Media School students broaden their horizons with internships in London: IU News

Media School students broaden their horizons with internships in London: IU News
Media School students broaden their horizons with internships in London: IU News

Students in the six-week Honors Summer in London Program, offered by The Media School at IU Bloomington, intern at leading British media organizations each summer. Photo courtesy of James Shanahan

Indiana University Bloomington is known for its wide range of study abroad opportunities. In 2023, the university ranked second in the United States for intermediate study abroad programs and fourth for total number of students who studied abroad.

One of the study abroad options is the six-week Honors Summer in London Program. Offered by The Media School at IU Bloomington, the program places students in internships with well-known British media organizations each summer. It offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes part-time internships, a course on British and European media, and the opportunity to broaden their cultural horizons through travel abroad.

For over 20 years, IU has offered media students the opportunity to spend the summer in London. The current program has been in existence since 2008.

Professor James Shanahan, the founding dean of The Media School from 2015 to 2021, and Associate Professor Minjeong Kang mentored students during the recent six-week program in London, which is available to Ernie Pyle Scholars, Media Scholars, and Academic Honors Program students in their third or fourth year of study.

Students and their supervisors enjoy a meal together in London during The Media School’s six-week Honors Summer in London Program. Photo courtesy of Cora Shaw

“For the right type of student, the program offers the opportunity to combine three things: academic growth, cultural broadening and work experience,” Shanahan said. “Students may value these components in varying proportions, but we find that the London experience is a very memorable one for students as they enter their senior year.”

Cora Shaw, a third-year media advertising student, spent the summer working as a creative marketing intern at W Hotels in London, developing social media content, helping plan marketing campaigns for Pride Month and researching the industry.

“It’s been incredibly rewarding,” Shaw said. “My career goal is to become a creative director at an advertising agency, a role where I can lead and inspire innovative campaigns. This internship at W Hotels has helped me to explore the world of in-house advertising, an area I hadn’t experienced before.”

She said the experience has strengthened her passion for the marketing and advertising industry and broadened her perspective when it comes to thinking about possible career paths after graduation.

Shaw worked out of the offices of W Hotels in Soho, an entertainment hub in London’s West End. The location offered her and other students a wealth of opportunities for excursions outside the classroom.

“One of the best things about London for me is the arts,” she said.

One of Shaw’s favorite pastimes was visiting the National Gallery, which was only a three-minute walk from her work. She also attended world-class performances of “Moulin Rouge,” “Les Misérables” and “Wicked.”

Jonathan Soco, a third-year journalism student at IU, interned at the International Business Times in London during the six-week study abroad program. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Soco

Students and their supervisors live in apartments with shared kitchens and common areas. Living together helps students acclimatize to a different country, and they often form close friendships and find opportunities to travel together outside the city.

Shaw said she and friends from the program went to Oxford, Bath and Brighton. They also spent a week in Dublin making memories.

“There was never a dull moment,” Shaw said. “This study abroad experience has had a tremendous impact on my life, making me feel more independent and confident about living and working in a big city. This experience has also increased my confidence in pursuing my future career, giving me a strong foundation and a clearer vision of my goals.”

Jonathan Soco, a junior journalism major, interned at the International Business Times in London. He spent much of his internship—his first—creating content for the Times’ social media accounts, including TikTok and Instagram. He traveled to business conferences to conduct interviews and helped create trend-based viral content.

Soco, who would like to work in print or broadcast journalism, says this internship has given him an idea of ​​future jobs where he can pursue his passion for storytelling.

“I want to use my experience in interviewing and writing scripts to strengthen my skills in the professional field of journalism,” Soco said. “I also hope to use the conferences I have attended as potential networking opportunities and a foundation to make strong connections for the future.”