When I attended the University of Oklahoma as a student of the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, my fellow students and I quickly realized that the best opportunities to learn and prepare for media careers came from whatever hands-on experience we could gain.
For some, that meant working at the OU Daily. For others, it meant working at the OU Nightly. In 2009, others gained advertising experience after the college created Lindsey and Asp, a student-run agency.
Above all, my Gaylord peers and I sought internships at professional organizations. Some, who could afford it, took summer internships around the country. Some, who could afford it, took unpaid positions here in Oklahoma, such as my own unpaid internship at the Oklahoma Gazette in 2006. But others, whose finances were more precarious, had to devote their working hours to paying jobs outside their desired professions.
Internship opportunities open up at NonDoc
Over a light breakfast in 2017, Gaylord College Dean Ed Kelley and I had a more robust version of this conversation, and it ultimately led him to make a decision that benefited NonDoc Media but, more importantly, students in his college. With the support of donors, Kelley alerted me that NonDoc would be able to offer a paid reporting internship for the summer of 2018 to a Gaylord College student.
That position ultimately went to Ben White, a talented young writer who lacked journalism experience but possessed an important quality that can allow anyone to become a good reporter: intelligence.
Over the summer, Ben wrote dozens of pieces about #Election2018, dramatically improving his writing, his interviewing and his editorial judgment.
To ensure he could continue reporting on legislative and statewide races throughout the 2018 cycle, Ben’s internship was extended through early November.
For 2019, we have devoted our own resources to retaining his talents, and he serves as our student editor, creating digital content and publishing stories from the developing Gaylord News project, which features student reporters in Washington, D.C., and here in Oklahoma.
Meet our three new interns
For the spring 2019 semester, which began Monday, I am thrilled to announce the onboarding of three new Gaylord College interns, an expansion of this partnership to include students from other majors within the college.
Trinity Cohee (@Trinity_Cohee), a Moore native and sophomore journalism major, will serve as an editorial intern this semester, reporting news stories and producing other digital content for the site.
She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association at OU. She is a fan of thesauruses, bass guitars and those little glow-in-the-dark stars you stick on your ceiling. Her biggest goals this year are to keep all of her house plants alive and to write important stories.
Lauren Jeldy (@LJeldy_), an Oklahoma City native and sophomore advertising major, will serve as an advertising and marketing intern. She has already created graphics for NonDoc, and she will be developing a marketing plan to increase awareness of our site across the state.
Lauren enjoys consuming media, listening to music and creating art. A member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, she also enjoys traveling.
Carter Brannan (@CarterBrannan_), a Dallas native and sophomore advertising major, will also serve as an advertising and marketing intern. She is working with Lauren to develop the aforementioned marketing plan, and the pair will work with client relations manager Angela Jones to maximize exposure for NonDoc advertisers.
A member of the Chi-Omega sorority, Carter enjoys volunteering as a wish granter for Make-A-Wish.
Community coverage, social media and marketing
I want to offer my most sincere appreciation to the Gaylord College for making these student internships possible at a local small business.
This semester, Cohee will enhance our community coverage while learning how to be a professional reporter. Likewise, Jeldy and Brannan will expand our client relations department while gaining experience with social media and marketing.
Students benefit from chances to learn on the job, and the Gaylord College has taken valuable steps to ensure those opportunities exist in Oklahoma.