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Broadcast & Digital Media Internships

An internship is one of the most important experiences you will have. It is also unlike any other JMC experience you will have. The internship should give you an opportunity to prove to yourself, to an employer and to faculty members that the education you received has prepared you to handle the responsibilities of a job in your chosen field successfully.

The JMC Coordinator of Career Services is the internship coordinator. The coordinator’s job is to make the transition from the university to the work world easier for you. That's why this web site was developed, but it is only a starting place. You will need to schedule an appointment with the Coordinator of Career Services to get answers to questions you may have. Faculty members are also helpful sources of internship information.

Remember, you cannot register for internships online. The JMC office will register you, once you have secured an appropriate internship and your online application has been approved.

Requirements

The following contains some basic information about and a list of prerequisites for Digital Media Production majors. Please read it thoroughly.

An internship is required for all JMC students.

Your Internship consists of a supervised work experience with a broadcast or electronic media firm or other type of work experience in some closely related area. A minimum of 150 clock hours is required for each credit earned. One internship credit hour is a graduation requirement for Digital Media Production majors.  As many as, six internship credit hours can count toward graduation for DMP majors.

The process of getting a job is an important part of the educational experience. Therefore, the primary responsibility for securing an internship rests with the student.

All students must have the required GPA to qualify for an internship. Students also must have taken the required coursework before beginning an internship (see prerequisite list below). If you are unsure of your GPA or other course requirements, check with your academic adviser.

To ensure you will receive credit for your internship, fill out an Internship Application Form, as soon as your internship is confirmed. After your internship is approved, the JMC office will enroll you in JMC 40092. You must be enrolled to receive credit.

You will be notified promptly if your internship application is not approved. If you have already accepted your internship, you will need to decide if you want to work the internship for no credit or resign the internship.

The Coordinator of Career Services will email your internship syllabus for the applicable semester. The syllabus outlines reporting requirements you will be required to submit periodically.  The Coordinator of Career Services also may request work samples and additional assignments.

Grades for internship credits will be “S” or “U” grades.

Prerequisites:

Electronic Media Production (Catalog year 2013 and earlier)

One of the following:

  • JMC 43032 Audio Studio Production

  • JMC 43033 Audio Field Production

  • JMC 43042 Video Studio Production

  • JMC 43043 Video Field Production

Digital Media Production (Catalog year 2014 and beyond)

  • JMC 43032 Audio Set-up and Mixing

  • JMC 43033 Location Sound Recording

  • JMC 43042 Studio Television

  • JMC 43043 Digital Cinematography


A student in the internship program will be required to complete three reports on the work experience.

At the end of the internship, the employer will be required to submit a confidential work evaluation, verifying the work, stating the nature of the work, and evaluating the quality of the work. All reports must be completed before credit can be given.

FAQ

The FAQ about the Digital Media internships should answer all of your preliminary questions about internships. If they don’t, schedule an appointment with the Coordinator of Career Services.

1. Why do I need an internship?

2. How do I get started?

3. When should I do my internship?

4. How long does my internship have to be?

5. How do I find one?

6. Do I have to intern only with local media companies?

7. OK, I’ve found a business/organization at which I’d like to do an internship. Now what?

8. Once I get the interview scheduled, how do I prepare for it?

9. What about during the interview?

10. What about after the interview?

11. Once I have the internship, what next?

12. Why are most digital media internships non-paid positions?

13. What do most media companies want in an intern?

14.  How will I be evaluated?

1. Why do I need an internship?

It’s an opportunity to work in a professional setting to enhance what you’ve already learned. In some cases, because of changing technology, you’ll learn things you haven’t been taught in any of your classes. Internships also may provide mentoring or future employment opportunities and personal references.

2. How do I get started?

First, make sure you’ve met the prerequisite course requirements for your major. Consult a college catalog or sequence graduation requirement sheet to find out. Next, contact the internship coordinator to review your options.

3. When should I do my internship?

You can do your internship anytime after you’ve completed the above prerequisites. The earliest time is usually the summer after your sophomore year. You can do the internship during the summer, fall or spring semesters.  You may want to consider doing an additional internship after you’ve completed all your classes.

Since successful internships are normally viewed as job experiences, they are good resumé builders. Many potential employers in digital media say they’d like to see at least two internships on the resumé of a recent graduate.

Some organizations use internships as three-month interview processes, and, if the organization offers you a full-time job at the end of your internship- you can start immediately instead of having to finish the classes for your degree.  Your graduation is delayed until your internship has been completed.

While one credit hour of internship is required for a DMP major, up to and including six credit hours of internship can count for graduation.

4. How long does an internship have to be?

The internship is a one-credit-hour course. It is a graduation requirement and must be a minimum of 150 hours of internship work.

5.  How do I find one?

You need to find one yourself because we want you to experience the process of looking for a job, since you’ll be looking for a full-time job fairly soon. It’s also important to know about working in media. You must be a self-starter. Don’t expect people to do things for you.

Our Coordinator of Career Services and your professors and instructors members are available to help you find and prepare for your internship. There is a database of internships on this website.

Off-campus production internships continue to be valuable, but on campus internships are now permissible and often equally valuable. Potential on-campus internship sites are TeleProductions, University Communications and Marketing, WKSU and KSU Independent Films. On-campus internships are not automatic and must be approved in advance, as with off campus internships.

Student Media experiences are not approved for internship credit.

The JMC CareerExpo, held each spring for juniors and seniors, is an excellent internship search opportunity. Recruiters attend from northeast Ohio’s leading companies and organizations. It is a rich networking and career-exploring opportunity. Every year several students are hired for their internships through contacts made at the Expo.  It is held in downtown Cleveland, and JMC provides bus transportation to and from Kent.

6.  Do I have to intern only with local media companies?

No. Recent digital media interns have found positions with programs such as Entertainment Tonight and broadcast operations such as New York One and CNN. Check the resource list for available non-local options.

7. OK, I’ve found a business/organization at which I’d like to do an internship. Now what?

Call the business/organization and ask if it takes interns. If so then ask how to apply and follow those instructions. If you reach and speak with a receptionist, ask who handles internships. Make sure you get that person’s name, title, email address and phone number, and then ask to be connected to him/her. If you get his/her voicemail, leave a message and follow up with an appropriate email confirming your voicemail.  Be polite, but repeat the call and email until you reach the intern manager.

Once you reach him/her, be ready to explain exactly what you want and ask what to do. Make sure you keep accurate records of your conversation and what future action is needed. Do you need to re-contact a place at a certain time? Do you need to send a resume’, cover letter or application by a specific time? Make certain you have written down that person’s name, title, email address and phone number.

Your goal is to get an interview. So keep working toward that. If you call and leave a message, don’t ask for a return call.  Tell him/her you’ll call back. It’s OK to leave your phone number or email address, but make it clear you’ll be calling back. Be persistent without being obnoxious. Call back every other day or even every day. Be polite and courteous.

Businesses and organizations want interns who are determined and persistent. By being determined, persistent and polite, you are likely exhibiting qualities they value. Some employers may delay responding to your initial inquiries just to learn if you are persistent and determined.

8. Once I get the interview scheduled, how do I prepare for it?

You should have a resumé and cover letter prepared.  Send them to potential employers and make sure you take copies to an interview.

Show your interest in the organization. Do your research.  Be smart about the company profile, what it is known for, who are the principal clients and typically how interns are utilized. Consult with classmates who may have interned there before.

Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer. Many times an interviewer will ask you if you have any questions, so make sure you do. But careful with “needy questions.” But do ask about primary intern duties, employer expectations, challenges and opportunities.

Dress professionally. Remember, it’s always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. Arrive at least 15 minutes early. Check out the location of the internship before you interview, so you know how long it takes to get there and where to park.  There is nothing more stressful and damaging than arriving late for an interview.

9. What about during the interview?

Try very hard to think on your feet, so you can answer the interviewer’s questions quickly. But think about your answers. If you really don’t know something, say you don’t know. But remember, the interviewer is trying to find out what you do know. Stay relaxed and conversational. If you think of a question, ask it.  If you don’t understand something, say you aren’t sure what the interviewer means.

It is possible that more than one person will interview you.  Be prepared for this.  You may be asked a question and then a follow-up question. Be prepared to elaborate on your original answer. Think about possible questions before the interview, and think about your answers to these questions. For example, if you’re asked why you want to get into the media production, you should be able to answer immediately.

You will want to ask about working hours, to learn if the internship will meet your credit requirements. But be careful with needy questions, such as pay, parking, office, schedule and the like.  Ask these questions once you have been offered the internship. Asking them before you are offered the internship can leave the wrong impression. 

10. What about after the interview?

Try to get the interviewer to give you some idea of the next step. If the interviewer doesn’t suggest a next step or doesn’t indicate whether you got the internship, ask her/him if you did or didn’t.  If there are further steps, make sure you understand clearly what they are. If a decision is to be made at a later date, ask if you can call at that time to learn if you got the internship.  Whatever the interviewer tells you, make sure you note it and put the date in your calendar.

Whether you are offered the internship or not, you should follow up immediately with a written and mailed thank-you note and email. DO BOTH. Email is too easy and casual and does not express your appreciation as fully as a written thank you.

11.  Once I have the internship, what next?

Promptly write a thank-you note and mail it to your interviewer.  Make sure you have confirmed your start and completion dates, hours, dress code and general expectation of duties.

Complete the online internship application form. You will be registered for the internship credit by the JMC office after it is approved. You will be notified via email of the approval and sent an internship syllabus that outlines your reporting requirements.   You cannot register for an internship yourself.

12.  Why are most digital media internships non-paid positions?

It’s an unfortunate present reality about media companies. Often there are more students applying for internships than there are available positions. Internships are considered a privilege, not a right. Therefore, paid digital media internships are rarities, although there are a few.

13. What do most media companies want in an intern?

The same thing all companies want. They want employees who are honest, reliable, intelligent workers who also show initiative. Take the internship seriously. Don’t promise more than you can deliver. Look upon your internship as an audition for a potential job. Work hard. You’ll get out of the internship what you put into it.

14.  How will I be evaluated?

Internships are graded S (satisfactory) or U (unsatisfactory).