Here’s some good advice for upcoming graduates: you need job experience. Of course for those of us who have “been there and done that”, we are well acquainted with the reality that experience is harder to come by than it may seem. In the middle of the “cyclical experience problem” you will find the value of this thing we call an “internship”. You may get paid next to nothing, dwell in squalor, and even spend your days doing menial (and seemingly pointless) tasks, but all of those things are worth it. Why? Because at the end of that grueling period you get two very valuable gifts: firsthand knowledge of whether or not you actually like your desired field, and the aforementioned (and much coveted) job experience. Those with internships on their resume are often considered more seriously than others in jobs they apply for the in the future and are more equipped to handle those jobs when they get them. An internship is especially valuable, some might even say invaluable, if Media is your chosen field. Why? Because there are necessary skills and job nuances in the field of media that simply cannot be taught. So, now that you are convinced that you need an internship, here are some tips to help you search for your next one!
In the world of Journalism, prestige matters. The center point of all journalistic endeavors in the west come from just a few specific locations, the main one being New York. Because of this, our suggestion is to start there. News Papers like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today can offer you unparalleled experiences, and take you all over the world. Even if your aspiration is to only to work as a small town journalist for a local paper, an experience in the big leagues could prepare you for the small town life in ways you might not expect. New York not your place? Look into the bigger cities in your state. Every city has a newspaper, and getting experience in even a regional city environment can offer you the experience you need. Our very own Atlanta Journal Constitution has a summer internship program that could be just what you are looking for.
If you are interested in getting into broadcasting, why not go big? Turner Broadcasting Systems is that company you might not have heard of that owns those channels you most definitely have heard of. TBS, HLN, TNT, TrueTV, CNN, Adult Swim, and Cartoon Network are just some of the channels that Turner owns. Taking an internship at Turner means meeting the best in the business. You will learn the latest techniques, surround yourself with mentors and business connections, and have an incredible resume. If a career in broadcasting sounds interesting to you, this is where we suggest you start.
While we are sure that not all social media internships and jobs are created equal, there are enough of them out there to convince us that its probably hard to determine what any specific one could offer above another (other than name recognition of course). Its for this reason that some have called pursuing social media as a “career” a bad vocational decision. Even though pursuing Marketing or Journalism as a major might be a better path for your education, almost every career in Media requires at least a basic knowledge of social media marketing these days. If you want to improve those social media chops, perhaps a good way to start would be to look at the beaucoup opportunities posted on Mashable. Or, pick your favorite organization and see if they have social media internship. Shouldn’t be too hard to find, after all, almost every major company has Social Media department these days.
Internships for marketing and communications, like those of social media, are a little easier to come by. Unlike Social Media, however, they are not all the same. Perhaps the best advice you could get when it comes to Marketing, is to pick a company who you think does their marketing well. If you are a fan of Nike, check out their marketing internships. If you want to go the professional route, there are always marketing firms like The Boston Consulting Group, who made the top of Vault.com’s list of best marketing internships, a less than simple feat judging by their criteria. Either way, if you can get in with a top company, you’ll know you are about to get some great experience.
When it comes to publishing, we have some (possibly) bad news. While, as a caviat, we are not in the world of publishing, what we are reading all amounts to one thing: if you want to be in publishing, you really have to move to New York. If relocating to the Big Apple is something you wanted to do anyway that’s awesome; but even if you didn’t, there may not be a way around it. All six of the major publishing firms are in New York (Random House, Penguin, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan), and those are definitely the places you may want to start searching for your publishing internship. Perhaps one day, once you have done your time, you can move away from NYC to somewhere you would rather live. In the mean time, you have to acknowledge that sometimes all that makes the difference between success and failure in your next employment search may be location, location, location.
I hope you found some helpful places to start on your internship journey! Check out the sources below for some further reading on a few of these fields!
Sources and Further Reading
- Top 10 Tips For Young Aspiring Journalists: http://onforb.es/JuVIMF
- Journalist Jenna Goudreau gives great advice for aspiring young journalists.
- What Companies Want in a Social Media Intern: http://on.mash.to/Ro3SL7
- Amy-Mae Elliot, writer for Mashable, share some wisdom on what to work on in preparation for your internship.
- How To Get An Internship in Publishing: 5 Tips: http://bit.ly/1kN1QLM
- Intern Livia Nelson shares some tips on how to land that publishing internship you are dreaming about.
Image used under the creative commons license courtesy of Carsten Beyer: http://bit.ly/1mPcY1N