Insights on Internships: Classes That Helped

Iuliia Alieva, Riley Beggin, Mikala Compton, Steve Daw, Michael Gomon, Samantha Kummerer, Urma Redmond and Daniel Shapiro

With the fall 2016 semester coming up, are you having trouble finding the perfect class that will help you get your dream internship? We talked to some Missouri School of Journalism students who worked as interns across the country and asked them, “What class best prepared you for your internship?” Here are the classes that came up again and again. Interviews by Sophia Lauriello and Chad Brewster.

JOURN 4204: Introduction to Strategic Writing and Design

This course will teach you about strategic writing and design, and then show you how to apply these skills to key communication platforms such as digital media, TV, radio, social media and others. Along the way, you will learn to think, write and design creatively and strategically. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Restricted to Strategic Communication and Science and Agricultural Journalism Majors. Junior Standing Required


  • Urma Redmond, Junior Copywriter at Scout & Nimble, Columbia, Mo.
    • Several have prepared me well, but out of all of them I would say Strategic Writing and Design. For that class we actually had to make ads which taught us how to take a description and turn it into a one-liner. It’s definitely taught me how to use my words wisely. My bosses are always saying that less copy is more.
  • Michael Gomon, Marketing Intern at Anthony Travel, Dallas
    • Strategic Writing and Design allowed me to wear a lot of different hats and learn a lot of different skills relating to writing and graphic design. Additionally, it helped me better learn how to be a team player as well helped to prepare me to get comfortable with public speaking and presentations.

JOURN 4436: Investigative Reporting

(cross-leveled with JOURN 7436). Advanced course designed to acquaint reporters with public issues. Students write two in-depth projects and other shorter assignments. Students meet weekly with instructor for editorial suggestions.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor required


  • Riley Beggin, Investigative Intern at NPR
    • The one that prepared me the most was Investigative Reporting with Mark Horvit. Anyone who is interested in investigative work should definitely look into taking that class.

JOURN 4400: Introduction to News Editing

(cross-leveled with JOURN 7400). Introduces the fundamentals of editing stories and writing headlines for publication online and in print, including an emphasis on style and grammar. Emphasized editing for an online audience.

Credit Hour: 1-2
Prerequisites: Consent of instructor required
Recommended: JOURN 4450 or JOURN 4804


  • Sarah Fine, Assistant News Editor at the Columbia Missourian
    • Intro to News Editing taught me to consider on all the steps of publishing news, from interviewing to writing to content packaging and page design. It also improved my writing skills.

JOURN 4450: News Reporting

(cross-leveled with JOURN 7450). Assignments on a daily city newspaper covering community news, city, county and state affairs, sports and lifestyle issues. Experience in gathering and writing news, writing under deadline conditions.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: JOURN 2100


  • Steve Daw, Online Intern at Rolling Stone
    • While News Reporting is sort of an obvious choice for print and digital news students, the class really just puts you in a direct work environment while working at the Missourian, and it gives you marketable skills and a really nice addition to your resume.

JOURN 4564: Micro-Documentary Photojournalism and Videography

(cross-leveled with JOURN 7564). This course extends student's understanding and abilities to produce short-form video journalism. They will produce, from concepts to web publication, two five-minute non-fiction videos that serves the public through engaging visual sound techniques and compelling narrative. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: JOURN 4558 or JOURN 4306 or JOURN 4804


  • Iuliia Alieva, Intern in the Department of Public Information at the United Nations
    • For my internship, I’m writing articles and producing multimedia content for the Academic Impact of Outreach Division in the Department of Public Information for the U.N. Secretariat’s website and social media. I would say that Micro Documentary Photojournalism and Videography with Steve Rice helped me a lot because at the U.N., I’m producing video and photo content.

JOURN 4804: Convergence Reporting

(cross-leveled with JOURN 7804). Practice and theory of reporting for converged media. Students produce multimedia reports for traditional and converged media operations. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Restricted to Convergence, Print and Digital, Photojournalism, and Magazine students, and Science and Agricultural Journalism students


  • Daniel Shapiro, Production Intern at Now This News
    • The course that prepared me for this internship, that prepared me for everything in life really, was Convergence Reporting. That’s where I fine-tuned both my writing and my video-editing skills. Actually, on my second or third day, my boss complimented me on my writing – he said it was clear that I’d written before – and that’s because the J-School has taught me to be concise.
  • Samantha Kummerer, Investigation Team Intern at NBC5 in Chicago
    • Convergence Reporting was one of the hardest classes I’ve ever taken, but it is also that class that I refer to on a daily basis. In my internship, I listen to hundreds of people with story tips or complaints, and it is my job to decide which ones could actually be feasible TV stories. Convergence Reporting drills into you what makes a compelling story, and I refer back to the lessons I learned during that semester when making decisions at NBC5 daily.
  • Mikala Compton, Videographer at Mizzou Creative
    • I would say Convergence Reporting really helped prepare me for my internships. My internships are a lot of video and audio editing, and I wouldn’t know to do that half as well had I not taken that class.

Updated: June 17, 2020

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