Why you should apply to be CICM intern

It’s that time of year again when Bryan Murley’s twitter feed is sprinkled with requests for CICM intern applications. As the very first CICM intern, I can tell you its worth every minute of your time. And since this is the last weekend to apply before the deadline, here’s my two cents.

The reasons

The endless connections: Before I was a CICM intern, no one on the twittersphere knew who I was. But after having my name published on the blog and having the opportunity to talk with students and educators in the industry, I could strengthen my professional relationships and my online branding. Since then, I’ve been involved with organizations like CoPress, Publish2 and Spot.Us.

Creative freedom: Bryan lets you do whatever you want with this internship (at least he did when I was around). It’s a chance for you to experiment with any crazy story-telling methods you want with an audience and a purpose.

Stay on the cutting edge: As a college journalist, you should want to know the latest and greatest going on with college media across the nation (and world). As CICM intern, you can get to know the big names and basically force yourself to stay on top of what people in the industry are doing and saying. Once you tap into that knowledge sphere, you won’t be able to unattach yourself.

Learn a blogging workflow: Sure, you could get an internship at a copy desk at your local paper where your hours are set in stone. Or, you could strengthen your ability to work on web-only deadlines and take part in collaborative, virtual editing through the CICM. And if you work with Bryan to install Edit Flow (CoPress’ workflow management plugin for WordPress), you can carry that editorial workflow experience into your college newsroom or even the professional newsroom.

Cha-ching: Although money shouldn’t be the primary reason you decide to take the internship, it’s one hell of a motivator. It’s rare to come across paid internships in the journalism field. $500 could buy you some sweet new multimedia equipment, books for next quarter, a month’s rent (or half  month’s rent if you live in a place like LA).

What I’d do if I could do it again:

  • More data collection (and subsequent analysis)
  • More interviews and reporting
  • More community building
  • More collaborative projects with other organizations
  • More tutorials (with video)

Also, if you take a look at my application essay, there were a few projects that I never got around to:

You have the weekend to write your own application essay. From the CICM blog:

How to apply: Send a copy of your resume and a 250-word essay (or post on your weblog or web site, even better) explaining what ideas you have for the site to me at scmurley@gmail.com. Include links to any multimedia you have produced in the past.

Be forewarned - I will be posting a poll for readers to vote on who is the best potential intern (results will be viewable only by me). However, the ultimate decision on the intern is made by the CICM directors. The winner’s name will be posted after they have been notified and accepted the internship.

Deadline for applications:
Monday, Feb. 1, 2010

If you have any questions about my internship experience, post ‘em in the comments or shoot me an email: lauren-dot-rabaino-at-gmail-dot-com or the current intern, Jenna Staul, at cicmintern-at-gmail-dot-com. If you have any logistical questions, email Bryan Murley scmurley-at-gmail-dot-com. Good luck.

Lauren's New Year's Resolutions 2010

Yes, it’s that time of year again. Unlike prior years when I’ve set New Year’s resolutions, this year is the start of many new things in my life. As of three weeks ago, I’m a college graduate. On Christmas I moved to LA to start a new life and career. So these are my resolutions. Feel free to steal a few of them.

1. Blog regularly: I haven’t blogged properly for about a year now. I took the CICM internship this time last year so I shifted my blogging habits there. Immediately after the termination of that internship, I began blogging for CoPress (and still do so today). You can find more of my journalism-related posts there, but for more casual, personal blog posts, the goal is to post something here at least once a week.

2. Become a better task manager: I’m taking on a lot of projects these days. I soon plan to launch a new site for my hometown radio station, KTIP. I’m finishing up freelance work for Spot.Us and Cal Poly University Housing. Now that I’m graduated, I’m doing work for CoPress and I’m full time at Publish2. I recently started using Remember the Milk to help myself stay organized, but if you know of any better tools, throw ‘em in the comments.

3. Stop being an anti-social freak. Anyone who knows me in real life (i.e. people who didn’t meet me through Twitter), knows that me + social = fail. It could be because I’m a workaholic, but I’m also partially a workaholic to avoid being social. Since I’ll be rooming with the lovely Vanessa Bezic and living in a cultural hub of the country, Los Angeles, I plan to take advantage of the city and network myself silly. I got a good start last night by kicking off the new year at Noel Baron‘s home.

4. Read more books. This one is self explanatory. I want to start with the classics that I never read in high school or college (starting with Crime and Punishment and Great Expectations). Then I’ll move on to this list (stolen from Jane Lehr’s women and gender studies class).

5. Go to more conferences. I rarely went to journalism conferences because (1) I couldn’t afford it and (2) I couldn’t afford to miss class. Now that I’m a graduate with a job, both of those factors are eliminated. I’m also working with organizations that have team members spread across the country, so meeting with them in person whenever I can is important.

6. Build a WordPress theme from scratch. I’m perfectly capable of doing this. I just haven’t. Don’t ask why. Perhaps time and reason were the restraints. Now I’m giving myself the time, which is reason enough.

7. Master PHP and start on Django. Working at CoPress (and now with Publish2), my role has always been to design something pretty in Photoshop, then hand it off to the boys for execution. After reading Megan Taylor’s list of hacker-journalists (comprised entirely of men), I have a goal of being able to add “developer” to my Twitter bio in addition to designer and journalist.

8. Pitch a story using Spot.Us. I’m not working as reporter in the trenches for my first post-graduate job. As a result, I don’t want to lose touch with my reporting roots. Now that I’m living in LA where Spot.Us opened its second branch, I intend to get to know the issues in this area and use the site to pitch and report as a freelancer and publish it on my own.

9. Stay married to my career. I was pretty good at this in college, but post-college, I’m ready to really dive into the work I’m doing.

10. Learn how to cook (well). In college I lived off of salads, sandwiches and ramen out of practicality. Now it’s time to finally eat well to keep up energy levels required to follow through with the rest of this list. The goal is to master one dish a week. Over ambitious? Perhaps.

That’s all. Peace. Happy 2010.