Senior Summer: So You Didn’t Get That Internship, Now What?

A M Montgomery 2014

A M Montgomery 2014

What has two thumbs, no summer job prospects, and a much needed break? This girl!

I apologize for the delay in posting (though in my defense I have been updating my other blog). Since I’m now covering the majority of my expenses (everything except tuition and part of room and board), it’s been difficult to juggle class, work, sleep, and free time. I hoped to gain some paid experience this summer and applied to over fifty internships and jobs. Some I made it into the first round of interviews, but nothing after that. Long story short, I didn’t get a single internship I applied for. So what do I do now?

Good news: The amount of money I hoped to earn is taken care of through some prizes I won (see here).

Bad news: Even if I didn’t have my little brother to baby-sit some days, I still need to do something, not only for my resume but also for me (I’m that kid who assigned herself workbook pages during the summers).

So what should I do this summer? If you search in any search engine, the results are always articles that say you should “get an internship,” “get a job,” or “volunteer” (I kid you not) as well as some other options you may not be able to afford like traveling, exploring, and paying for additional courses. Well, if I actually had those options, I wouldn’t exactly be searching for something to do on Google, now would I? It’s the same thing in the results year after year…

Because I start my senior year in the fall, this is my last official free summer. I have a few ideas, but stay tuned this summer to find out exactly what they are.

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Making the Most of Summer? Tips Here

July is almost here! Sorry for the delay. I’ve had this post typed for a while but getting sent to the ER and recovering definitely set me back a bit on posting (more on that on Monty’s Mayhem). I’ve had a whirlwind of a summer so far, but still not much to put in my portfolio, which, for some odd reason, in my generation means I’m wasting my summer? Well, summer’s not over yet. There are tons of tricks of the trade to do during the summer that not only can help you get ahead as a journalist and go on your resume, but for some of them, you don’t have to leave your house!

 

  • Get an internship. It doesn’t have to be paid. It doesn’t have to be in-person. Internships are great ways to improve/learn skills such as AP Style, finding stories, etc. while getting experience in different types of journalism. Good places to search them include sites like mediabistro or, if you’re in school, check out your college’s career center. As always, there’s no better place to look than the place you’re interested in. If you already have a place in mind, check out their website for info or call proving their worth and potentially create your own position!
  • Volunteer. Most news places, especially local ones, are in need of free labor. You can learn some tricks of the trade, get your face in people’s heads, and it’s no pressure. Most volunteering is done on your own schedule, unlike an unpaid internship. In fact, volunteering may be better for you personally than an unpaid internship and before you accept an internship, look at these guidelines first to make sure it’s right for you
  • Start a blog. Yes, you can put blogging on your resume. It’s a great way to keep an online portfolio and keep your writing skills up-to-date with opportunity for feedback. But what should you write about? It depends on what you’re interested in. If you have a lot of authority on a subject like anime or digital photography, recap shows or examine new techniques and products. If you want to try something new this summer, like cooking or skateboarding, start a blog to keep yourself on track and meet others who are experts or novices like you. Whatever you decide, your blog should stay within its theme and a lot of places like wordpress and blogger let you host them for free.
  • Prepare for next summer. If your current summer is not all that you hoped it would be, get determined to make the next one even better. Look at applications for jobs and internships you missed out on due to poor scheduling or lack of seniority and start drafting your responses. If you’re not in school this summer, you have a better chance of not getting distracted and finishing your applications early.
  • Take some classes. You can enroll in courses for credit or no credit at local schools, but also keep in mind, there are some courses online. They range from expensive to free, lasting weeks or lasting minutes, and are on a wide array of subjects. It’s pretty easy to search for them online (Poynter offers a lot in journalism).
  • Learn some skills. Have you ever wanted to add a skill to your resume but never had time to learn it? Well, now’s the time! If it’s a foreign language, get your Rosetta Stone/Pimsleur/Duolingo kits and practice everyday. Practice AP Style with mini-guides online. Get some coding basics under your belt. Learn how to use your devices (computer, smartphone, mp3 player, etc.) to their fullest potential by looking up tips and making your life easier. If you want to become an expert on anything, now’s the time to do it.
  • Get a job. If you can’t find any work in journalism, there’s no shame in getting a job outside your field. It’s still work experience and you can use the money to save up for a new computer that can handle video and photo editing software, that crazy expensive video and photo editing software, kits, tape recorders, cameras, or journalism conference fees. In other words, use your non-journalism job to further your journalism career.

There are tons of ways to get ahead in your career, some you don’t even have to leave your house for! Let me know if you end up starting a blog by leaving the url in the comments below and I’ll check it out!

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers, But Apparently Celebrities Can

The act is not exactly new.

In America, you work hard, network. You model and build up your portfolio with skills and blemish free photos. You get exposure and experience, shaping your craft. Finally, the big-time–red-carpet premieres, starring roles and critically-acclaimed albums, statues made to look like men in miniature form, begging strangers for money. Excuse me?

I am not referring to a child-actor gone wrong, but rather celebrities gone “right”.  The majority of celebrities, somehow between acting in their next blockbuster or producing their next hit, raising a family, attending exclusive events, and spending huge wads of cash, find time to give back through humanitarian efforts of time and money. I find it pleasing to read articles about which famous actor made it onto Forbes’ “Most Geneous Celebrities” List because we should help our fellow man, and as an individual who is currently not in a position to do so, I embrace philanthropy as a great way celebrities represent their fans and nation overseas.

I do not condone however celebrities asking their fans to donate money to a cause.  By all means, produce commercials and other media to keep the world informed of serious danger across the world, what you are doing to help, and what you plan to do, but the minute, the musician’s eyes get big and watery, the soft string instruments strums quietly, and their tone becomes slower and more serious, I begin to lose respect.

We are a celebrity obsessed culture. In a time of great stress over safety, financial stability, and education, entertainment is often an outlet many Americans enjoy to temporarily distant ourselves from our problems. Therefore we give great importance and money to movies, music, and models. In turn, celebrities earn such copious amounts of money from us, to the point that one pair of their earrings equals the cost of the average American family’s car refinance. Must you really ask me for more money?

The way I see it, we have three choices. One. All celebrities take a pay cut, meaning their movies, albums, shows, etc. cost less. The money they receive, they can spend just as they please, and they will still be high class. The money the working class saves will go back to the government in the form of home improvement, self-improvement (local clothing stores and skill building classes), and other ways the government can get tax. The money goes back into the economy, thus decreasing the nation’s debt,helping our needs first,  and allowing the foreign policy to provide more aid in humanitarian efforts. Or…

Two. Celebrities can stop asking their fans, who may wear the same pair of jeans in one week, for money, and donate to charities with the millions of billions of dollars they already have.

Lastly, three. We stop giving so much attention to celebrities. Is it necessary to go to every concert of a certain band? Isn’t it cheaper to see a movie because you’re interested in the plot rather than the starring actor’s chest?

Perhaps once we stop spending on strangers, celebrities will stop begging strangers, and the money we keep and they earn will be spent on charities, on the economy–guilt-free and equally. If only.