COMM 490: INTERNSHIP
Internships are among the most valuable learning experiences that a student can have while enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Boston. By working part-time in an organization that relates to the student’s career plans, individuals will gain professional experiences and status that are essential to future success. Students will have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom, think critically, they will make important networking contacts, and they’ll affirm (or refute) career plans.
Students may receive 3 credit hours (summer, spring, or fall) by working a minimum 12 hours per week (minimum 180 total work hours) over the minimum of a 2 month period in an approved internship position (paid or non-paid). Student internships for credit must be performed in organizations approved in advance by the Internship Director.
Internship positions must provide substantive, meaningful, new experiences to students in an organization with which the student has not had previous contact, so that the student can have an independent learning experience that includes training and socialization into a new work environment. Accordingly, the Communication Department will not grant internship credit for past work performance. In addition, students may not do internships for academic credit with organizations for which they have previously worked (or are currently working), nor may students do internships for credit with family-owned/managed companies or under the direction of relatives. Internships typically run over the course of an academic semester or the summer months, but may also overlap semesters through prior arrangement with the Internship Director.
Students must approach internships not merely as a “part-time” job or a typical college course. Instead, they must recognize that the internship is intended to be a professional learning experience similar to student teaching. As such, interns have not only academic responsibilities, but also obligations to the organization employing them. Student interns are expected to maintain a high standard of mature and professional conduct at all times as a representative of the Department of Communication and the University of Massachusetts Boston.
- Apply relevant Communication concepts and theories in the field
- Think critically to solve authentic problems in the field
- Reflect on experience
- Demonstrate use of Communication discipline knowledge
The Communication Internship (COMM 490) is available to students pursuing a BA or minor in Communication. In order to receive academic credit for an internship, students must be approved for COMM 490 by the Department's Internship Director. Applicants must meet the following requirements to be approved for academic credit:
- Minimum of 75 earned credit hours (transfer students must have completed a minimum of one full semester of academic work at UMB-15 hours).
- Must have completed COMM 100 and three other Communication courses.
- Minimum overall GPA of 2.5 and a minimum 3.0 GPA in Communication coursework.
Students must complete an internship application and turn it in to the Internship Director prior to starting the position. Included in the application is a current resume and cover letter to potential employer. Students must also set up a LinkedIn profile and include the contact information on the application.
It is the student’s responsibility to obtain an appropriate position—the Communication Department and/or the Internship Director does not obtain positions for students. However, the office of Career Services and Internships at UMB (https://www.umb.edu/academics/vpass/career_services) will help with career planning, resume writing, and internships.
Once you have been approved for an internship, in order to earn academic credit at the end of the semester you’ll need to complete the following items:
- Meetings with the Director—at least three meetings are required. The first will occur prior to starting the internship. The student will submit the internship application at this time. Students will also meet with the director in the middle of the internship to discuss the midterm progress report, and the final meeting will occur at the end of the semester to review the portfolio and evaluate the internship experience.
- An internship contract that serves as the formal agreement between you, the sponsoring organization, and the Department of Communication Internship Director. It also provides a basis for evaluation of your performance during the internship. This typed contract will be signed and dated once all parties agree to its contents.
- A bi-weekly work log and reflective journal. Every two weeks you will submit a journal entry summarizing your daily activities, how they fit within a larger project, and how they benefit the company (no less than one page). The journal must also include a thoughtful analysis of your experiences and how those experiences have furthered your understanding of your chosen field. They should include descriptions of your likes and dislikes, observations, accomplishments, and lessons learned. This document should make overt connections between work activities and Communication concepts/courses. You should begin this document immediately when you start work and then get in the habit of updating (like a diary) on a daily basis. You might want to open a word processing file on a USB drive and use that as your work log diary.
- Midterm self-assessment
- Midterm supervisor evaluation
- A portfolio of work completed while on the internship. The portfolio must Include written content, as well as evidence of events/materials/presentations that you coordinate or are involved with in some manner. You may re-obtain this portfolio after the Director has reviewed your materials.
- Final self-assessment
- A final paper that summarizes your internship experience.
- Final supervisor evaluation form