Texas Monthly intern: Be Passionate to Land Internships

Taylor Tompkins standing outside The University Star building

Taylor Tompkins is currently the news editor for The University Star and editorial intern for Texas Monthly

By Leslie Warren:

For journalism junior Taylor Tompkins, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) has been invaluable to her success.

“Opportunities offered through The University Star and SJMC have provided me with real-life tools,” Tompkins said. “No other school could have prepared me as thoroughly as SJMC has.”

Tompkins is currently an editorial intern at Texas Monthly magazine in downtown Austin and news editor at The University Star at Texas State University.

At Texas Monthly, Tompkins is responsible for transcribing interviews, researching, working on data projects, and doing background reporting for journalists.

She applied for Texas Monthly in October 2013 and was hired in early December.

“I was actually turned down initially,” Tompkins said. “They wanted seniors, so they told me to apply in the fall. However, they really liked my resume and were really impressed by my work, so they emailed me the next day and said they opened a position for me even though I was only a junior.”

Tompkins said her Texas Monthly internship has significantly improved her skills as a journalist.

“Transcribing reporters’ interviews sounds boring, but it really has helped me hone and develop my own skills by listening to how they ask questions and using [their techniques] in my own work,” Tompkins said.

Tompkins credits SJMC classes for providing her the skills necessary to obtain this internship.

“It has just been so great,” Tompkins said. “I would recommend this program to anyone.”

To students looking for internships at Texas Monthly, the The University Star, or elsewhere, Tompkins gives the following advice:

“Show that you are eager and passionate about what you are doing,” Tompkins said. “I think they would rather hire someone who is eager and passionate than someone who has more experience but no enthusiasm. You can teach good reporting, but you cannot force someone to care or become a go-getter. I think that is how I have gotten every internship I ever applied for.”

Edit: Taylor Tompkins has completed her internship at Texas Monthly.

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About Josue Plaza
Josue Plaza is a student at Texas State University majoring in Electronic Media.

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