The Joys of a Small-Town Newspaper Internship

16 07 2014

Thanks to Scott Bellile for his post on his summer internship at a newspaper in Campbellsport! scaht


If you want to feel like a valuable team player, land an internship at a small-town newspaper. Here at The Campbellsport News, a weekly publication based in a village 16 miles southeast of Fond du Lac, I make up 50 percent of the reporting staff. It’s a great first internship because 1) it motivates me to use these 10 weeks to take some weight off the shoulders of my editor and give her some days off because she works crazy hard year-round, and 2) it drives me to produce journalism for the readers that the editor typically doesn’t have time to cover as the only reporter. (She’s handed over her “ideas folder” to me containing years’ worth of leads that she never could get around to.)
The Campbellsport News’ goal is to get me to do everything that a small-town news staffer does. Since starting on June 18, I’ve conducted plenty of interviews, written feature stories, snapped and edited photos, proofread news copy and laid out pages. And what’s fun is I don’t have set daily hours. I come when the work needs to be started and leave when it’s finished. It’s rewarding to see the result of our staff’s work every Wednesday morning when the latest issue arrives fresh off the press.
One habit I’m changing during this internship is I was always overly reliant on my digital recorder during interviews. Here in Campbellsport, I’m challenging myself to interview with only a notepad and pen. Admittedly I lose great quotes when my memory fails me mid-frantic-scribble, but otherwise my note-taking has strengthened without the audio to fall back on. I no longer spend an afternoon transcribing 90 minutes of audio, and my sources are more comfortable because they’re unrecorded.
Speaking of sources, everyone I’ve met so far has been very friendly. They’re always happy to interview with me or tell me their name after I snap a candid photo of them at an event. I’ve profiled fascinating people including the owner of a backyard obstacle course, a couple fascinating marathon runners and a tuba player whose body has taken a toll from numerous car accidents and chemical-spraying jobs. As cliché as it is to say, in journalism you really are doing something different every day, so it never feels like a “job.”
My upcoming weeks will throw some unfamiliar challenges at me, like photographing the county fair, covering school board and village board meetings and reporting on sentencing hearings. I’ll have many questions and inevitably some embarrassing moments, but I’m glad I’m learning these things now while I’m still in college. The struggles are much easier to overcome when you have a supportive staff and a town full of delightful residents.
To get your feet wet at a Wisconsin newspaper in summer 2015 as I am doing this year, check out the WNA Foundation Internship Program for more information.

Why Internships Are Easier in Summer

9 07 2014

Thanks to Justin DeJager for his blog post on internships! 

Students in the Fox Valley area said finding a summer job has been relatively easy, but finding a summer or fall internship is much more important.

“During the semester I don’t have time to work,” Fox Valley Tech student Becca Spanbauer said. “So the summer gives me enough time to make [money] and save up for the following school year.”

Depending on the type of job desired, students said they have found it easy to find work in and around the Oshkosh area.

“I find it super easy to find jobs in Oshkosh,” Spanbauer said. “Because I feel like places in this city are always hiring.”

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Internship Coordinator Barbara Benish said finding a basic job is not enough because more and more companies that hire college graduates have recently been looking for applicants who participated in multiple internships.

“It used to be you needed one internship,” Benish said. “Now the minimum is seen as two.”

For students looking to get an internship Benish said start applying for internships early – by sophomore year if possible. By getting an internship early students are able to enhance their resume and it can also lead to getting better and better internships the following years.

Students said they chose an internship over a basic summer job not only because they have extra time, but it is a requirement of the academic program they are in.

“I have to have an internship before I can graduate from the College of Business,” UWO student Carly Schoenenberger said. “I have much more time during the summer than I do during the school year, so I thought it would be a good time to get it done.”

Minimal experience or other responsibilities may hold some students back from attempting to get an internship, but Benish said there are opportunities for students who are in this position.

“Look for the nonprofits,” Benish said. “They are willing to work with you because they understand they don’t pay. Some want 20 hours a week, but some only want four or five hours a week. Start there and slowly build your skill set and each time you will get a better and better internship as the semesters follow.”

For students who want help getting a summer or fall internship Benish recommends using UWO resources, such as Career Services, that provide regular workshop hours for students to talk one-on-one with trained personnel about internships, preparing a resume and on-site interviews.

My Journey as an Intern Reporter

30 06 2014

By: Nicole Kiefert (@nicole_kiefert)

In high school I was the photographer of our school newspaper. Here at UW Oshkosh, I’m a copy editor for the Advance-Titan. So having no experience of “writing” at a newspaper before, I was amazed when the managing editor of my hometown paper called to offer me a reporting intern position for the summer.

I walked into the newsroom on my first day completely nervous and extremely unsure. The interview process was rough and rather intimidating. I wasn’t sure if this job was something I wanted yet. The whole job was intimidating. Having the responsibility of researching and interviewing and meeting deadlines kind of scared me.

After I was assigned my desk, introduced to everyone and given my first two story assignments, I had this overwhelming urge to prove myself. I wanted to show myself, my boss and the people I interviewed, who perhaps weren’t sure I could do it, that I most definitely could.

I never realized how stressful it could be when proving yourself relied so much on other people. Other people calling you back, other people giving you good quotes or stories, other people editing your pages correctly.

But I must have done something right because when I turned in my first story it ran a day early on the front page. My very first article ever written was published on the front page of a newspaper. It’s so surreal. I couldn’t stop staring at it. That’s my name and those are my words and here they are for all of Washington County to read.

Of course not all of my stories will turn out this way. But for my very first story to be almost exactly the same as I wrote it, and prominent on the first page – it was amazing.

Hopefully I can get back on the front page someday, but for now I’m just content to be published. I’m proud to have been given such a great opportunity and I can’t wait to keep seeing my name in a byline.

MacKenzie Miller’s Internship Journey in New York

17 06 2014

This is a summer blog post from Mackenzie Miller who is a Public Relations intern at Kravetz PR in New York. Follow her journey on her blog.

“Start each day with a grateful heart.”

This was my inspiration for the week as I struggled a bit in the beginning to adjust. I began to miss my family, my friends and the normalcy of my own space and home. Finding out the paid job I thought I had in the city fell through really caused the anxiety to
set in, and that’s when I had my first mental breakdown. I called my dad Tuesday night and he reminded me that things don’t always go as planned. I had to remind myself that I was in a city full of different people and opportunities, many facing the same struggle I was, and feeling sorry for myself wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I have been blessed with an amazing opportunity, with an agency that I love.

Walking into Kravetz the first day I was unaware that I would feel so at home within the first few days. I was introduced to the other fashion publicists in the office, got a tour of the beautiful space then got right to work. The first day consisted of researching fashion blogs and PR sites to post on our different social media platforms. Shortly after, I was introduced to some of our client’s brands such as Steve Madden, The Biggest Loser Resort and Lisa Blue Swim. Being given the opportunity to work on the digital side of these brands has allowed me to see a whole new side of PR. Being taught the material in school and actually creating and scheduling the content for some of the biggest names in fashion and lifestyle has already opened my eyes to what this field all entails.

‘Start Each Day With a Grateful Heart’ is the phrase I try to tell myself each morning as I’m riding the Subway into Manhattan. Back home I wouldn’t have given a second thought to going out to lunch, a shopping trip to Sephora or hitting up Starbucks literally three times in one day for my Trenta Valencia Orange Refresher (Erin Shiroda). Moving away for the summer and living on a (very, very) limited budget has allowed me to appreciate the little things in life- such as a potato for dinner.

My mom had told me before I left to take everything one day at a time- not to forget to live in the moment. At times this can be difficult, always thinking ahead to the next work day, trying to find a job, or thinking about how I’ll be able to afford next weeks groceries. But she’s right. In twelve weeks I’ll be back home in the comfort of my own home, my own bed, my own shower, a TV, my cats and all of the familiar faces I know and love.

Although my first week in the big city had its fair share of ups and downs I’m confident in my decision to leave the people and places I call home to pursue my dreams in the crazy world of PR.

Summer Internship at Pandora, Week 1

15 06 2014

Thanks to Brody Karmenzind for taking the time to write up this blog on his first week as an intern at Pandora in California. You can see more of his marketing wisdom at his blog and follow his summer at Pandora on his Instagram account. 

Week One with Pandora: Brody Karmenzind

I have officially been with Pandora one week and I am already overloaded with awesome things to mention in this post. I could probably write a novel about my experiences thus far. However, I hope to give you insights into the real scale of Pandora, the coolest parts of working at Pandora as well as what my summer will look like.

Pandora, so what?

I didn’t realize how big Pandora really was before my orientation. To give you a snapshot Pandora has 80 million unique listeners, 1.2 billion thumb interactions and 168 million stations created a month. In fact, right now Pandora is the second most used application on mobile devices in the U.S. When looking at mobile advertisers the only publishers ahead of Pandora in terms of size are Facebook, Twitter and Google, which is mind blowing.

Week one.

To say the least, this has probably been the most exciting week of my life. The only way I could organize the unlimited things to talk about is by giving a quick Top 10 List of my favorite aspects similar to how Buzzfeed approaches articles. Here are the top 10 coolest parts of my first week at Pandora:

1. Free trip to California. The first three days as an intern at Pandora you are flown out to the headquarters in Oakland. The company covered the flight and hotel in downtown San Francisco, and gave us a few hundred dollars for traveling. We also were paid for the time it took to travel. I arrived Sunday morning so I had the entire day to explore San Francisco before work the next day.

2. The other interns are awesome. It was amazing meeting all of the other interns. Being surrounded by students from Harvard, MIT, Stanford and other big schools was really interesting. I’m not going to lie, we all went out a few times together in those few days and had a blast.

3. Pandora swag. Pandora hooks you up with branded “swag” starting on your first day. I walked away from orientation with Pandora shirts, a Pandora Timbuk2 laptop bag and Pandora iPhone case among others.

4. Pandora One. Yes, you get ad free radio if you were wondering.

5. Amazing work environment. Pandora has the best work environment I could have imagined. There are no offices at Pandora because everyone works in open rooms with desks arranged in pods. Everyone works in teams and collaborates on projects. Also, as you expected, there is usually music playing or you can use headphones and listen to music.

6. Benefits even for interns. Besides the great hourly wage, interns actually get a few of the benefits that full-time employees get. For instance, we get to start a 401K, which I never considered before. We also get 20 hours of paid volunteer time that I will be spending at a Ronald McDonald house this summer. Also, we get an account with AnyPerk that allows great employee specific discounts for food, travel, entertainment and fitness.

7. Free food and drinks! Every office has a kitchen stocked full of a huge variety of snacks from organic protein bars, to fresh avocados as well as junk food like candy and chips. The drink selection is also ridiculous with choices such as Starbucks frappuccinos, Red Bull, Gatorade and soda. The best part is that all of it is free and restocked every day.

8. Great company culture. The company has a “work hard, play hard” atmosphere. Everyone works in a high-caliber way on the job, but is also ready to go out and get to a concert or bar after work or just drink a few beers and play some ping-pong in the office after a long day. It’s amazing to experience a company culture like Pandora’s because I worked for a virtual company in my previous internship.

9. Continued Education. Pandora is all about investing in its employees and one way is through a ton of extra training options. Employees have access to Lynda and other similar tools. Also, within the first week I have participated in team trainings on advanced protocols in programs like Microsoft Excel to increase knowledge for daily software use. Pandora is always building you up in small ways everyday.

10. Clubs! I saved the best for last. Pandora lets employees have company-sponsored clubs similar to a university club. There are hundreds of awesome clubs to join with purposes ranging from videogames to sight-seeing to even Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Needless to say, I am the newest member to the BJJ club!

 My Summer Outlook:

I’m looking forward to the rest of my summer as I work with my assigned mentor learning how to develop and pitch, and report on digital and audio advertising campaigns to national clients. Special thanks to the Department of Journalism for being awesome and giving me the correct skills to be part of changing the history of radio.

 Follow the rest of my summer via Instagram:

June Events in Oshkosh: Fun Ways to Fill Your Free time

11 06 2014

By: Andrea Larson (@andrea_larson_)

Whether you are from Oshkosh, previously lived here for a summer or this is your first time, you may not know Oshkosh is full of summer events that will expose you to new and fantastic artists, musicians, movies, hobbies and sports. Every week there is something new and we want to encourage you to check them out.

Of course, we wouldn’t want you to attend an event without giving us feedback on your experience, so we are challenging you to write a blog post for each event you attend.

Blog Challenge

This is a chance to get writing practice over the summer so you don’t come back rusty, and also a way to get your work out to the public, which is good for your portfolio. The post only needs to be between 300-500 words and include which event you attended and what you did.

Bellow are the events, found from the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau website, in June we think you’ll enjoy; come back at the first of July and August for more events and more opportunities to create a post for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Journalism Department’s official blog.



June Events- organized by activity:


Time Community Theater

  • June 13: admission is free and concessions will be available.
  • Invasion of the Animal People
  • Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the movie starts at 8:00 p.m.
  • Grease presented by Arty and Ed’s Drive In
  • Movie starts at 8:00 pm.
  • Popcorn, soda and candy will be available.

Leach Amphitheater

  • June 27: Frozen
  • Starts at 8:30 p.m.

Between the Bridges

  • Thursdays Between the Bridges
  • Join the Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau, and their partners on the Fox River, for a night of food, fun and music, every Thursday night.
  • Starts at 7:00 p.m.

Read the rest of this entry »

Want to be certified in Principles of Public Relations?

10 06 2014

By: Andrea Larson (@andrea_larson_)

The journalism department’s public relations emphasis now has the ability to give students a chance to gain recognition for their knowledge in PR.

Three 2014 UW Oshkosh journalism graduates and PRSSA members, Hilary Stoeberl, Neal Corby and Kaitlynn Sablich, took and passed an exam awarding them with public relations certificates. We now want to spread the word about the exam and encourage more students to become certified.

What is this exam, and how do you sign up? The information below will give you enough direction so you too can be certified in principles of public relations.


In 2013, the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations was approved by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), one of the largest PR and communication entities for professionals in the United States. The certificate is an introductory step to receiving the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential, a certification for practitioners who have mastered strategic communications.

Who can take the exam?

To be eligible, students must:

What is on the exam?

The exam consists of the basic knowledge of public relations principles with an emphasis on the four-step process of public relations and ethics. The pie chart below gives a more detailed description of what you can expect to find.


How can you sign up?

Once your application has been processed, instructions will be sent via email. The faculty coordinator for UW Oshkosh, Dr. Julie Henderson, collects the applications and payments from students and sends to the accreditation manager for processing; each semester has a due date and can be found on the UAB website.

Why should you take it?

The UAB is coordinating a marketing campaign with employers of new public relations graduates to make them aware of the certificate and what it means in their hiring process.

This is a way to showcase your knowledge and abilities, and to be someone who stands out.

“Taking this test sets you apart from other young professionals by showing you take advantage of every further learning tool available to you. It also shows your excitement and dedication to the PR profession,” Stoeberl said.

For more information, contact Dr. Henderson or go to


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