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Columns: In Praise of Interns

I had an internship when I was in college. Actually, I had many. There was the time I helped produce video for a golf tournament in Arizona (and interviewed Jack Nicklaus along the way.) There was the radio station internship I held when the O.J. Simpson chase went down. Then, there was the semester I spent working for a literary magazine, perusing submissions from everyone from fledgling writers to well-published ones. I also spent time reading the sometimes violent, sometimes erratic, sometimes eloquent poems and stories that came postmarked “state penitentiary.” I learned a lot about generosity in that internship and, though it was more than 20 years ago, it still has an impact on my career. That internship taught me to read more carefully; to respond to writers with kindness.

Interns are the lifeblood for many an organization, large or small, and especially magazines. Gone are the days of fetching coffee: Kids these days are fact checking copy and making sure everything we print is true and accurate. They’re teaching the staff how to better use social media, hitting the streets and interviewing restaurant patrons and voters in line, and blogging stories that may not make the print version of a magazine. And, they write. Lindsey, our most recent intern, received a nod of the head for the work she did this summer, but the truth is she touched every page of the magazine and wrote most of the Hub section.

Then, there’s the amazing Journalism Foreign Intrigue Scholarship which Communication Chair David Domke told me about the other day. Every summer, a handful of UW Communication undergrads are cast off to the far corners of the globe—this past year to Phnom Penh Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Chile and Kenya—where each works as an intern reporter at a foreign newspaper. (Perhaps a Columns story from next summer’s students in the future?) Oh, to be 20 again…

Intern season has begun again and magazines across this city—including Columns—are scrambling to attract the best and brightest. We can’t wait to see what we, and they learn.

Columns Magazine Intern
Columns, the quarterly magazine for all UW alumni, offers one internship per quarter. Interns will learn all sides of the magazine business. Primary functions may include researching articles, contributing story ideas, fact checking stories, writing articles, proofreading, attending photo shoots, researching and acquiring magazine art, and more.

Qualifications:  Knowledge of AP Style required. Junior or senior journalism majors  preferred. Applicants must be dependable self-starters with strong communication and writing skills and have keen interest in magazine writing and publishing. Candidates who also have extensive knowledge of social media will be given special consideration.

Requirements: Minimum of 15 hours per week, up to 20 hours per week. This is an unpaid internship and UW applicants must be eligible to enroll in COM 395 (Communication Internship) at the University of Washington to receive up to 5 credits toward graduation for hours worked. UW students will be given priority, though we will consider applicants from outside the University.

To Apply: Submit a letter of interest, resume and clips if applicable, to editors@uw.edu. Applications received by Oct. 1 will receive priority consideration.

Read the current issue of Columns at UWalum.com/columns. You can also learn more in this helpful guide to the Columns internship written by a former intern.

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