Coming to a TV Near You: ComArtSci Senior Interns for Fox 2 Detroit

Posted on: July 31, 2017

If you dream of working in the field of sports journalism, an internship at a news station would set you far ahead of your competitors. Lucky for ComArtSci senior Brad Merlo, his position at Fox 2 Detroit will do just that.Brad1

This summer, Merlo is working as a sports department intern. His days consist of following high-profile reporters, interviewing major Detroit sports stars and sitting in on press conferences.

“So far this summer, I have attended and followed my station’s reporters at four different venues, including all four Detroit sports facilities,” said Merlo. “At each venue I was handed the Fox 2 microphone and given the opportunity to interview players, coaches and sit-in on coach press conferences.”

Merlo notes that his internship is about more than just gaining experience in the field of sports. It’s about making connections with the entire sports community and getting involved in Detroit’s sports culture.

“I really have enjoyed immersing myself in the Detroit sports community as well as interacting and networking with the other media members in town,” said Merlo. “I’ve realized that sports are special in this town. I am hopeful my internship will lead to future opportunities to report on sports in America's comeback city.”

Merlo also touched on the fact that his core journalism classes were particularly helpful in preparing him for this internship.

"JRN 300 and JRN 492 were helpful because I was required to write and shoot weekly multimedia stories,” said Merlo. “I really credit my JRN 492 radio and play-by-play course too, because I had the opportunity to be taught under Dan Dickerson, who is the radio announcer for the Detroit Tigers. That class was very rewarding.”

Aside from classes, Merlo believes ComArtSci’s Career Services played a positive role in his internship search. From resume help, to ComArtSci Connect, Merlo feels that he was ahead of the game when it came to applying for internships.

“ComArtSci helped prepare me in many ways because I used Career Services to improve my resume before sending my application out to several internship openings,” said Merlo. “I also attended the Career Fair in April which helped my confidence and experience because I met several recruiters. Career Services and Handshake provided me with a lot of services that helped improve my resume and cover letters.”

In terms of finding a great internship, Merlo suggests you talk to as many people as you can. By putting yourself out there, you’re much more likely to find new positions.

“Get your face in front of people as much as possible,” said Merlo. “The more people you talk to, the better you open yourself up for job opportunities and future internships. It is very important to get exposure and apply to a variety of internships.”

Relevant courses, resume help and networking should all be on your to-do list when it comes to looking for an internship. By combining these things, you’re sure to find a position that will give you a wide variety of experience in your chosen field.

By Katie Kochanny

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ComArtSci Senior Lands Internship at Lansing-Based Public Relations Firm

Posted on: July 25, 2017

Throughout the school year, one topic seems to be on everyone’s mind: internships. Professors, alumni and other students frequently mention how important it is to have a few internships under your belt before graduating. ComArtSci senior Ally Hamzey has found an internship that’s giving her the experience she needs before heading out into the real world.

This summer, Hamzey is working as a public relations intern for Lansing-based PR firm Truscott Rossman. And if it weren’t for ComArtSci Connect, she may never have found the internship in the first place.

I found out about my internship through the ComArtSci career fair this spring,” said Hamzey. “When I saw a table for Truscott Rossman, I ended up showing them my portfolio and leaving a resume there. Later on, an account executive reached out to me and said that they wanted to schedule an interview.”

For those who have both a major and a minor, it can be difficult to try and tie the two together. Hamzey notes that this internship has helped her figure out which direction she wants to head in post-commencement.

This internship has been a really efficient way to get a feel for what kind of sector of media I want to work in after graduation,” said Hamzey. “Since I'm majoring in journalism and minoring in public relations, it kind of felt like a toss up when I thought about working for either a news or PR organization. Working for a firm where I can see what it's like to balance working for a variety of clients with different goals and messages really illuminated what PR is for me.”


As with most ComArtSci students who find prestigious internships, Hamzey also points out specific classes that have given her the skills she needed to be successful at Truscott Rossman.

“ADV 325 really helped set the groundwork for me on how to write specific news releases or media advisories,” said Hamzey. “JRN 300 also gave me the practice I needed to tighten up my AP Style skills, making me feel much more confident walking into this internship.”

We all know the importance of our classes, but what about the importance of our professors themselves? It can be hard to develop a personal relationship with a professor when you’re taking larger classes, but they can be helpful in guiding you in the right direction when it comes to your chosen field.

“Establishing relationships with professors can have the most long lasting impacts on your career,” said Hamzey. “Professors that I have been able to create close relationships with at ComArtSci have given me different perspectives and outlooks that have helped me improve my skills across the board. I strongly recommend that you take the time to talk to your professors and get to know who they are.”

And how should you go about doing this? By asking them as many questions as possible. ComArtSci professors have the experience that most students are working towards, so they’ll have the answers when it comes to your specific questions.

“Ask your professors questions you might not have wanted to ask out loud in class and ask about how they got to where they are now,” said Hamzey. “Ask, ask, ask!”

As a rising senior, Hamzey is full of advice when it comes to finding an internship like hers. Her main points? Apply to as many internships as you can and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get an offer.

“It's easy to feel disheartened if you've applied to 10 internships and only have heard back from a few, but use that as motivation to keep applying and keep improving yourself,” said Hamzey. “Create a cover letter that doesn't have typos or silly errors and really allure employers to understand why you're interested and why you're the most qualified for the position.”

As far as internal resources go, Hamzey understands just what ComArtSci can do when it comes to building a successful future. She advises her classmates to learn more about what the college has to offer, as it may help them in finding their dream internship.

“Take advantage of the vast array of resources available to you at ComArtSci,” said Hamzey. “If I hadn't approached one particular table at our career fair, I wouldn't have the internship that I do now. Read the flyers posted on the walls through the college because you might just find an event or workshop that could be incredibly beneficial to your future career.”

By Katie Kochanny

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Peace, Love and Not War By: Sparty

Posted on: June 22, 2017

This post was originally published on the MSU Mass Media 2017 blog.

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My last day in Belfast was cool and informative. I’ve even picked up a bit of an accent. In the beginning, my friends, Troy and Myself were a we bit confused.  We didn’t know if Belfast was considered apart of Northern Ireland or just Ireland. I’ve over heard some of my friends being corrected by natives.

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Today, all of that was cleared up. There seems to be a division between Irish Catholics and Irish Proestants. The Catholics self identify as Irish and consider Belfast to be in “Ireland.” The Protestants consider themselves British and loyal to the Queen. They are the ones who consider Belfast to be in “Northern Ireland.”

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The peace wall is what separates Catholic and Protestant neighborhoods.  Things are not as bad as they were when the separation first started back in 1969. However, the war between the two are similar to the race war in America and has yet to come to a complete end. The purpose of the peace wall is to minimize violence between the two neighborhoods.

By Devinnia Marie (aka "Sparty")

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Sparty’s Adventure at Dunluce Castle & Giant Causeway

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This post was originally published on the MSU Mass Media 2017 blog. Min 1

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In the last two days, our trip of Northern Ireland was continued. Of course, the green spirit can’t be carried without Sparty, the mascot of Michigan State University.

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Sparty’s had an adventure at Giant’s Causeway and Dunluce Castle, what’s more exciting? He visited a few locations where the Game of Thrones was filmed!

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Sparty has made some new friends. Many people in this region are pastoralists, raising herds of animals — mostly sheep — as a source of both income and nutrition. It’s impossible to drive 5 minutes here without coming across a flock of sheep. It’s true, there are more sheep than people in Ireland.

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By Min Wang

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Journalism student remodels Detroit community with help of nonprofit organization

Posted on: October 21, 2016

Some people have big dreams but don’t have the confidence or power to bring them to life. However, for third year journalism student Hakeem Weatherspoon, he didn’t let doubt get in the way of making his idea a reality. After growing up in Detroit, Weatherspoon has always tried to think of ways to revitalize his neighborhood. This past summer, his hope for change led to a partnership with Life Remodeled.

Starting from scratch

Weatherspoon and his friends came up with the idea of bringing Life Remodeled to their community while they were in high school.

“My peers and I really decided that there was never a place to play when (we were) growing up,” said Weatherspoon, who believes that children who play together, grow together. “I hope that it will lessen the crime in the area. Children will be more happy in the long run.”

Life Remodeled is a nonprofit based in Detroit that selects a different neighborhood every year in which to invest money, labor, and materials. Offering $5 million dollars worth of efforts every year, the organization’s  mission strives to repair and restore these areas.

Over the summer, Weatherspoon and Life Remodeled  began to rebuild the Denby neighborhood, one of the most violent in the country, according to Weatherspoon. In just six days, starting on August 1, 2016, the transformation began at Skinner Park, but spread throughout the city impacting 300 more blocks and properties.

“It feels like anything is possible if you put the work in and follow through,” said Weatherspoon. “That's why I tell the younger people back at home ‘never let anybody tell you that you can't do anything. You are a dreamer so dream big.’”

How it went down

Around 10,700 volunteers dedicated their time to bring the residents of the community together as one. The Life Remodeled group made the results worth the long commitment. Skinner Park now has a performance pavilion with solar panels and a water catchment system, two basketball courts, a volleyball court, a pickleball court, a putting green and two horseshoe pits. In addition, 362 houses have been boarded up, 80 homes have been remodeled, safe pathways to school are now demarcated.

Weatherspoon said it was amazing to see the difference that the new additions and restorations made in the community.

“The hardest thing in my perspective was the beautification process, simply, because you never realize how dirty your room is until you clean it up!” said Weatherspoon.

Life Remodeled will continue to contribute to the Detroit mission, even though this specific project is finished.

Communication is key

Weatherspoon credits ComArtSci for giving him the voice and communication skills to execute his vision efficiently. He believes that the professors helped him to get his foot in the door toward achieving success with this project.

“In order to get funding there is a business aspect and communication allows that function to happen,” said Weatherspoon. “You have to communicate to the community, corporations, and outside people in order to get more volunteers. You also have the media in the town to speak to, so that plays a role in heavy communication!”

Weatherspoon continued to say that his main hope has been to lessen the crime and show that there is more to Detroit than its history and violence.

For more information on the 2016 Life Remodeled project, visit here.

By Emmy Virkus

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State News experience leads to internship in Colorado newsroom

Posted on: September 29, 2016


Journalism senior Jake Allen spent his summer as a news intern at the Colorado Springs Gazette. Today, he is back in East Lansing for his senior year at MSU as the editor-in-chief of The State News.

The State News prepared me really well before I got to the Colorado Springs Gazette,” Allen said. “During my internship, I learned how to be a better writer. They had me work on better introductions and I had the chance to strengthen my storytelling.”

Allen said the skills he learned over the summer in Colorado helped prepare him for his new leadership position at the student newspaper.

Operations at the Colorado Springs Gazette were similar to what he was used to at The State News, just on a larger scale. The story topics were different, the place was different, but MSU’s collegiate newspaper prepared him well for the interviews he had to conduct and the stories he had to craft.

A great aspect of having an internship at the Colorado Springs Gazette, for Allen, was that the full time employees treated the interns like part of the team. He got to chase the stories he was assigned, pitch stories, and cover high profile stories that landed his name on the front page.

“One of my favorite stories to cover was when I got to go to the Air Force Academy for the new cadets day,” Allen said. “It got pretty intense. There was a lot of yelling and a lot of intimidation, but it was also an amazing story to write.”

When Allen first started to apply for summer internships, he knew that he wanted to find one outside of Michigan. He said the Colorado Springs Gazette was the one that worked out the best for him. Allen felt living out west would be a great experience.

His advice for other students would be to reach for out of state, or dream, internships, because they are attainable if you work at it.

“Apply to as many internships as you can,” Allen said. “Obviously it is important to make sure you are still sending in quality applications, but definitely put yourself out there while still focusing on the details. Make sure that you’re sending in the best application you can.”

What helped Allen during  the process was following up with contacts for the internships that he was applying. He said he was particularly persistent with the Colorado Springs Gazette, because he knew it would be a great summer opportunity.

He advises journalism students to really take advantage of some of their first journalism classes, such as JRN 200 and JRN 300, noting that he wouldn’t have gotten his start at The State News without basic clips from these classes.

“Through the whole internship process, I learned that it’s not that hard moving to a new place, making friends and starting a new job,” Allen said. “Definitely be open to new places and new opportunities during school and after graduation, too.”

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Internship with WKAR radio drives passion for sports journalism

Posted on: September 9, 2016

isaaconstansWhile growing up, ‘sports’ for senior Isaac Constans meant asking his dad, “What do you think the chances are of me becoming a professional basketball player?" Constans has always loved basketball, however, when he came to MSU, he put his talent for writing and love of sports into the other side of sports production.

Constans is a journalism senior and as an engineer and cohost of WKAR’s Current Sports with Al Martin, he prepares show layouts, edits audio and discusses all things sports on the segment.

Constans is enjoying his opportunity to have a speaking role on a sports radio show as an intern. Knowing his radio audience is something that Constans has picked up on quickly, referring to the fact that you have to be careful of crossing the line on radio talk shows. He has learned to back up his arguments and developed thicker skin because of the experience.

“I actually really enjoy giving my opinion on the show,” Constans said. “You really are free to express yourself. One of my favorite aspects of print journalism is the column side; anything to do with community messages is important to me.”

He first learned about the opportunity at WKAR Public Media from Michigan State University through one of his journalism professors and worked his way into roles with more responsibility. The School of Journalism and Constans’ professors have helped him achieve his goals, make connections and prepare for a career after internships.

One thing Constans wasn’t expecting to learn is the strategic process that goes into making each radio show possible. Through his internship, he is involved with the research required to have a well-rounded discussion that will connect with their audience.

“I had to learn to find a way to organize the material for discussion,” Constans said. “There is a lot that goes into it behind the scenes and I had no idea journalism could be so multifaceted.”

Constans originally wanted to gain print experience and said he found himself loving the radio side of journalism at WKAR. He can put his writing, personality and verbal communication skills into the success of the show.

Trying everything and getting involved with things you are passionate about is Constans’ advice to younger journalism students.

“Make sure you are available when any opportunity arises; you will learn so much,” Constans said. “Getting honest feedback and knowing the common triumphs and struggles of your organization is key.”

Through his internship at WKAR, Constans learned that he wanted to pursue a career in radio sports journalism.

“WKAR opened up a whole new avenue of sports journalism for me,” Constans said. “I can express myself, my personality and my presence through radio. I had never really thought about that option before, but I realized how important this skill is in the realm of communication.”

By Meg Dedyne

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JRN student shares ‘Faces of Flint’ portraits at Mid-SURE

Posted on: August 17, 2016

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Over the last year, the Flint Water Crisis has gained national news attention. And while much is known about the government missteps that led to the contamination of Flint's public water supply, how much is actually known about the families and residents of Flint whose lives have been affected by the crisis?  

Journalism student Hannah Brenner used her talents as an aspiring photojournalist to capture the people of Flint’s stories in a way that the news has not.

She took portraits of people at various locations in the Flint area, including the Brennan Senior Center. Her portraits are a part of the “Faces of Flint” series by WKAR and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences.

“The goal was to capture these people’s' spirits and show them as not just victims of the water crisis but individuals,” Brenner said.

Brenner recently shared her portraits at the Mid-Michigan Symposium for Undergraduate Research Experiences (Mid-SURE), which took place in July at Spartan Stadium. The symposium offers students from MSU and other institutions the opportunity to present their work to peers and faculty.

The response was overwhelmingly positive,” Brenner said. “Many people stopped and asked questions about the subjects of my photos. That was the goal for me, to not present on the water crisis but the people affected.”

Looking ahead, Brenner said she is far from finished with the people of Flint. She has plans to return to the senior center to visit with the seniors again.

“I am very taken with the seniors there and I want to expand on that part of the project,” said Brenner. “I will also be expanding my networks and trying to reach more residents to profile.”

To find out more about the “Faces of Flint” series, click here.

By Savannah Swix


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Internship at CONAN leads journalism junior to dream internship at Jimmy Fallon

Posted on: April 7, 2016

Emma-Jean Bedford - Production Intern at CONAN 2015 Pic 1 2 PrintCalifornia native Emma-Jean Bedford dreams of being a producer at a late night show one day. The journalism junior has already landed two production internships, one at CONAN in Los Angeles last summer, and the second working on the set of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon in New York City this summer.

Bedford got her start in broadcasting in high school. She worked her way through reporting and directing before she started producing. When she came to MSU, she decided entertainment news was a better fit for her outgoing personality.

“Entertainment news is fun and we still get a point across,” she said.

As a production intern at CONAN, Bedford helped with everything from researching guests to preparing the stage for rehearsals. She learned about all the pieces that go on behind the scenes in order to put a show together as one cohesive unit.

Her most memorable time on-the-job was the two weeks the show moved to San Diego for Comic-Con. Bedford was promoted to production assistant and got to take on more responsibility.

“We basically had to move the entire production to another city,” Bedford said. She made decisions about the layout of the studio, like choosing Conan’s dressing room and designing the route guests would take to the stage.

“I was really excited. I had the opportunity to voice my input and they listened,” she said.

Bedford said her experience at CONAN helped her get the internship with Jimmy Fallon this summer.

“I would not have secured these two internships if I didn’t come to Michigan State,” Bedford said. “If it wasn’t for the people here that believe in me and encourage me to do what they believe I can do, I don’t know where I would be.”

In connection with her internships, Bedford received the Adrienne M. Johns Communication Arts and Sciences Internship Award and the Bonnie Bucqueroux Memorial Fund Scholarship.

Bedford offered up some advice for her fellow ComArtSci students who are looking for work experiences: network.

“You need to make sure they know who you are,” she said. She also encouraged students to use the resources available to them, like career advising in room 181 ComArtSci.

She also said it’s important to be willing to try anything.

“Always commit and if you have a question later, figure it out,” she said.

By Kelsey Block

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Journalism Student Explores Internships in Every Medium

Posted on: February 19, 2016

Krista Wilson

Journalism sophomore Krista Wilson started gaining work experiences early on in her college career. The fall of her freshman year at MSU, she already had lined up an internship with City Pulse as a reporter. She spent her first semester on campus covering all kinds of stories – from Lansing’s small businesses to arts and culture grants.

Her experience on her high school’s newspaper helped her get the job, but working for a weekly publication taught her a lot.

“In high school, I had a couple weeks to do a story, compared to City Pulse where I had to learn how to really manage my time better,” she said. “I had maybe three to four web stories a week, so it was intense.”

Wilson also is involved with MSU Telecasters, which has been especially helpful, since someday she hopes to work as an entertainment reporter.

“I was able to start on-camera reporting. I look at these videos now and see what I could have done differently and what I will do differently,” she said.

Krista Wilson 2Currently, Wilson is working as a host for Planet Radio 100, an Internet radio station. As a host, Wilson interviews artists about their music on air. She also reports on current events and localizes stories to Detroit.

She first heard of the opportunity on She applied, did a phone interview, and started the job as soon as she finished spring semester.

All of these experiences have helped Wilson find her strengths and interests in a journalism career path.

“When I go to be an entertainment reporter, I can say ‘Okay, this is what I want to do.’ I feel like I really have a purpose here. (My internships have) confirmed my goals,” she said. “I actually like radio hosting more. I feel like there’s more freedom. Even though it’s journalism, it’s entertainment, so you have more freedom to be creative than when you’re just reporting on the facts. Your personality is more part of the package.”

Wilson received the MSUFCU Internship Award, which helped cover her expenses during her summer at Planet Radio.

Even with three work experiences under her belt, she’s not stopping. Wilson currently is searching for another broadcasting internship for the summer.

She encourages her fellow students not to discount their own experiences, even if they haven’t had an internship yet.

“Any experience you have is good experience. They shouldn’t feel like they’ll be turned down or rejected because they don’t have prior experience,” she said. “If they had a journalism class where they had to do a video or a story, they can use that stuff from class and use it to apply for internships.”

By Kelsey Block, Journalism and Arts and Humanities double major

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