Your internship awaits
Internships no longer are optional for today’s media students. In fact, most students undertake more than one during their college careers. Employers demand real-world experience, and nothing delivers like internships.
The Indiana University Media School and the College of Arts and Sciences career team work with students to develop search strategies for identifying, applying for and successfully completing internships.
But the best source of information may come from students who already have a few internships on their resumes.
Teleamazonas, Guayaquil, Ecuador
Duties: Worked as the World Cup correspondent for 24 Horas newscast; made packages for city and national newscast for the duration of the World Cup’s group stage.
Advice: Never be afraid of expanding your internship choices, sometimes those internships you really want will not work out. Never be afraid of approaching someone for advice or to pose story and content ideas.
CBS News, London
Duties: Assisted crews on shoots, ranging from filming the iconic red phone boxes to the Royal Wedding; helped correspondents pre-reporting; sat in on edits being made on deadline; transcribed interviews and raw footage to assist producers.
Advice: Treat every day as an opportunity to learn something new. Even if you don’t think you will like an assignment, it could end up being a good resume builder or easily turn into something you end up loving. Be willing to be flexible and spontaneous, dedicate yourself to your work and just be ready to learn.
Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indianapolis
Duties: Produced videos and graphics for web and social media; drafted speeches and talking points for director, Indiana governor and other officials; edited and wrote press releases and newsletter articles.
Advice: Jump right in, ask lots of questions and be open to new things. I don’t have a background in agriculture, so I had a learning curve to adjust to when I started. Over the course of the summer, I learned more about the industry than I could’ve imagined because I asked plenty of questions and jumped headfirst into field experiences and trips.
MediaCom, New York
Duties: Worked on a specific client team; worked on a deep-dive presentation that was presented to the client; developed and built-out five separate target audiences; summarized campaign and media highlights; worked on an intern project with other interns in which we created and presented a full media plan.
Advice: When searching for an internship, look anywhere and everywhere, and don’t be afraid to apply to big-name companies. Once you start the internship, show up early and stay late if you need to. Form meaningful relationships with the people you work with and don’t be afraid to ask questions – most likely, they’ve been in your exact shoes. Lastly, show interest in the work you are doing; no assignment is too trivial, and staying positive and showing you are a team-player can go a long way with your colleagues.
Sprigati, Munster, Indiana
Duties: Created, curated and managed all Instagram content; analyzed audience, content and traffic statistics using Instagram Insights; adjusted marketing strategy as needed; ensured that all content and social media engagement supports company’s values regarding tone, messaging and visibility; reached out to Instagram influencers to discuss possible collaborations or features.
Advice: Scour the job listings on LinkedIn, Google searches and job listing websites. Apply to any you’re remotely qualified for, but don’t get your hopes up too much. It’s really advantageous to have a professional network to possibly explore internship opportunities with.
Cook Medical, Bloomington
Duties: Directed, produced and edited videos; told the story of an employee whose family needed to use our product in order to have children; conducted B-roll and interviews with them.
Advice: Talk to people. It is intimidating, but it is the best way to find out about internship opportunities. Once you find an internship, talk to people. Most employees want to help you make the most of your experience take advantage of that.
Duties: Interned on the Social and Strategy team for Best Buy; monitored pacing for Best Buy ads; created a Total Market Approach for different demographics; pulled reports; helped create a new target audience for Best Buy; managed target markets and internal POVs for Best Buy.
- Networking is key.
- Do your research.
- It’s OK to make mistakes, but learn from them and move on.
- Take notes and grasp all the knowledge you can.
- Take initiative, and show them that you want to be there.
- Ask Questions.
- Always put your best foot forward, and give 110 percent in whatever task is given.
Sports Illustrated, New York
Duties: Fact-checked and reported stories for biweekly magazine; assisted with writing/researching stories for website; reported and wrote articles/features for NBA platform; covered NBA Draft and media availability as writer and social media reporter; wrote and updated free agency live blog; wrote breaking news stories for wire.
- Look everywhere, and apply everywhere. Selection of interns is extremely subjective, and even if you’re qualified, you could get passed over. Applying to as many places as possible gives you plenty of backups if your first choice doesn’t work out.
- Reach out to people. I might have ended up at Sports Illustrated if I hadn’t emailed an alumnus, but reaching out to him definitely didn’t hurt. Indiana has an incredible network of alumni, many of whom are eager to help fellow alums and students.
- Always say yes. If someone asks you if you want to work on something, do it. It helps your reputation and you learn a lot.
Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, Fort Wayne, Indiana
Duties: Recorded and edited videos for use on the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo’s social media and website; photographed and collected footage of animals, guests, and special events.
Advice: Look and apply early. If you don’t think you’re qualified, apply anyway. It never hurts to do so, and it will be a good learning experience. During an internship, bring up your ideas, ask questions and make connections with the people who work there. Talk to your supervisor, and ask if they are satisfied with what you’ve been doing so far, if they have additional things they want you to accomplish, or any other feedback. When you leave, keep in touch.
Isaac Paintsil Jr.
NAPA Balkamp, Plainfield, Indiana
Duties: Designed graphics for advertising and promotional usage; developed content for website; formulated sales pitches for new products; collaborated with various departments to strategize communication campaigns.
Advice: Network. You don’t want to just be another name in the directory or just another resume. Going to various career fairs and workshops will allow you to stand out more as an individual, as well as make you more appealing to your potential employer. Do your Research. Take your time to browse through each opportunity thoroughly, and find the one that fits your interest most. There is a wide variety to pick and choose from, so don’t be lazy and look hard.
Reading Eagle Company, Reading, Pennsylvania
Duties: Designed newsprint; made interactive graphics for the web; made graphics for print; copy edited; reported; produced videos.
Advice: Search everywhere for internships. Do not be afraid to apply because sometimes it’s just good to get your name out there. Once you get to your internship, don’t be afraid to share ideas and make the experience what you want it to be.
Turner Sports, Atlanta
Duties: Hands-on experience with NBA on TNT, NBATV, MLB on TBS, ELEAGUE, PGA.com, NBA.com and Bleacher Report Live; experienced digital platforms @NBATV and @NBAonTNT on Twitter; improved editing skills; shadowed live sporting events and shows from the control room and studio; gained invaluable experience in sport media; made connections.
Advice: Your best resource is the internet. Research areas that you would want to work for, find job postings and apply. Make the most of your internship by coming to work every single day ready to learn.
CBS Cleveland 19 News, Cleveland
Duties: wrote and edited packages; shot stand-ups for her personal resume reel; wrote web stories for reporter; assisted reporters, photographers and multimedia journalists in the field with interviews, camera shots and social media; worked on the assignment desk; researched and found several sources to interview in order to add human elements to Cleveland 19’s stories; pitched her own story ideas in daily meetings.
Advice: Figure out where you want to find an internship, and apply to all of the stations in that market. Email news directors, find connections on LinkedIn and join a club or organization for experience. IUSTV is a great opportunity to not only inform the campus on local news, but also to practice and perfect broadcast television skills before starting an internship.
Andrea Vega Yudico
Reporters Without Borders, Taipei, Taiwan
Duties: Wrote two articles a week on press freedom violations; submitted an advocacy document to the UN calling on a freedom of information violation; established a strong social media presence by creating a Facebook and LinkedIn for the bureau; researched China’s growing media influence worldwide.
Advice: If you value an organization’s mission, don’t be afraid to establish a relationship with them early on. Once you dive into your college career, it’s great to follow up with those connections you’ve made.
Everyone tells you how important networking is, but I never took it seriously until an internship came out of it! I would encourage students to network outside of career fairs, but rather use faculty and previous employers to guide you into the industry you’d like to work in one day.
Reach Records, Atlanta
Duties: Helped plan marketing strategies for social media and touring; served as a production assistant for three music videos.
Advice: Think about your dream company, regardless of job listings. Pursue them, and inquire about how you could be involved. You would be surprised at how many places would happily welcome free labor internships for a period of time. This is true even amongst some of the biggest and most prestigious companies.