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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Career Guide

Houston Business Journal associate editor talks internships

Just one year ago, Natalie Harms donned her cap and gown to receive her bachelor’s in journalism from UH; she’s now associate print editor of the Houston Business Journal. For Harms, who was freelancing and interning for free months after college before getting a job, experiencing a little bit of everything is essential to journalism.

“I know everyone says that you have to do a little bit of everything,” Harms said. “(But it’s important to be) getting some experience in everything, and sometimes that’s a class, but other times, it’s not.”

Harms found that her courses taught her technical skills; her degree plan lacked creativity.

“News and Social Media was a solid class. When you get to more theoretical practices like that, it was kind of about stepping of my comfort zone to be more conceptual,” Harms said. “A lot of schools have journalism as a bachelor of science because it’s not supposed to be a creative outlet. I wish it was more creative.”

But what writing prowess Harms lost in the classroom, she picked up in internships.

“In journalism especially, pretty much every internship requires previous internship experience. So it’s really challenging to start junior year and find places that all of your friends are interning at,” Harms said. “With journalism, you have to spread yourself wide and create a network, especially if this is what you want to do, because a lot of people don’t get jobs when they graduate. I think it’s important to create a presence in the community with interning.”

So a diligent sophomore-year Harms committed to the demanding workload of becoming a journalist by beginning her first internship at Houston Magazine. She later interned at the Houston Chronicle, Houstonia and Texas Monthly and also served as an editor at The Daily Cougar for a year and a half.

“You can do more than school — that’s what’s great about college,” Harms said. “There is a way to balance it and still have a healthy mix; it just takes a lot of time management. You can’t just be doing one thing because you’re wasting precious semesters. ”

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