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Students gain career experience through enhancement fund

Kasey Lettrich and Chancellor Pickens, both rising seniors at the WVU Reed College of Media, are gaining valuable career experience this summer through internships. Lettrich, a journalism major, is interning with the New York University Summer Publishing Institute. Pickens, a sports and adventure media major, is a photography intern for the West Virginia Black Bears, a collegiate summer baseball team in the MLB Draft League.

Student with cityscape behind her

Kasey Lettrich

Hometown: Latrobe, Pennsylvania

Major: Journalism

Favorite part? Hearing from the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan. She was a fantastic speaker, extremely knowledgeable and she has my dream job. 

What was your day like? During the program, I was on Zoom from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday through Friday learning about all things media, magazines and book publishing from professionals in the industry. As part of the program, we had to produce a media brand proposal, an idea for a novel, an edit test and a reader’s report. At the end, we each had to create a pitch for the career fair in which we were paired up with HR representatives within the industry who are looking to hire.

How did the College of Media prepare you for this internship? The Reed College of Media gave me a great understanding of editing, writing, pitching and a solid resume before entering this program. During the media/magazine portion of the program, I felt like I was ahead of all of the other students, particularly with my knowledge from Mirage Magazine, a student organization in the Reed College of Media. 

How did the enhance money aid you in taking this internship? Without it, I would’ve been forced to take out a loan or borrow money from a family member. The enhancement fund truly made it possible for me to complete the program without acquiring another student loan.

What are your future goals? My goal is to graduate in May 2022, move to New York City and work for a major media company like Condé Nast, Hearst or Meredith as an editorial assistant. I would love to work for SELF Magazine, Teen Vogue, or any other fashion, beauty, lifestyle, wellness brand within those media companies. 

Male student standing on a baseball field

Chancellor Pickens

Hometown: Parkersburg, West Virginia

Major: Sports and Adventure Media

Favorite part? Taking pictures for the MLB Draft League Combine at PNC Park in Pittsburgh! 

Responsibilities? Taking photographs for the team. This includes during the game as well as promo events. My work is showcased on the Black Bear's social media channels, their website and sometimes in newspapers. 

How did the College help you succeed? The College of Media taught me how to carry myself in a professional manner.

Why this internship? I chose this internship because I have always wanted to work in sports. I never had the opportunity to take pictures at a sporting event before this, so the Black Bears took a big risk when they picked me up. 

Future goals? I have started my own business, Chance Pickens Media. My goals in the future would include building that business, and becoming a freelance photographer/videographer. 

 

Both students are benefactors of the Paul and Mildred Atkins Enhancement Fund, which provides money for cost-of-living and other expenses while students pursue real-world learning experiences. This particular fund was established by the late Professor Emeriti Paul Atkins (BSJ, 1949), who taught at the P.I. Reed School of Journalism, now the Reed College of Media, for 33 years and also served as the faculty advisor for The Daily Athenaeum for 12 years. Atkins and his wife were long-time supporters of the College of Media and also established two scholarships and a bequest by donating money from the sale of their home.

Won’t you consider helping a student gain valuable internship experience by supporting our College’s student enhancement funds? Learn more about these and other giving opportunities by visiting https://mediacollege.wvu.edu/alumni/giving or contacting Joshua Walters at JWalters@wvuf.org.