The job market. If you are like most college students, this is one of your primary concerns. To better prepare you for the job market, the Department of Communication provides you the opportunity to gain valuable practical knowledge and skills. An internship allows you to apply the theoretical information and skills you have gained in your interpersonal, small group, organizational, rhetoric and mass communication classes to an actual work situation. Making the connection from the classroom to "real-life" work settings adds an important dimension to your intellectual development. Internships allow you to develop new skills, build work experience for your resume, gain insight into a particular career, and develop contacts for future employment opportunities. Indeed, a well-chosen internship can be one of the most valuable experiences of your university career.
Paid and non-paid intern positions are available at local, regional, and national industries and organizations. Many internships provide on-the-job training. You gain up to three hours of college credit by enrolling COMM 4913 (undergraduate) or COMM 5913 (graduate).
- Get a member of your selected organization to serve as your field supervisor.
- Complete the learning contract (see below) with the help of the Internship Coordinator and your field supervisor.
- Be reliable and dependable, keep a log of your daily activities, and attend on-campus meetings with the Internship Coordinator.
- Any out-of-state internships will need to gain the approval of Dr. Lisa Corrigan, Internship Coordinator:
Dr. Lisa Corrigan
Internship Coordinator, Department of Communication
417 Kimpel Hall
P: (479) 575-3046
Internship Coordinator Responsibilities:
- Help you identify, seek out, and develop possible internship opportunities.
- Supervise your progress regarding the agreed upon learning objectives.
- Provide you with a final course grade. Students successfully completing the internship requirements and receiving satisfactory supervisory reports receive a grade of "CR." You are graded on the basis of two criteria. First, you complete a three-part log evaluating your learning experiences while on the job (see below. Secondly, your field supervisor evaluates you (see below).
- Provide you initially with an oral/written job description.
- Provide you continuing guidance for professional development and skills training.
- Ultimately provide the Internship Coordinator with an oral and written evaluation of your performance.
- Provide written letters of recommendation for your file.
Frequently Asked Questions
Students receive guidance in professional development and skills training. Employers receive intelligent, highly motivated, goal-oriented students eager to learn and skilled in time management.
One semester. You spend 160 contact hours in the organization. This contact averages out to 10 hours a week.
Intern after you have completed 18 hours of communication coursework. A GPA of 2.5 or better is required before you can submit the completed contract form (see below).
Skill areas include (but are not limited to): public relations, sales & marketing, leadership, Internet, photojournalism, media production, teamwork, word processing, motivation, public speaking, customer service, persuasion, interpersonal communication, cross-cultural communication, conflict management, small group dynamics, graphic arts, promotional campaigns, surveys, brochures, information search.
- EDUCATIONAL REWARDS: Internships provide actual application of classroom learning. You can begin to put the pieces of the college/career puzzle together.
- PROFESSIONAL REWARDS: Many employers in communication fields only hire people with direct experience. You gain opportunities for networking and may receive offers for paid position which can lead to full-time positions after graduation.
- PERSONAL REWARDS: Students often make career decisions based on what they learned during internships. Internships allow you to experiment with your chosen filed to identify what areas best suit your abilities and interests.
- Submit a completed Internship Contract Form (see below) to Dr. Lisa Corrigan, 417 Kimpel Hall, the semester prior to the internship.
- Research Internship Opportunities the semester prior to the internship.
- Meet with Dr. Corrigan to discuss your chosen position at least 1 month prior to registration.
- Fill out the Internship Contract Form immediately before the semester begins when you are doing your internship.
After your internship paperwork has been approved by the Internship Coordinator, the internship will be added to your schedule through UA Connect by the END of add/drop for the semester in which you've been enrolled. You do not have to do anything to add the internship on UA Connect since enrollment in the internship is by permission of the Internship Coordinator in the Communication Department.
By the end of the first week of the semester, you should appear in both UA Connect and Blackboard. If you do not appear in UA Connect or Blackboard and your internship has been approved, contact the Internship Coordinator ASAP.
- Determine your area of interest such as public relations, media, customer relations, etc. (For a more comprehensive list of areas of interest see the Internship Application.)
- Ask current interns, other students, and faculty about position openings. Tell friends and family what type of position you are seeking.
- Contact potential employers you are interested in working with to see if they are receptive to participating in the internship program.
- Check with Dr. Corrigan or watch the internship opportunity notices on the board.
- The position must be directly related to the field of communication.
- Clerical work may not constitute more than 15% of the job and must be relevant to your other responsibilities.
- You must work a minimum of 160 hours over the semester.
- An on-site supervisor must be willing and able to mentor you and evaluate your professional communication skills and abilities.
INTERNSHIP LOG: In order to earn academic credit for your internship, you must keep a log of your
internship activities. The log consists of three parts: a summary of jobs done, a
discussion of your host organization's communication, and the raw data record. Each component of the log must be typed and digitally submitted to Blackboard.
- JOB DESCRIPTION SUMMARY: This consists of a summary (3-6 pages typically) of your job activities. Each aspect of your job must be covered in a separate section. For example, an intern at a television
station would write a summary with five sections that looks something like this (in
5. Other Duties.
Certainly the sections depend on the job. The important thing is to give each duty an individual heading. Show not only what you did, but also how it works and relates to other aspects of the job. Be concise.
- INTERNAL COMMUNICATION SUMMARY: This is a discussion of the communication at the place you interned. Discuss the way conflicts are caused and handled, the way information is processed through the organization, what type of feedback, if any, is present, and other things you have learned in your communication courses. Illustrate your job experiences using ideas, concepts, theories, and solutions from your communication classes.
- RAW DATA & WEEKLY OBSERVATIONS: Your observations can be broken down either on a day-to-day or weekly basis in paragraph form. This log will be valuable to future employers as you revise your resume.