Internships FAQ

Where do I find internships?

The communication department posts information about a wide variety of internships on bulletin boards across from Craig 375. The department’s internship coordinator, Dr. Randy Dillon, can give you additional information about these and other internships.

Also, the Missouri State University Career Center located in Carrington 309 has information on hundreds of organizations and potential internships. The Career Center is also a great place to get help with your résumé, cover letter and interviewing skills. They also offer special seminars on tips and strategies of how you can make yourself more marketable in the workplace.

Many companies and organizations that offer internships publicize them on their websites. You also may want to inquire within your own network of teachers, friends, family, acquaintances and employers about internship possibilities. For example, if you are interested in doing a public relations internship talk with your public relations professor about possible sites. Some students place a phone call or even directly visit a possible internship site.

Where are people doing these internships?

Students are doing internships in Springfield, Kansas City, St. Louis, and other parts of Missouri and around the U.S. In some cases, students have even acquired competitive internships outside the U.S. You should consider nonprofits, for-profit organizations, local agencies, political groups and special projects.

When should I find my internship?

Work ahead in arranging your internship. You should apply, be accepted by your internship site, obtain permission of the internship coordinator and be registered for your internship significantly prior to the first day of the semester.

Will I get paid for my internship?

Some internships are paid, and some are not. Some will provide a modest stipend to cover travel and/or meal expenses but not pay a salary. While being paid is nice, many of the best internship opportunities are unpaid. Remember that the greatest value of an internship is in what you learn and the experience you acquire. Still, keep in mind the practicalities of a doing a particular internship (i.e. cost of living, schedules, learning experiences, etc.)

How much college credit will I receive for my internship?

You will enroll in COM 495 Communication Internship during the semester of your internship. You may take COM 495 for a total of up to six credit hours. The number of credit hours you receive depends on how many hours per week you work. In general, internships in the fall and spring semesters are taken for three credit hours or less, while a summer internship that demands 20 hours or more per week probably would earn six credit hours. Check with your academic advisor about how many hours you need for an internship.

How is my internship grade determined?

The internship coordinator assigns grades for internships. Your grade will be based on the periodic reports, final portfolio and supervisor evaluation you must submit. Other elements that will affect your grade can be negotiated with the internship coordinator.

If internships are so important, why aren’t they required in my major?

While we strongly encourage students to complete at least one internship, making them mandatory would place a huge administrative burden on the department and might make it difficult for some students to complete their degrees. In addition, there are other ways of gaining professional experience that may suit a student’s needs and abilities better, such as paid work experience, volunteering, cooperative education, education abroad or service learning. The most important thing is that you gain experience, and you should not limit yourself to just one type of experience.