Keeler offers model for internship programs
Posted May 16, 2008

After graduation, college students are faced with the reality of finding work in the professional job market.

At times the transition can be a very traumatic experience for an unprepared graduate.

As a part of the Faculty Research Lecture series, George Keeler, communications department chairman and professor of journalism, presented “Designing a Streamlined Internship Program with Distinction,” Tuesday.

After taking sabbatical leave last spring, Keeler used his time to find a solution to the problem shared among several graduates finding a job.

“Sabbaticals do wonderful things for you,” Keeler said.

“All of his topics are very different but it is always very interesting,” Alisa Chagolla, a junior honors student, said.

Keeler and his fellow professors in the communications department have structured an internship program to help students prepare for professional careers after earning their college degrees.

As a part of the course requirements for communications majors at La Verne, students must enroll in Journalism/Radio/TV 497, the internship class.

While other departments offer courses similar to this internship course, they are not mandatory.

The course is designed to offer students a route to future employment through acquiring professional experience, making professional contacts, gaining valuable samples for portfolios, applying theory to practice and most importantly to straddle “real world” and model professional expectations.

“I ask students to dream big. Internships let students fail their way to success,” Keeler said.

Over the past few years the course has brought the students’ success rate of having a job following graduation to 73 percent, Keeler said.

Gina Sandoval, a senior broadcasting journalism major, was asked by Keeler to give a sample presentation a student might do in order to complete the course.

“It was a wonderful experience to share with other ULV faculty and students what we do in the communications department,” Sandoval said.

Due to the amount of knowledge gained through classes taken at La Verne, Sandoval was able to stand out amongst several other students.

She was recommended and then later hired as an ABC intern.

“Mentors, job contacts – they are all a perk,” Keeler said.

Recently receiving a $12,000 scholarship in recognition of being one of 25 exceptional scholar students, Sandoval showed her reel.

Her reel included a six-minute work sample on DVD, equivalent to a resume for her field of work.

The course is designed to give students the chance to ask questions about topics not always covered and allows students to know what to expect when entering into the professional world.

“We talk about things not talked about,” Keeler said.

The course has at times made students rethink their academic endeavors and perhaps choose another field, based on the experience gained through the internship taken.

The internship experience is highly recommended by other students who have gone through it.

“Unless we are not planning to get off into the real word, we as students need to make this change,” Graham Keller a junior business administration major said.

“Hopefully it is something that can change. It is a very integral part of success,” Keller said.

Danielle Lampkin can be reached at

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