INTERNSHIPS IN COMMUNICATION ARTS and THEATRE
Internships are valuable educational experiences in which the student works for a communication or theatre organization under the direct supervision of professional employees. At the same time the student is working for the organization he/she is also earning college credit under the supervision of a faculty advisor. In addition to performing the required duties at the internship site, the student is required to consult with his/her faculty advisor and write a paper related to the internship experience. Grades for the internship are determined by the faculty advisor with the advice of the on-site supervisor.
Internships have several educational objectives. Students should learn a great deal about their chosen profession including specific job skills. In many cases the student will receive hands-on training in production or the writing of press releases. It is hoped that the student will have the beginnings of a professional portfolio or resume tape at the completion of the internship. In addition to training, the student will gain a realistic picture of the working conditions and duties to be expected when he/she enters the workforce. Personal contacts made during internship may help in locating employment later.
Internships are available ordinarily for 2 or 4 credits depending upon the minimum number of hours the student works during the course of the internship. A minimum of 100 hours of work is required for a 2 credit internship; a minimum of 200 hours of work is required for a 4 credit internship. Internships requiring less than 100 (2 credits) of work are not available. 8 credits (400 hours) internships may be available in special circumstances. A student may take a maximum of 8 credits of internship (including internships taken in other departments).
While the student should not expect a salary for the work done during the internship, some organizations offer a small stipend. This payment does not affect the ability of the student to earn college credit.
Not all internships can be approved. You normally must be a rising junior or senior and a communication arts major or minor to be approved. In addition, you should have significant coursework and on-campus experiences that prepare you for the type of internship you wish. Each request is considered on an individual basis. Once your eligibility has been confirmed, you should work with the assigned faculty advisor to locate an appropriate internship site.
The following steps are necessary to register for an internship.
- A meeting with Professors Keeley (Communication) or Codson (Theatre) should occur by the middle of the semester immediately preceding the semester in which you wish to do your internship:
for Spring Internships – the meeting should take place by the middle of Fall
for Summer Internships – the meeting should take place by the middle of Spring
for Fall Internships – the meeting should take place before the end of Spring Semester
- Once the placement has been approved, the student and the faculty internship advisor agree on the academic requirements for the internship. At this point the student will be allowed to register for the internship.
Faculty in Communication Arts/Theatre Department have compiled a sampling of potential internship sites in a variety of locations. Students are welcome to search for an internship from the sites listed, consult with ACCEL and Career Services, or seek out an original placement. It is the responsibility of the student, working with the internship advisor, to locate an appropriate site. Students should understand that finding an internship is often like finding a job. You will probably have to go through several applications and interviews before finding an appropriate placement. It may not be possible for all eligible students to find a placement. The more flexible you are in regard to location and compensation, the more likely you are to find a site. Keep in mind that you will be competing with students from other colleges and universities for these internships, and the competition is at its greatest in the summer.
The following types of internships are available in Communication Arts: theatre, video production, broadcast station management/programming/promotions, broadcast and print journalism, public relations, advertising, fundraising, etc. Internships are conducted at a wide variety of sites including theatres, broadcast stations, cable television companies, advertising agencies, public relations firms, hospitals, museums, businesses and government agencies. Prerequisites for internships depend on the type of internship desired and the needs of the placement site.
If you have any questions about internships in Communication Arts, please see Professor Mike Keeley (Communication) or Prof. Mark Cosdon (Theatre).