Resources/Tips: Internships

Want to succeed? Follow this advice:

1.     Join one or more of the eight journalism clubs at the School. We offer help in paying dues for national membership in eight journalism clubs we offer, if you pay your $10 dues to the local chapter. To be an official member in any club and to claim membership on your résumé you need to pay local dues and join the national group. These clubs often provide assistance in finding paid internships.

National groups include: the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television Digital News Association , the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Native American Journalists Association, the South Asian Journalists Association and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. Applications for having your national dues paid by our School are in the main journalism office (room 334), with Celina Centeno. For more information on the clubs at the School of Journalism, please go to this page and learn about even more professional organizations are listed here.

2.     Learn from others. Start with this, then move read this article by Lauren Berger, aka The Intern Queen. She knows what she’s talking about – she had 15 (yes, 15) internships during her four years of college and before she was 25 was the CEO of and noted as one of the top entrepreneurs under 25 in 2009. Listen to her. She’s written two books you should consider putting on your birthday wish list: All Work and No Pay for freshmen, sophomores and juniors, and Welcome to the Real World for seniors and recent graduates. More learning from others can be found look at the American Journalism Review archive.

3.     Know your options. The job outlook, pay scale and other information regarding jobs in journalism can be found at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics job site and this article from will help put things into perspective.

4.     Learn how to search. Want to work in sports? Check for internships with your favorite team by searching TEAM NAME, INTERNSHIPS, SUMMER 2017 (or current year). You can follow the same search format for other niche specialties or internships at specific publications.

5.     Search smartly. Make yourself an Excel spreadsheet with all the internships you want to apply for. Have columns for “internship” “requirements” “contact” and “deadline”. This way you can start gathering materials now, even if the internship deadline isn’t until January. Internships – especially the ones that pay – are competitive – writing a winning cover letter, crafting a good résumé and gathering clips and letters of recommendation cannot be done at the last minute.  

6.     Beat the deadlines. Get your internship application in at least a week before the deadline, or, for competitive, paying, national internships, no later than a week after the internship posting goes up. This means your application materials need to be to Renée for review at least two weeks before the deadline and if you need a letter of recommendation from a professor or former employer, you need to ask for that at least three weeks before the application deadline. It is all about planning backwards.

7.     Learn how to interview: This short piece on questions to ask during an internship interview. Also, this short video on questions to ask after job interviews for those of you graduating soon.

8.     Don’t make mistakes. Here is a list of 10 things you should not do on your résumé, here is a list of eight lessons learned from someone who has been in journalism and then other jobs and finally, here are 10 ways to make your journalism job application better than everyone else’s.

9.     Get what you can’t get from our School at another one at no extra cost. Consider National Student Exchange if interested in radio or a niche reporting specialty. You pay UA tuition but go somewhere else for a semester or a year. You must carefully plan for this so see the internship coordinator your freshman year to discuss options

10.  Become a great reader. Here is the canon for writers from The American Media Institute.

And finally …. seek Inspiration. Defending your choice of major can be difficult when people wrongly assume journalism is dead. Check out what these young media professionals are doing for a little inspiration. Then, connect with them on Linked In and see if their organizations will have internships.


Social media can be a huge help. Tips from UA Career Services:

  • On LinkedIn, search for companies that interest you and follow them to get updates. Search for J-School alums and alums from your undergraduate institution. If you do have connections, you can ask your contacts to help you arrange informational interviews. You may also find Groups that relate to your companies of interest.
  • LinkedIn for Journalists is extremely valuable: for the price of an hour of your time to listen to the free webinar, you'll get a year's subscription to Premium service, which allows you to search anonymously and see third-party connections. 
  • On Twitter, search for companies of interest, and follow employees of that company to get a better idea of what it's like to work there. You can also find aggregated tweets of journalists who work at particular companies by going to and selecting from companies in the left margin.
  • On Facebook, look to see whether the places you work have their own pages, and like them. Sometimes you can also find the Facebook pages of individual journalists.
  • Also, let your professors, former employers and colleagues, classmates, your mentors and Career Services know what you're looking for. Networking is essential! Numerous professional journalism organizations will further your efforts: see networking links.

Articles you should definitely check out: