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JOUR 399 - Fall
Director of Internships and Career Development
1100A Knight Hall
Phone: 301-405-2796; Fax: 301-314-9166
firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @harveyonline
This is a one-credit course mandatory for the completion of a journalism degree. Registration for this course requires the completion of JOUR 320 or JOUR 360 with a C or better. It also requires a signed internship proposal form and a meeting with Ms. Harvey before the end of the add/drop period to review the syllabus and get permission to register on Testudo.
Over the course of the semester, students will:
- Acquire new skills and polish classroom training in a professional setting under the guidance of full-time journalists.
- Develop relationships with those professionals and leave the experience with positive recommendations.
- Learn newsroom hierarchy and procedures, the process of news production and the importance of deadlines through day-to-day immersion at a media organization.
- Critically evaluate the profession in a class blog, considering such issues as industry changes, entrepreneurship, diversity in the newsroom, interactions with news sources, relationships among news professionals, and the role of the audience in news production.
- Prepare professional resume packages and portfolios to present to future employers.
Course Requirements, Deadlines and Grading Percentages
- At least 135 hours of service in an approved internship over a minimum of 10 weeks. Timesheets signed by you and your supervisor are due no later than noon on Friday, Oct. 12, and Tuesday, Dec. 11 -- sooner, if you finish your internship sooner. You are responsible for getting these back to me.
- Two positive job evaluations from job site supervisors, due no later than noon on Friday, Oct. 12, and Friday, Dec. 7. Your supervisor is responsible for getting this back to me. Please give them copies of the forms during the first week of your internship. (30 PERCENT)
- Conference with the instructor in her office between Oct. 23 and Dec. 5. You must sign up for this on the electronic Doodle poll I will circulate during the first few weeks of the semester. We will review your resume package at the conference (see next item) and discuss your progress in your internship. Students must be on time and have all four resume package pages printed out to get full credit. (5 PERCENT)
- A resume package of four documents: a professional cover letter for the next job or internship you'd like to secure; a one-page resume; a page of references (three to five adults who can speak to your journalistic skills, scholarship and/or maturity); and a thank-you letter addressed to the supervisor of this internship. Drafts of all four are due at your scheduled conference with me (see below), so that I may edit them. The final, edited versions must be printed neatly and handed in (in person or by fax) within two work days of that conference. Only the final versions of this package are graded. Late packages lose one letter grade for each work day late. (20 PERCENT)
- A reflection piece of about 800 words on your company, its staffing and your internship experiences. Due by noon on Friday, Nov. 30. Late reflection pieces lose one letter grade for each work day late. Post your piece to the class blog site on Blackboard. (Go to Tools/campus blog pack on blackboard) (20 PERCENT)
- A portfolio of at least 10 examples of your best work done during this internship, or a journal kept during this internship, due by Friday, Dec. 7 at noon, on paper or DVD. Details follow. Late portfolios or journals lose 1 letter grade for each day late. (20 PERCENT)
- Participation in at least one of these opportunities with recruiters (you are strongly encouraged to attend both): The college Career Fair on Monday, Oct. 22, from 1-4:30 in the Grand Ballroom of the Student Union Building, or at a panel discussion with recruiters on Fall Study Day Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 1 p.m. Room TBA. For both, please dress as you would for a job interview, and bring clean copies of your resume to distribute. Be sure to sign in on sign-in sheets to get credit. (5 PERCENT)
Recording Your Hours:
Arrange your schedule -- including your start and end date -- with your employer before you begin the internship. Most internships require two free weekdays. Work must occur on the job site or on assignment. Work performed at home will not count toward hours of service. Students may begin recording their hours on the first day of the semester. All hours must be completed by the last day of fall semester, unless otherwise arranged with the instructor. Time sheets will be available on Blackboard in the Course Documents folder. Bring in, mail or fax the time sheet by Oct. 12 and Dec. 7. Be sure to total the hours and have your supervisor sign the form, after you have. You must have a minimum of 135 hours of service over a minimum of 10 weeks to get credit for this class.
Evaluations by Job Site Supervisors:
Two evaluations will be emailed directly to supervisors during the semester; it is their responsibility to get them back to me. (You will be asked to give them a printout of the blank sheets on Blackboard, during your first week on the job, as a printed reminder.) Samples will be posted in the Course Documents folder. Supervisors are instructed to review the evaluations with students. Please take these comments seriously; the results of the evaluations are factored into your grades. See Professional Demeanor below for additional information on performance and behavior on the job.
Your reflection paper:
Students will be required to write thoughtful comments describing their understanding of their workplaces, the news industry and their own professional abilities, in a reflection piece of about 800 words. You will have to do research (start with the company website) and interviews (with your supervisor or the HR department) to answer the first two bullet points, below. All information should be attributed/sourced as you would in a news story. Please follow AP style for print throughout. Post your piece to the class blog site on Blackboard. (Go to Tools/campus blog pack on blackboard). Your piece should include elements from all three bullet points below:
INFO ON THE COMPANY:
- Introduce us to your employer: Provide a description of the organization and its ownership. Is this a weekly newspaper, a Web site, a television station or a Washington bureau, for instance? Is it owned locally or controlled by a larger corporation? How many employees work there? Tell us the history and mission, the circulation or market size, and discuss the target audience. How has it adapted to industry and technology changes?
- Describe the process of publishing the news for the organization's various platforms. How is news disseminated (on paper, on the Web, on mobile devices, over the air or a combination?) How do deadlines work? Does this company rely on social media or mobile devices to reach its audience? Does the audience participate in telling the news? (For instance, does the organization publish photos and videos from the audience? Do readers' responses to social media help shape the news?)
YOUR REFLECTIONS ON YOUR ROLE, RELATIONSHIPS AND SKILLS GAINED:
- How did you get this internship and what is your role? What job responsibilities did you have and what skills did you gain -- journalism skills as well as real-world skills, such as meeting deadlines, handling criticism, and managing work and school responsibilities. What did you learn about the culture of the workplace and how professionals interact on the job and with their news sources? Did you cultivate relationships and find mentors who will help you in your career? Offer advice to your replacement.
You will rely on your own observations, but some answers will require research. You may interview and quote co-workers and supervisors, read histories posted on a company Web site or another reliable source. However, your work should be your own. It must be clear to the reader where you got the information you cite. That means using attribution, just as you would in a news story. Credibility and integrity are hallmarks of what we do as journalists, so you must be stringent about crediting your sources. Not doing so leaves you open to charges of plagiarism. If you are uncertain about plagiarism, the university's library system offers an excellent explanation: What is plagiarism?
Grading Rubric for your paper. Your reflection paper will be graded using the following criteria:
- Information must be well-sourced, well-written and thorough and have virtually no punctuation, grammatical, spelling and style errors to earn the top A grade.
- Entries that answer the topic questions and are well-sourced but contain some punctuation, grammatical, spelling and style errors will be in the B range.
- Entries that skim the surface and do not give enough insight into the workplace, are poorly written and lack facts and sources, have numerous punctuation, grammatical, spelling and style errors will be in the C range.
- Entries that fail to respond to the topics, and/or include offensive material, and/or are riddled with errors in logic, punctuation, grammar and style will earn at best a D.
- Late entries and those with factual errors will lose a full letter grade for each work day late and each factual mistake. Points will still be deducted for problems noted above.
- Material that is lifted from other Web sites or sources (including other classmates) without attribution will be forwarded to the university's Office of Judicial Affairs for an investigation into academic dishonesty. The investigation could lead to a grade of XF in the class (an F for cheating), or suspension or expulsion from the university.
Professional Resume Packages:
Drafts of the following will be edited and returned to you, during your one-on-one conference with the instructor. Your final, edited versions will be handed in on paper for a grade within two work days of our meeting:
- Cover letter: Your letter should be formatted correctly and professionally, addressed with a courtesy title in the greeting and include your contact information as well as that of the recipient at the top of the page. Address it to a specific employer at the next place you hope will hire you. No "to whom it may concern" or obvious form letters will be accepted.
Resume: Update your resume so that it includes this internship at the top of the journalism experience area. Journalism resumes are always a single page.
Reference page: This page should include your contact information at the top (just as it appears on your resume) and should include all contact information (name, title, company, address, phone number and e-mail address) for three to five references. References should be employers, professors or adults in the community who can vouch for your professionalism and character. Be sure to ask before including someone as a reference. Students cannot be listed as references.
Thank-you letter: Write a professional letter to your internship supervisor, thanking him or her for the opportunity to work at your internship site. The letter should be short but should mention at least two to three specific things you've learned from the experience. The edited version should be sent to your supervisor at the conclusion of the internship.
Examples of Work
Students must provide 10 examples of work from this internship, or 10 journal entries, if your internship does not yield clips. Examples may include any of the following:
Clip packets for print stories: A clip packet should include stories you have written and had published, page layout or graphics you have created and had published, or photos you've taken and had published. (Stories without bylines will be considered on a case-by-case basis.) Fancy binders or folders are not necessary. Simply photocopy your work neatly on 8.5-by-11 or 11-by-17 sheets, with the masthead of the newspaper xeroxed at the top. Put your best stories on top of the packet, just as you would if you were applying for a job. Only show your work on these pages; extraneous stories should be cut away.
Displays for online work: Students with text stories published at news sites should print out their stories. These printouts could also show headlines and captions or blog posts you've written, photos or slideshows you've taken or created, quizzes or other interactives you've written, social media sites you've contributed to. Just be sure to note what it is you did for the page. Printouts of PDFs or screen captures are also accepted to show layouts and graphics. Examples of multimedia or interactive work that cannot be properly viewed on a printout could be linked to an index page you create and share with me in Google Documents (please use bitly to shorten the URL!), or burned to a DVD (see below). The index page should include a headline and date for each entry.
DVDs or copies of scripts: Broadcast and multimedia students may submit DVDs of news stories they reported or copies of scripts that they wrote. I am not interested in seeing raw notes. One video or audio story counts as one clip.
Journals: Because some interns (particularly broadcast and magazine interns) won't have the opportunity to write or produce 10 news stories over the semester, I will also accept a typed journal of your activities in lieu of a portfolio, or in combination with a portfolio. (If you have five published clips, you would submit five journal entries.) Describe your assignments in a concise paragraph or two each week (one paragraph minimum for each sample -- so 10 paragraphs in all.) Explain what you did, how long it took you and how it contributed to the production of news. Examples of things that can be described in your journal are story research, interviews and transcripts, updating social media sites, logging tapes, going out with crews to cover stories, sources you met, editing and other technical and production tasks. Desciptions of software and tools used are helpful. I would urge you to write a paragraph at the end of each week on the job; don't try to reconstruct this at the end. Factual mistakes in these entries will drop you a full letter grade. Sloppily written journals - filled with grammatical and style mistakes - will also cost you points. If you single-space your paragraphs, and double space between paragraphs, 10 journal entries will likely print on five pages.
Please note -- work samples are a crucial part of your professional education and demonstrate your efforts on your internship. They are mandatory.
You are welcome to pick up your portfolios after grades are posted.
Conference with internship coordinator:
This is mandatory and should occur between the dates noted above. I will circulate a Doodle poll to arrange this appointment. Do not wait until the end of the semester to schedule – I may not be available due to the large number of students I see. These meetings typically take 30 minutes. Punctuality is crucial in the professional world. If an emergency arises and you can't make your appointment, please make every effort to e-mail and/or call me before the appointment to reschedule. I will do my best to accommodate you, but cannot promise a new meeting if it is near the end of the grading period.
By enrolling in this class, you are entering the professional world of journalism and serving as emissaries of the college and the university. As such, you are expected to act with maturity and professionalism. Failing to meet professional standards in appearance, performance and attitude may cost you the job and result in an F in this course. Unacceptable behavior on the job includes disrespectful or improper communication with co-workers, an uncooperative attitude, failure to perform required tasks and failure to report to work on time. Please note that employers make the decisions to hire and fire students, not the college. But an intern who is terminated before completing the 10-week, 135-hour course requirement will not pass JOUR 399.
Along with certain rights, students also have the responsibility to behave honorably in an academic environment. Academic dishonesty, including cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty and plagiarism, will not be tolerated. Any abridgment of academic integrity standards will be referred directly to the university's Office of Judicial Affairs. Confirmation of such incidents can result in expulsion from the university. All students will be required to sign an academic integrity pledge at the beginning of the semester that will cover all assignments in the course.
Journalism is a competitive industry and some employers have strict policies regarding the release of proprietary or competitive information. It is not unusual for employers to require students to sign confidentiality agreements. All students in JOUR 399 must take care not to release sensitive information on the class blog or in communication with other interns. Examples of proprietary information may include news stories that have not yet been published or aired, details of new products or projects and internal company policies or staffing changes. If you are not sure what is considered proprietary at your workplace, be sure to ask your supervisor.
The University is an equal opportunity institution with respect to education and employment. The university's policies, programs and activities are in compliance with pertinent federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race, color, religion, age, national original, sex, sexual orientation and handicap. On your internship site, if you perceive any problems related to the above or if you believe you have been the target for sexual or other forms of harassment, contact me or Associate Dean Olive Reid in 1100 Knight Hall.
Here is a link to the University of Maryland's Human Relations code: http://www.president.umd.edu/policies/vi100b.html and to the University of Maryland's policy and procedures regarding sexual harassment: http://www.president.umd.edu/policies/docs/vi-120a.pdf
The college wants this to be a valuable learning experience for you. If you have any questions, email me at email@example.com, or call me at 301-405-2796, or contact the Student Services Office, 301-405-2399, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.