University of Minnesota Duluth

Internships

INFORMATION ABOUT INTERNSHIPS IN COMMUNICATION
⇒ download pdf version

WHAT AN INTERNSHIP IS AND IS NOT

An internship is an opportunity to work in a public agency, private organization or private business in a communication-related job for a fixed period of time, for academic credit. It is not getting credit for a regular job that the student already holds or is about to start. Under no circumstances will students be allowed internship credit for their existing employment. An internship also is not getting credit for sharpening pencils, getting coffee, etc. However interns must realize that there will be some routine office work as part of most internships, just as routine office work is part of most jobs.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR AN INTERNSHIP?

Accepted Communication majors who are seniors may apply to do internships. In some circumstances, second semester juniors may do internships also. (In addition, in most cases Communication minors and Professional Writing and Communication minors may apply to do internships through the Communication Department if their major department does not have internships available.) The student must have a grade point average of 2.5 or better in all Communication courses, and have completed at least 20 Communication credits.

HOW DO YOU GET AN INTERNSHIP?

There is an Internship Bulletin Board in the Communication Department office area (across from Dr. Sunnafrank’s office.) On that bulletin board are the types of internships that are frequently available through the Communication Department. But even if you don’t see an internship that interests you posted on that board, check with the Internship Coordinator because it is usually possible to set up almost any kind of internship.

The Internship Coordinator is Kristin Carlson. Her e-mail is kcarlso3@d.umn.edu, and her office is Kirby Plaza 334. You can make an appointment with her to discuss setting up an internship.

Some internships are also listed in the Career Development and Placement office in the Campus Center. Remember, though, that you still need to check with Kristin Carlson before setting something up on your own.

WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC DETAILS FOR REGISTERING?

The formula for internship credits is: one credit is earned by working 3 hours per week for 15 weeks, or a total of 45 hours over the semester. So if you want to earn 4 credits, you must plan to work 12 hours per week for 15 weeks, or a total of 180 hours over the semester. If the work is not going to be spread out evenly over the 15 weeks, figure that approximately 45 hours of total work for the semester equals one credit. (Internships in the summer normally run for a full 12 weeks but you may register for all the credits in one session.) A chart of the hours required for credits appears on the back page of this information sheet.

Grading is mandatory P/N. Students may take a total of 8 credits of internship, however only 3 credits may count for Communication major/minor electives. Any credits over 3 are counted as general upper-division electives. The internship course (Comm 4397) is always listed as closed at registration because students cannot register without a permission number from Kristin Carlson.

EVALUATION

Once placed in an internship, you are expected to maintain a record of what you do for your internship, the time you spend working, and the nature of the work you do. Additionally, any artifacts you produce (pamphlets, memos, letters, brochures, videos, etc.) must be submitted in a “portfolio” form to Kristin Carlson by the deadline set forth in a letter you will receive in the third week of classes (this letter will outline the format and contents of your required written work for Comm 4397). Finally, your on-site supervisor must complete a brief evaluation of your performance during your internship. That evaluation must be received by Kristin Carlson in order to receive credit.

MORE SPECIFIC DETAILS FOR SIGNING UP FOR AN INTERNSHIP

Resume

The student seeking an internship will be asked to prepare a resume. Please have either a completed resume or a rough draft of your resume with you when you come to talk to Kristin Carlson about an internship. Her e-mail is kcarlso3@d.umn.edu, and her office is Kirby Plaza 334.

Interview

Once you and Kristin Carlson have decided on a possible location for an internship you will call the contact person and set up an interview. Treat that appointment as professionally as you would a regular job interview. This means you MUST DRESS PROFESSIONALLY (men – shirt and tie, dress pants, women – dress shirt and pants, pant suit, skirt, etc.) Remember that the business which interviews you for a possible internship is not obligated to take you on as an intern. Just because you have an interview does not mean you have secured the internship.

Contract

Kristin Carlson will have given you a contract form from the Communication Department to take with you to your internship interview. If you are accepted as an intern, you fill out the contract in consultation with the on-site supervisor at the internship location. Then you sign it and the on-site supervisor signs it. This contract must then be returned BY YOU to Kristin Carlson.

Permission to Register for the Credits

Once you bring the signed contract back to Kristin Carlson. She will give you a permission number to register for the credits. YOU WILL NOT BE GIVEN A PERMISSION NUMBER UNTIL YOU HAVE RETURNED THE SIGNED CONTRACT.

Your Responsibilities

As an intern, you are expected to perform your duties in a professional manner. If there is a complaint from your on-site supervisor, Kristin Carlson will help you work out the problems. If there is a second complaint, you will be removed from your internship immediately. Likewise, if you are experiencing any problems in your internship, you must report these immediately to Kristin Carlson.


NUMBER OF HOURS WORKED FOR CREDITS REGISTERED FOR

1 credit = 3 hours per week for 15 weeks or 45 hours total for the semester
2 credits = 6 hours per week for 15 weeks or 90 hours total for the semester
3 credits = 9 hours per week for 15 weeks or 135 hours total for the semester
4 credits = 12 hours per week for 15 weeks or 180 hours total for the semester
5 credits = 15 hours per week for 15 weeks or 225 hours total for the semester
6 credits = 18 hours per week for 15 weeks or 275 hours total for the semester
7 credits = 21 hours per week for 15 weeks or 315 hours total for the semester
8 credits = 24 hours per week for 15 weeks or 360 hours total for the semester

© 2013 University of Minnesota Duluth
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
University of Minnesota Campuses
Crookston | Duluth | Morris
Rochester | Twin Cities | Other Locations