By: Tyler J Noel

On Monday, the Society for Collegiate Journalists held a panel discussion of the summer 2013 internships. The panel was ran by Rachel Rodgers, the President of SCJ and Sean Copeland, the Vice President.

The group hosted the event to let some of the students that had summer internships share their experiences and importance to the audience along with allowing the audience to ask questions and share their experiences at the end. On the panel was Brad Kupiec who had an internship with the Joliet Slammers, Seth Schroeder who interned with The Chronicle in Rock Island, Katelyn Ifft who was with WTVP in Peoria, and Shea Lazansky who worked with the Kane County Chronicle.

One of the first questions asked to the group was how they got their internship and what they did at their job. For Brad, he was in charge of running the camera, directing, doing stat graphics, audio, and replays for the streaming web show of the game. Seth had called and landed his internship with a phone interview and worked 9-5 everyday on stories and long-term stories as well. Katelyn worked on setting up a pledge drive along with a video book report working with various libraries around the area to have kids talk about their favorite books. Finally, Shea talked about how she contacted a friend and got the job on the spot. Shea was in charge of photo assignments 3 days a week along with getting feature photos in designated areas.

Each person on the panel shared just how important it is to try and get an internship. “It was able to help me get a foot in the door and a good mark on my resume” said Brad. All of them stressed how you need to be looking at several places to intern and to make sure that money isn’t the issue. For them, they said that simply having the experience is pay enough, although making a little bit of money wouldn’t hurt as well. They each shared how having experience on various EIU groups and organizations also helped for them to get their internships. “There is no way I would have gotten my internship without the experience I had from the Warbler and Den” Shea said.

After the panel was done, John Ryan, one of the people in charge of setting up internships, shared a little bit of information about doing a summer internship. He expressed how there are always internships posted on the bulletin board outside the Den and how important it is to apply early and to many of them. He made it known that the easiest place to get an internship can be found in your hometown because you know the area and it reflects well on them. He also made sure to stress that there is a grant available for students who get a summer internship.

The grant allows him to pay students a certain amount a company is willing to pay them. For example, if the company you intern at is willing to pay you $5, then the grant will match it for $5 and make sure you’re making $10 an hour. This past year over $20,000 was left over, so students that apply need to make sure they talk to the place they’re interning at along with John Ryan on getting the money for it.

After John Ryan was done speaking, a couple members of the crowd shared their experiences as well. One of the final things the panel talked about was how they left their internship. Most of them left on good terms and made sure that they would be able to return if they needed to and even established friends there. The last thing they stressed was making sure that you keep up to date with understanding how to use social media.

You can sign up for internships as soon as today. Remember to start talking to people in your home area and to make sure that you check the bulletin board outside the Den. Apply for as many as you can and even if you get something that may not be your first choice, take it.

As John Ryan said, “Internships are like jobs. They slowly build and you’ll end up in bigger and bigger roles as they do.”