It is a very exciting time to be a journalist. But to be successful during such a transformative time, you need a really good plan. You can’t rely on something happening when you walk across the stage with your diploma. You have to be the agent of your own success. So think about these questions: What are your professional goals? How will you get there? We can offer you two pieces of advice will take you very far on this path.
Make sure to get two internships under your belt by the time you graduate from the program. You can get credit for internships through two avenues. The first is JOURnalism 409: Directed Study in Journalism credit. You can receive up to three credit units, but these credits will not go toward your major requirements. There is no prerequisite for this class. The internship must involve some journalism, such as writing, producing multimedia, managing social media, making photos, or fact checking. Getting coffee for the boss does not count. We want this experience to be meaningful and purposeful, an experience that brings you closer to your career goal.
The second avenue for internship credit is JOURnalism 617: Journalism Internship. This internship should be a notch or two above what you did in JOURnalism 409. To enroll in this three-unit course, you must have completed one semester of JOURnalism 609: Publication Lab, with a C or better. Yumi Wilson is the one who usually advises this class. She is a great resource for finding an internship that fits your goals.
Having a mentor or coach in the same profession is essential when learning how to navigate the ins and outs of getting your work out there. We have a volunteer mentoring program we encourage you to participate in. We have a great resource of names and contacts we can use to find the perfect match for you. Jim Toland, one of our lecturers, coordinates our mentoring program. When he sends out a message to all journalism majors, be sure to respond. He is here to help.