Setting Students up for Success
We know students are eager to explore the diverse range of careers in news, media, and journalism, as well as the necessary steps to achieve their career goals. Whether it be through an internship, resume assistance, career fairs, or other resources, the School of Journalism and Media is dedicated to preparing you for a rewarding career in the industry.
What can you do with a School of Journalism & Media degree?
You can have an amazing career in journalism and media, just like so many of our successful alumni. Here’s just a few examples of what our alumni are doing today.
Principal (Event Production)
Cindy Brewer (’91), LEO Events
“The skills I learned while studying JEM at UTK are invaluable to me today. Communication is key in our industry, and you must also approach every event as if you are telling a story. For corporate events, many clients like Walmart, Dominos, and Sherwin Williams come to LEO Events for their production, content, creative direction and video capabilities. Because of my JEM classes and years of experience with internships, practicums, and working at WUTK, I came out of UTK hirable and I’m still thankful for that today. “
Rilwan Balogun (’15), KPRC TV Channel 2, Houston
“JEM really helped jumpstart my career. Professors really invested in me and helped me apply for internships and fellowships that laid the groundwork to get me where I am now.”
Senior Writer and Host
Ryan McGee (’93), ESPN
“My favorite professor, the great Dr. Sam Swan, always preached the mantra ‘Learning by doing’ and really pushed us to pursue internships and he also booked trips to places like New York and Los Angeles to meet with UT JEM alums working in the industry. By the time I graduated I had already held a couple of jobs and also had a list of contacts. I did. I learned. And I’m still learning by doing every single day. “
Director of Communications
Lindsey McBee (’19), UT’s College of Architecture and Design
“To be able to get involved in The Library That Dolly Built early on with Land Grant Films helped me develop skills as a producer that I have used throughout my career. The faculty in the School of Journalism and Media mentored me through the program and have continued to support me through a variety of communications positions at UT.”
Additional Job Titles in the Field
While our alumni are the best examples of what you can do with a career in journalism and media, there are so many career options in the field. Here’s a few more:
- Content Marketer
- Technical Writer
- Campaign Manager
- Marketing Manager
- Broadcaster and Sound Engineering Tech
- Copy Writer
- Grant Writer
- Social Media Specialist
- Broadcast News Analyst
- Web Producer
- Public Relations Manager
- Marketing Research Analyst
- Corporate Communications Specialist
- Public Relations Specialist
- Sports Information Director
- Radio Station Manager
Because of the University of Tennessee school of JEM, I was fortunate enough to have been nominated for a scholarship as well as obtain a summer internship with a local Knoxville News Station. I am now getting real-world experience working in a newsroom, and one of my stories actually got to air on live TV for the first-time last week. I am confident that this program and its professors are putting me in a position to succeed and are taking me one step closer to accomplishing my dreams.”
undergraduate student at the School of Journalism and Media
A practicum is a hands-on opportunity that allows students to get real experience at a participating media outlet and also earns the student course credit. It is required for all Journalism and Media majors to complete a practicum. A practicum may be on-campus or off-campus in Knoxville, but may also be in another location during summer months, with permission of the practicum coordinator.
How many hours is a practicum?
A practicum requires a minimum of 150 hours of meaningful and supervised work experienced during a semester. This usually means that students work 10-20 hours per week. Media outlets prefer practicum students to be there for long blocks of time either all day or mornings or afternoons. Some night shifts are also available in TV news. A student can enroll for a practicum while enrolled in other courses.
How do students apply for a practicum?
Students must not only enroll in the course to earn credit but must also be accepted by an approved media or communications company. Students apply a few weeks before the beginning of the semester in which they plan to complete a practicum. Students may be asked to complete an application for selected companies, interview, and take drug tests.
Can a practicum be paid?
Paid practicums are permitted. Some TV stations and cable companies now only hire paid practicum and internship students. Students should treat the experience as a job. A final paper, time sheet, and a supervisor evaluation are required for a student to receive credit.
What is the difference between a practicum and an internship?
The Journalism and Media practicum is required as a core course for graduation. An internship is an optional opportunity for students to choose for additional experience and as an elective course credit.
How do I find a practicum?
Internal, on-campus partners include: WUTK, www.tnjn.com, The Daily Beacon, The Volunteer Channel, WUOT and VFL Films. External partners include: WBIR-TV, WVLT-TV, WATE-TV, KnoxNews, Cityview Magazine, Maryville Daily Times, Discovery, RIVR Media, Jupiter Entertainment, Tennessee Smokies, and many more.
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