Why internships are important
August 6, 2021
Internships have become increasingly important and sought after in the last decade or so. At universities, most majors require them to graduate. They offer hands-on experience in their field of study. Additionally, many students are able to jumpstart a career once they graduate because of contacts or work they did as an intern.
As a journalism major at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, I am required to complete either an internship or a journalism practicum class. Most students I know picked the internship option, but some students choose to do both.
I have always learned better hands-on, so I chose to do an internship. First I did an internship at UMD’s student publication, “The Bark,” as a freshman. (Heading into my senior year, I still work there.) That covered my requirement for graduation but I wanted more experience in the journalism field in a real newsroom. I knew I needed this to grow and to gain experience in journalism.
I first learned about the Pine Knot News in one of the journalism classes at UMD when editor Jana Peterson zoomed with our class. I was inspired by the Pine Knot and its independence. So I pursued a summer internship and got it.
Photojournalism and social media have been my specialties in the past and this internship brought me back to the core of journalism, reporting and writing. While photography is one of my biggest passions, writing skills are important to hone.
Not only has this internship improved my writing, it has also improved my reporting skills. I used to be the type of person who was scared to call places. Now I have no problem reaching out to people on a whim for a story. I have no problem popping into a place unannounced for a story. I have no problem being assertive when it comes to getting my sources, because that’s what journalism is. You can’t be scared or timid, you have to believe in yourself and be confident to get the information you need.
I have become a more confident writer, reporter, and person overall.
Internships are important for student journalists because they need to learn what journalism is like outside of school. No class can teach you what I have learned at the Pine Knot News. Only a newsroom can give you the confidence you need to succeed as a journalist after college.
Madison Hunter is a summer intern at the Pine Knot. She’s taking a break next week to go to Alaska but look for more from her before school starts again this fall.