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COMM/PUBR Internship Overview

Overview:

Internship projects can significantly enhance traditional classroom instruction.  The department encourages students to seriously consider these opportunities. Internships that meet the requirements of the Communication or the Public Relations majors occur when a student  1) applies to the department and is approved for an internship experience and  2) is accepted to participate at a professional workplace for a significant number of hours over an extended period of time.  Internships involve SIGNIFICANT ENGAGED LEARNING by students who seek to enhance their skills, discover how academic knowledge is applied in the professional world and test their career plans. For many entry-level career positions, an internship is a vital first step. While an approved internship is required for the Department's two majors, it is not unsual for students to complete multiple internships before or after graduation as career or personal preparation for life after college.

To qualify for consideration, students should have:

  • achieved Junior status (at least 14 course credits) by the beginning of the internship

  • completed a substantial part of the COMM major

To plan your COMM/PUBR internship, students should review the advice found on the Planning, Searching, Applying and Arranging pages of the Communication Studies Department Internship Web pages.  Then follow the steps in the Communication Studies Department's "Internship Planning Check Sheet."

To be considered, students should:

  • Obtain an application for Internship/Independent Study (available on the internship page)

  • Submit the completed application to the Internship Coordinator (Professor McGaan) by the date specified on the internship page. 

After COMM faculty have met to review applications, students will be notified before the end of the semester of the department's decision and given directions for next steps.

NOTE: Approval for an internship is approval of the applicant's eligibility to do an internshipIt is not approval of a specific internship location.  The internship location itself is approved by the faculty sponsor (usually the internship coordinator) through the contract process AFTER the application(see below).  Students who do not yet have a specific internship site arranged should submit an application to be approved.  By applying the department and the college know when you wish to do an intersnhip and will be able to help find a location as needed.  Students are expected to meet with a COMM faculty member to discuss plans and submit an application outlining goals (not necessarily specific locations or projects).  Applying for an internship and not finding a site is not a problem!  Getting an internship youwant but having not applied by the deadline may mean you can't do that internship  for the semester or summer you want.  Why not just apply if the timing is right?

The purpose of the application process is not to limit projects or to create an elaborate and complex process in order to discourage applications.  Rather, going beyond academic training and skill, Internships and Independent Studies require planning, cooperation, and energy in order to be successful.  The application process is the first test of your readiness to do that.

Within ten days of beginning the Internship or Independent Study, the student must submit a signed, learning contract with signatures of the student, COMM faculty member and other appropriate involved parties, to Professor McGaan and the Registrar.  You may review below the sample internship application and contract for guidance.  Advice from the supervising COMM faculty member is always well advised.

     Return to main internship page

Frequently Asked Questions  

  • How much time do I need to put in?

    - Normally, for 1 course credit internship, somewhere between 130-150 "on-site" hours.  This averages out to 8-10 hours per week over 15 weeks.  For internships that meet the major requirement but are NOT taken for credit, approximately 75 "on-site" hours are expected.

  • What are the complete set of requirements I must meet as an intern?

    - Because interns from our program engage in such a wide range of organizations and career areas performing so many different kinds of work in and out of office locations, the Communication Studies Internship program has relatively few standard expectations that apply to all internship.  However, we do require the following elements for all of our internships.  We expect:

    • In addition to the 130 or more hours of internship work for credit bearing internships (or 75+ hours of internship work for non-credit internships):

    • Completion at the beginning of the internship of the Communication Studies Department Internship Learning Agreement signed by the internship site supervisor, the department’s faculty sponsor and the student intern (see page 6).

    • Completion at the end of the internship of the Communication Studies Internship Evaluation form by the site supervisor who provides this document to the department Internship Coordinator.

    • A review and evaluation meeting (face-to-face at the site or by phone) between the Site Supervisor, the department Internship Coordinator, and the student intern near or at the end of the internship experience arranged by the intern.

    • Submission of the Communication Studies Internship Activities Log detailing dates worked, hours and activities, maintained by the student and signed by the Internship Site Supervisor.
    • Submission of a set of "Final Materials" (including a reflection paper) after completion of all on-site work.
       

  • What kinds of Internships are available?            

    - Locally, students have recently interned at:

    • WMOI/WRAM Radio (General, News, Sports, Agriculture)

    • Daily Review Atlas (General Reporting, Sports Advertising/Layout)

    • Local Hospitals (PR, Personnel)

    • WAAG/WGIL Radio - Galesburg (Sales)

    • WQAD TV, Moline (Sports, News)

    • MC Office of Admissions

    • MC College Communications Office

    • Knox College Public Relations Office

    • First Street Armoury

    • Warren Achievement Center

    • Warren County United Way

    • Caterpillar - Peoria and John Deere - Moline (Training and Development, Public Relations)

    • Quad Cities Visitors and Convention Bureau

       - Internships can also be done over the summer at locations off-campus, and as part of off-campus study programs.  See our listing of past COMM Internships.
     

  • How will I be evaluated?

    - While each Internship is unique, the evaluation is generally based on the faculty sponsor's review of the following:

    1. The Hours Log) of regular work activities

    2. Periodic meetings (or email/phone contact) with MC Faculty (Internship) Sponsor

    3. Assembling a portfolio of created materials (as appropriate for the internship), plus submission of the required Final Materials" including the abstract, press release and poster.

    4. An "Appraisal Conversation" with the site supervisor (and often the student intern) near the of the internship

    5. A self evaluation/reflection essay

    6. A written evaluation from the Site Supervisor using the Communication Studies Department Internship Evaluation form

    - Evaluation procedures for independent studies are arranged with the supervising COMM faculty member and documented in the contract.

  • How much credit can I get?

- Internships are normally 1 course credit.  Occasionally, additional credit can be granted with the approval of the COMM Department IN ADVANCE.  More credit requires a proportionally larger number of on-site hours and a wider range and depth of learning experiences during the internship. 

- Students can complete more than one Internship, though a maximum of only 1 course credit can be applied to the COMM major.

   5.  Do I need an Internship to graduate?

- All COMM majors must complete either an Internship or an Independent Study project to graduate. PUBR majors and Journalism minors must complete an approved internship.

- Many employers look at this kind of experience as a means of separating the "excellent" employment prospects from everyone else.  Being able to demonstrate application of theory and knowledge is critical to your future success.

     6.  I think I want to do an Internship but I am not sure - what do I do?

- By all means, talk to the COMM Department Internship Coordinator or your COMM faculty advisor.  We are happy to discuss possible projects, to give you details on specific organizations, to help you discover whether an Internship experience is right¯ for you.

- You should apply to be approved for an internship prior to the term you intend to do your internship WHETHER OR NOT you have a site settled and regardless of when you will register for credit.

Additional Information:

  1. In extraordinary cases, these guidelines may be modified.  It is the student's responsibility to ask for exceptional treatment and to offer support for this request.

  2. Requests for Internships may be denied for a number of reasons:

A.  No suitable company/organization, too many students, asking for the same kinds of project, etc.

B.  The department has determined the student is not qualified for the proposed project.

In the case of (B) above, students may appeal the decision of the department.  This would involve

  1. Requesting from the department chair a written document outlying reasons for denial;

  2. Responding to the decision by offering written and/or oral evidence to support the appeal.

Return to main internship page

 
 

         
Monmouth College Department of Communication Studies
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