The PSJP Internship is a PICS internship opportunity. PICS joined the University through the Pace Center for Civic Engagement in 2019. It was founded as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 1996 by Princeton University alumni from the Class of 1969 at their 25th reunion.
PICS is a transformative experience that thrives at the intersection of students, community, and alumni. Students benefit from immersive summer internship opportunities in collaboration with community partners serving on the front lines of healthcare, education, the environment, and more.
Additionally, each student is paired with a Princeton Alumni for the summer who serves as an Alumni Mentor during their PICS experience. Alumni Mentors guide students as they grow from these professional experiences and introduce students to the Princeton alumni network. Many PICS students, community partners, and alumni form relationships that extend years beyond the initial internship experience
The Princeton Summer Journalism Program (PSJP) is a college preparation initiative of the Emma Bloomberg Center for Access and Opportunity at Princeton University, which serves first-generation-to-to-college and low-income students to, through, and beyond college completion. Founded in 2002 by Princeton alumni, PSJP is a year-long college and journalism preparatory program serving 40 rising high school seniors from low-income backgrounds. Students apply during their junior year and spend the summer between 11th and 12 grade participating in a 10-day intensive, all-expenses-paid, residential journalism experience on Princeton's campus in late July/early August. PSJP exists to address the significant gap in access to resources for many students from historically marginalized communities. Our goal is to further equip the students for admission to and success at elite colleges and to encourage them to subsequently pursue careers in journalism or other intellectual fields, thereby diversifying the professions that shape American democracy.
PSJP is a unique partnership between Princeton University and an outside group of professional journalists who are passionately committed to the cause of diversifying journalism as well as the worlds of politics, policy, arts, and literature and volunteer their time and their networks in service of the program. Our on-campus staff is very limited. PICS interns play a central role in setting up the program in June and July, and then helping to lead it during the 10 days in August. Bringing 40 students from across the country to Princeton for 10 days --and scheduling an educational experience for them that many later describe as life-changing -- is a major undertaking, and PICS interns are essential in orchestrating this effort.
The main components of the internship consist of 1) setting up the program, 2) coordinating the publication of the student newspaper, and 3) being a mentor/counselor for our students. Typically, interns start in early-June and the program is held during late-July through early-August, giving the interns about seven weeks to work with the program's Assistant Director to coordinate the logistics.
- work with the Assistant Director to build the program’s schedule -- including inviting guest speakers, tracking outreach and communication, and fielding questions
- coordinate all transportation, technology, equipment, and software needs for the summer intensive, including student and counselor ground/air transportation to and from Princeton's campus
- arrange field trips (including visits to news outlets such as The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, NBC, or Bloomberg; a trip to a preseason sports game viewed from the press box of a sports stadium; an investigative journalism trip)
- devise, schedule, and respond to weekly reading assignments for the participating high school students
- devise and arrange feature and news reporting assignments
- track the submission of all students' and counselors' documents
- assist with setting up the school-year college prep process
- lead discussion and mentorship groups
- liaise with guests
During the 10-day program itself, having coordinated and planned most of the events, the interns serve as "schedule masters." They manage the program’s schedule and logistics and get to witness the fruits of their labor in action! They also work with students on their reporting assignments, help to coordinate publication of the program’s newspaper, and generally serve as mentors and teachers for the students.
For interns, this internship is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of 35-40 incredibly smart high school students. It is also a chance to participate in running and helping to build a small non-profit organization within Princeton University. Being a PSJP Program Coordinator is a lot of fun and teaches interns a great deal of transferable skills. It also provides many opportunities for interns to lead, innovate, mentor, and be creative! Former interns have told us for years that the PSJP internship is an incredibly rewarding experience — and they continue to stay involved for years after their internships, as program directors and counselors.
The first thing we are looking for in prospective interns is genuine passion for making a difference in the lives of outstanding students from low-income backgrounds for whom many components of the PSJP experience may be new, unfamiliar, and, at times, overwhelming. Interns need to approach students with a positive, encouraging attitude and a genuine desire to work with and get to know them.
Equally important is that prospective interns be exceptionally organized. Bringing 40 students and about 25 counselors to campus and scheduling a curriculum for them that consists of dozens of guest speakers as well as numerous field trips, reporting assignments, and classes is an enormous logistical undertaking. As a result, our interns need to be excellent task masters who are thoughtful and strategic about the big picture but also mindful of their limitations and can rely on each other to spread the workload.
**Ideal candidates will have prior experience with one or more of the following: working with high school-aged youth, coordinating or managing logistics for a large program or group, journalism, college prep/college access/tutoring.
- be incredibly detail-oriented and responsible
- take initiative
- be able to work independently, adapt and solve problems in a rapidly changing environment
- be able to keep track of multiple people, processes, and documents in a way that allows them to easily recall the information, track updates, and report any changes
- take organized notes on needs, changes, and required tasks
- be self-aware and able to check-in about their own personal needs and self-care
- be willing to ask for help
- be team-oriented and able to work well with others
It certainly helps if prospective interns have an appreciation for the value of teaching journalism to high school students, but it is not required for interns themselves to have a background in journalism. The bigger concern is that the interns have a genuine interest in the mission of the work and a commitment to putting in the work to fulfill it.
For more information and to apply, please see the PICS internship website.