Purpose: Communication internships are intended to provide Communication majors with a deeper understanding of their profession through participation in the offices and operations of qualified internship providers.
- Students should be of junior or senior standing. The internship may be taken during the summer, but if so it must be registered and paid for as a Summer Session course, regardless of when the internship begins and finishes during the summer.
- No credit can be given for internship experiences undertaken while not registered for COMM 386. Students cannot receive credit for an unregistered internship experience taken during the summer, but registered for in the following semester.
- An internship position description provided by the on-site supervisor (not a faculty member) must be on file and approved by the Internship Coordinator prior to the student beginning the experience.
- The student must complete a minimum of 90 hours during the semester or summer session at the provider's work location (e.g.., newspaper, cable or television station, PR agency) to earn 2 credits in COMM 386 Internship.
- Students should not work more than 15 hours per week during regular spring and fall semesters, and should not work more than 40 hours per week during summer sessions.
- Most internships are non-paying, although paid internships are acceptable if approved by the Internship Coordinator.
- Campus student organizations are not acceptable internship providers. The intent of the Communication internship is to provide experience in professional workplace settings.
Many internship providers require that students have successfully completed foundational courses within the department prior to beginning the internship (e.g.., COMM 230 Desktop Publishing, COMM 251 Media Production, COMM 261 Media Writing Styles or COMM 265 Principles of Public Relations). It may not be possible to place students with providers if they have yet to complete appropriate coursework.
For all internships, the on-site supervisor will submit a confidential written evaluation to the Internship Coordinator, rating the student on a set of criteria ranging from work quality to general attitude, at the end of the internship.
- Students must keep a regular journal of internship activity on a daily basis, write an exit paper, and submit both to the Internship Coordinator by the deadline shown on the opening Internships page of this site.
- Journal entries should summarize the work the intern did each day, and his or her reaction to it (e.g., whether it was beneficial as a learning experience, involved new skills, etc.). Besides providing a record of specific tasks, the journal can help the intern review the overall experience when preparing the final paper.
- Interns must also submit an exit paper about the internship. The paper should be organized around the following headings in a 3-5 page(double-spaced, 1-inch margins) document submitted electronically to the appropriate Internship Coordinator:
- Type of work (e.g.., production assistant, reporter, etc.)
- Equipment used (e.g.., computer, QuarkXPress, editing equipment; be as specific as possible)
- Strengths of the internship
- Weaknesses of the internship
- Your professional goals (within 5 years)
Examples of exit papers are on reserve in the Department of Communication. See the Communication Department administrative assistant in Schnabel 29.
It is the student's responsibility to ascertain that all materials sent to the Internship Coordinator were received on time. Students should not ask others to turn materials in to the department. Doing so does not relieve the student of any responsibility to have the materials in by the deadline.
All internships are graded as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Independent studies do not qualify as internships. Only experiences for which the student has registered for COMM-386, and for which approval has been received from the Internship Coordinator, may qualify.
For any questions about the internship, students should contact Dr. Steinwart directly.
INTERNSHIP REGISTRATION STEPS:
- Identify an organization that is offering an internship you would like to pursue.
- Complete the Internship Information form.
- Have the organization's internship supervisor send a brief description of the intern's duties to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Complete the University's required Student Self-Transportation Agreement. This form must be on file in the Department of Communication office (Schnabel 29) before beginning the internship.
- Register for Comm-386-A (2 credits) after you receive an e-mail from Dr. Steinwart instructing you to do so.