Three journalism students are expanding their skills beyond traditional reporting this semester by working for startups connected to Loeb.nyc, a venture collective that invests in and supports new and emerging companies.
The students are learning skills that are in high demand across organizations and industries, including search engine optimization, social media content development and branded content creation.
“I’ve had internships in the past, but I’ve never worked for startups, and it’s a bit intimidating,” said senior Kaila Stang. “I always want to try new things, and this internship gave me three months of something new. We’re doing things that are a little bit outside of journalism, but it all starts with what I’ve spent the last four years learning.”
This spring is the fourth time School of Communication and Journalism (SoCJ) students are interning with Loeb.nyc. The internship program is part of a partnership between the company and the school that aims to advance the next generation of journalism, and develop high-engagement content that audiences need and want. The partnership has also funded the Marshall R. Loeb Visiting Professor of Digital Innovation and Audience Engagement.
“These students are gaining valuable experience not only in creating content for new and growing companies but in working closely with entrepreneurs and their creative startup teams,” said George Giokas, a journalism instructor who coordinates the Loeb internship program. “Loeb.nyc has provided them with strong real-life experiences they’ll use in establishing their careers.”
During the semester-long paid internship, Stang, Xenia Gonikberg, and Angelina Nelson have discovered common search keywords related to Orthosnap and Ready Set Care. Using these search terms, they were able to ideate blog posts, social posts and paid ads that integrate those terms into useful content. They have developed content for another business’ growing social media account, including a play on the popular game Wordle and scripts to be used in reel videos. And they’ve written for Loeb.nyc’s blog, posting content related to the portfolio companies and upcoming startups.
“Communication skills are skills that everybody needs – it’s writing, talking to people, it can be graphics or art. The whole point is to tell a story, to convey something to whoever is consuming your content,” said Gonikberg, of California. “Communication and journalism go hand in hand. When I start applying to jobs, I want the people looking at my resume to know I have a lot of experience, and I can go wherever they need me.”
Several Loeb x SBU Internship students have returned to Loeb as freelancers and full-time employees because of their internship experiences, including Savi Bhajan, growth marketing analyst and intern supervisor.
“Digital marketing is always expanding,” Bhajan said. “And with a focus on user-generated content and content marketing, there is no shortage of the need for journalism in growing startups.”