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Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Want to be a part of the nation’s premier student-run media outlet? Want to have your words read or your pictures seen by hundreds of thousands of readers and social media followers? More importantly — do ya like having fun? Believe it or not, it’s that time again. Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love you to join us.

To sum it all up, Onward State is Penn State’s student blog, and we’re almost 10 years strong representing the student voice at the university. We’re hyper-local to Penn State and State College, but we cover just about everything students and alumni want to hear about – student life, administration, sports, Greek life, and more. What don’t we cover? The Philadelphia Eagles, Super Bowl ChampionsTM. (But we do cover the riot in Beaver Canyon after said Super Bowl. And the Eagles signing Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg.)

The best thing you can do to get a feel for the site is to take yourself on a journey through our archives. From football to tomfoolery to coverage of the Sandusky scandal, every one of these 22,000+ posts has made Onward State what it is today — and you could be a part of it!

Our staff comes from all walks of life at Penn State. Hell, our visual editor is an aerospace engineering major. There’s a place for everyone at Onward State…as long as you’re not boring. We’re looking for students who are motivated to bring their unique, diverse perspective to our staff to help tell the Penn State story. After all, we’re not all journalists — we’re committing acts of journalism for this little ol’ blog we call home. We love Penn State, we love to have fun, we love what we do, and we love to do it for y’all.

Applying is pretty simple: Fill out the form below and tell us a little about yourself and why you want to join us in our mission to enrich conversation at Penn State. Depending on what you’re applying for, we might ask you to send us some samples of your work. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, August 31.

This semester, we’re looking for a little bit of everything:

Writing folks

We’re looking for writers who want to tell the Penn State story. Pretty self-explanatory – you’d be writing the words that we publish on the site each day! Whether you were an editor for your high school newspaper or you’ve never been published, we’re interested in people who can learn to write with our signature OS snark and love Penn State so much that they aren’t afraid to call out flaws to make it better. This includes just about every slice of life on campus, from the Board of Trustees, to Penn State athletics, to breaking news. While we never pigeonhole anyone into writing only one topic, a little knowledge about one thing in particular goes a long way. So, if you consider yourself an expert in anything Penn State, we’d love to have you.

Visual folks

From photographers to videographers to graphic designers, we’d love to see whatever you have to show us. If you think your work deserves to be seen by a wider audience at Penn State, chances are we might agree. Eager photographers have the opportunity to shoot events and showcase the various walks of life at Penn State. We’re hoping to expand our video team to create short, viral content that can be shared on social media. (Remember the ice video?) If you’re a graphic designer, we’re interested in adding some flair to our posts and social media with custom graphics and snarky featured images that make our blog unique. We especially want to work on more original visual content this semester, so we’re looking for illustrators who want to draw the Penn State story digitally (and make cool things like this). Fresh ideas are the name of the game and we can’t wait to hear yours.

Web folks

Last year we launched a new website (woo!), and now we’re looking for someone interested in the publishing and development aspect of things to work with us on the site and a few other future developments, like our daily email newsletter and exploring membership program options.

Business folks

Our generous partners allow us to keep doing what we do every day, and we’re looking for a stellar liaison who can oversee our partner program and coordinate with our editorial board to make sure these relationships continue to be mutually beneficial. This is the perfect gig for a people person who believes in our mission and is excited to make some connections in State College.


Again, applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, August 31 (the Friday after the second week of classes). We’ll hit you back shortly thereafter about interviews the following week.

The responsibilities of the position you’re applying for will be further outlined during the interview process. In general, staff writers need to compose two posts each week (which is the minimum, mind you), visual staffers are expected to contribute on a consistent, weekly basis, and everyone is responsible for generating story ideas each week. Our meetings are typically held on Sunday evenings and attendance is mandatory.

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot an email to managing editor Elissa Hill at [email protected]. Hope to see your name on our masthead!

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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