The VPM Intern Experience
VPM Internships are available in a variety of departments, including Digital and News, that allow for the next generation of public media professionals to gain real world experience. Wondering what it's like to be a VPM intern?
VPM News interns gain experience and exposure to all aspects of our news team. They collaborate and work closely with VPM reporters on larger stories and learn to navigate the process of producing their own stories, from pitching an idea, to conducting research and interviews, to recording and editing audio, to filing the story for broadcast.
Sara McCloskey, VPM Newscast Editor and Internship Coordinator
“Being able to help young journalists reach their lightbulb or eureka moments — when something finally makes sense and finally clicks — is what keeps me going. I’ve been the internship coordinator at VPM for over two years, and it’s by far the best part of my job at VPM News.
A priority for our team is to give opportunities to students who haven’t been able to do as much reporting during their time in school. By teaching, mentoring and guiding them to craft stories, VPM News interns gain unique experiences that they might not otherwise have in a classroom or in any other internship.
On-staff reporters also pitch in and mentor interns, by allowing them to shadow and offering advice on stories. We’re all invested in the future of our interns and want to do as much as we can to help them grow.”
Travis Pope, Program Director, VPM News & VPM Music
“VPM News interns get hands-on time with our equipment, our software, and learn how to do what we do. In turn, each VPM Intern mixes what they learn with their own experiences, skills, and point of view. They each have an impact and a legacy that lives on long after they've left us. This program allows us to learn from and train the next generation of public media.”
Meghan McIntyre, VPM News Radio and Digital Intern, Spring 2022
“I anticipated to learn a lot from this program, but it has far exceeded my expectations. Any doubts I had about whether journalism was the right field for me have been quashed. The confidence I’ve gained through the collaborative and encouraging VPM Newsroom has me feeling immensely prepared to become a full-fledged reporter. I love that everyone is so passionate about what they do — it’s something that truly inspires me to keep challenging myself in my own reporting and keep pushing on, no matter how difficult the subject may be, because I know my work can make a difference.
I especially want to give a shout out to Sara McCloskey, the internship coordinator, for all of the support she’s given me. I’m very grateful for this opportunity and would highly recommend it for others interested in developing their reporting skills.”
Max Ames, VPM News and Music Radio Intern Spring 2022
"Before my time as an Intern at VPM I didn’t have much professional news experience, but the VPM’s News and Music teams coached me up, and quickly instilled the confidence I needed to jump on a microphone and talk people through the ins and outs of complex news. This internship also provided me with a very rare opportunity to pursue my passion for sports while still maintaining a focus on hard news. I’m so excited to be a part of the team that helped sports news get a little more shine in public broadcasting."
Adiah Gholston, VPM News Radio/Digital and Focal Point Remote Intern, Summer 2021 - Spring 2022
“During my remote internship with VPM, I was able to feature more voices and perspectives about my home region, Southwest Virginia. This included writing a story about the Christiansburg Institute Museum, a museum dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the rich history of a Southwest Virginia institution aimed to educate Black students starting from the reconstruction up to the civil rights era.
Working on this story provided me with more context and a different perspective on the area in which I live. I also grew appreciative of those who carve a space for people like me within Southwest Virginia, and the curators who are working to maintain and expand the Christiansburg Institute Museum.
I often look for stories featuring unheard and unseen voices within their community. I look for stories and reporters who are in tune with their audiences, attentive to details, strong storytellers and people who seek to challenge journalistic norms. Not only did I find this within VPM’s reporting, but also found this through my internship where I was cared for, taught, provided with a high level of collaboration and given agency to do my own reporting along with other opportunities.”
Patrick Larsen, Former VPM News Intern, Current VPM News Freelance Journalist
“I interned at VPM from 2019 until very early 2020, during a year break from college. I was looking for a way to get some experience in either radio or news — imagine my luck! Once I started, the team brought me in without question. They gave me opportunities to shadow awesome reporters covering the day’s most interesting issues, and engaged me in reporting those stories. Most importantly, my editors started giving me real work to do from week one. They listened to my interests, connected me with new ideas and people in the environmental field, and made sure I was picking up the basics along the way.
Now that I’m out of college, I’m back at VPM News as a freelancer. It’s a team I trust and am excited to continue to learn from, collaborate with, and contribute to. And though I’ve decided to stick around Richmond, I know the skills learned during my internship here could take me anywhere in the country or beyond."
When you watch VPM PBS, listen to VPM News or VPM Music, read VPM web articles or follow VPM on social media, you regularly encounter the work of hard-working VPM interns. Explore some recent VPM intern-created/assisted content included below:
Support the next generation of public media.
Donate to the Sarah Raybin Portlock Fund for Interns.