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FIVE STEPS FOR COMPLETING AN INTERNSHIP

 

STEP 1: IDENTIFY AN INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY:

Students usually follow one of two tacks in identifying an internship opportunity: They either determine what kind of work they want to do, political, nonprofit, organizing, and then approach an organization that does that OR they find an internship opportunity posted on the MAPL internship website.

As you begin thinking about finding an internship experience, keep these things in mind:

  • Do not wait for the "perfect" internship opportunity to arise. Internships are not always a perfect match with your advocacy interests, but they can broaden your horizons. If you are interested in labor organization, for instance, you would learn a great deal by working with an environmental lobbying organization. There are no bad internship experiences.
  • The most important requirement for your internship is to identify a supervisor. This should be an individual from whom you can learn, and an individual who can take responsibility for evaluating your internship at its close. Provide him/her with information about our program. We have packets and brochures available in the MAPL office. You can also download information here.
  • Some students have asked whether they can combine the two internships for the same organization. You can, but you must complete two separate contracts that detail each project for the organization. Both projects require a contract. Additionally you must write-up each project and be evaluated on each project. If payment is involved it should, too, reflect two projects.
  • Other students have asked whether they can complete an internship for their employer. You can do this. However, the work must be outside your paid job description. If work time will be spent on the internship, you must have an agreement in place to comp that time back.

 

Still stumped about what to do? 
Click here for a list of internships other MAPL students have completed.
Contact Linda Krug for some current internship possibilities.

 

STEP 2: DRAFT AND SUBMIT A CONTRACT

Prior to beginning any internship, you must draft and submit a contract that outlines your internship responsibilities. Your contract must include the following information:

  • the name of your supervisor and the supervisor's contact information
  • the internship course you are completing: MAPL 6008 (3 credits) or MAPL 6009 (2 credits)
  • the mission of the organization, or the purpose of the work to be completed
  • the intern's responsibilities
  • the expected skills the student will develop
  • click here to find examples of SAMPLE CONTRACTS

Once you and your supervisor have drawn up the contract, sign it and forward it either via email (.pdf) or snail mail to MAPL's Internship coordinator, Dr. Linda Krug, for her signature. Once that has happened you are ready to begin the internship.

STEP 3: COMPLETE THE INTERNSHIP

Ya hey! the fun part!

STEP 4: REQUEST SUPERVISOR EVALUATION

At the end of your internship experience, your supervisor will evaluate your performance. You should provide them with a copy of the Supervisor Evaluation Form.
Supervisors should complete the form and either send via email or snail mail to the MAPL Internship coordinator, Dr. Linda Krug

STEP 5: COMPLETE THE INTERNSHIP CAPSTONE PAPER

At the end of your internship experience, you will complete the internship capstone paper. This is a 2-5 page paper that uses a formal, professional writing style to document your experience and the skills you acquired. It should contain these two parts:

Part I Statement of skills developed:  In this part, explain what skills you developed from this experience and/or what insights you acquired about advocacy and leadership.

Part II Applied Knowledge:  In this part of the paper, identify a challenge you encountered during the course of the internship. Did your MAPL coursework provide guidance or strategies for resolving the challenge? If your answer is yes, please explain the conceptual framework -- or the classroom instruction -- that helped you make sense of this experience. If your answer is "no," help us: what kind of course work might have better prepared you to meet the challenges of your internship?

Please send your paper via email or snail mail to the MAPL Internship coordinator, Dr. Linda Krug, lkrug@d.umn.edu.