Internships

Class experiences are one part of your career path. 


A School of Journalism internship or practicum brings together classroom training with field observation and supervision to prepare you for your first job.

 

What’s the difference between an internship and a practicum?

Usually, an internship takes place at a media firm or non-profit organization that is not affiliated with MTSU. This could be a television station, newspaper, PR or advertising agency, or non-profit, like the Red Cross or American Heart Association.

A practicum takes place through an MTSU affiliated placement. This might include WMOT-FM, Sidelines, MTSU Marketing and Communications, MTSU Sports or another campus office or organization.

Internships and Practicums are three-way partnerships involving students, the firm/organization and the School of Journalism.  Students learn new skills while applying classroom concepts. Interns receive academic credit for working a specific number of hours in the firm or organization. 

Most of the time, a practicum takes place during the fall or spring semester.  Internships can be completed anytime. Consider enrolling in a summer internship, ideally between your junior and senior year, to get off campus for a career-boosting experience.  You‘ll immerse yourself in the experience and return to campus with an understanding of what you’ll want to accomplish in your senior year.

Course Descriptions

JOUR 3580 - MC Practicum 1 to 3 credit hours.  Prerequisites: Junior standing; permission of instructor. Practical experience in an on-campus mass communication setting. Note: Total credit for practicum and internship courses cannot exceed 3 credits. Pass/Fail.

JOUR 4000 - MC Internship 1 to 3 credit hours. Prerequisites: Upper-division standing; permission of the internship coordinator. Advanced students gain practical experience in a professional setting. Note: Total credit for internship and practicum courses cannot exceed 3 credits. Pass/Fail.

Why is only one credit required?

We care more about having you complete the learning experience of an internship than paying tuition and gaining academic hours.  Each one hour unit gives you the flexibility of completing practicum or internship experiences at several places.

Please complete and submit the application well IN ADVANCE of your expected start date or the start of the academic term. Supervisors at the internship firm/organization must also send job descriptions.

We do NOT offer credit after-the-fact. If you complete an internship but are not enrolled to receive credit for the semester you have completed a helpful experience but we are unable to award credit.

All School of Journalism students wanting to complete a practicum or internship should have:

  • Junior standing (60+ hours of completed coursework)
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Appropriate major coursework completed prior to the semester of the internship to help you maximize the experience.

After we grant permission for you to enroll for internship or practicum credit, you must remember to add the class to your schedule.  

Ideally, your internship experience should take place somewhere that you have not previously worked. 

  • You want the internship to be a new learning experience.
  • Your resume is stronger with several different experiences.
  • Part of the learning experience should be about creating relationships with new people, processes, and ideas.
  • There is no way to guarantee that the internship would vary greatly from tasks you have already completed. 

Download the Internship/Practicum Application.

As you complete your internship, think about how you’ll present the experience on your resume.  Track the number of assignments you complete and know details and names for processes, equipment or experiences you’ve participated in during the experience. 

An entry on your resume might look like this:

Reporter Intern, WXXX – TV, Newschannel 11, Anytown, TN, May – August, 2018.

  • Conducted, wrote and edited 6 news packages, featuring video and audio recorded in the field with natural sound to enhance storytelling.
  • Received supervisor review of packages with 2 being selected to air on weekend newscasts.
  • Wrote 15 VO’s & 11 VOSOT’s using EMPS Software
  • Operated teleprompter all weekend Action News at 6 newscasts
  • Pitched creative enterprise series during news meetings 

Or

Writer, Social Media Intern and Staff Assistant, XYZ Public Relations and Media, Anytown, TN, May – August, 2018.

  • Competitively-selected intern at Top 10 PR firm in Anytown.
  • Worked with agency mentor to produce 30+ social media content items for three clients: retail firm, agrichemical company and non-profit agency.
  • Used Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to deliver organizational messages.
  • Drafted 9 press releases and performed office duties. 

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