Additives of an Internship

This week’s lecture topic: Photo editing. This week’s blogpost topic: Internships.

Seems unrelated, yes? Only those privy to the nitty-gritty details of my thrilling life (HAH) know that I attended an internship panel on Monday (through Mizzou Magazine Club) that put the proverbial bug in my ear.

Scoring the perfect internship can (does) seem extremely daunting. On Monday night, three former interns – three success stories – stood out to me: Justin Whaley spent the summer at GQ, Nina Bolka was placed at Vogue, and Karee Hackel served as the beauty intern at Seventeen Magazine.

GQ. Vogue. Seventeen. Shock and awe. An overwhelming feeling of “Oh my god oh my god I could never do that or be that amazing or possibly live up to these outstanding individuals.” 

Distant dream or not, their advice is worth sharing. Here are some tips and tricks from Missouri School of Journalism’s pro-interns:

  • Don’t box yourself in! Know what you’re passionate about, but never limit yourself to one area or even one medium. Maximize your options.
  • Make your cover letter compelling. Give it a hint of personality. The people reading it get thousands every day; make yours memorable.
  • Write! Develop your personal voice. Start a blog, start it early and post often. Get as many clips as possible both for the experience and to showcase your authorial/journalistic style.
  • Pick a few things you are passionate about and pursue them! No matter if they don’t relate to journalism (or, in my case, to literature), commitment and involvement always look good.
  • Send personal thank-you notes! A thank-you email within 24 hours is common practice. Handwritten thank-yous make you stand out.
  • If you do land an internship, to quote one of the panelists, “give a shit” about it. “They’ll remember you if you had a positive experience. They’ll remember you as an intern who gave a shit.”

Sounds simple enough. Maximize your options, good cover letter, write, get involved, thank-yous and giving shits. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the internship formula as relayed to me by Mizzou Magazine Club’s esteemed panelists.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

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Additives of an Internship

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