Tips for internships in uncertain times.
Gloria Freeland, internship coordinator for the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, has spoken with a number of students who are concerned about completing their required internships when so many business and organizations are shutting down and laying off employees amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Gloria has written the following letter with advice for anyone looking for opportunities to gain industry experience and add to their portfolio of work.
April 6, 2020
I hope you’re all staying healthy and that you’re feeling a bit more settled in what we’re all calling “the new normal.”
Many of you have questions regarding summer and fall internships. Some of you were in the middle of interviews, which were subsequently canceled, and some of you are just now beginning your search. I understand your anxiety and even your sense of helplessness in this new COVID-19 situation. None of us knows when this will be over, but we need to “keep on keeping on!”
I appreciate the resilience of the human spirit. It is so heartwarming to see people coming together to find solutions to problems we never imagined we would have
In that spirit, I would like to give you a few tips as you go about searching for internships:
Tip #1 - Rise to meet the challenge.
Life isn’t the same as it was, but we need to adapt in order to survive and thrive.
Tip #2 - Be resourceful.
Reach out to your local newspapers, broadcast stations, chambers of commerce, strategic communications organizations, non-profits, local businesses, departments on the K-State campus, and others to see if they need help creating or updating websites, crafting social media posts, writing news and feature stories, taking photographs and videos, doing podcasts, helping with crisis management, etc. Many organizations/businesses have employees working from home, so many interns also will have to work remotely.
Tip #3 - Get creative.
Think in terms of your minor or outside concentration: graphic design, history, marketing, leadership studies, international relations. Are there opportunities related to that?
Tip #4 - Become a resource.
Tell your potential supervisors/mentors what YOU can do for them. Organizations are struggling with having to lay off employees, trying to get small business loans, maintaining their own health and that of their families, and many other issues, so anything you can offer to do for them — potentially at no cost —will be met with gratitude.
Also, Ashley Motley of K-State’s Career Center is available for consultation. Feel free to reach out to her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or make an appointment with her through Handshake. She says that employers are still adding opportunities and they are updated daily on Handshake. The login can be found on the Career Center's website.
Take care of yourselves, and please remember to reach out to your JMC family if you need help with anything.
Gloria Freeland, Internship Coordinator