep your work and create a portfolio to showcase yourself.
5. Get as much diverse experience as possible and take chances doing things and taking on difficult tasks that will challenge you and help you develop new skills.

Anonymous said...

This past summer I interned with the New England Collegiate Baseball League as a Media Relations intern. I found my way to this internship after developing a relationship with the league's commissioner when I interned for my hometown team, the North Adams SteepleCats, following my freshman year. I definitely believe having this relationship and understanding of how the league functioned enhanced my ability to know what was expected of me and when I could explore with the tasks I was given. Much of the work I was given was tailored to "finding my own voice" on social media in fact, which seemed a little scary at first, knowing they trusted me the league's presence online. Yet because of this, I was able to learn and explore into areas I haven't before, gaining valuable experience not only in media relations but also in graphic design through applications like Photoshop.

Here are some tips I would give someone who is interested in an internship:

1. Be open to working with others. I ended up having someone completing the same internship as me, which I was not used to at first. By communicating and setting goals, we were able to actually accomplish a lot of work together.
2. Don't be afraid to try something new and bring it to your supervisor. Most of the time they will praise you for your initiative. The worst thing they can say is no.
3. Learn from your previous mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes at some point. What's crucial is showing those around you you can learn and adapt from those mistakes and not make them again.
4. Save the work you do while ann intern. This could come in handy when trying to show a prospective employer the type of work you have done and what you excel at.
5. Make as many connections as you can. You never know where and when you might run into someone in the future and how helpful having a connection might end up being.

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