Journalism students report on internships

Almost 40 students gained experience in journalism, marketing, advertising and public relations all over the country this summer

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Ellen Kanziger '18

Abigail Summerville

When Maggie Dick, ‘17, walked into the Zimmerman Advertising headquarters on the first day of her summer internship, she didn’t expect to see the company’s founder help himself and a client out of a broken elevator.

“Jordan Zimmerman was riding in the elevator with a client and the elevator got stuck, so he pried the elevator doors open himself,” Dick said.

Maggie is one of 37 Washington and Lee students who interned at news organizations across the country this past summer.

Students at W&L majoring in journalism or business journalism are required to do an internship, or multiple internships, at a news organization before they graduate.

According to the W&L website, these internships are imperative because, “an internship allows you to apply what you’ve been learning in classes to a professional setting. The experience will help you test your interest in the field and assess your preparation for the workplace. It can also introduce you to people who can be helpful resources when you are looking for a job after graduation.”

Students gave short presentations about their respective internship experiences over the course of late September and early October. Internship positions ranged from working at advertising agencies, to TV news shows, to art museums, to traditional print newspapers.

Maggie spent her summer in Florida at the Zimmerman Advertising, the fourteenth biggest advertising agency in the world.

She said the agency’s founder, Jordan Zimmerman, is hardworking and always pushing his employees to be the best they can be. Zimmerman’s motto is “relentlessly pursue the client’s goal, but never rest in glory.”

Maggie had the chance to compete against five other interns in “a pitch to the death” for Outback Steakhouse. She participated in a conference call with the CEO of Outback and pitched her add idea to an actual client on pitch day.

Matthew Barton, ’17, interned at Parrish Art Museum on Long Island in the company’s communications and marketing area. Barton said his main job was to take photographs of the museum, the exhibits and the museum-sponsored events, which would then be used in advertisements for the museum.

At the museum, he met Deputy Director Scott Howe who happened to be a W&L alum. Barton said Howe acted as his mentor and that they will still keep in touch, an example of how these required internships can create important job connections for the future.

Jordan Missal, ’16, interned at the Sports Business Journal and Daily in Charlotte, North Carolina. Missal said he wrote stories, performed research and transcription and edited fellow reporters’ articles. Missal said working for the Rockbridge Report at W&L prepared him for the internship, as well as some business journalism courses he’s taken in the journalism department.