Internships

Gain valuable experience

Internships provide professional experience that employers highly value. Also, internships allow you to apply classroom knowledge in practical settings. Through your internship, you experience firsthand what it is like to work in a particular profession or organization. This may affirm for you the career path you have chosen, or it may lead you to decide on a different path.

You can earn 1-6 hours of credit through an internship, which must be a new learning experience. A maximum of six hours of internship credit may be used to fulfill your degree requirements. Your advisor can help you determine if and how an internship will work best for you. You may intern during the fall, spring or summer semesters. You must complete a minimum of 48 site hours per semester for each credit hour.

While most internships are unpaid, there are occasional exceptions. Your duties vary according to the site and the internship agreement. Possible internship sites include businesses, nonprofit organizations, University offices, professional organizations, sports organizations and government offices.

Internship eligibility

To be eligible to receive credit for an internship, undergraduate students must meet the requirements listed below: 

  • Be a junior in standing, having completed at least 60 hours.
  • Be admitted to your communication major or minor.
  • Maintain at least a 2.5 GPA in your communication major or minor.
  • Receive permission of the internship coordinator.

Credit cannot be given retroactively for prior internships, and sequential internships generally must be at different sites. As a general rule, internship credit is not given for regular student part-time jobs, but you may use your company contacts to arrange an internship within another department of that business.

Internship procedure

  • Ask your advisor to email Dr. Randy Dillon, internship coordinator, confirming the following information:
    • You are accepted into the degree program.
    • You have the required minimum GPA.
    • An internship fits with your program.
  • Schedule a meeting with Dr. Dillon to review the application procedures. Bring a current copy of your résumé and a one-page summary of why you are interested in an internship, what internships interest you and what you hope to accomplish with your internship.
  • Confirm the internship you have already obtained on your own or request help from Dr. Dillon in locating an internship.
  • Interview at a suggested site and gain acceptance for your internship, if required.
  • Complete the internship proposal and meet with Dr. Dillon to review the proposal and obtain approval for registration.
  • Prior to this meeting, attempt to register for the course online by clicking the request permission button.
  • Finish your registration online after receiving application approval.

Internship proposal

Your proposal sheet should include the following items:

  1. Contact information
    •  Student:
      • Your name
      • Local Springfield address
      • Residence during internship (if different)
      • Phone number
      • Email address
      • Date of expected graduation from Missouri State
      • Year in school (junior or above required)
      • Name of departmental advisor
      • Student number
    •  Internship site:
      • Name and address of organization
      • General company email address
      • Company website
      • Name and title of your internship supervisor
      • Address and phone number
      • Email address of supervisor
  2. Internship credits and prior internship experience
    •  Supply the number of credit hours you wish to receive for this internship.
      • Have you previously done an internship?
      • If so, where and when did you do the internship?
      • How many academic credits did you receive for the internship?
    • Internships normally run from the first week of classes to the beginning of the last week of classes. Regular internships should generally be for two or more credits. Check with your advisor about how many credits you need.
      • 1 credit = 48 site hours of work 4 credits = 192 site hours of work
      • 2 credits = 96 site hours of work 5 credits = 240 site hours of work
      • 3 credits = 144 site hours of work 6 credits = 288 site hours of work 
  3. Schedule data
    • Provide a schedule that includes classes, internship times and other job obligations. If you cannot give a definite schedule for your work hours, please indicate the job location at the bottom of the schedule and estimate the number of hours you regularly work per week. Hours should normally be evenly spaced throughout the semester rather than bunched together into a few weeks. Arrange your site and class schedules, so that you work at the site a minimum of four hours on any given day. This allows you to spend quality time on various projects. 
  4. Supervisor letter and business card
    •  Once you have gained acceptance at an internship site, please ask your site supervisor to provide a letter on business letterhead that covers the points below.
      • A description of the internship and a list of the intern’s projected duties.
      • The beginning and ending dates of the internship.
      • Agreed work schedule for days and hours of site work the intern will follow each week.
      • Whether the internship is paid or unpaid. Will expenses be paid if the intern is asked to travel out of town or use a personal car for assigned duties during work hours?
      • Special requirements of the internship, such as dress code, knowledge of specific computer software and required travel. 
    • Personal performance objectives
      • Provide a list of four or five significant objectives that you hope to achieve by the end of your internship. The objectives should be performance-based rather than learning objectives and should be measurable — usually by some “product” or project produced during the internship and included in your final portfolio. The objectives are devised by you, but you should share the goals with your internship supervisor.

Internship requirements

To obtain credit during the semester of enrollment, you must achieve the following:

  • Complete required hours at the internship site. A minimum of 48 site hours per semester is required for each credit hour.
  • Keep a journal and submit your entries bi-weekly by email in regular semester or weekly in the summer term.
  • Keep accurate time sheets signed by your supervisor.
  • Write a five-seven page internship evaluation at the end of the semester.
  • Submit a portfolio of your internship work at the end of the semester.
  • Meet with the department coordinator twice during the semester at midterm and end of term. Special considerations/arrangements for summer semester and geographically distanced internships can be made in advance.
  • Arrange for a mid-term progress report and a final letter of evaluation from your supervisor to be sent to the department internship coordinator.

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