Hampton University

student spotlight

Journalism Major Secures Three Prestigious Internships

Shannon Epps

Shannon Epps

It’s no secret that interns from the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications have been getting rave reviews. Also known as Hampton University’s “J School,” Scripps requires that each of its students completes an internship before graduation. Most students including senior print journalism major Shannon Epps don’t find this requirement hard to meet. Epps has already interned at the Herald-Mail of Hagerstown, Md., the Naples Daily News in Naples, Fla. and the St. Petersburg Times in St. Petersburg, Fla.

However, the work is just beginning for Epps. After graduation in May, she will participate in the Chips Quinn Scholars program, the Dow Jones Multimedia Editing Program and an internship at the Washington Post.

Epps will participate in the Chips Quinn Scholars program prior to beginning her internship with the Washington Post. The Chips Quinn Scholars program offers journalism students of color hands-on training in journalism and mentoring by caring news veterans. The aim: Provide special support and encouragement that will open doors to news careers and bring greater diversity to the nation's daily newspaper newsrooms.

The program includes all-expenses paid multimedia training from May 17 - May 25 at the Diversity Institute in Nashville, Tenn., at Vanderbilt University. The program will provide a $500 housing stipend for Epps to use during her time at the Post. Epps will also have access to a former journalist who will act as her career coach.

After the Chips Quinn program, Epps will be one of the participants in the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Multimedia Editing Program. She will be trained at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. She is the first person in the 51 year-history of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund to be selected for an internship three years in a row.

Lastly, in June, Epps will be working in the Washington Post newsroom for 12 weeks at their Universal News Desk (UND). The UND will combine traditional copy-editing with online functions such as publishing online articles and blog posts; updating web pages and section fronts; and working on a variety of multimedia projects.

Although she had planned on working full-time, Epps is excited to have these opportunities. “Before my first internship, I thought all newsrooms would be similar. Now that I know they’re all different, I’m excited to experience these different atmospheres and work with different personalities.”

Epps advises her peers to get experience from multiple interships. “Internships are a necessity to succeed in this field,” she said. “Journalism is hands on. If an employer can’t see your work, they’re not going to hire you because they can’t afford the risk.”

Epps still has one semester left at HU before the busiest summer of her life.

- Krystan Hitchcock