For the many years I’ve been employing photographers and picture editors, I have always used internships to “discover” developing talent — in addition to providing some valuable training for early-career would-be professionals. In our Denver-based company, we have used a series of interns, most of which have gone on into good professional careers.
Over the years, college students or recent graduates that I have hired include Carl Davaz (now associate editor of the Eugene Register-Guard), Jim Richardson (now a regular National Geographic photographer), Dave Peterson (winner of two Pulitzer Prizes later at the Des Moines Register), Damian Strohmeyer (now a Sports Illustrated lead photographer), Jim Ryun (winner of world records in the mile, half mile, 1500, and 800 meters — and an Olympian), Susan Ford (then the daughter of President Gerald Ford who was accompanied by six Secret Service agents) and Chris Johns (now editor-in-chief of the National Geographic magazine).
Most went on to fulltime positions on the staff I directed at the time. Three of our current Denver staff began as interns — Steve Nowland, Chris Steppig, and Matt Sewick — all key employees of our group now. Just a little hint at what kind of aspiring individuals that come to take an internship.