The Internship Experience Blog
The Borgen Project
Last fall, I accepted a position with The Borgen Project as a political affairs intern. The Borgen Project is a nonprofit that advocates for the United States to get more involved with foreign policy and world hunger. My internship was three months long, and I had the pleasure to work from October to December, which made it all the more fun working right in the middle of election season.
I decided I wanted to pursue political communications toward the end of my junior year and realized I had no political experience. After applying for this position, I interviewed with two managers, and we instantly clicked over our passion for volunteering. A few weeks later, I was hired and started my training.
My internship was entirely remote, and I worked about 12 hours each week. I was given a weekly checklist of tasks and had biweekly progress meetings with my regional boss. One of the things I was responsible for included calling my local congressmen and representatives to inform them about global poverty legislation they should be supporting. I also would keep track of where legislation was in Congress that deals with global poverty. I was able to give some virtual presentations in a few classes and discussed why the United States is key in ending global poverty.
Since we were in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were many things I was not able to do. Usually, political affairs interns get to attend weekly lobbying sessions and with their local state representatives and discuss global poverty legislation with them.
This internship has helped prepare me for grad school, where I will be pursuing my master’s degree in political science. This experience has really opened my eyes that my passion is to work with public policy and advocate for life-changing legislation.
Phog.net of 247Sports
This fall, I had the opportunity to work as an intern for Phog.net of 247Sports — covering KU football and basketball. I began writing for the site in July and have continued my work throughout winter break.
Throughout my time at Phog.net, I have had the pleasure of interviewing incoming recruits, former KU athletes and current players and coaches on the team. I produced one-on-one interview stories with Russell Robinson, Tyrel Reed and Marcus Henry.
On the breaking news side, I wrote stories on the death of former KU football player Isi Holani, Pooka Williams’ departure to the NFL, multiple KU football recruits commitments, and the hiring of KU’s new offensive line coach Lee Grimes.
Though the job has centered around writing, I have gained experience speaking on the radio. Over the past few months, I have completed segments on the Phog.net podcast, Waving the Wheat on 610 Sports Radio, and Rock Chalk Sports Talk on KLWN. In each of the segments, I was asked to break down upcoming games, discuss news from previous press conferences and predictions.
In the midst of a global pandemic, I have not gotten the chance to cover as many games in person, but the challenges have made me a better reporter. You learn to rely on technology and be active in Zoom press conferences. Since you don’t get the face-to-face interactions with coaches and players, it’s your job to make yourself noticeable.
The J-School and University Daily Kansan prepared me to succeed at Phog.net with the knowledge they passed on during my early years of college. If I didn’t gain experience covering sporting events with the UDK, I wouldn’t have ever received the opportunity to write at Phog.net. If it wasn’t for the J-School and its teachers, I wouldn’t have found the UDK, either.
WarnerMedia & Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
This past summer, I had an amazing opportunity to serve as a full-time, paid intern for WarnerMedia, along with an internship for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Both of these positions were intended to be in Los Angeles but switched to virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic. Even with the pivot, I couldn't have asked for a more rewarding experience. I am extremely grateful for the hands-on experience in the entertainment industry and for the number of contacts I made over a few short months.
I worked for WarnerMedia Entertainment, which includes HBO, HBO Max, TBS, TNT and TruTV. As a Rotational Intern, I had the opportunity to work with 12 different departments: Production, Development, Features, Casting, Unscripted, Kids & Family, Comedy, Drama, International Development, Public Relations, Events and Post-Production. Each department assigned us unique tasks and scheduled one-on-one meetings for us to talk with executives in the company. My internship coincided with the launch of HBO Max, so I had the chance to experience the excitement and planning that goes into creating a new streaming service.
I was also selected as one of 74 interns to participate in a film industry internship enhancement program through the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Academy Gold Talent Development and Inclusion Program. This internship was an eight-week summer educational program that offered panels, workshops and networking opportunities with Academy members. Each week we had two to three virtual panels with notable industry professionals such as Tiffany Haddish and Sterling K. Brown!
We were placed in small cohorts of five people and over the summer we worked together to create and pitch a television series concept to a panel of industry executives towards receiving a mock $25,000 grant. After completing the summer program, we were paired with a member of the Academy to serve as our mentor for the year. My mentor is a film/TV director and writer who has been very gracious with his time and is teaching me so much!
My education from the KU J-School helped me thrive in each of my internships, and my supervisors were impressed by my hands-on experience. From on-set experience in Media Crossroads with Cal Butcher to creative skills using Adobe programs from Heather Lawrenz, I believe the J-School helped set me up for success.
I’ve been very impressed with everyone I’ve worked with in the entertainment industry and their willingness to help me grow in the business. In fact, through new connections, I landed an internship with a production company beginning in January. None of these incredible opportunities would be possible without my J-School family. I am excited for the future after I graduate in May 2021.
National Children's Cancer Society
This past semester, I had the amazing opportunity to work with the National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS) in St. Louis as a communications major. The NCCS is a nonprofit organization that provides emotional, financial and educational support to children with cancer and their families. I initially connected with the vice president of marketing, Lori Millner, in March. Right away, I knew the organization and the people at the NCCS were very special. I planned to work a part-time internship with Lori when COVID spiked.
As most know, the spring of 2020 was a very difficult time. I started losing hope that I would be able to work for the NCCS. Lori emailed me at the end of May explaining that as much she wanted to continue the internship, she did not know if it was possible remotely. During our interview, I truly connected with Lori and the organization’s mission. I wanted to work for her and the organization and felt that I could still help. I took a shot in the dark and sent Lori some ideas of tasks and responsibilities I felt I could accomplish remotely for the NCCS. Thankfully, she emailed back right away and created a remote internship position based on the ideas I shared.
My primary responsibilities included writing content for the organization’s website, managing its Instagram account and generating ideas for new content. On its website, the NCCS has stories called "survivor stories." These are about a child’s journey with cancer and how the organization was there to help. Additionally, every month, I created a content calendar of ideas for possible posts that I sent to Lori. From here, she revised and solidified these ideas, where I then created and scheduled posts for the NCCS Instagram.
It has always been my dream to create messages that truly touch and help the lives of people in need. Fortunately, I was able to do exactly that working for the NCCS. Aside from all the skills I have acquired from this experience, one of the most important things I have learned is to never let extenuating circumstances stop you when you know you can accomplish something. It never hurts to reach out and ask what you could do, despite the difficulties that may exist. You never know who might take a chance on what you have to offer.
CBS Los Angeles
So far at my internship at CBS Los Angeles, I have had a lot of hands on experience. One of my favorite things that I have been able to do was go to the Los Angeles Rams media day. At the Los Angeles Rams media day, I was in charge of taking photos of the players for the CBS Los Angeles social media account, check the players in when they entered our room, and had the opportunity to talk to the Los Angeles Rams publicity team and get further insight about what it means to have a career in publicity. This was a great learning experience for me because after going to media day, I came to the conclusion that this is something I could see myself doing as a career.
Additionally, I went on a shoot at Knott’s Berry Farm. One of my supervisors, Erica Olsen (a KU alumni), wears many hats in the CBS family. One of her jobs is to be on camera and create custom content for CBS Los Angeles' sponsors. At Knott’s Berry Farm, I took photos of Erica for social media and assisted the crew to make sure everything was intact. This was a great learning experience for me because prior to this shoot, I didn’t realize how much time and how many takes goes into creating a 30 second advertisement.
Also, I had the privilege to go to an ad agency in the greater Los Angeles area. CBS Los Angeles presented the Fall 2019 new shows to see if the ad agency has clients that would like to advertise during these programs. It was really fascinating to watch all that goes into getting companies to advertise during television shows. This ad agency in particular had a wide variety of clients, including McDonald’s.
Later this month, I am going to be a script supervisor on the set of a social media campaign with an HGTV star. I will be going to Pershing Square in Downtown Los Angeles to supervise and help with production as they film an event down there, and I will be creating a program calendar.
This internship is providing me with a lot of opportunities to experience all the aspects of the behind the scenes of advertising in television.
Social Media Intern, Sugarmamma TV
My name is Lucie, and this will be my third year in the J-School. This summer, I did an internship in Sydney, Australia, working with Sugarmamma TV, which is the media component of a company called SASS Financial. Canna Campbell is the face of the company, and I spent my time working with her different forms of social media and her YouTube Channel. This was my first time getting to see the more creative side of journalism. It was definitely out of my comfort zone at first, but I have learned so much in my time here. Canna's No. 1 software is Adobe Premiere Pro, which she and her interns use to edit everything that goes on her channel. I still had a ways to go before being an expert, but I was lucky to already have exposure to Premiere Pro from my journalism classes — this helped me get a head start when I first got here. Working in a smaller office was also a change of pace from my previous newsroom internship exposure, and I had to adapt to that as well. It has been so interesting to see how Canna reaches her audience and how much goes into creating the content she's able to produce so frequently.
Kansas City Royals
This year I have had the incredible opportunity to intern for the Kansas City Royals. I work in the Sponsorship Department and help brands align their marketing strategies with the Royals and Major League Baseball.
I’ve always dreamed of working in baseball, and I never imagined this dream would come true at age 22. Working in sports has taught me a lot of things, most importantly that no day is the same. Each day brings something different whether that is working on presentations for a prospective partner, researching other MLB teams, sorting baseball cards, planning events with Royals alumni, or taking photos.
A typical game day consists of working in the office completing ongoing projects from 9 to 5. These can include research, meetings, moving boxes of sponsored items to distribution locations, and making a photo schedule for the game. Once gates open, I will sometimes take partners down to the field for batting practice, help with any pregame ceremonies, and take photos. A majority of my day on game days consists of taking photos. These photos serve as proof of performance to partners of what their signage looks like in execution.
I was blessed to have been offered the internship for a year spanning the entire 2018 season. When I first heard about this opportunity, I wasn’t sure if I could do it since I was still in school. The J-School and KU helped me work through my schedule to make sure I finished my last nine credits while working a full-time job. I commuted from Lawrence to Kauffman Stadium for seven months. I was truly able to have the best of both worlds, working my dream job and finishing up my final semester at KU.
I never would’ve gotten this position without my connections at KU. Connect with your professors and soak up as much information as possible because they can help you in unimaginable ways. The strategic communication track opens up so many opportunities. Combine what you learn in the classroom with your passion and you’ll end up living your dream.
I have learned so much working as an intern at Barkley, an advertising agency in Kansas City. The culture and energy embodied and displayed by every single employee made it so exciting to come to work every day and learn about this incredible industry. I served as an account management intern and loved every minute of it.
Each intern had a mentor whom we worked under the whole summer. My mentor and I bonded very quickly, and she didn’t hesitate to show me the ropes of Account Management and everything that goes into it. I helped her to complete daily tasks and attended meetings for her various client accounts. I was thrilled that she trusted me to help her complete real work for her clients, and she really allowed me to have work that I could own throughout the summer.
Aside from working with my mentor, the interns were split up into two teams to complete and present two intern projects. One of them was a hypothetical product innovation that we were able to present to the client. The other project was to create a launch activation that the client will actually be implementing in October. It was a fun experience to be able to work with the other interns and witness the different skillsets everyone brought to the table.
Between the experience gained and the people I was able to work with, this internship was more than I could have ever hoped for. Barkley is big on extending gratitudes every week, so I have a gratitude for Barkley: I am so thankful for the opportunities I got to take part in and the work I got to complete for an amazing company, with amazing people. Cheers to the best summer internship!
Reporting Intern, The Wall Street Journal
Working at The Wall Street Journal in New York, I’ve been able to see firsthand the kind of rigorous reporting that made me want to be a journalist in the first place. Not only have I been able to observe greatness in action, I’ve been pushed to meet higher standards and encouraged to think more critically about my coverage.
As the reporting intern for the Greater New York desk, I’ve covered everything from upstate hiking trails and craft breweries to the governor and the New York attorney general races. For my final two weeks, I have the privilege of covering Gov. Andrew Cuomo, something I didn’t think I’d ever get the opportunity to do.
Working at a national paper that focuses heavily on business news has also challenged my reporting skills. Over the past two months, I’ve gained a much better understanding of commercial industries, and even wrote two pieces on national real estate trends. This was an area I was terrified to wade into, but the reporters and editors at the Journal were helpful and supportive every step of the way.
When I started my internship eight weeks ago, I was terrified. Being a kid from Kansas, I wasn’t sure how I’d fit into one of the world’s most powerful newsrooms. But my education at KU and especially the University Daily Kansan more than prepared me to tackle this internship. I feel incredibly confident and ready to finish out my education at KU this year.
Experiential Marketing and Sponsorship Intern, The Wall Street Journal
This summer I had the amazing experience to intern with The Wall Street Journal in New York. I work closely with The Wall Street Journal Membership program and Student Membership program. The Wall Street Journal Membership program is a premium membership that is a complimentary addition to subscribers of the paper. The membership program gives subscribers exclusive invitations to events, special offers and more.
I have had the privilege to attend and create these popular events that The Wall Street Journal hosts year round in New York City. A big part of my internship project was to create and sponsor the National Association of Hispanic Journalists event in Miami, Florida. Representing The Wall Street Journal summer internship program, I shared my experiences being an intern with college students and first-year employees who were interested in applying to The Wall Street Journal internship program or switching careers.
I am thankful to the J-School and KU Ad Club for connecting me with this internship. Thank you to The Wall Street Journal for being my family this summer and teaching me so much that I will be able to use in my future career after graduation.
I began my internship with MLB.com back on May 18, and now with just a few weeks left, I can safely say the experience has been amazing. I've not only gained a wealth of experience and knowledge from working the Royals beat, I've also been able to meet a number of people within the industry I look up to — most notably my boss, Jeffrey Flanagan, with whom I work every day.
There's not much difference between the Royals and KU when it comes to simply covering games, aside from having to arrive four hours before the game itself begins. It's what comes outside of the field of play that has separated this job from opportunities in my past. Never before have I been "on the clock" at all-times, checking my phone every 10 minutes to make sure I didn't miss a roster move or injury update. This can best me summarized by the time I was sitting at the dinner table in the press box when my boss sprung up and grabbed his phone, tipped off to the fact that Kelvin Herrera was about to be traded. In a matter of seconds, a regular night was flipped on its back.
While working under Flanny and for the Royals has been great, I've possibly gained the most from this internship when covering visiting teams. I have covered the Athletics, Indians and Red Sox now, taking control of coverage over those clubs for an entire three-day series whenever the main reporter didn't travel. This has forced me to step out of my comfort zone and interview sources unfamiliar to me, such as when I had the chance to ask World Series champion manager Terry Francona questions postgame or when I chatted one on one with A's outfielder Khris Davis about his newborn son.
In addition to covering things at The K, I did some work elsewhere as well. I spent numerous days at the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy, covering high school players from underserved communities as part of the Breakthrough Series. I was also once able to ask commissioner Rob Manfred a question after being dispatched to Omaha to cover a press conference as the lone MLB.com reporter.
Overall, I would say this summer has definitely been one of the best of my life. Sure, I've been working 40 hours a week, but when those hours are spent at the ballpark, they fly by. I'm excited to get back to KU for my final semester, though, as I'll be covering basketball, volleyball and football before graduating in December and being forced to put the skills I've gained here in Kansas City to the test.
Marketing Intern, Populous
You may not have heard of Populous before, but you’ve probably been in a building they’ve designed. Populous has designed more than 2,500 projects within the past 35 years, and I was lucky to be a marketing intern for them this summer.
Populous is an architecture firm with a focus on designing the venues that draw people together – stadia, arenas, convention centers, airports, etc. In the spring semester, my campaigns class worked with Populous’ marketing team to develop a mock campaign centered around the college football experience. I had heard of Populous before, but the campaigns class interested me in Populous even more after learning about all the places they had designed. After this very rewarding class, I was then hired as a summer marketing intern.
As a marketing intern, I was able to work with a lot of projects. In my first week, I was able to use the extensive research done by my campaigns class and turn them into infographics for internal company use. I also helped with projects for several different sports teams, including the Milwaukee Bucks and D.C. United. In addition, I helped put together presentation materials for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and press releases for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Tampa Bay Rays. In addition to writing and creating graphics for various project proposals, I was also able to conduct research on stadia and training facilities around the world and see how they’re used daily.
As a sports fan, it was very cool to simply walk around the office and see all the amazing projects that the Populous team is working on. I’ve never worked with a global company before, but the experience I’ve gained is invaluable.
Even though Populous has nearly 300 employees in the Kansas City headquarters alone, I never felt like I was "just an intern." I was able to get a hands-on experience every day, and I always felt like my opinion was valued. Both my campaigns class and this marketing internship have been a core part of my undergraduate journalism career, and I’m grateful to the J-School for providing me with these opportunities.
Client Service Intern, GlynnDevins
As a client service intern at GlynnDevins, the leading advertising agency serving the senior living category, I’ve gained an understanding of how a large yet niche agency operates.
I’ve had the opportunity to dive right into the world of client work as an Assistant Account Executive for a new client building communities in Florida, helping with the branding and website development process. While supporting many other accounts and assisting in other departments of the agency, my skill set has grown and I’ve learned about how many teams come together with their unique talents to create something impactful.
I’m thankful the J-School’s career fair connected me with this internship, and I look forward to more hands-on learning and growth at GlynnDevins this summer (full of free coffee and casual Fridays)!
Sometimes I still have to pinch myself when I walk into work every morning. Interning at CBS News in New York City has been a dream come true. Here, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the best journalism students in the country, work under top media executives, and meet some of the nation’s top news personalities.
At CBS I work on the show “48 Hours.” I work hands-on in the production of the show, which is an hourlong newsmagazine about crime, murder, cold cases and wrongful convictions. I get to assist on shoots, create social media posts, pitch and plan stories, examine court documents, and research everything about the stories that are being pursued for this season. I also helped with two special summer series, “48 Hours: NCIS” and “Whistleblower.”
The CBS News Internship Program as a whole is an absolutely phenomenal experience. The highlight of my summer was working on my intern project, in which I and four other interns had to create a three-minute feature package from start to finish. Besides being able to shoot, write, and edit the story, we also had to book all of our own interviews and find places to shoot them, log all of the video, and work together as a team. The Internship Program also had weekly seminars from CBS executives such as David Rhodes, Susan Zirinsky, Jeff Fager, which were all extremely informative and eye-opening. And if that wasn’t already enough, we were treated to free Yankees tickets (and all you can eat food for two hours) and VIP tickets to the “Stephen Colbert Show.”
Thank you to CBS News for not only giving me a great summer and amazing new friends, but for supplying me with the tools and experience to help me succeed after graduation.
Kansas City Star
About a week into my internship at the Kansas City Star, I sat at a lunch, alongside nine other interns, and listened as a Star columnist simultaneously terrified and inspired me. Speaking of her own time as an intern, she told us that while we were at the Star it was imperative that we speak up and pursue what was important to us, she also told us that as much as we may feel insignificant we deserve a seat at the table. This conversation has, in many ways, set the tone for my internship.
After four weeks at the Star, I have learned more and done more than I expected to do in the entire 10 week internship. As a breaking news intern, I have jumped into a role working on my own long term stories while lending a hand on coverage of anything that happens in KC. The result has been chaotic but fulfilling. When two Wyandotte County deputies were shot while transporting an inmate, the team at the Star trusted me enough to allow me to help with the coverage. I’ve worked directly with public information officers, spent nights listening to a scanner for breaking news, stood in the rain speaking to guests at a funeral procession, and spoken to family members of crime victims just days after losing their loved one. These skills are important for any journalist, and this internship has provided me the opportunity to learn from individuals who have spent 30 years making careers out of it. All of this and I’m not even halfway through the summer yet.
In the crisis PR industry, everything is extremely time sensitive, and Finsbury prides itself on being attentive to detail. Unlike other peer firms, Finsbury assists clients with rebuilding their brand even after they recover from the crisis they hired us for. During my first weeks here, one of the partners told me that what separates us from other firms is that “we do it right the first time.”
Overall, this summer has been an amazing experience. There have been times where I’ve been working on something and I’ll look up to see the same client being mentioned on TV – yes, we have the news on TVs in the office 24/7. More often than not, major projects are all hands on deck (including the interns) and on occasion, certain teams are huddled around computers in what we call “war rooms.” Being a global agency, I have gotten the opportunity to work on some of the world’s most prominent companies and have been involved in some extremely confidential cases.
Although I love this kind of environment, it’s definitely not for everyone. There have been days when I’ve come home physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, but I love coming home and feeling like I’ve truly helped a client. I’ve had an amazing and challenging summer, but I’m excited to lay on my couch for a week before starting school again.