Cat Salerno '08
The English/Journalism major at UNH requires that you do an internship, usually as a full-time reporter or editor at a daily newspaper, for one semester or a summer. (Magazine, online, and broadcast internships are also possible; keep reading.) The experience will improve your writing and help you decide whether you want to be a journalist. You'll also come away with lots of clips, published stories, which are essential in looking for a job. And you'll have a blast. Most students find the internship the most valuable part of the journalism program.
An internship is exciting, rewarding, and fun. But it’s not easy. Full-time journalism work is demanding and never runs only from 9 to 5. On the other hand, it's interesting and important work that changes every day, which is more than you can say for most jobs. Some of the places where we send interns are not within commuting distance of campus. You'll be expected to have a car, to move to the news organization’s community and find a place to live, and to be available for work whenever the organization needs you. Part of the experience is becoming an independent professional, and it's hard to do that if you're returning each night to your parents or your partying roommates.
To do an internship, you don't have to take a blood oath to stay in journalism forever. Nobody knows what they want to do with the rest of their lives, so it's unrealistic to think you'll know that as a college student. There are a million paths you can follow with the experience and clips you’ll get from an internship. (Check out the Alumni Roster for an idea where our graduates go.) But if you're not at least seriously considering a career involving writing or editing, you may have trouble finding the motivation to do the work an internship requires.