FHSU junior tapped for New York broadcasting internship in national program

Media studies student Taryn Everhart, Dodge City junior, has been selected as a participant for the International Radio and Television Society 2004 Summer Fellowship Program.

More than 850 students nationwide applied to be considered for this year's class, of which only 35, including Everhart, were selected as IRTS Summer Fellows in New York City.

"I'm really excited about it," said Everhart early this week. "It's all just finally sinking in."

The last phase of selections was based on phone interviews. The selected fellows were notified Wednesday, March 10. Only full-time, four-year college juniors, seniors, or graduate students are eligible to apply for the IRTS Fellowship. They must be a communications majors or have demonstrated a strong interest in the communications field through extracurricular activities or other practical experience.

She said that she will find out which network she will be working for at the end of March.

Her career goal, she said, is to produce a syndicated television program. Producing offers the creativity she wants, she said.

Everhart praised Fort Hays State and the Information Networking and Telecommunications Department for preparing her for this opportunity.

"Fort Hays prepared me really well," she said. "I have so much faith in the department I come out of, which is the INT Department. I couldn't have gotten this without them."

People in the department and the Media Studies Program provided real world experience and pushed her to work hard and at the same time allowed a lot of room for creativity, she said.

Another example of that, she said, was the internship she got with KAKE television in Wichita last year as only a sophomore. That opportunity came during a simple tour of KAKE facilities. During the tour, an executive was talking to her about her studies and work and at the end of the conversation offered her an internship.

"The department is always providing that kind of exposure," she said.

"I would say to anyone who wants to work in broadcasting that this is your place right here at Fort Hays State," she said.

Stephen Schleicher, assistant professor of information networking and telecommunications, said that the Summer Fellowship Program, the most notable student out-reach effort of IRTS, teaches up-and-coming communicators the realities of the business world through an all-expense-paid fellowship, which includes practical experience and career-planning advice.

The program lasts a total of nine weeks from June to August. The summer fellows begin with an extensive one-week orientation to broadcasting, cable, advertising, and new media. During this time, students have a rare opportunity to question industry professionals at panels, lectures, and group discussions. They also take a number of related field trips and learn networking skills by attending industry social functions. Focus is placed on enhancing career planning, resume writing, and interviewing skills.

Following the first week, the students gain full-time "real world" experience at New York-based corporations to which each is assigned for the duration of the eight-week fellowship. The students are then able to reinforce or redefine specific career goals through the comprehensive Summer Fellowship Program before settling into a permanent job in the electronic media industry.

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