The Daily Bruin welcomed its winter 2016 cohort of interns this past week, some of whom have already began training this weekend, believe it or not. It might seem like a quick turnaround, but that’s how we like to do things here.
Traditionally, we recruit interns two out of three quarters during the academic school year. Recruitment is a regular and essential process at the Daily Bruin, because talented staff are always graduating. For editors, who must evaluate scores of applications, recruitment is the favorite, yet most stressful, time of the year.
With The Bruin being such a large organization on campus, recruitment efforts had to begin early this year. As early as the summer months, we set up tables during freshman orientation so that new Bruins – some of whom applied later in the fall – recognized our presence on campus. More than 200 students signed up for information on our email list during orientation. We also created a recruitment channel on Slack, our communications platform, to establish what was needed and who to contact before summer editor training in September.
It should be of little surprise that social media played a role in recruiting students. One of our biggest recruitment strategies is the #JoinDB hashtag. Leading up to the application deadline, staffers, our office puppy Suzy and DB alumni tweeted about the virtues of the paper:
— Jillian Beck (@Jillian_Beck) October 2, 2015
#JoinDB so you can hashtag cool things at relevant times
— Emaan Baqai (@cooki_emaanster) October 2, 2015
— Francesca Manto (@_fmanto) September 29, 2015
— Francesca Manto (@_fmanto) October 8, 2015
The Bruin isn’t just UCLA’s newspaper – it’s one of the largest student groups on campus, simply because of all the work it takes and the interests students have in telling the stories of students, the campus and the community. We’re also a selective group, because there are limits to how many people can fit in the organization given current financial and logistical constraints. Nevertheless, The Bruin accepted 128 out of 236 applicants this winter quarter, and 220 out of 508 applicants in the fall with web development, photo and arts & entertainment as the most applied-to sections. That brought the total size of the Bruin’s editorial staff to around 520 students!
One might have the impression that the types of students interested in writing for a newspaper are studying fields with the most in common: English, political science and communication studies, for example. But our applicant and accepted pool strongly refutes such an idea, in part because of the variety of sections one can apply for. At The Bruin, both North and South Campus are strongly represented. For example, more than 10 different majors are represented among applicants to the News department alone.
Even during an era of uncertainty for college journalism, The Bruin continues to expand and welcome students of different backgrounds, experiences and talents to join one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences on campus. It is, after all, integral to our purpose and existence as a student-run newspaper.