1. Can a placement be in the summer instead of the winter or fall semester?
No. You must do your placement during the fall or winter term.
This does not mean, however, that you’re not allowed to do a summer internship. Of course you are! But that’s going to be on your own time, not involving Ryerson in any way, and not counting for credit.
2. Can a placement be longer or shorter than six weeks?
Shorter, no. Five weeks or fewer just isn’t enough time to get the experience that the School feels warrants a credit.
Longer (12 weeks) is sometimes okay, but only very rarely, and only after close consultation with Jagg plus the Mh instructors. You would need our express permission. We do reserve the right to refuse any request for a placement that lasts longer than six weeks. Sometimes however, and if convinced of a serious commitment, we can be persuaded (see last line of this reply, below).
This reluctance on our part is not stubbornness or intransigence. Instead it has as much or more to do with limitations in the WSIB insurance coverage than with anything to do with us or our curriculum. It’s complicated, and not worth going into here (ask Jagg if you really want all the details).
In all cases, whether your internship is six weeks or something a bit longer, you’ll be required to fulfil the equivalent of a full-time, six-week commitment to Mh.
3. When should I start searching for a placement?
As early as you’d like! Some employers love it when students reach out early and show interest. However keep in mind that if you set up a placement too far in advance, things could change in the interim: the placement itself could morph into something it wasn’t before, or perhaps your own priorities do the morphing. Sometimes waiting is better. At the same time, don’t leave it too long. Giving yourself only a week or two to find a placement can be risky.
4. What happens if I don’t find a placement?
If you’re unable to find a placement, you must find your own alternate path to graduation. However, this sort of thing is extremely rare; students who take JRN 850/910 Internship/Masthead tend to be quite committed to the two courses, and to the responsibilities they carry with them. A successful search might come down to the very last minute (albeit this is not a desirable thing for anyone), but something just about always comes up.
5. How should I go about finding my placement?
If you need help determining the “What” (i.e., finding an organisation or establishment that will consider you), start in the section elsewhere on this site called “Internships”.
If it’s the “How” you need help with, have a browse round the “Resources” section.
If, after these preliminary steps, you still have questions or just need a chat, please feel free to get in touch with me (Jagg) or my TA, Allan Perkins. See the Contact page for information on how to reach us.
6. Can I accept a placement early to be safe, and then continue to pursue other placements in case I find one I like better?
No. Once you accept a placement, it’s extremely unprofessional to go back and change your mind. Not only does this reflect poorly on you, but it’s also damaging to the School’s reputation as an institution of professionalism. Feel free to shop around and check out a number of different placements, but at all times, act professionally and ethically.
7. Can I do fewer than six weeks of Masthead to accommodate a longer placement?
8. Can I get paid for my internship?
Of course, bring it on! Unfortunately however, most internships are unpaid.
Large organisations and established newsrooms pretty much never pay. Sometimes the smaller establishments do pay, or at least offer a stipend or help with expenses. Do not be shy to ask during any preliminary communication with the placement people, or during the interview. The question is more than fair and no one will or think less of you for asking.