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Monmouth College
Communication Studies

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  Communication Across the Curriculum  


COMM/PUBR Internships


An internship is a learning experience. It is as much a part of your major as any required course. However, an internship allows you to take control of your learning more than any other course you may take. In return, becoming an intern requires you to become more personally and professionally responsible for you performance than ever before.

While obtaining professional, career-related work experiences at any stage in your college career can be valuable and multiple experiences are becoming more common, this page concerns the major internship that COMM and PUBR majors use to meet their graduation requirement.  That internship experience should take place after you have completed a significant part of your major and college course work.  The further along you are in your studies the more skills you bring to the internship site and the more advance your experience can be.  If you are closer to graduation your internship may serve as a launching pad for that first job.  COMM and PUBR requirement internships usually occur during the summer before the senior year or during the senior year itself.

1.  The way to start planning your internship is to begin by determining your goals.  What do you want to learn through your internship?  Do not start by trying to determine a place to do the internship.  That comes after goal setting.  Here are some questions that may help you establish your learning goals for the internship.

  • Do you have a particular kind of career in mind (News Reporter, Social Media Writer, Corporate Public Relations, Event Planner, Marketing Agent, Writer, Media Producer, etc.)?  Could an internship allow you to "test-drive" the work in the career you are considering?

  • Are there skills you would like to develop or improve on that you think would improve your career potential.  Our List of Skills Often Developed by COMM/PUBR Majors" may be helpful in giving you ideas for skills an internship can help you with.

  • Are there things you've studied in your major that you enjoyed?  Would you like an internship to learn how your interests can be applied to dealing with real-world issues?

  • Would you like to experience particular kinds of work-places before you enter the job market?  Are there kinds of experiences you would like to have (e.g. working for a non-profit or service organization, being in a newsroom, seeing how marketers create and exsecute a strategy, having a chance to network with people in your chosen field)?

  • Would you like to build a "portfolio" of professional materials that will impress potential employers while working with a communication professional?

As you reflect on these planning questions generate a list of potential goals for your internship.  Intially, a long list is fine even if they don't all work out in the end.  If your list is short, no problem.  It's time to get some advice.

2.  Once you have some goals in mind, meet with your COMM adviser or the COMM Internship Coordinator or both.  As you talk, your adviser should be able to help clarify and refine your goals and you two can begin to think of various sorts of places that might be good options for your internship.  Remember, an internship is not a place for you to do (free) work.  It should be a place to learn.  A good internship is one where you can experience the workplace and be under the direction of a professional who can teach you how communication skills can be applied in his/her workplace.  Be wary of experiences that involve you doing work the organization does not have the expertise to do for itself.  (Legally, those sorts of work arrangements require that you be paid.)  At this internship advising meeting, be sure you understand the COMM department's expectations for acceptable internships that meet the graduation requirements of the COMM or PUBR major.

3.  Be sure you have your resume up-to-date.  You will need a solid, quality resume to send or give to potential internship sites.  In developing your internship resume COMM majors can use the web-based resume they created in COMM 321, Junior Colloquium.  If you are starting from scratch, there are multiple internet sites that can provide guidance.  Some are linked on the search pages of the COMM department.  The Wackerle Center also provides assistance in constructing a resume.  In any case, before starting to send out resumes (for internships or jobs) show your current version of the resume to your COMM advisor or the Internship Coordinator for feedback.

4.  Only now should you begin to develop a strategy for Finding an Internship Site.   And print out a copy of the Internship Check Sheet to use as a ready reference.

Return to main internship page



Monmouth College Department of Communication Studies
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