Internships offer a proven and effective method to find jobs in Communication. Just ask the hundreds of C/J alumni who have found their employment as a result of their internship experiences.
When you do an internship, you are getting real-world experience in the field of your choice: strategic communications; social media marketing; advertising; video production; or broadcast, print or online journalism. Our internship experiences are designed to give you the best possible exposure to a career field.
You'll have an opportunity to experience the day-to-day operations of a career you are considering, add a meaningful bullet to your resume, and create work samples for your portfolio.
Who is eligible to do an internship in Communication/Journalism?
To do an internship in our department, you must meet two basic requirements:
- Junior or Senior declared Communication/Journalism major
- Minimum 2.75 overall GPA (students with an overall GPA of 2.5-2.74 may petition the Internship Director in writing for permission to register for an internship) Note: Internships are not available to first-semester transfer students.
In addition, there may be requirements specified by the particular internship--for example, a public relations internship might require that you complete at least one course in public relations before applying for the internship.
What is the process for getting an internship?
You get an internship in much the same way as you get a job:
- Attend an Internship Informational Meeting offered each semester during pre-registration. The meeting is announced on our Facebook page and C/J News Blog and in C/J classes, as well as on signs around Fay and Basil Hall.
- Make an appointment with Career Services to prepare an employer-ready resume.
- Consult the listings on our web site or make your own contacts. Choose two or three organizations that seem to fit your needs/interests.
- Contact the sponsoring organization by phone (or send a resume and cover letter by email or snail mail).
- Set up an internship interview. (This should be treated as a "real" interview--dress and prepare appropriately.)
- Before accepting any internship, check with the Internship Director to verify the suitability of the position for your background and interests. (We also have a very few red flags* we want you to avoid!)
- Once you've been accepted into a sponsoring organization as an intern, you must complete a contract with your sponsor and return it to the Internship Director. Contracts are due within the first two weeks of the semester.
*Note: We do not permit students to do radio promotions internships for academic credit.
How does the internship fit into the C/J major?
For most full-time students, an internship is one of their five classes in a given semester. You register for Comm. 490 and receive three credits for the internship. You may do two separate, three-credit internships. [Note that the Internship Director's permission is required on pre-registration for COMM 490.]
There are special circumstances where a student may do fewer than three credits. These should be discussed with the Internship Director before you register.
Less typically, you may also complete an internship over the summer by either paying the required tuition or applying for a Tuition-Waiver Scholarship.
What are the requirements for completing the internship course?
During the semester when you are registered for an internship, you must do the following:
- Keep a log of your hours [normally 9-12 hours/week for 12 weeks]. For a 3-credit internship, you must complete a minimum of 120 hours. Your time log must be signed by your supervisor and will be turned in at the second meeting and again at the end of the semester.
- Attend 3 mandatory meetings during the semester (beginning, mid-semester, and just prior to the final week).
- Provide an internship update during the first three weeks of the internship to the Internship Director. This update may be in writing, e-mail, or with a personal appointment.
- Complete a final reflection paper which includes samples of your work (due no later than 12 noon on Friday of the last week of classes).
- You will also be asked to complete an evaluation form of your internship, and your internship supervisor will be asked to evaluate your performance mid-semester and at the end of the term.
What is expected of me as an intern?
As an intern, you are not expected to know everything. Every internship is different, but there are some general guidelines:
- Treat the internship as a real job. You must be on-time, dress appropriately, and stick to the schedule and the rules of the business.
- Be eager to learn. Ask a lot of questions. This is your chance to discover if this is the career you want, to make contacts for the future. Don't pass up any opportunities to expand your horizons. It makes a great impression too!
- Expect that you will do some routine office work or go-fer work. While we clearly tell our sponsoring organizations that you are to receive professional experience, all jobs involve some clerical tasks and boring work. If you feel that you are not getting the responsibilities promised to you, you should inform the Internship Director.
- Have a good time. This is a great way to earn three credits and, if this is the field you want, you should have fun!