Not every student can afford to take an unpaid summer internship or work for free for student media. Many students must work part time while in college to pay the bills.

We asked several journalists for advice about how students with limited resources can make themselves more competitive for internships, jobs and advancement. Here’s what they suggest:

To be competitive follow their advice:

  • GAIN EXPERIENCE. Look to your local media for opportunities to be a stringer or intern. Work hard and do your best. When you’re done you will walk away with invaluable experience, clips and, hopefully, a few folks to provide good references.
  • NETWORK. Join a professional journalism association that matches your interests. These groups offer networking and training opportunities – and students can join at significantly reduced rates.
  • BUILD YOUR SKILL SETS. There are a lot of free or low-cost online resources to broaden your skills.
    Poynter’s NewsU
    – YouTube videos
    – Check out your community college’s adult school schedule

Thank you to the journalists featured in this video: Erin Ailworth, Midwest correspondent, The Wall Street Journal; Marty Baron, executive editor, The Washington Post; Carla Correa, senior staff editor, The New York Times; Arelis Hernández, reporter, The Washington Post; Mary Hudetz, reporter, Associated Press; Cassandra Jaramillo, reporter, The Dallas Morning News; Jennifer Loren, executive producer and host, “Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People;” Richard Lui, anchor, MSNBC; Topher Sanders, investigative reporter, ProPublica; and Francisco Vara-Orta, formerly of Chalkbeat, now training director at Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Video produced by Jon Busdeker, Sunny Oranges.