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Manfred Olson Planetarium at UWM offers internships to all JAMS majors


When it comes to internship opportunities for Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies (JAMS) majors, there is no lack of opportunities.  An internship is always a great start to one's career because it offers students a great learning experience on the job that prepares them for the workplace after graduation.

The Manfred Olson Planetarium at UWM offers an on-campus internship to JAMS students who are looking to expand their experience in public relations, advertising, and even print and broadcast journalism; however, when one thinks of the planetarium, it is assumed that one must have a background in astronomy right?  No quite so.  Director of the UWM Planetarium, Dr. Jean Creighton, does not require an astronomy background.  "It helps if the students has an interest in astronomy and appreciates the beauty of the night sky."  She does look for self-motivated students who are willing to share their talents with the team of staff and interns.  

Of course like any internship, one must put in the time and commitment: that way the intern will be better prepared for future employment.  Gazelle Arga is a former UWM JAMS student, she started interning for the planetarium after she found out about the internship through her JAMS 524 course.  "Interning at the Planetarium gave me a lot of practice in graphic design and because of that I was able to put it in a portfolio to show to potential employers.  In addition to tabling at the Student Union building and hanging up fliers, the internship gave me PR and event planning experience which was so helpful!"  Arga has since found employment in the field and still stays in contact with Creighton.

Adam Bailey is also a UWM graduate in public relations and advertising.  He still works for the planetarium has learned so much.  "You are not just doing one thing, sometimes you are doing fliers, press releases or working on the website and the best part is that Jean is always willing to answer questions and extend a hand."  Jamie Kelling is an intern at the Planetarium; she is finishing up her Bachelor's degree in public relations and advertising, but interning for the planetarium has been a rewarding experience for her.  She also considers herself lucky to have Creighton as her first supervisor.  "Jean really knows her staff.  When we have a new show to work on, she knows the best staff member to do each project.  She also trusts us to get things done in a timely and professional manner without needing to worry that things won't get done.  Having a supervisor trust you is a really great thing."  

Jessica McBride is a Senior Lecturer in journalism for the JAMS department and has worked for many noted publications in the region such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee Magazine, and The Waukesha Freeman.  She says that employers are looking for experience.  Internships are great opportunities for students to hone their skills.  When an intern is hired they become representatives for the JAMS department so the expectations are high.  When Bailey started interning at the UWM Planetarium he knew right away that failure wasn't an option.  "I saw my internship as another class that i had to get an A in."  McBride also feels that the planetarium being an on campus internship helps students feel more comfortable about starting the internship.  Being an on campus internship meant for Arga that she could plan her time for effectively around her classes and other obligations.  "It was nice being able to stay on campus."

One thing that all interns agreed on about the Planetarium is that no one will leave without some useful experience.  "Do it!" says Arga.  "Interning at the Planetarium is so much fun and it is really a wonderful opportunity to showcase your strengths, whether it's in graphic design, photography, or PR work.  It is a highly recommended internship opportunity and you definitely want it on your resume."  For Arga it was the best work-related experience she ever had.  "You'll love it!  Make the most of it while you're there and don't be afraid to show your creative talents!"  

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