TV News Career Opens to UofL Grad After Internship


By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.

As you read this, recent UofL graduate Ian Lewis is in the first few weeks of his career as a photojournalist for WHAS-TV in Louisville.  But Lewis would not have received this job, were it not for the internship he did in fall, 2021 during his last semester at the University.


Ian Lewis on the job for MetroTV

The Paducah, Kentucky native decided on majoring in Communication during his sophomore year. His Communication degree required an internship and based on his coursework, Lewis decided to look for a position in TV news during his senior year.  But first, he worked with the University Career Center to get prepared.  "In meetings with Erin Heakin, my career coach, we reviewed my resume, cover letters, and emails. We also searched for potential positions. The search started in late winter, early 2021, and ended in the middle of summer. It was a difficult process; many places didn't respond to me. But Erin helped me to continue to move forward.”

Lewis ended up with an internship with MetroTV, the broadcast branch of Louisville Metro Government. The experience was the epitome of the term, “hands-on.” Lewis said, “My internship with Louisville MetroTV allowed me to create my own stories on camera for the first time. The novelty never wore off. I was able to choose my stories with total discretion and offered complete creative control over the final product. Always, my mentors there provided support, guidance, and feedback whenever I needed it. And as someone learning a camera for the first time, I needed it a lot. Especially the feedback.”

When it came time to graduate, Lewis continued to work with Erin Heakin and the University Career Center to look for a full-time job, focusing on updating his LinkedIn and Facebook profiles to be professional. He found an opportunity with WHAS-TV and said he would not have received the job, were it not for his MetroTV internship. “The opportunity to develop a portfolio under the guidance of time-tested storytellers was invaluable. It was the portfolio that landed me a job with a local news station, but the career insights I received from my mentors were just as much a factor in pushing me towards the news industry.”

And so it should not be surprising that Ian Lewis thinks all students should pursue an internship, no matter the obstacles. “It wasn't easy. There were times when I worked two jobs at once to afford this opportunity. Without a doubt, it was worth it, and I recommend the experience to anyone considering it.”

You can have a great internship experience just like Ian Lewis. More information about internships can be found on the University Career Center website. If you are interested in an internship during the spring or upcoming summer semester, be sure to talk now with your program’s internship coordinator in advance since you may be eligible for academic credit and you can also potentially get assistance in seeking a position. Finally, if you want to look at some current internship position listings/opportunities, log onto Handshake.