About Metro Times
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How many editorial interns are there?
We love interns. But because our office space is limited, we can accommodate only a few interns per semester.
How long do internships last?
Typically, internships run on a three-trimester schedule, roughly lasting the duration of a school semester (Fall-Winter is September-December, Winter-Spring is January-April, Summer is May-August). However, we have at times made other arrangements when it is beneficial to both us and the intern.
How many hours do interns work?
We ask interns to work 12-15 hours a week, which is usually the amount of time required if they are earning college credit. These hours should preferably be done over the course of two days, i.e. Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday, so we can have some sort of consistent schedule. We generally have several editorial staff meetings on Tuesday, beginning at about 1 p.m., and it's to your benefit to attend at least some of these meetings.
What about college credit?
If you're enrolled in a college that has an internship program, we are happy to cooperate with its needs in order to help you earn college credit for your experience here. Contact your school's internship coordinator or supervisor for more details.
What else do I earn?
The general "grunt work" of internships (filing, data entry, and so forth) is unpaid, but interns often get to take on paying freelance assignments. Anything we publish of yours, photos or stories, will be paid at the prevailing freelance rates. In addition, we occasionally do projects that pay by the hour; the interns on staff at the time get first dibs for those jobs. We'll let you know if one's coming up.
What can I expect to learn?
That's up to you. We're a working newspaper, not a classroom, so we expect interns to be self-motivated with their time here. At the beginning of your internship, we'll ask you to write a brief outline of what you hope to learn - whether it's how to write a news story or how to program a Web page, how a newspaper works or how to edit copy — and then we'll help you along toward that goal. At the end of your internship, you'll be writing a summary/critique of your experiences here.
What kind of computer systems do you have? What kinds of software do you use?
Some of them are PC, some of them are Apple. Most of them aren't state-of-the-art, but they usually work pretty well. We use Microsoft Word in the editorial department for all our original stories. We also use Quark for the final publication. Our Web site is created in Dreamweaver. If you know how to create MP3 files or know how to manipulate and resize photos for the Web, that may come in handy.
How does your e-mail system work?
For the most part, a Metro Times e-mail address is the first initial and last name of the person to whom you are writing, followed by @metrotimes.com. If you wanted to send an e-mail to the internship coordinator, it would go to email@example.com. One exception is our editor W. Kim Heron; he is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you need a photography intern?
We have had photography interns in the past, but we have no structured internship for photography at the moment.
How do I apply?
Send in a cover letter stating your interest in an editorial internship, along with a copy of your résumé and three samples of your writing. We'd prefer at least a few samples of journalistic writing that prove you can write in a crisp, readable newsy style, but you may include other types of writing as well. It needn’t have been published. Keep in mind, however, that we are a newspaper that prides itself on being in touch with the community. We want to see your writing about the world around you; navel-gazing ramblings belong in your diary, not in our paper. Your résumé must include at least three references; THEY WILL BE CHECKED. We'll contact you if we want you to come in for an interview. Our address is 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, 48226. Our office number is 313-961-4060; our fax number is 313-961-6598. Mark the materials to the attention of Michael Jackman. You may fax the editorial stuff or include it as an attachment of an e-mail (sent to email@example.com). Please do not send online links to your materials, attach your word files directly to the e-mail.)
Application deadline for Fall-Winter internship is July 30.
Application deadline for Winter-Spring internship is Nov. 30.
Application deadline for Summer Internship is March 30.
Once you're here...
The first thing:
We'll need some information from you. Please prepare a statement of your learning goals for this internship. Include your name, address and phone number, and Social Security number. We also need an emergency contact number (generally, your parents) and — should you be driving to work — the license number, make and model of your car. We’ll also have some human-resources paperwork for you to fill out.
What should I wear?
Whatever you're comfortable wearing in a casual office environment. Follow the example of those around you.
What about lunch?
Bring your lunch if you like — Metro Times has a fridge, a pop machine, a snack machine and a microwave in the kitchen. Greektown is a block away.
What am I going to have to do?
Interns play a crucial role in keeping information flowing and organized. Expect to do some filing, data entry and junk sorting as part of your internship. You'll probably make a lot of phone calls too. Also expect that you'll have time to work toward your stated learning goals. We won't ask you to make coffee, though — that's already provided. Additionally, interns frequently write our "Abandoned Structure of the Week" feature. As part of ASS (the Abandoned Structure Squad), you'll be responsible for finding abandoned buildings in Detroit, photographing them, learning as much as you can about the building (including, if possible, who owns it), and interviewing neighborhood folks who can add their insight to the story. Beyond that, we don't often give interns assignments. If you want to get published in Metro Times, you'll have to come up with story ideas, pitch them to us and convince us that they're worth putting into the paper. The more ideas you can generate, the better you will like your time here, and the better we will like you. We'll even give you a chance to do a cover story, if you're good enough and motivated enough to pull it off. If you'd rather be told what to do all day long, perhaps you should apply somewhere else .
How do I represent myself?
When you're making calls on behalf of Metro Times, tell the person you're calling your first and last name, and that you're an editorial intern for Metro Times. Give them a brief description of what you're working on (i.e. compiling information for a guide, checking facts for our Web site, whatever) and then ask for the information you need. Be clear and polite. Thank them when you have finished. If you need to leave a message, they can return your call at 313-961-4060, and ask to have you paged.
Who will supervise me?
Michael Jackman is the intern application coordinator. His telephone number is 313-202-8043. As for supervision once you’re aboard, you will be asked to help out in more than one department, in which case that department's editor will also take some responsibility for your well-being.
What are those things on the inside doors?
We have security locks on some of the interior doors. You need to punch in a special code to get the doors to open. We'll tell you what the code is, and when the code changes.
What about smoking?
Metro Times is a smoke-free environment. The smoking pit is outside the back door.
Where do I sit?
There are currently only two or three workstations meant for interns. You will probably become familiar with working at all of them. Understand that you're sharing space with other interns, so be considerate — don't lock the desk, don't leave gross dishes there.
Where do I park?
There are a limited number of parking passes available for the nearby parking structures used by Metro Times staff. We'll assign one to you, which must be returned at the end of your internship Failure to return it will cost you the $25 it costs us to replace it. It will also prevent you from getting your grade if you're doing this for college credit.
What if I'm sick? What if I have an exam?
Let us know. Tell us in advance if you have something scheduled, or give your supervising editor a phone call first thing in the morning if you're sick. We like to be able to count on our interns when they're here, and to count on them calling when they're not.
What is swag?
Swag is all the stuff (review copies of books and CDs, promotional T-shirts, product samples, you name it) that we receive from record companies, publishers and movie promoters, among other sources. When we're done being impressed by it (which is why they send it to us), we usually put it on the shelf outside arts editor Lisa M. Collins' office. Feel welcome to browse. It's free. Take it. Please. On the other hand, please don't take books/CDs/whatever from someone's office without their permission — they might be needing these items for reviews.
When does my internship end?
If you're a student, your internship will end on your last day of classes for the term. If you're not a student, your internship will end on the four-month anniversary of the first day you worked (i.e., if you started on May 4, Sept. 4 would be your last day). Other arrangements may be made if you're doing an accelerated internship, but this must be worked out with your supervisor in advance.
Can I still come into the Metro Times offices after my internship is over?
Of course. We especially welcome freelance pitches from former interns. However, please remember that this is a working environment. You must get a visitor pass from the receptionist. Our intern workstations are meant to be used by current interns, and we'd prefer to keep the social visits outside of the office.