Your Gateway to Employment
The Power of Internships
Internships are becoming an increasingly important element on student resumes. A difficult economic environment means students face unprecedented challenges as they look to start their career in a highly competitive market. An internship helps students get their foot in the door, differentiates them from their peers, accrues crucial entry-level experience, and provides employers with the potential talent to help them grow their business.
According to the National Association of Colleges & Employer's (NACE) 2021 Hiring Outlook Survey, 73% of businesses are looking for demonstration of verbal communications skills, and 72% are looking for written communication skills showcased in work experience. In 2021, roughly 79% of interns were offered a job after completing an internship experience, and 66% of interns were offered a full-time position at their place of internship.
What did you like best about the internship?
"I really loved working on the newsletter and being trusted to put my own creativity into it, then seeing it being sent out to thousands of people; this made the work feel super meaningful"
"I enjoyed the company culture, and the ability to see what other departments of the company are doing. And I do feel like I got a lot of opportunity to prove myself"
"The best part of this internship has been working with people with different titles and getting a different feel for various positions and career paths"
"I got to work somewhere that makes meaningful and impactful decisions regarding foreign policy. I enjoyed being right in the middle of the action, so to speak"
"Having the creative license to pursue new ideas and being trusted to carry them out"
"Getting to have my work be shown, and people really commenting on a job well done"
Details and Requirements
To qualify for an internship in Communication, undergraduate students must be Communication majors (several COMM certificate programs allow internships as an elective/exit course) and have a cumulative GPA of 2.00.
Students typically sign up to receive 3 hours of academic credit for a one-semester internship in which they work between 10 and 15 hours a week. Each academic credit hour constitutes 45 hours working the internship experience over the course of the semester. Communication majors may complete internships ranging from 1-6 credits in the Fall and Spring, and up to 3 credits in the summer during the 8-week semester. The department allows up to 9 hours of internship credit over the course of the degree program.
Internships are considered an exit course for the Communication major. An internship also may count as the one upper division elective required for the major.
Students may also utilize their current jobs to develop an additional work opportunity that can count for an academic internship. Details and appointments to help outline this opportunity can be scheduled through the Experiential Learning Center by contacting Nathan Zackroff, the ELC Communication Internship Advisor. Additional help can be provided by contacting the COMM Internship Director and instructor of the academic course COMM 3939, Lacy Lowrey.
Internships for Academic Credit: COMM 3939/5939: Internships
The internship for undergraduate students involves not only work experience, but an online course offered each semester taken with other internship students in Communication. The grade assigned for the internship is computed on the basis of the quality of the academic assignments and the employer's evaluation of the work produced. This for-credit online course includes:
- the completion of reflection assignments that focus on the application of communication concepts and theories to the work experience
- students reflect on how their courses will help them in their future careers
- a scaffolded career portfolio including a resume, cover letter, reference page
- unique preparatory lectures and customized instructor feedback provide students with guidance on developing these materials to market themselves to future employers
- creation of an online presence to enable digital recruiters to find you, and allow you to link your resume to a digital portfolio
- According to NACE, 89% of employers use LinkedIn during the recruiting process; 83% use social media to provide information to recruits; 58% post ads on social media to market their organizations; 45% use social media to contact potential candidates; and 43% use social media to identify potential candidates (NACE employers survey, 2020)
- the development of visual elements showcasing your work from the internship experience
- Having tangible elements to illustrate your skill-set can distinguish you from your peers and highlight your visual communication skills
Ready to start searching for an internship? Review the required steps to register on the following pages:
To initiate an internship or to obtain more information about internship experience searches, students first should visit the Experiential Learning Center to complete an Internship Workshop. If you have already completed the Workshop, please contact Nathan Zackroff to set an appointment to review your materials before applying.
Lacy Lowrey, COMM Internship Director
Department of Communication