Before starting college, I was told by people in the broadcasting industry to get internships to make connections because, without them, it would be hard to get a job.
When I started college, I was told again in Journalism 101 that internships were the key to success. And a few months later, I landed my first internship and have to agree.
Internships are essential to a college student landing a job after graduation.
The meetings were incredible. What happened afterwards for me was even more amazing.
I interviewed with the Altoona Curve, Double-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates over winter break and the West Virginia Power, the Class-A affiliate of the Pirates shortly after returning to school. I was offered a position with the Power right after the interview was over. They were interested in me from the beginning and are providing a lot of good opportunities for me this summer.
I will work with the Power broadcast team over the summer, producing content for their broadcasts and video board, working on pre-game videos and a number of other duties. They are also providing a unique opportunity to do on-air work for the team, something that not a lot of teams offer to production interns.
And yes, I will also pull tarp, as many MiLB interns do.
The pay that I will receive will be enough to live and eat, basically all that there is to do. The experience that this job will provide is something that I can't stress enough. There's producing, writing, hosting and creating. I can not wait to see what else I can gain from this great opportunity.
My internship with the Power proves a number of points:
1: You can never start too young.
I'm a 19-year-old freshman in college. In fact, I was only 18 until about a week before the trip. Some businesses and jobs want someone who has experience who can help their organization by utilizing what skills they have already acquired. Someone with the same resume as me with four years of experience obviously has a leg up on me.
But, other organizations look for potential and simply the best people. They want someone is driven and someone who is going to help them in any way possible, and in return, they will help you.
I'm young, but I'm actively involved. I'm persistent and I am driven. That is why I got the Power internship. They didn't even mind that I don't end school until the end of April and can't start until May. They saw potential in me and want me because, in their opinion, I'm was the best applicant for the job.
2: You never know.
You never know who is going to take a chance on you. You only need one team, one organization, one person to take a chance on you. I applied for almost 20 internships. Four offered to interview me, three actually did, and one offered me a job.
Breaking into the baseball, media, or any business is difficult. The hardest step is the first one. But you don't need all 20 teams to like you, just one. So, apply for that internship that you don't think you're fully qualified for.
Let them reject you. Don't reject yourself.
3: Things in life usually aren't just handed to you.
I sent over 50 emails to a number of organizations before attending the Winter Meetings. I personalized each to the specific team and attached a link to my website that I created for the trip. I received a few responses, but not many. Only one person responded to my email encouraging me to apply for one of their internships.
That team? The West Virginia Power.
Put yourself out there. Again, it only takes one person to like you. Internships and job offers aren't going to land in your lap. You have to be aggressive and go get them. I spent many hours over two days sending out those emails, making sure each one was personal and different. The worst thing that could happen to my email is that it ends up in the spam or trash folder. No big deal. You're going to get rejected and looked over, it happens to everybody.
You're going to fail and you're going to have to try harder the next time. It's inevitable. As Rocky said:
"But it ain't about how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!"
What they told me was true. Internships are one of the keys to success in this competitive job market. I have already connected with a number of great people in the industry that I would not have if I didn't go to San Diego. Networking is a huge aspect of getting a job, but so is interning. Simply because interning helps you network.
It's one thing to meet someone for five minutes at a restaurant in San Diego. It's another to work for and with them for an entire summer, showing your potential and your work ethic. One thing could lead to another and the next thing you know, you have a great job right out of college and a leg up on the competition.
Don't wait for it, go for it.
Because, why not?
By: Josh Croup
Student Advisory Board Member