O'Brien Student FAQs

What role do students play in the O'Brien Fellowship?

As a student intern you have an opportunity to gain real-world experience working with journalists (O'Brien Fellows) from around the country in reporting in-depth stories that could lead to a major impact on the world. Typically, three to four professional journalists participate in the fellowship annually. Each fellow works with several students in a team. The resulting work is published by each fellow’s news organization.

What types of work have past O'Brien interns completed?

Students have produced research, reporting and writing for various formats and platforms: print, web, audio, video. In many cases students have received bylines or other named credit. Some students have received solo bylines. Students have generated story ideas, data analysis and survey research. Many students have traveled in the U.S. and internationally as part of their projects. See examples of their work on the 'Our Students' Work' page.

Are there any other benefits?

Undergraduate students receive 3 credits per semester and typically work with fellows for two semesters. Graduate students have used their internship for Professional Project or Practicum credit. Both undergraduate and graduate students also have the chance to compete to be a paid summer intern at the home news organization of a fellow at the end of the academic-year O'Brien project.

Do I have to be a certain grade to apply?

You must be either a rising junior or rising senior undergraduate student; an incoming graduate student; or a rising second-year graduate student to apply for an O'Brien student intern position.

How do I apply?

To apply for the O'Brien Fellowship school-year internships, you must submit:

  • A resume.
  • A one-page cover letter addressed to the director of the O'Brien Fellowship, Dave Umhoefer, outlining your interest in the position, your career goals and your qualifications for the position.
  • Up to five written or multimedia work samples, or a link to your online portfolio.
  • The names and contact information for three references.

ALL materials should be emailed to david.umhoefer@maruqette.edu. Please ensure that any hyperlinks are working.

When do I apply?

The O’Brien Fellowship is no longer accepting applications for 2019-20 reporting internships. Check back in spring 2020 for application dates for the 2020-21 school year.

Is it competitive?

Yes. Interns will be selected by the O'Brien program in consultation with faculty and incoming fellows.

Do I get to pick which journalism project I will work on?

Yes and no. If you are selected as a student intern, you will then be able to review the story proposals submitted by professionals selected as the next class of fellows.

You will rank the projects by your preference and those preferences will be taken into account in matching you with a fellow.

Will the O'Brien experience help me get a job when I graduate?

Many O'Brien interns have moved quickly into reporting jobs after school. The chance to learn from, impress and make lifelong friends with a professional journalist gives O'Brien interns an advantage available at few other American universities.

What can I do to prepare for becoming an O'Brien intern?

Work with student media, the Neighborhood News Service, and other internships can put you in a good position. Feel free to talk to O'Brien Director Dave Umhoefer for more detailed advice.