Are Internships Worth Pursuing?
So you’re a travel blogger, but you want to be a professional journalist. You want credibility and recognition.
That means building a portfolio of published articles, honing your skills to produce quality content, and developing a network of contacts with editors and publishers.
It means writing for prestigious media outlets, not just your own or others’ travel blogs.
But that can be a tough field to break into, even if you’ve been writing for a long time on your own website and have a decent number of readers (beyond your friends and family).
The fact is that there is a wealth of qualified, seasoned, professional journalists already in your competitive space.
So how do you accomplish your goal while avoiding years of being overlooked or having your submissions rejected?
As with nearly any other profession, an internship is a good way to get your foot in the door and learn from the experience and wisdom of those who’ve traveled the path before you.
While many people think of internships as unpaid slave labor, savvy go-getters realize that they can be opportunities to get a free education, taught by successful experts in their field.
Benefits of an Internship:
Most journalism internships will teach you:
- How to do proper research and fact-checking, and how to find reputable sources
- How to craft well-written articles that conform to a publication’s standards
- How to select impactful but appropriate images
- How how to communicate appropriately with editors and publishers (to get a ‘yes’!)
In addition, you’ll have an opportunity to network with publishing industry insiders, editors, and other freelance writers, and quite often — and most importantly — an opportunity to publish some of your own work with a byline.
For students, an internship can often provide course credit in your chosen degree.
For anyone, it looks good on a resume when applying at a media outlet.
So if you’re looking down your nose at an unpaid internship, but your writing career isn’t progressing as quickly as you’d like, maybe it’s time to change your POV.
Have you been, or hired, an intern? Share your experience!