Providing multimedia online education & work-study internships   

VU work-study internships will open doors of opportunity

(VU) offers a revolutionary new model for education, including online, multimedia 'textbooks'; web conferencing for live online seminars and workshops; and work-study internships and apprenticeships around the world.

All this for better than FREE:
  • An initial convenient online work-study internship to ensure that interns have professional-level skills in journalism,  multimedia technology, and media management so they can proceed with paid internships.
  • Access to our database of thousands of internships (40% paid) within the communications industry. Check this partial database as an example.
  • Assistance securing one or a series of paid internships to prepare interns for the career of their dreams.
  • Ongoing online training and mentoring to help make every internship successful.
  • Possible application of work-study internships toward a master's degree.
  • Letters of recommendation from every successful internship you serve.

For more information, email  Director@virtual-institute.us

for details.

Media & PR executives demand radical reform to university programs

What Media & PR executives say -- in their own words:

How well are universities preparing their future employees?

What changes should universities make to their programs?

Should universities require that students serve professional internships?

What are the most critical changes that universities should make?

Go to VU curriculum site at http://Virtual-University.us

© COPYRIGHT 2016, The International Education Institute, 5426 N. Road 68, Suite D#189, Pasco WA 99301-5268, USA

90% of communication executives say:

Internships the key to competing for first job!

In a recent survey,  90% of 767 responding communication executives agreed that internships should be 'MANDATORY,' and only 2% disagreed (the rest undecided or neutral).

Of those who agreed or disagreed, 68% said students should intern for at least 6 months, and 57% said students should serve multiple internships.

Here are some of their responses to the open-ended question: "How important do you think it is for mass comm students to serve a professional internship before entering the job market?" These responses represent the vast majority of the 767 respondents. Remember, only 2% thought internships were unnecessary.



REQUIRED!  It would be nice to even consider more than one internship. 

- Rich Vallaster, Principal Partner, Creosote Effects


On a scale from 1-10 (10 being the highest), I say 10. Very rarely will you get hired for an entry-level position without an internship.

-Wyatt Jefferies, Corporate Communications Associate, Silverpop Systems Inc.


Two days in the field is worth more than a year in a classroom.

-Kari Arnold, editor, Country World News, Sulphur Springs, Texas

It is vital that students complete a professional internship before entering the job market.  Many businesses and agencies hiring mass comm graduates will not even consider a candidate not having internship experience.  The internship also provides the much needed opportunity to build a student’s portfolio, which will distinguish them from other job seekers.

-Paul D. Beckham, Chairman, Hope-Beckham Inc.


VERY. I look for students with at least one solid internship where they had decent responsibilities (research, building media lists, media relations, press release writing, coordinating mailings and events, etc.), if not two or three. If they have not had at least one internship, or big projects as I described above in #2 that could be considered internships, I toss their resumes into the “no” pile.

 -Gina Yager, Director, Corporate Development, Preferred Public Relations, Las Vegas, Nev.


Internships are hugely important. Kids need real world experience before they get real world experience.

-Mark Riffey of Rescue Marketing, Columbia Falls, Mont.


I think it is vital.  I will hire a person who has had internships over one who hasn’t. I often tell the story of a young woman I hired who had three internships – one in the newsroom of a television station, one in the PR office of a non-profit, and one in a large, professional PR firm.  Excellent, real-life experience. The only one she was missing was an internship in the corporate communications unit of a corporation. 

-David M. Marriott, partner, Gogerty Marriott, Inc., Seattle

It is critical. In fact, I would prefer an individual have at least three internships before he/she can be hired following graduation.

-Keith R. Pillow, APR, owner Caddy Marketing & Communications, Camarillo, Calif.

Extremely. They should have had several internships working in different areas of marketing, communications, PR, media relations, etc.

-Mary Rozak, Senior Donor Relations Manager,
United Way of the Greater Capital Region, Albany, N.Y.

It is extremely important. An internship serves as an orientation to the workplace. Beyond showing students what the workload is truly like it may help them decide whether it actually is or is not for them. So much of journalism has to be experienced first hand. Exercises only go so far because a university creates artificial conditions with every exercise – be they deadlines, marking or amount of time to complete tasks. A student earning a mark is not the same as completing a story for print, taking a spot news photo or writing to deadline where the presses are literally waiting.

-Rob Vogt, Editor, Claresholm Local Press, Alberta, Canada

It is crucial. Much of the learning in this field has to be on the job and the reality is that actual experience is still more important than a university education. 

-Dierdre Francis-Dickerson, Vice President, Communications Strategies, Nashville, Tenn.

Two internships are a good idea to help those students who have never held a job first learn basic workplace skills and in case the first internship is not as substantive as it needs to be. 

-Sandra Longcrier, OGE Energy Corp., Oklahoma City

It is critical, and the more internships served, the better the student looks to a prospective employer.

-Suze Parker, President, Parker Communications Group, Overland Park, Kan.

Think it is critical; probably most important thing a student could do.

-Pattye Moore, consultant, speaker and author
specializing in brand development and strategic planning


A professional internship is actually far more important than a mass comm degree or minor. I'd much rather have someone who has proved himself to a working agency than someone who blindly followed the track put forth for him. It speaks to his independence and his abilities that he found an internship without help from his parents or school, and was successful there.

-Jake Baldridge, Account Director, Strawberry Frog, New York


It's a must.  Both for the student's perspective and an employer's. The fact is, employers know that new grads are a 'project'.  But it's a point of difference if they've had some exposure to the wok that they're looking to do.  At least, they're not at ground zero.

-Cheryl Treleaven, Executive Vice President, HLB Communications, Inc.

Very important. I was able to secure my first job after graduation because I had a portfolio of published articles and photographs. These were a result of a two-year working relationship with the college public information office and several internships. Clips and work samples from real-life experiences (not classroom assignments) give new graduates an advantage when competing for a job.

-Susan Isola, Director of Media Relations, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg

Two professional internships should be required. Graduates need to understand that there are some common elements across organizations. Yet, there can also be vastly different cultures within two distinct organizations. I believe this dual experience would broaden their perspective and help focus their choice of career specialty and choice of work environment.

-Janet G. Owens, Vice President, Marketing & Communications,
United Way of Northeast Florida, Jacksonville, Fla.

This is where students transition from the textbook and classroom to the real world. Internships are very valuable to students to learn the trade, and also to see if this is the career they want. Plus, internships are extremely valuable to employers who need help, especially us in the non-profit sector.

-Sidney Robinson , Associate Vice President over Public Affairs for Cal State San Bernardino


It's vital. When I hire someone I don't care about which college they attended or which degree they earned. What matters is their resume, aircheck, and writing samples.

-Herb Trix, News Director, WVIK News, Rock Island, Ill.

Very important. Nothing beats real-world experience.

-Bert Kelly, Manager of UCB’s U.S. Communications & Public Relations

It’s essential.  I would not hire a new graduate who did not have at least one internship, or related job experience.

-Anthony D'Angelo, Director of Operations, St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center Foundation

Vital to have at least one...preferably more. PRSSA requires internships before chartering a chapter at any university.

-Dr. Russ Barclay, Visiting Professor at Campbellsville University, Ky.

If they are serious about getting in the business, I would almost say it's imperative. ... It's really beneficial in landing that first job. Always a key advantage in starting out. After that, their work record will speak for itself.

-Randy Arrington, Editor and General Manager, Page-Shenandoah Newspaper Corp., Virginia

I think it is VERY important. Studying communication and practicing communication are two completely different types of expertise. The candidates I interview that have an internship or multiple internships are much more valuable entry-level employees. They have practical, on-the-job experience that truly positions them better in the marketplace post-graduation.

-Dawn Doty, APR, vice president at Linhart PR, Denver

Essential. Internships that provide actual experience are critical for teaching practical application of knowledge. Schools must be clear that students are not there to make coffee and stuff envelopes. There should be heavy weekly deadlines for writing assignments, interviews, editing, pitching, and all of the day to day skills they will need once employed.

-Reese A. Nank, APR, Reputations PR and Marketing



-Kim Sams, director of Worldwide Conservation Programs - Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Very important.

-Kara Snow, Executive Editor, La Jolla Light

Critically important.

-Gregory Graze, CEO, Graze Public Relations, Dallas


-Sarah Gerrol, Director, Morrissey & Company, Boston, Mass.



-Judith Bogart Meredith, Principal Associate with Hollister, Trubow & Associates


Very important

-Darren LaShelle, WGTE Public Media, Toledo, Ohio


-Heather B. Ray, Jane Mobley Associates, Kansas City, Mo.



-Lea Sinclair, Director of Communications, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC)


-Beth Fredrickson, Bottom Line Marketing & Public Relations, Milwaukee, Wisc.

It is very important for several reasons:
1. Students seem to have little respect for the difference between their personal and professional lives. Before someone pays them, they need to learn the rules of the game.
2. Students and their parents need to realize that coddling days are over. Everyone has to perform and they won't get a trophy just for showing up on time. Short answer: develop work ethic or refine it with an internship. 

-Patricia B Smith, OnTarget Public Relations, Denver

Absolutely invaluable for many reasons. I have been a long time advocate and practitioner of hiring interns, and some of my past interns are still enjoying successful careers in media.

-Frank Kwan, Director of Communications, Emergency Preparedness & Response,
Los Angeles County Office of Education

Internships are very important – for many students, having hands-on experience in their field is a wake-up call regarding what it will really take to be successful.  Some have no clue what the “job” is like or what is needed to handle all that may be required of them.

-Patricia J. Robb, APR, Communications Director,
Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE)

It is critical for students of any profession to serve a professional internship. Serving more than one would be better. A highly valuable internship is one that offers the student a real job experience. It helps them determine the kind of work they really enjoy and excel at when given a good opportunity. It also provides the employer with much needed assistance and possibly a solid entry-level candidate.  Businesses today need foundational experience. They also need people with social skills. Skills that may be developed through community work.  Employers are seeking people who are aware and accepting of moving up the ranks through proven ability and passion. They don’t need people who expect promotions every 6 months or every year.

-Katherine Shepard, Social Responsibility Manager, New Balance, Boston

Internships are absolutely a must, and those internships must be served at a daily newspaper where the student can truly experience the tasks of taking an assignment, tracking down news sources, getting interviews, doing background research and putting that all together in a story worthy of publication, not something just to fill space.

-Mike Heronemus,managing editor, Junction City (Kan.) Daily Union

I believe that it is imperative. Theory is no enough. Student get glib and can pass their courses but when they get to actual application they often have difficulty. The old system of apprenticeships worked.  It still works today.  Doctors do it and accountants  do it. Learning hands on is the best way to go. I teach classes on social media but until they do it they don’t get it.

-Sally Falkow, Social Media Strategist, Expansion+ Internet Marketing/PR, Pasadena CA

I think it is extremely important. There is nothing better for learning than a real situation. I make my interns do everything from cleaning the toilet to writing the front page story. They need to know that to put out a good product, no one person is more important than another. It takes a team to be successful not individuals.

-Mimi Maddock, publisher, Columbia Star, Columbia, S.C.

I personally believe that such experience is vital in making the transition to developing workplace skills.

-John Samerjan, Vice President Public Affairs and Communications,
New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority of New Jersey

Having professional internships is SO important – it should be strongly encouraged in all programs (undergrad) and encouraged in graduate programs for those who are not currently working full time. It’s not only a great way to find out what you like (or don’t like!) but also can help beef up a student’s resume at a minimal cost to a company. It is recent graduates with experience on their resume and workplace skills that will have the upper hand when it comes to hiring. More skills and background = less training and expenditures once they are hired.

-Suzanne Volinski, Marketing Coordinator, MALCOLM PIRNIE, INC., White Plains, N.Y.

It’s important to get that first glimpse into the “working world” and start to see how a PR agency or PR department works.  I think it’s good for employers as well to bring on a new employee who even has the slightest bit of previous experience instead of starting entirely from scratch. This is extremely important. Upon graduation, students should be able to create a solid media list, use Cision or another media database, demonstrate a thorough understanding of new media platforms (such as Twitter) and provide day-to-day support on an account without much hand holding.

-Karli Overmier, Account Coordinator, Barokas PR, Seattle

VERY important - it's the only way I learned how to pitch and write!

-Shelley Pfaendler, Vice President in Public Relations, KCSA Strategic Communications, N.Y.


It should be mandatory.

-Barbara Carpenter, Senior Associate, The Kotchen Group, Farmington, Conn.


Want more information? Send us your name and contact information to
Director@Virtual-Institute.us .



© COPYRIGHT 2016, The International Education Institute, 5426 N. Road 68, Suite D#189, Pasco WA 99301-5268, USA