WHAT IS AN INTERNSHIP AND WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?
An internship is a form of study combining field work with academic activities. It allows a student to augment classroom learning by working in a business organization. By completing suitable academic work under the direction of the intern coordinator and a professional sponsor, students may earn three hours of academic credit
More specifically, to earn internship credit, the student must:
- Work at least 140 hours at the organization where the student is interning. Usually, this involves working 10 hours a week for 14 weeks.
- Provide evidence of professional work in advertising, public relations or visual communications to the intern coordinator.
- Attend required meetings during the term with other interns and the intern coordinator.
- Complete a written report based on an interview with their intern sponsor.
- Turn in the following reports as scheduled in the course calendar:
1. A statement of goals and a schedule of work hours, to be signed by both the intern and the sponsor.
2. Three progress reports to be completed by both the intern and the sponsor.
3. Journal entries from each day on the job.
4. A final evaluation form, to be completed by the sponsor, discussed with the intern in a private meeting, and sent directly to the faculty intern coordinator.
Unless all steps in the process are completed to the satisfaction of the sponsor and the faculty intern coordinator, the intern will NOT receive academic credit for the internship.
All internships are graded S/U. An S means the intern has satisfactorily completed all requirements and is entitled to credit. A U means the intern has not completed such requirements, and is therefore not entitled to credit.
An internship provides the bridge between the theoretical and the practical; between an academic setting and the workplace; between the School and the greater Columbia community and beyond.
An internship also is a testing tool. It allows a student to gain firsthand experience in a particular field of interest. The opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge while investigating possible career choices permits the student to make more informed decisions in many areas.
Students applying for Ad/PR internships must:
- Be upper division advertising or public relations majors.
- Advertising majors must have completed two of the following three classes: JOUR 332 (Mass Communications Research), JOUR 416 (Creative Strategy) and JOUR 421 (Media Planning).
- PR majors must have completed JOUR 436 (Public Relations Writing) and JOUR 332 (Mass Communications Research).
Students applying for Visual Communications internships must:
- Have completed JOUR 203 (Introduction to Visual Communications) and JOUR 346 (Graphics for Visual Communications).
WHAT ABOUT FINDING AN INTERNSHIP ELSEWHERE?
Students wishing to find their own internships -- perhaps during the summer in their home towns or in other locations besides Columbia -- must initiate the search on their own.
Students should be reminded that the organization should have an ongoing advertising, public relations or visual communications function and that there should be a person at the organization who is skilled in these areas so they can truly "mentor" the student.
If the student thinks the organization meets these criteria, then they should provide the intern coordinator with the following information: name of organization, name of internship contact person, phone number, fax number, address, and e-mail if available. The intern coordinator will then contact the firm to ensure that the student can fulfill the requirements of the internship at this organization.
WHEN CAN INTERSHIPS BE TAKEN?
Internships are offered during fall, spring, and summer terms. For a summer internship, credits are awarded for the Summer II session only, although interns are well advised to begin the internship early in the summer or as soon as possible after the end of the spring term.
WHAT IF THE INTERNSHIP ISN'T WORKING OUT?
If this is the case, you should immediately contact the intern coordinator so that the situation can be corrected as soon as possible. Don't wait until it's too late. No sponsor should assign you work beyond the 140 hours or assign deadlines that conflict with your other academic responsibilities. Conversely, you should fulfill your obligation to the sponsoring business; they're depending on you to do so.
MAY YOU DO MORE THAN ONE INTERNSHIP?
Yes, but not for credit. You are encouraged, however, to gain as much internship experience as you can, given the constraints of your other obligations. Such experience will be impressive on your resume. One caution, however. If you decide to do a "not-for-credit" internship before you've completed the academic courses necessary to receive academic credit, you should tell the organization you haven't yet finished all the coursework required to be eligible for internship credit. Otherwise, they may think that you're capable of doing some things you haven't yet been exposed to.