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Monmouth College
Communication Studies

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  Communication Across the Curriculum  


COMM/PUBR Internships

Arranging the Details of a COMM or PUBR Internship between the internship site and the department:

Congratulations!  If you have reached this point then you have likely been offered an internship to take place during the summer or the next semester.  What's next?

  • You probably have already applied to the Communication Studies Department for approval to do a departmentally sponsored internship.  If not, send in your application now (and be prepared to make apologies for not following steps 1. and 3.)!

  • Meet with the COMM/PUBR Internship Coordinator very soon to discuss the details of the internship you have been offered.  Since you have already discussed your goals and departmental expectations for internships with your adviser or the Internship Coordinator, the internship you have will likely work well as part of your major. But check the details you know with the Coordinator.

  • The next step is developing a draft of your Internship Contract.  (Check out our sample internship contract. Use the COMM Internship Agreement Template a a base for starting your internship conttract.  The template can be downloaded here.)  The Internship Contract functions as an agreement between the internship site, the student and the Department of Communication StudiesBecause the range of experiences COMM and PUBR students use for internships is so varied, we have only a minimum number of requirements that apply to all internships, including:

    • Students must complete 130 hours or more of work of work for the internship to receive one course credit or they must complete 70 hours of work for the internship to meet the departmental graduation requirement for a no-credit internship.  (Discuss options with the Internship Coordinator.)  Students record internship hours on the department's Internship Activities Log.  While we don't ask site supervisers of our internship to track and record every hour worked, at the end of the internship we do ask supervisors to indicate they have a good faith belief that the hours log represents an accurate approximation of the number of hours the intern has worked on the experience.

    • Students are expected to make contact with the Internship Coordinator, by email or face-to-face, at least once every 2-3 weeks with an update on how the internship is going and what he/she has been doing on site.

    • Intern supervisers must provide to the Internship Coordinator a written evaluation at the end the student's experience and students must submit a set of final materials.  Normally the Internship Coordinator meets with the Internship Supervisor (and often the intern joins this meeting) to discuss the results of the internship for the student and for the internship- site.  These procedures are discussed on the "Completing Internships" page.

Beyond the items above, the requirements for each specific internship are specified in the internship contract itself and differ from student to student.  After the student has been offered an internship, made sure the experience is acceptable to the department by talking to the Internship Coordinator and determined when the internship will start, the prospective intern should begin to draft the internship contract.  Consider the following elements of the contract.

  • Course name and number.  Use 494 for most COMM internships but 495 for print media and 496 for Radio, TV and web.  PUBR 493 for all PUBR internships.  You can create your own descriptive name for the internship other than just Internship in Communication.

  • Justification  Why does this help you in your major/learning and your career?

  • Learning goals (What the student will learn/experience/skills and knowledge developed, etc.)  This section specifies the kind of learning experience you want to get out of the internship and insures what happens will meet department expectations

    • The site supervisor has the final say on this but layingout your goals creates opportunities for a conversation at the site about what you want or need to learn.

    • It gets the site's attention focused on your learning rather than their work needs and that can be important to you.

  • Kind of instruction: (mostly on-the-job training) Include the names of those who will provide training and other background if known.

  • Student Responsibilities:  Include as much detail as possible as to what the internship site expects of you.  Some issue to consider:

    • Hours/days you will work or how the schedule of work will be determined

    • Duties/ activities to the degree they can be specified

    • Expected Attire onsite

    • Absence procedures - how to report problems and to whom.

    • Professional expectations

    • Confidentiality

    • Relations with customers, clients, other employees or interns, etc.


  •  Review the standard "Report and Evaluation" procedures to see if changes should be made

  • Contact your faculty sponsor every 2-3 weeks (face-to-face or by email)

  •  The final signed contract is due within 10 days or less of starting the internship

    •  Save materials you create or work on, as possible for submission at the end of your experience.

    • Keep the internship hours log up to date

    • Final Materials - See the COMM Internship Web site for guidance

  • Signatures: yours, the on-site supervisor and your faculty sponsor (normally your major's  Internship Coordinator).

  • Include all contact information at the end of the contract!!!

  • After the student has drafted as much of the contract as s/he can, email the draft (even if it is incomplete) to the Internship Coordinator for advice and suggestions.  Do not draft an internship contract and take it to the internship site supervisor BEFORE reviewing it with the Internship coordinator.

  • Once a draft of the contract is created that satisfies both student and coordinator, it is ready to be taken to the site supervisor.  Often details for the "student responsibilities" section cannot be completed without a discussion with the site supervisor.  Once any revisions suggested by the site supervisor have been made, the contract can be signed by the student and the site supervisor. 

  • Then the signed contract should be scanned and sent (electronically) to the Internship Coordinator who will also sign the contract and distribute copies to all three parties.

ADVICE and EXPECTATIONS of the Department and College:

  • If you are ready to do an internship then you must be ready to function as a professional!!  Assume your job/career depends on how you function on the internship (It may!). 

  • You must be responsible and look sharp, act sharp and take responsibility for your work. 

  • Do not assume someone else will check up on you or give you detail guidelines.  Take responsibility for your work and your success on the internship

  • Take the initiative at your internship site. Supervisors tend to admire and help those interns who do good work, who volunteer and “get into it” and who seem to be self-starters.

  • Seek to learn new things.  Internship sites (and employers) like interns who are willing to learn and step outside their comfort zone and who are enthusiastic.

  • Be positive on the job and be energetic. 

  • If you have problems at the internship (with supervisors or other employees, with the work demands, with being able to complete work you agreed to do, whatever), talk it over with your faculty sponsor -- sooner rather than later.  Our job is to help you get the best pre-career experience possible out of this experience.  Let us help if we can.

  • Ask for a general letter of recommendation from your site supervisor (assuming things have gone well) and get it before the end of the internship to use later in your job search.  Take some photos of yourself at the internship site as well if you can.

You represent COMM and Monmouth College and your work can affect future students opportunities - for better or worse.


Return to main internship page






Monmouth College Department of Communication Studies
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