Q: I'm a second-semester freshman who was admitted to a school of journalism directly, with most of my prerequisites filled by high school AP tests and dual enrollment classes. Because of these things, it's likely that I will be able to graduate with a dual degree (in Political Science) in three years, and I have been encouraged to do so or to take advantage of study abroad programs by advisers. But I'm a journalism student - and that's what I came to Missouri to pursue.
However, I know that without clips and internship experience, I'll have a difficult time finding employment once I get that degree. I'm on staff at the college paper, and have lots of clips -- some that recruiters from large, respected papers have told me are as strong as older applicants. I wrote for a large, professional paper in high school, by opportunities afforded to me in a teen section.
However, my internship search keeps coming back to the fact that I'm young, and I'm still without any form of internship, after applying to a variety of papers for Summer 2007.
How do I convince recruiters that I am serious, though perhaps young, and let them know that my relative age isn't a discredit?
A: You sound serious to me, but you may well be facing an age problem.
You're at a great journalism school and it would not surprise me if some of the other students who have a year or more on you are having more success.
Keep plugging. Stay confident. Recruiters remember people who show promise early. Get as many interviews as you can. And keep going after internships.
You are dead right that trying to start a journalism career without any experience in a mainstream, conventional daily face a much harder time breaking in.
A semester overseas sounds like a great idea. And graduating a full year early will help the budget, but if you have to sacrifice an internship in order to do it, it will cost you in other ways.