Students at Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) started their ten-week residency experiences at major media organisations in the US, Europe and the region.

The residency, which is an integral part of the university’s programme for journalism and strategic communication students, is providing internships this year at USA Today, The Washington Post, VICE news, Ogilvy & Mather, Blue Rubicon, Al Jazeera London, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and Amnesty International, among others.

Everette E Dennis, Dean and CEO, said:

The residency programme is an instrumental part of our journalism and strategic communication programme. It also distinguishes NU-Q as the only media school in the region with an embedded programme for students to experience working at top media operations around the world. Our students’ experience is heightened during their residences – developing new skills, testing recently-learned skills, working under deadline, and building confidence in their capabilities as professional communicators.’

For the first time, NU-Q will place a student – Shageaa Naqvi – at The Washington Post where she will focus on science and health reporting, said:

I will learn how the newsroom works in the real world, learn to refine and pitch story ideas as well as be able to work with the best science reporters in the field. This sort of experience will help me become a better reporter and will prepare me to begin working for a news organisation after I graduate.’

As part of the strategic communication programme, Awad Mohammed will be working with the international public relations firm Ogilvy & Mather in London, said:

This opportunity will improve my professional skills and help me to further comprehend digital and impactful communication. It allows me to implement what I learned in the classroom into real-life scenarios, and grow as a professional media producer.”

Habibah Abass will be joining the team at VICE News in New York and will be working on various large-scale documentaries, said:

I’m excited to be implementing the skills I’ve learned in the field and actually learn what if feels like to be a journalist. I’ve reported for my classes before, but I think it will be very exciting to be working for an established media organisation and have real-world experiences as a student.’

The residency programme has been recognised as an important learning component allowing students to network with professionals in the field, explore career paths, and implement theories and ideas discussed in the classroom to the real world. Media residencies have been a part of Northwestern’s Medill School for more than 40 years, a practice that NU-Q has continued with its programme in Doha.

Mary Dedinsky, Director of the Journalism and Strategic Communication Programme, added:

Medill’s journalism programme is rigorous by nature, producing some of the best media professionals in the world. We feel strongly about the residency component of the programme, because it provides students with a practical understanding of the modern workplace that gives them a competitive edge in the job market once they graduate.’