Several members of NAHJ at IU worked at media-related internships across the country this summer. The following three students reflected on their experiences reporting for three major publications: The Chicago Sun-Times, the Star Tribune and the Indianapolis Business Journal.
Sophomore Stephanie Stemplewski described her summer of 2014 in one word: unbelievable. As a Broadcast Journalism major at IU, she was applying for internships at the beginning of January. Stremplewski was hoping to get a gig with ABC in Chicago or some other news outlet close to where she lives, but ended up going in the complete opposite direction: print writing.
She was offered the internship of a lifetime with the Chicago Sun-Times as their sports-reporting intern. Even though she had never written for print until this past summer, she knew it was something that she could do, and a challenge that she wanted to accomplish. Within the first week of her internship, she was asked to write a story about a tennis phenom from Chicago named Taylor Townsend. Stremplewski did some research, wrote the story, and held the article in her hands the very next day (story here). It was a feeling that she will never forget, she said.
In total, she wrote three articles for print and 12 blog posts for the Chicago Sun-Times. She had many interviews as well. Stremplewski interviewed Derek Jeter, various Chicago Bears rookies including Brock Vereen (story here) and Jordan Lynch, and last but not least, Chicago White Sox first-baseman Paul Konerko. She said it was an epic summer and it made her realize that she is on the right path toward her career.
IU sophomore Samantha Schmidt never thought she would have the chance to complete two dream internships and travel through Europe in one summer, but somehow, she did.
As an Ernie Pyle Scholar in the IU School of Journalism, Schmidt spent two months studying global media in London. She was placed in a part-time internship at Dow Jones newswires, where she had to report early-morning financial breaking news, learning all about stock movements and how to interview major CEOs. She also got to enjoy looking over the shoulders of editors for the Wall Street Journal Europe edition editors, who allowed her to contribute to social media reporting for WSJ online (one story here.)
After a few side trips to Dublin, Barcelona, and Paris, Schmidt came home to Minneapolis, Minn., where she worked as a full-time intern for the newspaper she grew up reading: the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She worked on the Pulitzer Prize-winning health team, writing stories such as a front-page article about how the Ebola conflict in West Africa was affecting the local Liberian community in Minnesota, the largest outside of Liberia. (story here :)
Her favorite story, however, was one of her very first. She found a group of low-income Latina mothers in a nearby town who decided to start their own soccer team in efforts to improve rates of diabetes and obesity. Few of them could speak English, so Schmidt was able to use her Spanish-speaking skills to interview the mothers and produce the story (here). It made Schmidt appreciate her Hispanic background, and encouraged her to continue to use her Spanish-speaking skills in her reporting.
NAHJ member Dennis Barbosa interned at the Indianapolis Business Journal this summer through the Hoosier State Press Association’s Eugene Pulliam internship program.
The Pulliam program is named after the late publisher of The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis News. The program offers college students a chance to work at daily and nondaily newspapers in Indiana while getting paid.
The IBJ is a weekly publication covering business news for central Indiana. It is the leading publication of IBJ Media.
Barbosa is the first intern to publish a front page story as far as managing editor Cory Schouten can remember. Barbosa also illustrated and shot photos and video for the IBJ’s print issue and daily web content.
After completing the internship, Barbosa transferred from Indiana University Bloomington to IU’s Indianapolis campus IUPUI to stay on as a freelance writer for the IBJ until graduation in May. Schouten said he’d like to hire Barbosa once he has graduated.
HSPA Executive Director Steve Key said Barbosa’s experience is an example of what the Pulliam program is all about — helping student journalists get their foot in the door at news publications.