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I’ve loved to write for as long as I could remember. As a child, I carried around a little pink journal, where I wrote down dozens of short stories to share with my family. This hobby carried over to my teenage years when I wrote a full 150-page novel just for fun. While other kids were dreading the writing section on the SATs, I found solace in knowing it gave me a brief moment to relax during the exam. When it came time to choose a college major, I knew I would select a career that allowed me to showcase my love for writing.
And that’s how I decided to become a journalist.
Time to land a great internship…
When I went to college, I had one major goal in mind – to land an internship at a major publication. From the first week of classes, I began going to informational meetings and seminars, both on and off campus, in pursuit of my first opportunity. Unfortunately, everyone told me the same thing. No one was going to hire a freshman with no true media experience.
Gaining experience in the beginning
This is when I decided to take matters into my own hands. I started writing weekly articles for my school’s newspaper and even ran a blog about music in my free time.
After all, I had to gain experience somewhere.
After a few short months, I was offered an internship at my school’s newspaper, where I was able to learn and grow as both a writer and editor. I loved being around other like-minded individuals where I was able to share my passion for journalism.
I later began applying for internship after internship, receiving dozens of rejection letters. However, this all changed once I found my first big opportunity while scrolling through my Twitter feed.
Finally, an opportunity!
My first internship was with a publication that I had looked up to for years, Backstage. I’m forever grateful that I saw the post on Twitter advertising their internship program, because it completely changed the rest of my college career. I was finally getting real-life experience writing articles for a magazine! During my time there, I was given so many incredible opportunities to grow as a young professional.
Incredible internship opportunities as a result
I then moved to intern at a company I practically idolized as a teenager – Seventeen. Interning there was truly a dream come true, and it was incredible to be surrounded by so many inspiring women every day.
By the time I was a senior in college, I decided to use my passion for writing to try my hand at PR. This led me to two incredible internships at Warner Music Group, where I was able to combine my passion for writing with my passion for music.
College students often ask me how I was able to land so many amazing internship opportunities during my undergraduate career. I always advise these students to follow four simple steps. Check out the actionable steps below.
Create your own internship opportunities
Create your own internship opportunities to gain experience in your field. If you like to write, start a blog! If you want to work in broadcasting, start a YouTube channel. This shows prospective employers that you’re serious about what you do.
Make a list
Make a list of companies you’d like to intern for and check their websites for job and internship listings.
Follow the companies
Follow these companies on social media. Many times, they’ll post on their social media channels when they’re looking for interns.
Find a mentor in your field
This could be a professor, an older classmate, or even a club advisor. Get coffee with someone in your field and ask them how they got started in their career.
About the Author
I am a freelance journalist and social media editor from the New York City area. I received a BA in Journalism from Montclair State University in 2017, and will graduate with a Masters in Public & Organizational Relations in May 2020. My favorite things are media, pop culture, and entertainment!