Internships Build Confidence and Success

Every semester a number of Communication Arts majors are placed in professional internships. Comm Arts alumni have helped to make many of these internships possible, reaching out to help students at a formative stage in their career.  Students, alumni, and faculty alike agree that an internship can be one of the most valuable experiences undergraduates can have as they make decisions about their future life and work.

This fall, senior Michelle Paque (pictured left) served as an intern at Z104 FM, Madison’s top-ranked radio station.  Working closely with Aaron Rogers, one of Z104’s on-air personalities, Michelle put her media production and publicity skills to work on-air and online.  She shot and edited short videos for the station’s website, wrote scripts for short promos, and participated in on-air discussions of current topics, among many other things. Michelle feels strongly that her internship has helped her prepare for a career.  For instance, she says, “I learned the importance of meeting deadlines and getting things done on time no matter what,” as well as specific audio production skills like working the soundboards and using the music log systems.  She adds, “These skills will give me an upper hand over other, less experienced candidates after I graduate.”

Another student, Erica Etkin, worked as a Special Events intern for the Madison Children’s Museum.  Each year the Museum hosts three major fundraising and outreach events for Madison families, including “Tea and Trains,” which was held this past year on December 3rd, 2011.  Emily began working on this event in September,  coming up with creative arts and crafts projects, learning games, and other forms of entertainment for children and their parents, as well as organizing the silent auction that benefits educational programs and exhibits at the Museum.

For Erica, her Comm Arts classes enabled her to put her interpersonal communication training to use in forming professional contacts. “The constant daily interactions I had with professionals in this internship taught me how to develop relationships that will in turn allow me to reach my deadlines and goals,” she says, adding, ” I look forward to applying what I have learned in Communication Arts classes at the University of Wisconsin to whatever career path I may take!”

Each year more than 80 Communication Arts majors benefit from professional internships.  If you are a student who would like to find an internship, or if you are a supporter who could help provide such an opportunity, contact Comm Arts undergraduate advisor Mary Rossa.