Journalism Internship: How to Apply
Krystal Hicks '07
Applying for a UNH Journalism Internship
The journalism director takes applications in October for spring internships and in March for summer and fall internships. You'll hear frequent announcements in journalism classes and receive them by e-mail, plus we post notices around the English building as the application deadline approaches.
In addition to having taken the required courses, you need clips (published stories) to apply for an internship. So start publishing in the student newspaper -- or anywhere else -- as early as you can. Editors know that college is the easiest place on earth to get your work published, so "Yeah, I like to write, but I've never actually done it except for classes" is not going to cut it in an internship interview. Working your way into an editing position at a student publication is better still. If you're thinking, "I published plenty of stories last year," we advise you to dig out those clips and look them over. Chances are, they won't look so good to you this year because your standards have risen. Publish new stuff you can be proud of.
When you're deciding where you'd like to do your internship, use your journalism skills and do some reporting. Don't operate on assumptions or random rumors; get the facts. Talk with the internship director and with students who have done various internships, and see which places sound most interesting to you. We try to accommodate students in the places they want to go. We can't guarantee you your first choice, but you can't make any choice unless you have the info.
Setting Up Your Own Internship
If you want to go to a newspaper, magazine, broadcast station or Web site that UNH doesn't usually work with, you can set up your own internship. See the Placement page for some places to "shop" for internships.
How to set up your own internship: First, get as much specific information as possible from the company on what your duties will be and how many hours per week you will work. For your own peace of mind, ask to talk to previous interns who have worked there. (What the supervisor says that interns do may not be the same as what they actually end up doing.) By the middle of the semester before you want to do the internship, give the UNH internship director all the information you've collected, plus specific contact information so that she can talk with the person who will be supervising your internship. We want to make sure you will be doing real work, not busywork, and that you will receive training and support. Together, the three of you will decide how many credits should be awarded for the internship.
If you are applying for a UNH internship and also applying for other internships on your own, you must include this info on your UNH internship application. Be aware that you may face a collision of deadlines if the non-UNH internship hasn't reached a decision on your application by the time the UNH internships have to be settled. In that case, you'll have to choose.
When you intern at a place where UNH doesn't usually send interns, you're taking a chance. The internship could be absolutely terrific, and many have been – in fact, some of our continuing internships started with one UNH intern who went to that place and did so well that the editors wanted more UNH students. On your own, however, you might encounter editors who don't let you do any of the things they promised in your interview. You're welcome to take the chance if you've done your homework, and we'll help you in any way we can. We just have to warn you that we have much less control over what happens on a non-UNH internship.
Our course, English 720, is titled Journalism Internship. We can give credit under that number only for real journalistic work. Some students have received partial credit for work at magazines, broadcast stations and Web sites. A full semester of credit for internships at such organizations is rare because they rarely want interns to do full-time writing or editing. (For instance, magazine interns often do primarily research and fact-checking, and TV interns tend to spend a lot of time scanning newspapers and logging tapes.)
Any number of credits under English 720 is enough to graduate with a journalism major, so if you find a broadcast or online internship that wants you, definitely talk to the journalism director about it. Note, however, that most UNH grads who have gone on to magazine or broadcasting careers started by doing a newspaper internship, which broadcaster John Chancellor has called the world's best graduate school. It’s simple: The more reporting and writing you do, the better you get and the more clips you have to show.
The English Department also has a course numbered 620, Applied Experience, through which you can get credit for all sorts of non-journalism internships -- such as book publishing, museum work, public relations for nonprofit agencies, etc. -- that involve writing or editing. Pick up the form in the English department, find any English faculty member to be your adviser, and devise an academic component for the internship. (You get experience from working; you get academic credit for thinking about the work and doing additional reading to put it into context.) You can arrange this type of experience directly with a company or through listings maintained by the Advising and Career Center at UNH.
An English 620 internship does not qualify you to graduate as a journalism major, but it's a great chance to sample other uses for your writing and editing skills. Many journalism majors do a news internship under English 720 and some other kind of internship under English 620 as well. Definitely aim to graduate with as well-rounded a resume as you can.
If you manage to secure a journalism internship before you've taken journalism courses at UNH, you have the option of using English 620 to get credit. See above for info. This can't be the official journalism internship for your major because that course, English 720, requires a B in English 621 and English 622. But again, all experience is good experience, and English 620 allows you to get credit. You can also use 620 if you get another internship after you've already done English 720 for 16 credits (the max allowable).