The New York Times announces new Times Corps program

Photo by Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr 
The New York Times will offer a new Times Corps program with applications opening this summer.

By Elena Eberwein

Career program staff from the New York Times introduced The New York Times Corps, a multi-year journalism mentorship program aimed to provide accessible career guidance at a workshop Thursday afternoon. The program is open to rising college freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. 

Currently, The Times offers five internships, a fellowship program, and an editing residency. The Corps will help provide a pipeline to these programs and to other professional newsrooms for students from marginalized communities or socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds. The inaugural class will accept 25 students with the expectation for this to grow over time. 

The program was created to help give students access to sustained career guidance and to gain experience to help land internships or jobs said Carla Correa, the deputy director of the Early Career Programs team. 

Carla Correa

It’s not open to college seniors because they want to develop relationships with students over a multi-year period, said Correa. Students will meet with their Times advisors multiple times a year, enjoy speaker events throughout the year, and upon graduation from the program will receive an all-expense-paid trip to New York to visit the newsroom and city. High-performing graduates of the program may receive referrals to the Times Fellowship or other newsrooms.

The workshop included advice for aspiring journalists from The New York Times career department. Ted Kim, Director of Early Career Journalism Strategy and Recruiting, encouraged students to recalibrate for the long term. “Careers are a marathon, not a sprint,” he said. It is possible to achieve what you want to in your career, but it may take time and a series of experiences building up to a dream position. 

Ted Kim

One piece of advice Kim offered was to stay as close to what you want to do as you can. He used an analogy of a rocket taking off to explain that it’s important to follow a linear path that builds one on top of the next. Even if you’re only a few degrees off and it seems like you’re veering in the right direction, as you build your experiences you may find yourself farther away from your dream than you wanted to be. 

Kim also said that it is important to both build relevant experience and show potential employers that you are willing to work on impactful stories. 

Correa said when she first started out, she wasn’t working on the hard-hitting stories she had hoped to. Her advice was to be the best at whatever role you’re in, even if it’s not quite your dream job. “I did a story about kindergarteners releasing butterflies,” she said, “I made sure I was the best at that.”

Correa also emphasized that when applying for jobs it is important to submit cover letters that are very specific. She said to speak about your passions and to show, not tell. This means applicants should describe what they’ve done to prove they are a great candidate, not just say they’re great.

For The Corps program, the application will require a personal statement, two references, and optional clips. The application for the program will open this summer.