EL PASO — I know I must sound like an overbearing parent every time I provide this career advice to students.
Then I repeat the internship mantra and launch into my usual spiel: Don’t just get one —complete two or three before you graduate, ideally one where you live and another outside the area.
Successful internships place you at the top of the prospect list when a job recruiter reviews your resume. You learn to work in a professional setting in your career field. You gain experience solving issues and conflicts that may arise in the workplace. You produce quality work, from writing a press release, to helping produce a news package or promoting a big event.
If you are an aspiring journalism intern, you’ll have your stories professionally published, where plenty of eyeballs will see them. And often there’s an added bonus: UTEP and other schools offer class credit for completing an internship.
But don’t just pay attention to me.
Listen to what some of our 27 fall interns say about what they learned and what challenged them during their workplace internships last semester. They also provide pointers for making your internship a successful one.
In their own words:
“The newsroom, the studio and the field were my classroom; it was a class room far from traditional.” Daisy Saenz, intern, KINT (Ch. 56), El Paso.
“I was fortunate enough to be able to participate with on-air discussions and even had my own blog on the KPRR website. I helped fundraise and plan for Mike Dees’ Big Adventure; I worked at the Britney Spears concert, picked up artists from the airport, attended the Wet & Wild event, ran the stage at Generation 2000, collected over 100 dresses for Belle of the Ball, helped put on the city-wide Easter egg hunt and the list could go on…” Johnna Crowe, intern, Power 102 Radio, El Paso.
“The skills I have developed over the course of the semester dealt with news producer duties… I also got the feel of how to put together a newscast from start to finish.” Nathan Coleman, intern, KDBC (Ch. 4), El Paso.
“I think that the one thing I liked most, besides the creative freedom and the building up of my portfolio, was working the soccer, football and basketball games.” Jorge Camargo, intern, UTEP Athletics Marketing Department.
“Story after story, assignment after assignment, taught me that my editor was right: deadlines are the key to your credibility when it comes to journalism.” Heather Lee Calvillo, intern, El Paso Magazine.
“I was even asked to do voice over’s. Working the teleprompter was another assignment I had to keep up with.” Amani Awad, intern, KTSM (Ch. 9), El Paso.
“I learned how a team has to function like a finely-tuned machine. From the smallest job to the largest, everyone must do their job in order to have a successful production.” Eliah Davis, intern, UTEP Office of Special Events.
“What started with a simple interview at a coffee shop blossomed (into) a collaboration and development of a six-month documentary of The National Hispanic Institute of El Paso.” José Galván, intern, Villescas Research Media and Instruction, El Paso.
“I took on whatever responsibilities I could; restocking refrigerators, putting away equipment, polishing guitars, helping set up for recording sessions… The most rewarding experience, though, had to be the times I was allowed to sit in on recording sessions and watch the musicians and engineers work their magic.” David Gomez, intern, Sonic Ranch Recording Studios, El Paso.
“My supervisor has high standards and I’m so happy he has invited me to intern a second semester. He says he wants me to get to the point where he will give me the tape and script and ask me to come with something on my own.” Kimberly Grayson, intern, KVIA (Ch. 7), El Paso.
“These young girls sparked a certain inspiration within me that made me realize how I too can make a difference.” Rosemarie Montez, intern, Latinitas Magazine, El Paso.
“About a month and a half into my internship, it quickly became easier and the editor started to give me little opportunities to work on editing some clips of my own.” Stanley Petraitis, intern, KFOX (Ch. 14), El Paso.
“Having to juggle an internship, full time school, and a job on the weekends became difficult for me at moments, but it taught me how to manage my time. Even though I was incredibly busy, I felt I had things under control because of the time management and organization I learned.” Christina Snodgrass, intern, Amigo Air Show, El Paso
“My managers showed me how to effectively communicate with my coworkers, leaders, and guests in a sophisticated and professional manner that allowed me to stand out… This experience has not only taught me how to be an effective leader in my career but to also be successful in a demanding and competitive industry.” Crystal Montoya, intern, Walt Disney College Internship Program, Orlando, FL.
One more time: Get an internship!
For internship advice or placement, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org