FAQ about Beacon jobs
I’m not planning on a career in journalism. Why would I want to work at The Beacon?
Beacon staffers come from various academic disciplines, from English to engineering. The skills you learn working at The Beacon are the same skills employers in all fields value: critical thinking, oral, written and visual communication, interviewing, research, collaboration, making deadlines, media literacy.
Bottom line: It’s a great resume and skills builder and a fun way to meet people.
Do I need to have experience?
We don’t require applicants for reporter or sports reporter to have journalism experience, although we do expect them to be intelligent, hard-working, organized, dependable and personable and have good basic writing skills. That said, we value relevant experience as well as applicants who have taken media-related courses.
Some positions do require specific skills. A videographer should know how to shoot and edit video before applying. You have to know how to use Microsoft Excel to be considered for Advertising & Marketing Manager. Photographers should own a decent digital camera and know how to use it.
Editors typically are former Beacon reporters who have been promoted.
Are these jobs easy and will I make lots of money?
No and no. Much like an athletic team, The Beacon requires a lot of hard work and commitment. We tell applicants up front that academics come first, The Beacon comes second, and to be wary of overcommitting to other activities. While staffers do earn a stipend, most will tell you the experience and resume/portfolio material they get is worth a lot more than the money.
Who does the hiring?
The student Editor-in-Chief is appointed by the University President based on recommendations from the Presidential Advisory Committee on Student Media, which is made up of faculty, staff and a student representative. The Editor-in-Chief hires and manages the rest of the staff.
Must I commit to the full academic year?
Higher level Beacon positions (editors) require a full-year commitment. While we prefer to hire reporters, photographers, videographers and sports reporters who will commit to a year, it is possible to secure one of those positions for just a semester. For our planning purposes, applicants who become finalists should notify the adviser and Editor-in-Chief if they are available for one semester only.
Anything else I should know?
- You must have at least a 2.5 GPA, but preference is given to applicants with 3.0 and above. The reason: The Beacon is a serious commitment and may not be a good fit for applicants who are struggling with their academics.
- All Beacon staff (except for Advertising & Marketing Mgr.) must attend meetings at 5:40 Tuesdays and Thursdays, unless granted an exception by the editor-in-chief. Exceptions may be made for a time conflict with a class.
- Everyone is expected to story ideas at the Tuesday and Thursday meetings.With the exception of the two business-related positions, Beacon staffers may not simultaneously work for UP Athletics Marketing on in a UP Marketing media position or be in ASUP student government due to conflict of interest concerns.
- All Beacon staffer hired in the spring or summer for the new academic year (except for Advertising & Marketing Manager) must attend Beacon Boot Camp training on campus approximately one week before fall semester classes start in August