By Alyssa Olvera
You’ve just settled into college and are already thinking about how best to prepare your portfolio when you apply for an internship. There are many fields you can dive into with a Journalism major and even just within the world of reporting. Whether your field is a print, online or broadcast, there is never a large enough barrier to building your portfolio. So, be sure to narrow down your selection and begin building your journalism portfolio!
Psst 🤫 are you still trying to figure out what field matches best with your portfolio and strengths? Take PathMath’s nifty career assessment and find out today!
1. Report. Report. Report.
Newsrooms are interested in seeing that you have done it all, from breaking news, editorials, sports, music and more. Journalism internships require you to cover a range of topics, so before you begin applying to internships, be sure you have a decent range of reporting under your belt.
A great way to jump-start building an awesome portfolio is to join your campus newspaper. They are a great way to gain the reporting experience that editorial teams are searching for. Try to become acquainted with other beats and how best to report on them, even if you have a specialty. Having a portfolio with variety sets you apart.
Joining your school's newspaper is a great way to report in a team, build connections with others and understand the inner workings of a reporting station. Be sure to maintain the friendships you make because you never know where your buddies might end up and could help you along the way. Connecting back with these people post-college may be the reason you land a future internship or job!
Don’t have a school newspaper? Don't fret! You don’t need a large team, or a team at all, to report on local news. If creating your portfolio independently sounds overwhelming, reach out to your campus' student groups. Does your school have an audio-video club or a photography club? Pitch your story at their next club meeting, and you might find someone who would want to work with you! And, who knows, you just might end up with a team to found your own campus newspaper.
2. What if I don’t have the equipment? Try Steve Lacy’s Bare Maximum Technique
Did you know Steve Lacy produced some of his popular hits using only his iPhone? He calls this, working with the BARE MAXIMUM.
If you’re interested in Multimedia or Broadcast Journalism, you may think you need a $2000 camera and $500 mic, but there is no need for any fancy equipment. All you need is the camera on your phone, a $1 mic and a subject to interview. And trust me, that $1 mic will do just fine. I mean look at this popular ASMR video with quality audio!
Recruiters want to see that you are making an effort to report. But, if your story really needs a professional set of equipment, turn to your university's library. School libraries typically have equipment you can rent out for your project. This is also a great way to check out equipment before making the investment.
If Steve Lacy can create a popular hit song on his iPhone, you can begin reporting with whatever you have got! You can publish your interviews on various platforms like TikTok or Instagram, or on your very own blog.
3. Connect with and ask for Advice from Fellow Journalists
It is not uncommon for every young journalist to have a professional social media account, so create your own digital portfolio and begin following journalists you look up to whether that be local, national or global.
Most journalists have some sort of contact information on their portfolio, so don’t be afraid to reach out to journalists who have done it all before you, especially those who have held the internship you’re interested in. Ask if they are free to give you some pointers and advice on how they got their start and what they did to score that internship.
And if time permits, a great way to get direct feedback is to prepare your portfolio and resume to discuss your strongest work. Ask them to point out areas they think you can improve and how to best present your work to recruiters.
4. Join Journalism Internship Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups may seem like a thing of the past, but they can actually make your future. Be sure to join groups that are specific to the type of journalism internship you're looking for. If you are interested in Audio Journalism, join a Facebook group dedicated to those opportunities. Avoid any groups without moderators; a well-maintained group makes it easy for you to find quality internships opportunities that are often under the radar.
Also -- join local journalism groups outside of your university to connect with journalists who have already begun their career. These groups are a great place to find a mentor who can help guide you throughout your journey as a fresh journalist.
Want to know what other internship opportunities match your skill set? PathMatch curates a selection of internships just for you! Create your free account today.