UHV students thrive in media internship
As a University of Houston-Victoria student studying communications, Alex Salinas knew she wanted more than an ordinary desk job after she graduated from college.
And after her fall semester internship with Townsquare Media, Salinas knew with certainty that the right career path for her was one that requires both skills and ingenuity.
“I am a people person, and being at Townsquare Media does spark a creative outlet,” Salinas said. “I wanted an internship that was more out of the box, and this internship gave me the opportunity to branch out in different ways.”
Salinas, a Port Lavaca native, and Lorin Walker of Victoria are two UHV students who recently completed internships with Townsquare Media, a company that owns radio stations.
“At Townsquare Media Victoria, students will get a taste of working with one of leading media companies in the world with more than 300 stations across the US,” said Wes Adams, director of content at Townsquare Media Victoria. “Our internships involve students in programming, sales, and promotions and live events. If you enjoy multitasking, meeting new people, engaging the audience on air, on our app and online, then you will probably love an internship with Townsquare Media Victoria. Our stations love nothing more than being involved with the community. If it’s happening in the Crossroads, we love being a part of it. Come check out what we have to offer.”
Both students are seniors studying communication who applied to the company with the help of UHV Career Services, a university service that helps students with career development.
UHV Career Services connects students with employers for hands-on job experiences and provides help with career planning and professional development. Through Career Services, students can apply for internships, which allow students to work with employers for a semester, and externships, which give students a chance to shadow an employer for a shorter period of time.
Career Services also offers workshops, webinars and other events to help students prepare for job interviews as well as career fairs to connect students and alumni with potential employers. Some of these events include workshops about how to build a resume, mock interviews and networking events.
This was the first time UHV has partnered with Townsquare Media for internships, Career Services Director Amy Hatmaker said.
“The students had a great time and learned so much during their time with Townsquare Media,” she said. “We were glad to hear that Townsquare Media also enjoyed having our students working there in the fall.”
Most students who apply for an internship through Career Services are either juniors or seniors or have permission from faculty advisors to apply. The students spend 10 hours a week through the semester working with an employer. Depending on the degree plan, the internships may be a requirement. For students studying communication at UHV, the internship is an elective for the degree plan, said Andrew Baerg, communication professor.
“We generally allow students to find internships that interest them in the field, so we have had students who have interned with the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, United Way, the Victoria Generals and now Townsquare Media,” Baerg said. “Communication is a pretty broad field, so it allows some more flexibility for students to find out what they want to pursue after they leave UHV.”
Students also meet with a faculty advisor to talk about what they are expected to accomplish during the internship and are required to keep a biweekly journal to reflect on the experience.
The benefits of student internships are valuable for both the student and local employers, Baerg said.
“Through internships, students have the opportunity to have hands-on job experience and to learn more about how to apply what they have learned in class to the professional world,” he said. “By having students intern with companies and organizations in Victoria, UHV students are able to make more of a connection to the Victoria community and learn more about the town.”
For the internship, both Salinas and Walker learned about radio production and advertising, spoke on the air and wrote articles for the radio websites. While Salinas liked speaking on the radio airwaves, she also enjoyed the production side and making sure the music was plugged in at the right times and the transitions were smooth.
“There’s something that is just so fascinating about all the background production and making sure everything is running as it should be,” she said.
The internship was eye-opening for Walker, who didn’t have experience in radio production before the internship. She was able to harness her journalism writing skills when she wrote articles for the radio websites and translate what she learned in class to the real world. This included how to connect with people through various forms of media.
“I was seeing firsthand how shows and advertisements are made and how people perceive messages and how best to communicate on the radio and social media,” she said. “The experience also gave me insight into going to school and working at the same time, and now I know I can handle both in case I go back to school later.”
Walker said the internship also prepared her to work effectively in a team.
“The biggest thing I learned is the connections you make with your co-workers and maintaining those relationships are important to the success of the show or company mission,” Walker said. “Your co-workers are the people who are going to be helping you the most in your career and learning.”
Employers interested in partnering with UHV Career Services may call 361-570-4369 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.