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Summer Internships Help Students Gain Valuable Experience
School Undergraduates Travel to Major Markets

Not every intern appears on national television, but UNO broadcasting major Pascha Fountain had the opportunity to introduce herself and promote the Great American Vacation sweepstakes while visiting “The Early Show” this summer.

Fountain and other CBS News interns went to “The Early Show” one morning and interacted with Hannah Storm, Julie Chen and Dave Price. During a commercial break, Price asked her where she was from and what she wanted to do. Then, he told her to remember several facts about the sweepstakes.

When the program went live, Price said, “I’m going to get someone hired today.” He approached Fountain and asked her to tell the viewers about the sweepstakes.

“I was completely caught off guard, but I delivered the lines and, according to Mr. Price, I was hired. I was very nervous, but as soon as I started to talk, the butterflies flew away. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope it foreshadows my future as a news correspondent,” Fountain said.

She, along with seven other School of Communication students, participated in summer internships outside the Omaha metropolitan area -- from Los Angeles, to Washington, D.C., to Memphis, Tenn. About 120 School of Communication students complete internships for credit each year, with 50 doing internships during the summer of 2007. At least one internship is required for most communication students. This is what the summer interns working outside the Omaha area experienced:

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Journalism-public relations/advertising major Abigail Anson interned with Creative Response Concepts Public Relations in the Washington, D.C., area. She completed the internship as part of her participation in the Institute on Political Journalism program at Georgetown University. The institute selects top journalism students from across the country to take classes and serve in internships with major media organizations.

Her internship opportunities included setting up radio interviews for authors affiliated with Regnery Publishing and attending a Capitol Hill news conference sponsored by the Parents Television Council. She met Nebraska Rep. Jeff Fortenberry at the news conference. “My favorite part of the internship was getting to speak with the authors of the books [I was promoting] as well as helping promote the books,” she wrote in her internship paper. “Because I want to be an author someday, I found this to be very interesting.”

UNO student Abigail Anson, second from left

UNO student Abigail Anson, second from left, got to meet "American Idol" contestant and recording artist Elliott Yamin, third from left, while interning with CRC Public Relations. Yamin has diabetes and was attending a Washington, D.C., news conference related to diabetes awareness. Others pictured are Katie Bowles from Oklahoma Christian College and Sarah Anderson from Oklahoma State University, who were other CRC interns.
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Journalism-public relations-advertising major Jamee Clasen interned with The Meyocks Group in West Des Moines, Iowa. In addition to the typical internship duties of filing and updating Excel spread sheets, Clasen was entrusted to serve as the account manager for two clients, Flying Burrito restaurant and Community Housing Development Corp./Neighborhood Development Corp. The company also gave her responsibility for organizing large amounts of data for a potential multimillion-dollar client’s request for information.

“We typically wouldn’t give an intern account management responsibilities with client contact. Jamee’s performance early in the internship gave us confidence to do so,” wrote Doug Jeske, Clasen’s internship supervisor on her evaluation. “She responded by moving projects forward in a timely fashion.”

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Journalism-public relations/advertising major Katie Dowd did an advertising internship with TBWA/Chiat/Day in Los Angeles, an agency with more than 900 employees. She worked primarily on the PlayStation account and discovered the rigors of life in an advertising agency. The highlights of the internship included organizing a video game tournament for employees and attending a commercial shoot for a game called SingStar.

“Over the past two months I’ve learned a lot, not only about my career but also about myself as a person,” she wrote in her internship paper. “I’ve been pushed to my last nerve, and I’ve also had a lot of fun and made some really good friends. That’s what a PlayStation account intern experiences.”

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Speech communication major Elizabeth Einspahr interned with the Universal Cheerleading Association in Memphis, Tenn. Einspahr had assisted with the organization’s cheerleading camps previously, but the internship gave her an opportunity to work in its main office and gain experience with updating a Web site and dealing with the public.

“I would definitely recommend this internship to other people. For one, I think it is a good idea to get away and try something different. By taking this internship, I got a chance to meet new friends and experience life in a new city,” she wrote in her internship paper. “Second, I would recommend this job for people who have never had the experience of working in an office setting.”

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Broadcasting major Pascha Fountain interned with the production department of CBS News in New York, assisting several producers for ESPN Classic, “6O Minutes,” “48 Hours” and “Next Food Network Star.” Fountain said the internship confirmed her interest in reporting and producing and helped her feel confident that her education will allow her to succeed.

The CBS interns also were divided in to teams that put together a news package to present to network executives. “My group did a great story about wine tasting, and the panel was very impressed,” Fountain wrote in her internship paper. “We aired them in front of all the interns, and they seemed to enjoy it also. It was nice to work on a project that made me use everything I learned in school.”

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Journalism-public relations/advertising major Jared Gard did an internship with Laird + Partners in New York, which confirmed his interest in the creative side of advertising. He worked on fashion ads and mailers for Donna Karan, DKNY and Style.com. He was the only intern to actually design pieces to be published and the only intern given his own account – Style.com.

Gard received these assignments after asking for additional projects that fit his areas of interest. “The things I learned, the people I met, the clients I worked on, the people I worked with were all amazing. There is absolutely nothing that I would change about it, other than that I wish I could have stayed longer,” Gard wrote in his internship paper.

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Journalism-news editorial major David Golbitz interned with BOOM! Studios, a small-press comic book company in Los Angeles. Golbitz hopes to create his own comic books or report on the industry and interview other creators, and the internship allowed him to experience the business side of a comic book company. He even received a job offer but opted to return to UNO to finish his degree.

The culmination of his summer was attending the annual San Diego Comic-Con, which he called the “largest pop culture convention in the United States,” drawing up to 70,000 people. At the convention, Golbitz worked in a booth and acted as a salesman for BOOM! “San Diego, plus the internship in general, was a great experience for me, aside from the lack of sleep, because of all the people I met and worked with,” Golbitz wrote in his internship paper. “More than anything, the convention is a huge social networking party where creators meet and talk with their peers.”

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Journalism-public relations/advertising major James Sewell interned with Dewey Square Group after he was selected to participate in a program sponsored by the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, a nonprofit organization providing students opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit. At Dewey Square Group, a Democratic lobbying and political activist firm, Sewell worked in the grassroots department, handling projects for such clients as AT&T and the National Urban League.

Sewell’s tasks included everything from calling elected officials’ offices to writing letters to the editor of magazines and newspapers. “In all, these different tasks exposed me to every aspect of political lobbying, from dealing directly with clients and coalition members, to dealing with politicians and the public directly,” he wrote in his internship paper.

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