Internships

“An internship is a form of experiential learning that integrates knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. Internships give students the opportunity to gain valuable applied experience and make connections in professional fields they are considering for career paths; and give employers the opportunity to guide and evaluate talent.” — National Association of Colleges & Employers

Info for Students   Info for Host Organizations

 

For Students

In the media industries, internships provide countless benefits: strengthening hands-on skills, developing professional networks, improving confidence, building résumés, getting feedback from working professionals, and more. As such, we highly encourage Radio-Television-Film majors and minors to secure an internship at some point during their education—especially one that can count towards your RTF major or minor. With for-credit internships, you can receive course credit and additional support while reaping the benefits of hands-on, experiential learning. 

For-credit internships offer a number of advantages above-and-beyond standard internships:

  • Connecting what you're learning in courses and what you're doing at work; 
  • Narrowing which skills, workplaces, and industries you want to pursue after graduation; 
  • Establishing connections with the other RTF students enrolled in the course; 
  • Expanding your knowledge of and exposure to Austin-based media companies;
  • Creating pieces for your portfolio with the help of your supervisor; and
  • Receiving support and guidance from an advocate throughout the internship.

We encourage students to pursue Texas-based internships, though we do allow remote internships. If you're interested in LA or NY-based internships, we encourage you to look into UTLA & UTNY

Please see the FAQ below for more information on the RTF for-credit internship requirements.

Course Options

To receive academic credit for a qualifying internship, you must enroll in the Internship for Media Industries course. This is an official course and one that is open to all RTF majors and minors, though you should check your degree plan before enrolling. NOTE: This course is separate from UTLA and UTNY internships. For those programs, please contact them directly.

  • RTF 330N INTERNSHIP IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRIES (3 credits) 
    • Primary course, appropriate for the vast majority of students
       
  • RTF 130N INTERNSHIP IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRIES (1 credit)
    • For secondary internships, with approval from advisor & RTF Internship Director
       
  • RTF 630N INTERNSHIP IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRIES (6 credits) 
    • For time-intensive internships, with approval from advisor & RTF Internship Director

The RTF internship course is offered in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. The course is remote and mostly asynchronous, though there are 10 virtual contact hours spread throughout the semester. Please see the FAQ below for more information on class assignments and requirements. 

Enrollment Process

The optional first step is to attend one of our biannual information sessions about the RTF internship program, which are generally held right before enrollment opens in October and in April. In the interim, you're always welcome to reach out to the RTF Internship Director with questions or concerns through RTFInternships@austin.utexas.edu

  1. Enroll in the appropriate course (generally RTF 330N) for the upcoming semester.
  2. Secure a qualifying internship that aligns with the start and end dates of the upcoming semester.
    • See the FAQ below for more information on where to locate potential internship opportunities.
       
  3. Submit the official application online; you can find more information about that process here.
    • You have to already be enrolled and have an internship position before applying. 
    • This must be submitted by the 4th class day and approved by the 12th class day.

Frequently Asked Questions (Interns)

For all Radio-Television-Film for-credit internships, you will need to locate and secure the internship on your own.

For RTF 330N and RTF 130N, you must log between 160-200 hours over the course of the semester. For fall and spring enrollments, that equates to roughly 10-15 hours per week. For the summer semester, that equates to roughly 15-25 hours per week. For RTF 630N, the hour requirement is 320-400 hours per term.

We are happy to discuss and to vet individual internship opportunities as needed via email but, in general, for-credit internships:

  • Must be supervised by a working professional currently active in, and with considerable experience directly related to, the work performed.
  • Must be committed to providing interns with meaningful experiences in and activities related to the media industries.
  • Must be able and willing to provide substantive and constructive feedback on projects and allow them to be showcased in portfolios.
  • Must be aligned with the start and end dates of the semester—fall (August-December), spring (January-May), or summer (May-August).
  • Must be performed at an established place of business, not a home office; allowances can be made for remote-work arrangements.
  • Must be equipped with any hardware or software needed to complete assigned tasks; students cannot use UT Austin property or licenses
  • Must be bonded and/or hold sufficient business and liability insurance to cover interns, both on-premises and off-site, as needed.
     

Additionally, interns should be supervised individually or in a small groups. The host organizations should have more full-time employees than interns at any given time. An unbalanced ratio of interns to full-time employees at a host organization can impede the student's learning opportunities and the supervisor’s ability to provide constructive feedback.

Assuming they meet the criteria listed above, we welcome internships in film, television, radio, podcasting, games, music, publishing, and/or digital media. Positions may relate to (but are not limited to) media development, design, production, post-production, distribution, promotion, & advocacy.

Whether your internship is in-person or remote, the internship course is online. The majority of the course will be asychronous in deference to your internship schedule; however, there will be mandatory guest speakers and/or virtual meetings throughout the semester. 

Please note that the internship course is an actual course: it has a syllabus, assignments, required meetings, and weekly due dates. However, the course is offered pass/fail and is designed to be a supplement to the work you're already doing at your internship. As such, assignments will require less time and attention than other 3-credit courses.

There are countless opportunities for meaningful internships, here in Austin and beyond. When you start looking for internships, we encourage you to first consider what media you love to create and/or consume, which events or properties you most enjoy, which skills you'd like to develop, which industries you want to explore, etc. A good starting point is to consider which courses and/or projects you've most enjoyed so far and why. 

Furthermore, we encourage you to broaden your scope. While we do have a wealth of media production companies throughout the greater Austin area, we are also lucky to have wonderful media and technology festivals, museums and archives, and non-profit organizations.

Once you have an idea of which areas and/or positions you'd like to explore, research specific companies, ask your classmates, consult your professors, search Handshake, and reach out to Moody Career Services for help polishing your materials and locating potential opportunities. 

In particular, we encourage students to consult the Texas Film Commission's Production Directory.


For Host Organizations

The media industries have long operated on an apprenticeship model with new creators learning on the job—starting as assistants, working in mailrooms, providing script coverage, etc. For-credit internships continue the tradition of training the next generation of creators and innovators while providing an engaged, experiential, and ethical learning environment for students.

In addition to providing access to high-caliber, well-trained, and professional students, hosting for-credit internships through the Radio-Television-Film department provides your organization with an added level of support. The internship course serves as a launching pad for students, helping them to connect and apply what they're learning in production and studies courses to their assigned projects and professional relationships. The RTF Internship Director instructs interns on various aspects of professionalism and counsels them as they adjust to new workplaces and cultures.

Beyond paying it forward, hosting for-credit internships allows you to strengthen the media and tech pipeline here in Austin and to introduce a whole new generation of talent to your organization. 

Frequently Asked Questions (Hosts)

While most internships will provide students with vital skills, literacies, and networks, there are some additional requirements related to for-credit internships. For clarity, the criteria are listed below but we are always happy to answer any questions or concerns re: specific positions.

  • Must be supervised by a working professional currently active in, and with considerable experience directly related to, the work performed.
  • Must be committed to providing interns with meaningful experiences in and activities related to the media industries. 
  • Must be able and willing to provide substantive and constructive feedback on projects and allow them to be showcased in portfolios.
  • Must be aligned with the start and end dates of the semester—fall (August-December), spring (January-May), or summer (May-August).
  • Must be performed at an established place of business, not a home office; allowances can be made for remote-work arrangements.
  • Must be equiped with any hardware or software needed to complete assigned tasks; students cannot use UT Austin property or licenses
  • Must be bonded and/or hold sufficient business and liability insurance to cover interns, both on-premises and off-site, as needed.

Good internships are mututally beneficial. They provide students with hands-on experience and industry contacts while allowing host organizations to develop and evaluate talent. Interns are not just free or cheap labor: they represent opportunities to train high-caliber student workers in your specialty, introduce them to your organization, and initiate them in your industry. Fostering productive and professional relationships with students is an investment in the health and longevity of the media industries here in Austin and abroad. 

As such, an unbalanced ratio of interns to full-time employees at a host organization can impede the student's learning opportunities and the supervisor’s ability to provide constructive feedback. In an equitable and generative for-credit internship environment, interns should be supervised individually or in small groups, and the total number of full-time employees should be larger than the number of interns.

For more information on the tenets of an ethical internship position or program, see the U.S. Department of Labor's fact sheet, "Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act." We are happy to provide examples of productive internship experiences, programs, and/or activities. Should you wish to discuss the topic further, please contact us at RTFInternships@austin.utexas.edu.

For-Credit Internships: If you want to publize an internship opportunity that meets the criteria listed above, please submit it here. Once vetted, we can promote the posting to Radio-Television-Film majors and minors across the university through the Moody Career Center.

Non-Credit Internships: If you want to publize an internship opportunity that does not qualify as a for-credit option, please email us the details at RTFInternships@austin.utexas.edu. We can share the details with Radio-Television-Film majors and minors through listservs and publications like The Hub.

For-credit internships can be offered on a one-off or as-needed basis. However, if you are interested in further developing your internship offerings and becoming an internship partner through the Center for Entertainment & Media Industries, please contact us at RTFinternships@austin.utexas.edu