Five Lessons I Learned by Applying for a Summer Internship

Journalism summer internships aren’t very difficult to come by if you don’t know what you’re looking for.  But if you’re lucky like me and have mentors left and right, it’s a really stressful process. Everyone wants to help but ends up pointing you in a different direction. This past Thursday I applied for an internship I had stumbled upon a week before.  Here are five things I thought every journalism student should consider if they ever find themselves in my shoes.

Start early. The whole “I do my best work under pressure” b.s. is just that. Bullshit. If you really want an internship, start looking in the summer and continue to do so during the semester. Make an Excel spreadsheet (lots of internships want people who can use it!) to keep track of what you’ve already applied for and what you’ll get in return (school credit or cash?).  Have your resume and clips ready. If you don’t know how to write a cover letter (like me), ask for help. If you don’t have clips, write good stuff and get it published. Pick up the phone and call the internship coordinators or the human resources departments if the information isn’t already online.  Sometimes they’ll hang up on you, sometimes they’ll be rude but if you want to be a journalist, you’re going to have to get used to it.

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