Thirty-five students from six schools participated in the Society of Professional Journalists Colorado Pro Chapter’s college student internship and job fair on Feb. 19 at the Denver Press Club. The SPJ Colorado Pro board sponsored the event so underclassmen could interview for summer internships and May graduates could interview for entry-level jobs.
“Some very impressive talent, and a terrific turnout from the students,” Evergreen Newspapers editor Doug Bell said. “These events not only provide our imminent graduates a chance to practice their interviewing skills but also are a networking bonanza.”
The session was scheduled for 1-4 p.m. and ran 30 minutes longer because many of the print, broadcast and digital students interviewed with three or four of the news organization representatives.
The fair was open and free to students, and they were encouraged to bring their resumes, clips and portfolios.
According to Bell, “The editors on hand to do the interviewing were clearly impressed, and came away with a valuable collection of resumes.”
Janis Carrasquel Hernandez, a Metropolitan State University-Denver fall 2015 journalism graduate, said, “I enjoyed the job fair greatly. It was an occasion to meet face-to-face with Colorado’s prospective media employers and learn about what they are looking for.
“It was also a good professional networking event where I talked with colleagues about their projects and exchanged job hunting tips and knowledge.”
Denver Post internship recruiter Alexandra Alsonso also noted the students’ appreciation for the interiew experience.
“I’m so glad that that a few of the students felt like they left the fair with helpful information,” she said. “I was very happy to meet such a diverse group made up of attendees who were well-prepared, had great questions, and who were receptive to feedback and suggestions when talking about their next step.”
Mile High Sports web editor Michael Jaycox appreciated the students’ enthusiasm in pursuing journalism careers.
“This was my first time representing Mile High Sports at a job fair, and I couldn’t have been more impressed,” he said. “The students and applicants were not only qualified and prepared, but engaging to speak with. What I was most impressed with, though, was their excitement to know more about the industry and different possible pathways towards a journalism career.
“Even if Mile High Sports wasn’t the perfect fit for an individual applicant, we were able to discuss their future in other ways, and I feel both sides came away with something useful.”
Colorado SPJ partnered with the Colorado Press Associaton in visits to college journalism programs last fall, and the visitation team members emphasized the importance of internships. The Feb. 19 program was the first internship/job fair hosted by Colorado SPJ because the chapter board believed spring semester was a good time to reconnect with students.
“Thanks to SPJ for putting on one of the best internship/job fairs I’ve seen,” Greeley Tribune editor Randy Bangert said. “I came away with a stack of more than a dozen resumes from passionate, enthusiastic and talented journalists that I’d like to have in our newsroom at some point. It’s great to see so many young journalists who are eager to develop their skills and experience real-world journalism.”