As a student in the School of Mass Communication and Journalism, it’s more than just a good idea to plan on doing one or more internships during your college career. Employers in all emphasis areas look favorably on students who come to them with real-world work experience. More often than not, those same employers hire graduates who have internship experience instead of those who do not.
There are two kinds of internships you can do as a student:
1. If you do not want class credit for your internship, you can gain valuable experience, learn more about your chosen field of study or shadow a professional for a few days or weeks by working with those who are in that field. You are in charge of arranging and managing this kind of internship independently. You often can use these types of experience to generate portfolio materials, gain needed experience and network within your chosen field.
2. If you want class credit for your internship, you can earn up to six hours class credit for two different internships. You are still in charge of arranging the internships but you also must comply with these requirements:
a. You should have completed 18 hours of your 36-hour major requirements. Usually, this means you should start looking at internship opportunities in the summer between your sophomore and junior years and beyond.
b. You should have a grade point average of 3.0 in your major courses.
c. You should have an overall grade point average of 2.5.
d. You must attend an internship information session. These sessions are held periodically each semester and are designed to answer frequently asked questions, explain requirements and provide guidance toward acquiring an internship. There is no excuse for not attending one of these sessions and attendance is mandatory if you plan to do a for-credit internship. You only have to attend one session at some point prior to starting the internship.
e. You must complete a two-part application requesting class credit for your experience. That process is also explained during the internship information sessions.
Planning is essential to either kind of internship experience. It’s a good idea to talk with your adviser about internship opportunities during your fall and spring advising sessions. It’s an even better idea to arrange your internship prior to the beginning of the semester in which you plan to do the internship. If you are doing an internship for class credit, you must register for the class prior to the end of the second week of classes during that semester.
For additional information, contact Maggie Williams (firstname.lastname@example.org), the coordinator for internships in mass communication. Recording industry students should consult Dr. Paul Linden (email@example.com)