To paraphrase the U.S. Navy slogan, “Join the CUNY J-School and see the world.” That holds true, at least, for 11 students who are working at internships abroad this summer.
From Belgium to India to Swaziland, the students are spread across three continents in addition to North America. Most are international reporting majors meeting their subject’s mandate to intern in a foreign land, at the United Nations, or in Washington covering foreign policy.
The CUNY J-School is unique among graduate journalism programs in that a paid professional internship is built into the curriculum between the second and third semesters. Indeed, every one of the 59 students in the Class of ’09 is gainfully employed this summer, thanks to assistance provided by the Office of Career Services and a grant from the Knight Foundation that guaranteed each intern would receive a minimum of $3,000.
For the foreign internships, new partners include Trinidad’s CaribbeanAxis.com; Israel’s Haaraetz web site; The Independent newspaper in London; International Bridges for Justice in Swaziland; the Jordan Times; The Jerusalem Post, and Reuters in Brussels. Two students have also headed to South Asia to work at The Times of India and The New Indian Express. The Associated Press, which had a CUNY intern in Santiago, Chile last year, placed a student in its Moscow bureau this summer. New Vision in Uganda has taken an intern for the second year in a row.
“The new international reporting concentration is definitely helping the J-School expand the range of diverse professional experience that students are able to receive,” said William Chang, director of career services.
Many students staying closer to home will intern at media organizations that participated last summer, including ABC News, BusinessWeek, NY1 News, The New York Times, and WNYC radio. “Employers were very happy last year with our interns, and some managers continued to ask us for interns even in late May,” Chang said.
New partners in New York City include Al Jazeera English, Essence, Salon.com, and Sports Illustrated. In addition to tapping these established internship programs, the CUNY J-School has four students reporting for The Local, The New York Times hyperlocal web sites covering neighborhoods in Brooklyn and New Jersey. Students are also working for the first time at The Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco magazine, and the Maui Weekly.
Interns will receive onsite supervision as well as faculty mentoring, and they’ll earn three hours of credit toward their Master of Arts degree. The J-School will also invite guest speakers to talk to the interns about career development.