Why you should apply to be CICM intern

It's that time of year again when Bryan Murley's twitter feed is sprinkled with requests for CICM intern applications. As the very first CICM intern, I can tell you its worth every minute of your time. And since this is the last weekend to apply before the deadline, here's my two cents.

The reasons

The endless connections: Before I was a CICM intern, no one on the twittersphere knew who I was. But after having my name published on the blog and having the opportunity to talk with students and educators in the industry, I could strengthen my professional relationships and my online branding. Since then, I've been involved with organizations like CoPress, Publish2 and Spot.Us.

Creative freedom: Bryan lets you do whatever you want with this internship (at least he did when I was around). It's a chance for you to experiment with any crazy story-telling methods you want with an audience and a purpose.

Stay on the cutting edge: As a college journalist, you should want to know the latest and greatest going on with college media across the nation (and world). As CICM intern, you can get to know the big names and basically force yourself to stay on top of what people in the industry are doing and saying. Once you tap into that knowledge sphere, you won't be able to unattach yourself.

Learn a blogging workflow: Sure, you could get an internship at a copy desk at your local paper where your hours are set in stone. Or, you could strengthen your ability to work on web-only deadlines and take part in collaborative, virtual editing through the CICM. And if you work with Bryan to install Edit Flow (CoPress' workflow management plugin for WordPress), you can carry that editorial workflow experience into your college newsroom or even the professional newsroom.

Cha-ching: Although money shouldn't be the primary reason you decide to take the internship, it's one hell of a motivator. It's rare to come across paid internships in the journalism field. $500 could buy you some sweet new multimedia equipment, books for next quarter, a month's rent (or half  month's rent if you live in a place like LA).

What I'd do if I could do it again:

  • More data collection (and subsequent analysis)
  • More interviews and reporting
  • More community building
  • More collaborative projects with other organizations
  • More tutorials (with video)

Also, if you take a look at my application essay, there were a few projects that I never got around to:

You have the weekend to write your own application essay. From the CICM blog:

How to apply: Send a copy of your resume and a 250-word essay (or post on your weblog or web site, even better) explaining what ideas you have for the site to me at scmurley@gmail.com. Include links to any multimedia you have produced in the past.

Be forewarned - I will be posting a poll for readers to vote on who is the best potential intern (results will be viewable only by me). However, the ultimate decision on the intern is made by the CICM directors. The winner's name will be posted after they have been notified and accepted the internship. Deadline for applications: Monday, Feb. 1, 2010

If you have any questions about my internship experience, post 'em in the comments or shoot me an email: lauren-dot-rabaino-at-gmail-dot-com or the current intern, Jenna Staul, at cicmintern-at-gmail-dot-com. If you have any logistical questions, email Bryan Murley scmurley-at-gmail-dot-com. Good luck.