Several students majoring in media studies in the Department of Informatics at Fort Hays State University have completed internships at major media corporations in the U.S., including Fox Sports and Country Music Television, an accomplishment that Department Chair Stephen Schleicher says is a huge compliment not only to the students who were selected, but to the quality of education at FHSU.
"Seldom do media conglomerates of this magnitude choose students from schools of our size anywhere in the country," Schleicher said. "The fact that Fox Sports, CMT and others accepted our students shows that they are on the fast-track to succeed in the high-pressure media work force once they graduate."
Students selected were Mikayla Lewis, Park City junior, Country Music Television; Andrew Stossmeister, Broomfield, Colo. sophomore, Fox Sports in Denver; and Kyle Haas, Arkansas City junior, Fox Sports in Kansas City, where he helped cover home games of the Kansas City Royals.
"I really wanted to have an internship in the Kansas City metro area," Haas said, "It is one of the locations where I thought I might want to eventually work. I got a feel for the 'real world,' and the Royals broadcasters told me I was the first 'announcing' intern they had ever had. I was given an opportunity to actually be on camera."
Lewis was equally enthusiastic about her experiences at Country Music Television, an internship obtained through CMT's owner, MTV. Part of her duties included screening new show ideas for CMT and assessing whether shows would appeal to young people.
"The focal point of CMT employees is to help out when needed to get the job done," Lewis said. "My assigned department was Original Program and Development, which creates and produces original programming for the network retools existing CMT programs. From running errands to answering the phone, booking appointments, setting up conference calls, the tasks were endless, yet I gained much experience."
Stossmeister actually had two internships, one for Fox Sports in Denver and one for KOA Radio News Talk, the largest station in Colorado.
"I made great connections, which will definitely help me in the future. I covered the Denver Broncos and got a chance to work with other professional sports teams in Colorado, which was a great experience," he said.
"It's almost unheard of for college students from any university to score internships in big media centers like Denver, Kansas City and Nashville," said Mel Hanks, assistant professor of media studies at FHSU.
All the interns were students in several of Hanks’ broadcast journalism classes.
"Once they graduate, these students will be first on the list for jobs at these large companies because the bosses already know and like them," he said.
In addition to the Department of Informatics majors, several other students in Hanks' classes are currently enrolled in internships at Fox News in Dallas and television stations in Wichita.
"Fort Hays State is one of the few universities that allows students to become involved in their major program prior to their junior year," said Dr. Mark Bannister, dean of the College of Business and Leadership. "The extra hands-on and practical knowledge better prepare them to land high-profile internships like these."