Summer internships: Five CLAS journalism students share their experiences

Iowa journalism students describe their experiences with summer internships, some that took them across the globe.
Monday, August 28, 2023

By Charlotte Brookins 

From Florence, Italy, to Washington D.C., Hawkeyes traveled all over the globe this summer representing the University of Iowa and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences during their internships. Learn more about these five students, each with their own unique summer experiences, and how Iowa prepared them ahead of their internships.  

Five University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Students share their summer internship experiences

Sophia Restiffe Favaretto 

Sophia Restiffe Favaretto is a rising senior studying journalism and Italian in CLAS. Over the summer, she interned at 3Dsign, a media creation company based in Florence, Italy. After growing up in Brazil, Favaretto came to the University of Iowa to study, and eventually acquired Italian citizenship in 2021 after studying the language for five years. 

“This experience has definitely changed my life forever,” says Favaretto. “I'm able to use my Italian and Journalism skills for my job, and I have opened my mind to the possibility of pursuing my master's in Italy or even Europe." 

As an intern with 3Dsign, Favaretto spent her internship doing photo shoots, creating videos, helping with post-production, and aiding in design. As a whole, she spent most of her time working in multimedia. 

Favaretto says she enjoys many things about Iowa City, but her favorite thing to do there is thrifting.  

“My favorite thing is going thrifting by bus!” she says.  “I just catch the bus downtown and go where all the thrift stores are. It’s something I love to do by myself.” 

Sabine Martin 

Sabine Martin is a fourth-year student double-majoring in journalism and mass communication and international studies, with a minor in French. This summer, she spent time in Washington D.C. as an education reporting intern at U.S. News and World Report.  

“I wrote articles mostly about education and consumer advice issues, such as how to get into college,” says Martin. “It’s given me a lot of professional experience that I feel like I didn’t have before working for a larger company on a national level.” 

Although Martin has had previous experiences with more local news sources, such as the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Daily Iowan, which she has worked on since her freshman year at Iowa and will soon be taking over as executive editor, this was her first time working at such a large-scale company. She explains that her time at the university has prepared her for this change, though. 

“All of my journalism classes, especially those with hands-on experiences, have helped me gain the basic skills I need for this job.” She also describes the community of Iowa alumni she has met while in D.C., saying, “We have such good journalism alumni; people are always offering to connect me with other people from the college.” 

While Martin may have been out of state for the summer, she still has plenty of things that she loves about Iowa City.  

“I love going to all the different cafes,” she says, “not just for schoolwork and journalism, but also to hang out with friends in the community.” 

Gretchen Lenth 

Gretchen Lenth just graduated from Iowa this past May with a degree in journalism and mass communication and informatics. This summer, she was nearly 1,000 miles away in New York City, where she interned at the Wall Street Journal.  

“I specifically worked at their investigations desk as a data reporter,” says Lenth, describing her role in one of the newest among internships at the WSJ. “I worked on the investigations team on the data side as opposed to the reporting team. I typically worked on longer form stories, since the investigations team tends to spend a year mulling them over, but I also did quicker turnarounds.” 

Lenth has previous experience working jobs in journalism, as she spent time working for the Daily Iowan while at the University of Iowa, but this was her first time working with such a large organization. She says her unique combination of majors and the classes she took for both of them have helped to prepare her for the new challenge. 

“The university prepared me by allowing me to marry my two majors together,” Lenth explains. “Data science pairs really well with journalism, which allowed me to carve out my own area of study.” 

Although Lenth learned a lot while in New York, she says there is plenty about Iowa City she missed, especially the natural scenery. 

“I feel like my favorite part, which I’m nostalgic for right now,” she says, “is the green space and the water. I enjoy the hybrid of urban and down-to-earth Iowa. It’s a culture I don’t think you can get in a lot of other places.” 

Kate Perez 

Kate Perez is a third-year Iowa student studying journalism and mass communication with an English minor and a writing certificate, and this summer she furthered her studies with a remote internship at USA TODAY as a breaking news and trends intern.  

She says that her time as a journalism student at Iowa and her experience working on the Daily Iowan have helped to prepare her for the challenges of her new role. 

“The University of Iowa has given me the opportunity to build my reporting skills and learn the foundational knowledge that every journalist needs,” says Perez. "Additionally, working at The Daily Iowan has allowed me to produce great clips and learn how to report in real life.” 

In addition to her gratitude for the skills the university has provided her with prior to her internship, she goes on to describe her experience at a national paper and how it has benefited her not only as a student, but also as a writer and reporter. 

“Working at USA TODAY has been an amazing experience for me,” Perez adds. "I have met so many people that I enjoy working with, and it has only solidified my love of journalism; I look forward to advancing my career in the future with the skills I have learned here.” 

While in Iowa City, she says she enjoys hanging out with friends on the Pentacrest or reading on the steps of the Old Capitol building. 

Parker Jones 

Parker Jones, a fourth-year student double-majoring in journalism and cinema with a minor in art, spent her summer working as a remote intern for Infinity Marketing, a marketing company based in South Carolina. 

“I shadowed the social media team at Infinity to learn client-based social media marketing and how to work on large scale projects and campaigns for big clients,” Jones describes. 

Jones says that she enjoyed learning more about social media marketing and the role it can play in the field of journalism. Although it’s not something she had much experience in prior to her internship, she says it was always a subject of fascination whenever the topic came up during her journalism classes at the university. 

Jones goes on to describe the invaluable opportunities she had this summer, saying, “I have learned a ton of skills that I had no clue about before starting at Infinity; it has taught me what working for a large corporation would be like, and how to interact with a team of people all managing the same social media rather than working independently." 

Although the work has been busy, Jones is glad to have been able to participate in such a major learning experience.  

Due to the remote nature of the internship, Jones has still been able to enjoy all that Iowa City has to offer during its summer months, saying, “My favorite things to do here are to hang out with my friends or go to the pool whenever it’s warm enough!” 

To learn more about internships and how you can find one for you, check out the internship and practicum page on the Pomerantz Career Center website or connect with your academic advisor

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers about 70 majors across the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. About 15,000 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by faculty at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all Iowa undergraduates through the college's general education program, CLAS CORE. About 80 percent of all Iowa undergraduates begin their academic journey in CLAS. The college confers about 60 percent of the university's bachelor's degrees each academic year.