Journalism in the Public Interest


Florida State University

Overall Ratings

Based on 2 reviews
Internships 2.5-stars Based on 2 ratings
Oversight & Aid 3.0-stars Based on 2 ratings
0 Paid 2 Unpaid
Based on 2 reports

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2 reviews

  • SV 2:13 p.m.
    March 26, 2015
    Major: Bachelor of Science in Retail Merchandising Product Development, Minor in History and Russian language culture and civilization , 0
    Internship 2.0-stars
    Oversight & Aid 2.0-stars
    Payment Unpaid

    The final semester for the RMPD program is monopolized by one course- it's basically 1 class 4 hours a day 5 days a week on campus for the first half of the semester.This course is a total joke- we learn how to properly set a table for a dinner party and must wear proper fashion forward business attire. Those who "nail it" must walk in front of the class. The second half is an "on site" full time internship- you have to intern full 40 hour weeks for 6 weeks in a related industry in order complete the program. In theory, it sounds great and full of opportunity, but in actuality it's a mess.
    The university is located in Tallahassee, FL- a wonderful town in Florida's panhandle, but not exactly a renown epicenter of fashion. This means most students have to find their internships in other cities- New York, LA, Miami being the most common. From the very start the concentration, the program was not set up to be friendly to students majoring or minoring in other fields. I had to complete my minors in Russian Culture and Civilization and History over the span of 2 extra summer semesters, just to free myself for this last semester. These summer semesters cost much more and offer a very small selection of higher level courses.
    The scramble to find a reputable internship is a costly one- flights to NY from Tallahassee regional airport are not cheap, neither are NYC hotels- all just for the chance of an interview. If you are accepted you will then have to figure out how to survive in a major city with zero income. I saw my friends struggle, and dive deep into student loan debt to make this work- they got internships at amazing companies- both upcoming and established- POLO, Michael Kors, Harpers Bazaar, Jeffrey Campbell, Betsey Johnson, etc.
    I skipped that hassle and searched for a position in Miami, where luckily, my parents lived. Eventually I accepted an unpaid internship at a modeling agency. An industry and business that I had no interest in, solely because it was walking distance from my mother's apartment. Economically, it just made sense- 6 weeks and I'd have my degree. My aim, at the time anyway, was to work in Outdoor Apparel, which according to my academic adviser was not "relevant enough to count" towards my Retail Merchandising and Product Development degree. I still have no idea how a modeling agency on South Beach was.
    The internship its self was a joke- coffee runs, lunch runs, walking my boss' dog, with occasional data entry/ website maintenance peppered in. The academic adviser never contacted me directly, just the office manager to make sure that I was completing the required hours.
    The director of the agency realized I was quite computer savvy, a weakness of the other interns and just about every single actual employee, and that I connected well with the talent. When I announced my last week she offered me a full time salaried position as an assistant. It wasn't an ideal job and Miami was not an ideal location for me, but I accepted and started January 2012. Things picked up quickly but my boss knew I was never going to be crazy about Miami. She surprised me with a transfer to the NYC office that March, where I still work but now as an agent.
    In the end, somehow, the system worked out well for me- I'm still torn on the industry, I enjoy it but it's not something I want to do long term. I use my ability to speak Russian more than any skill the Merchandising program taught me.
    My friends who went into debt go to NY for fabulous internships weren't all so lucky. None that I knew personally were offered a position and all left in the hole financially.

    As a side note, In the three years of working at the agency in New York I have had many interns- about 50. Only one has been hired by the company

    Please let me know if you'd like contacts for others I went to school with

  • Tyler 4:51 p.m.
    April 9, 2014
    Major: English, 2013
    Internship 3.0-stars
    Oversight & Aid 4.0-stars
    Payment Unpaid

    As per graduation requirements for the Editing, Writing and Media major, I interned with the FSU Student Health Service's Department of Communications. I worked as designer and editor of the employee newsletter. The experience was good, though I already had experience doing similar work for the school paper.


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