Tobey Schmidt, climbing Pyramid Peak near Skagway, Alaska. Schmidt interned at The Skagway News.
Every week, Renée Schafer Horton sends out a listserv email to students with the latest internship and job opportunities. It's paying off.
The School of Journalism placed 131 students in internships or apprenticeships during the 2016-17 school year — doubling last year's total — and internship coordinator Schafer Horton hopes that number increases as she begins to teach a one-unit class this fall called Career Success, or JOUR 201A.
By the end of the five weeks, she hopes students will have a polished résumé and cover letter, an individualized internship/job hunt plan, a LinkedIn profile that will help draw recruiters — and a Plan B, in case their journalism dream job has to wait.
Schafer Horton (left) says students also will learn what to include in an online portfolio, the most efficient way to search for internships/jobs and how to succeed in an internship/job interview.
“Instead of reaching out to students when they are juniors and seniors, I can start when they are freshmen or sophomores — and then they get the idea,” Schafer Horton says.
Students had 45 internships in the fall and spring semesters and 48 in the summer.
“I have started talking to them about cold-calling small papers in their hometowns, especially in the summer, and I think that’s why our numbers went up," Schafer Horton says.
One of those students is David Del Grande, whose summer internship at NJ.com near his hometown of Paramus, New Jersey, involves writing and doing multimedia reporting for 15 area newspapers and websites. His scoop, about a local museum that unearthed wine more than two centuries old in the cellar, was picked up by The Associated Press, New York Times, CNN and others.
“Being part of the breaking news team has been challenging and exciting,” Del Grande says. “The pace is lightning-fast. Covering New Jersey's gubernatorial primary was a wonderful learning experience — including live tweeting."
Tobey Schmidt (photo above) became the second UA J-school student in a row to land an internship at The Skagway News in Alaska, beating out more than 50 applicants nationwide. In addition to reporting, the avid outdoor enthusiast has time to climb, such as Pyramid Peak near Skagway.
"It's amazing," she says. "My first story, I wrote about the native language here (Tlingit). "I get to explore almost every day, even the days I'm working. The sun comes up at 3 a.m. and doesn't fully go down until around midnight."