What are the internship requirements?
Each student majoring in journalism is required to complete a professional internship of 150 hours in the field of media prior to graduation. JOUR 499 is a three-credit course; while not in the classroom, it still must be registered and paid for. Need a checklist? JOUR499-INTERNSHIP CHECKLIST
Students find their own internships. We are developing resources for known internship programs across all media (News, Strategic and Visual Communication) locally, around the state and across the country. Look for news updates on our post, or on the Facebook page or in your email box.
Beginning with Fall 2013, every intern must prepare a professional resume, a sample cover letter, a LinkedIn Profile and a portfolio website/blog (can be the one from classes) in preparation for applying for the internship. Once these have been reviewed by internship coordinator, students can apply for internships. Once the internship is identified that internship program must be approved (complete the Internship Approval Form) and submit to internship coordinator prior to registration and before starting the internship work. RSJ-Internship-Approval-Form
The three documents (resume, cover letter, approval form) and two links (via email to LinkedIN and portfolio website) must be sent to the internship officer for approval prior to starting the internship and registering for class. Once approved, the Administrative Assistant will “open” the J499 in MyNevada so you can register and pay for credits. The internship coordinator will let you know when MyNevada section is open. Questions? Contact Alison Gaulden, internship coordinator and adjunct professor, email@example.com, 775.784.4459.
During the semester, students will attend three class sessions (check for schedule) in addition to working with a professional mentor. Students and mentors negotiate the student’s schedule to meet the required hours. We encourage companies to offer paid internships, but that is not always possible. We do expect mentors to pass the U.S. Department of Labor Intern Test.
Where can I do my internship?
Internship programs can be conducted at any company, non-profit, small business or government agency offering media skill development in news, visual or strategic communications such as print publications, broadcast formats, visual communication developers, Marketing/Ad/PR agencies or in-house departments, or online medium.
The company and tasks must be approved by the internship coordinator for the appropriate semester prior to registration. Internships can be done anywhere in the world. Many opportunities exist in the Truckee Meadows, Lake Tahoe, Carson City, Las Vegas, nearby communities, and around the country or across the globe.
Students are encouraged to use investigative skills to research and secure an internship opportunity. Work with faculty adviser, check this site for internship postings, as well as bulletin boards in the Reynolds School, or research companies you would like to work for. Check professional associations such as PRSA Sierra Nevada. Review websites such as Craig’s List or Simply Hired. Talk to alumni. Use your social media network to put word out that you’re looking. Tap into your personal network-start with your parents, their friends, older siblings, etc. Follow our Facebook page for updates and postings.
When can I do my internship?
You must complete J101, J107, J108, J207 and J208, with a cumulative 2.5GPA or higher (meaning you can get varying grades, for example a student could get less than a C in one class and As in others).
Once these core classes are complete with approved grade level, you can perform your internship during a regular semester, during the mid-winter break, or during the summer. The flexibility is up to your availability and the mentor’s needs. Internships can range from 40 hours a week for 3.5 weeks or 8-10 hours a week for 16 weeks.
Can I be paid for my internship?
Absolutely! We encourage mentors to compensate interns for work performed. Not all organizations or companies are able to provide paid internships. Negotiate salary, schedule, and compensation. Need tips on how? We have a workshop for that (see below).
Are there class meetings?
Three class sessions are planned: Tuesday, August 27; Tuesday, October 1; and Tuesday, Dec 3 all from 4-6pm. Location to be determined. Attendance is mandatory. Appointments can be arranged with students proving schedule conflict. Class sessions will cover assessment skills, social media reporting expectations, overcoming workplace challenges, evaluation, portfolio revision and more.
In addition, students who need to prepare or brush up their resumes, write cover letters, start or update their online profiles and interested in interview tips and techniques will have optional FREE workshops to improve application and hiring outcomes. Students can set an appointment for one-on-one coaching, firstname.lastname@example.org, 775.784.4459.
How will I be graded?
Your final grade will be “Satisfactory (equivalent to “C” or better) or “Unsatisfactory” and will be determined by the internship coordinator. Mentor feedback and the quality of materials turned in will be included in consideration.
All writing for the mentor, communication with the internship coordinator and social media discussion/reporting must be free of misspellings, grammatical errors or other unclear or ineffective writing; grades will be lowered if such errors occur. An otherwise “Satisfactory” internship could be reduced to an “Unsatisfactory” grade if such writing errors occur. The essence of journalism is to get it first, but first get it right. We have three rules that we live by every moment that we practice our profession. They are: Accuracy. Accuracy. Accuracy. In research. In presentation.
Interns should treat this work experience with the highest professional approach. A workplace is different from the campus. Students should wear appropriate business attire. Good grooming and good manners are important attributes of the successful professional.
Promptness, reliability and honesty are extremely important. Interns should report for work at the assigned times, meet deadlines for the mentor and the internship coordinator and communicate with both frequently to become successful practicing media professionals.
You will find that your classroom work has not taught you everything you need to know to work in a specific workplace. If you don’t know something or don’t quite understand how to carry out an assignment, ask!
The internship experience can be of great value to you. Many interns find permanent jobs with the organizations where they are interning. Often, mentors or other members of those organizations can provide valuable references for employment elsewhere. The internship experience usually involves a lot of work, but it also can be fun. Good luck!
Work Examples Presentation for Interns
Prospective internship mentors and employers often want to review a student’s work. Ideally you’ve created an online portfolio to showcase writing, visual, digital, news investigation or strategic communications skills.
Examples of work include written (articles, blogs, media releases), digital (social media, audio, video, photographic) and relevant course work (strategic plan, game, presentation, etc). Students should maintain best quality examples on personal websites (such as Reynolds School blog), flash drives and where possible hard copy form.