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What's it like to be a Dean's Intern? Find out on Intern Insights, a blog featuring posts by students working all over the metro area in a variety of Dean's Internship positions.

The Program

The School of Communication has a distinct advantage among competitive peer institutions for the myriad of experiential learning opportunities offered to students. We work with world-class partners to provide selected Dean’s Interns with meaningful, real-world assignments that provide recognition and future pathways to jobs. Students selected as Dean’s Interns become SOC ‘external ambassadors’ to help build stronger relationships with strategic partners. Dean’s Intern opportunities (listed below) may vary from semester to semester as we forge new alliances with emerging businesses, institutions, and associations. Learn more

Dean’s Internship opportunities are announced throughout the year as opportunities arise. Positions may be paid and/or for-credit internships. Check this webpage or search “SOC Dean’s Internships” through the AU Career Web.

Meet the Spring Dean's Interns | Dean's Intern Alumni

Partnership Opportunities

1776 Logo

AU enjoys a unique partnership between three of its schools and 1776, a startup incubator platform based in Washington, D.C. Spearheaded by professor Amy Eisman, SOC's Director of MA in Media Entrepreneurship and Interactive Journalism, the cross-campus collaboration provides access to 1776 Campus programming and events as well as discounted memberships to select AU students.

SOC Washington Post logo

The Washington Post and SOC have leveraged the strength of each institution through the joint hire of John Sullivan, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and ongoing reporting roles for SOC students. Sullivan, an investigative reporter for The Post and an SOC professor and Journalist-in-Residence, teaches his practicum students in the newsroom as they research and write about real-life investigative projects. Over the past two years, 19 paid student fellows and dean’s interns have earned over 375 bylines covering local stories for Post Metro and WashPost.com. Having proven their value covering news and features, over half of the students continued reporting for The Post as paid professionals after graduation.

SOC National Geographic logo

Dean’s Interns from Public Communication and Film & Media Arts divisions work with National Geographic teams in Communications, Creative Marketing, and Ad Sales. Students have earned production credits for creating short web videos from footage shot in the field by NG’s scientists and explorers and combined this with their own footage and graphics for distribution on NG’s website and YouTube channel. Others use skills they have learned in SOC marketing and public relations courses to promote NG programs, books and magazines; craft press releases; or help coordinate activities for National Geographic’s 125th Anniversary Celebration.

SOC USA Today Logo

Video, Social Media, or Investigative Internship – generally offered each semester

Know your way around a digital camera? Interested in using social media as a marketing tool? Or, do you like to dig into data for investigative stories? A Dean’s Internship at USA TODAY may be the right fit for you. As a video journalism intern, you can be part of the team that shoots, edits and posts breaking news, trend and feature stories for one of the top news sites in the country. Or, you can help with USA Today's strategic social media efforts. Or be a part of their award-winning investigative team. All options allow SOC’s Dean’s Interns to play an important role at USA Today while learning from industry professionals.

Academic credit is required.

SOC Newseum logo

Research Associate and Social Media Intern – generally offered each semester

The Newseum provides a stimulating and enjoyable intern experience that highlights news history with high tech/hands on exhibits. The museum is funded by the Freedom Forum, a non-partisan foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. Dean's Interns will work in the Newseum Broadcast Department and will be trained under the supervision of professionals assisting in the production of video and electronic content for various exhibits and interactive applications.

Selected Dean's Interns will work 15-20 hours per week with the opportunity for a flexible schedule.

Academic credit is required.

Current Logo

Editorial Intern – generally offered each semester 

Current, the bi-weekly newspaper and web site for public broadcasters, became a part of American University in Jan. 2011. Editorially independent, Current is the major publication for the public media profession. With more than 5,000 subscribers, Current is read by people involved in public TV and public radio: station employees, independent producers, volunteers, viewers and listeners. AU students work as researchers and reporters with Current staff to provide thorough and accurate coverage of the industry.

Number of hours weekly and pay:

  • Graduate student: 8 hours/week, $15.50/ hour
  • Undergraduate junior or senior: 10 hours/week, $12.50/hour

Academic credit is not required.

SOC Smithsonian logo

As part of a University-wide partnership with this landmark institution, the Smithsonian invited SOC to collaborate on projects that would bring more exposure to exhibits and archivists on the web and through video. Film & Media Arts students and University College classes have worked with the National Museum of American History to write, shoot and edit videos that explore inventions and innovations in history, highlight collections on Civil War photography, and help freedom scholars use digital storytelling to document the narratives of civil rights freedom fighters.

SOC National Park Service (NPS) logo

Climate Change Video Intern – generally offered in the summer 

The National Park Service is entrusted with the care of the nation’s natural resources. With the help of volunteers and park partners, NPS is proud to safeguard these nearly 400 places and to share their stories with more than 275 million visitors every year.  

The National Park Service has a unique opportunity for video students interested in climate change and nature. . Climate change is affecting all national parks. National Park Service interpreters have unparalleled opportunities to educate the public about climate change and its effects on parks, communities, and visitors. One essential aspect of that education is ensuring that all people – both park visitors and the interpreters themselves – understand the basic science of climate change. As an intern, you will produce several short videos to teach people important information about climate change and how it is affecting the National Parks. This internship, generally offered in the summer, is full-time, 30-40 hours per week, at $14 per hour.

Academic credit is not required.


Photo/Video Intern

WAMU 88.5 is the leading public radio station for NPR news and information in the greater Washington D.C. area.

WAMU seeks photo/video interns to support its coverage of local news and station events. This is an excellent opportunity for budding photo/video journalists to broaden their portfolios. The interns will shoot both still photography and video of breaking and enterprise news to support the radio news stories. They may also go on independent assignments as required. Interns must supply and maintain their own equipment. University-supplied equipment may be available dependent on the academic program in which the intern is enrolled. Successful candidates will have excellent photography and/or video skills. Proficiency with video editing suites is a plus. This internship, generally offered each semester, is part-time, 10-15 hours per week.

Academic credit is required.

SOC NPR logo

On his first day as Dean in July 2012, Jeff Rutenbeck reached out to NPR to establish a partnership and signature Dean’s Internship position.

SOC students have since served as production assistants on All Things Considered, Three-Minute Fiction, and Tell Me More helping to turn interviews into lively radio stories by editing audio recordings, writing scripts, selecting music enhancements and recording introductions.NPR requested SOC scholarly expertise to write, conduct, and help design a comprehensive content audit on diversity in news coverage. Faculty analyzed a year’s worth of news content to determine the race and gender inclusivity and diversity of sourcing and stories, and present the results to the media organization.


SOC National Academy of Sciences logo

National Academy of Sciences

Science Communication internships - generally offered each semester.

Dean's interns will work directly with the project director for the Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences Initiative and associated NAS staff on a variety of research, administrative, and partnership development activities. Interns will be encouraged to independently seek related activities outside the National Academies and report on relevance or connections to the Public Interfaces of the Life Sciences initiative. These activities can include congressional hearings, seminars at other think tanks, shadowing federal officials or others involved in science communications to observe their activities, among others possibilities. Given the intern’s talent and interest there may be opportunities to work on other communication science activities within the NAS.

Academic credit required.


Building on a long time established partnership with our campus neighbors, NBC4 and the NBC News Washington Bureau, SOC joins forces with the station to produce a local TV series, host network luminaries, and learn the business from insiders.

Broadcast production students pitch story ideas to NBC4 management each semester. The winning selection is produced as weekly series by students and airs for 12 weeks during the semester on NBC4.com, Daily Connection, or DC Nonstop, the new digital channel. Series have included “DC Free” on free activities in region, and “Favortones,” a series of singing restaurant reviews that garnered 40k hits on YouTube.

SOC hosts NBC luminaries – such as Brian Williams, Andrea Mitchell and Chris Mathews—as featured guests on Reel Journalism and for JFK commemoration events.

Broadcast journalism students learn the nuts and bolts of operating a major network-affiliated TV station and digital news operation from NBC4 exectutives who who teach the consortium course at the station and in the newsroom, sales, digital media, promotion, advertising and community relations departments.

Public Communication portfolio classes have developed PR and marketing campaigns for NBC4 to attract younger demographic (20-35 yr old viewers).


SOC Living Social logo

Public Relations Internship – generally offered each semester

LivingSocial is redefining local commerce. They are helping their members discover valuable experiences and create connections with the best local merchants. LivingSocial is interested in students who have bold new ideas and the appetite to make them a reality. At LivingSocial, they move fast, take risks, and take pride on staying flexible, fun, and ferociously committed to executing each day. Do you want to be challenged by your job and be surrounded by passionate, dedicated, and creative people?

This Dean’s Internship is with the LivingSocial Communications team. The intern will develop media outreach materials, including press releases, media advisories, fact sheets and contact lists. Interns also contribute to the public social media presence and engage bloggers and journalists to help tell the LivingSocial story. For this position, Living Social wants a highly motivated, sharp, ambitious Public Relations student who’s looking for hands-on experience in the fast-paced and constantly changing world of social commerce.

Academic credit is required.

SUMMER 2015 Applications - COMING SOON

1776 (11/14)
Chronicle of Higher Education (Summer 2015)
*Current.org (10/30)
*Durango Herald (10/30)
National Geographic (10/27)
NBC4-Washington (10/31)
*Newseum (10/30)
NPR (10/27)
*USA Today (10/30)
*WAMU (10/30)
*Washington Post (10/30)


Contact: Don Michael Mendoza at deansinternships@american.edu
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Read first person accounts from current SOC Dean's Interns.