In recognition of the importance of combining theory and practice, our students must complete a 12-week professional internship before graduating. Learning on the job is a crucial part of a professional degree program since there are many aspects of journalism that cannot be addressed solely in the classroom.
Students can intern as print, broadcast, online or multiplatform journalists. They can work in Canada or internationally.
This internship placement is usually undertaken in the spring and summer after the first two terms of the program are completed.
During the fall term of the first year, professional seminars on the internship search, writing resumes, cover letters and interviewing are offered in preparation for the internship. After the internship experience, news organizations provide written evaluations as do students who also share their experience and offer advice to incoming students.
Internships provide students with an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom, both the theoretical and craft aspects of journalism, to the actual day to day work of reporting and writing and producing news and information for an audience. Students hone their skills and learn to ‘think like journalists’ and function within a journalistic culture.
For many it is a transformative experience. Students often return from their internships matured as journalists and as individuals, with a clearer sense of the kind of work they want to pursue after graduation.
In addition to helping students enhance their journalism skills, the internship placement has proven to be an opportunity for students to acquire a portfolio of work and to develop professional relationships with editors and reporters. These ‘networking opportunities’ can often help with the job search.
UBC students have interned in Canada and around the world having won placements in organizations such as The Jerusalem Post, Reuters, CBC radio,television and online, CBC London, National Public Radio in the U.S., Time, CNN, The Vancouver Sun, South China Morning Post, the New York Times, United Nations in Bangkok, Icelandic Public Radio, Georgia Straight, Canadian Geographic, CTV and Global Television as well as a myriad of Vancouver-based news organizations.
Students have worked as reporters, researchers, associate producers, online editors, field producers and copy editors.