Internships

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifies as an internship?

Working on the job, in person, as an apprentice for a full - time media professional. What an internship is NOT is some kind of job in which you provide media services for som e business that needs free (or paid) help. Because experience always makes you better, get as many part - time jobs as you can doing this kind of work, but it’s not an internship. If you’re still not sure, contact the Internship Coordinator and ask.

What are the prerequisites for an internship?

You must be either a senior mass communications major or accepted into our Masters Degree Program. If you are a graduate student, you may enroll and receive course credit for an internship, but you can’t apply t he credits toward completing your M.S. degree. In other words, for grad students, your internship will be just for the experience. For undergraduates, some internships, such as those in radio or TV news rooms , require you to have completed MC332, Electro nic Media News, and it’s strongly recommended that you also complete MC 324 , Public Affairs Reporting, so that you have the requisite newsgathering, writing and producing skills. It’s also str ongly recommended that before considering a news internship, yo u should spend at least a year downstairs working at WSIE - FM News. For a TV production internship, you must have completed at least one of our advanced TV production course s , such as MC 332, 333 , 334, 431 or 454 prior to beginning the internship.

How do I find an internship?

Check the internship bulletin board s in the hallway across from the TV studio for the latest internship handbills ; go to siue.edu/MASSCOMM and click on “ Internship Hosts” for a list of recommended internship venues; talk to your classm ates who have been /are on internships and ask them how good they were; check Web sites of companies where you would like to be employed to learn if there is an internship program in place. Part of what you learn in this course is how to find yourself a job in mass comm after graduation. Finding, applying for and interviewing for your internship is great practice for the real thing after you graduate. And while you’re at it, choose an internship as close as possible to the kind of entry - level job you’d lik e when you graduate.

I’d like to do more than one internship. Can I get credit for more?

Yes and No. If you’re a senior, you can enroll in MC 482 and earn an additional three credits for another internship. But these credits count only toward your 124 credits required for graduation. Our accreditor’s internship standard specifically states that no more than three credits (in our case, the three credits from MC 481) of internship can be used to satisfy any requirement in the major. However, we urge yo u to intern or volunteer at as many media outlets as will accept you, with or without academic credit. Experiential learning is helpful, both for your knowledge and skills as well as for networking for future employment. Get your foot in the door.

Am I limited to the internship venues on the department’s recommended list?

No. We have been able to build this list because many students find their own internships . If they work out well, we add them to the recommended list.

I recently worked at a media company. Can I still get internship credit?

Sorry, but no. No “ex post facto” credit. Prior to starting work on your internship , you must be registered in and approved by the Internship Coordinator for MC 481.

Can the internship be on - campus?

No . Our accreditation agency requires internships to be off - campus.

Can the internship be paid?

Yes, but not that many companies offer paid internships. Be prepared to tighten your belt or take out an extra student loan to help support yourself for one semest er. If you do need a student loan, start the application process at least six months early. Oftentimes these loans take a while to become approved.

How can I get a letter stating that the internship is for credit?

If you request it, the Internship Coor dinator can write a letter , e - mail or call your potential intern supervisor. Also, after you sign up for your internship, the Internship Coordinator always writes supervisors letters that explain the program and state that you are a senior in good standin g, eligible to enroll in the internship course.

How many hours must I work to get credit for MC 481?

You must work at least 225 hours to get credit for your internship. Scheduling of these hours is between you and your host internship supervisor, and d oes not necessarily have to coincide wit h the beginning and the end of our semester. Once you fill out the forms and submit them to the internship coordinator, you can start your hours. If you can’t finish your 225 before the end of the semester, you can get an “I” (incomplete) grade and finish up your hours after the semester’s over. Then the internship coordinator will write up a change of grade for you. See MC 481 syllabus, available here on the department website, for all the requirements of MC 481.

When can I enroll in the internship course, and what’s the deadline each semester ?

After you have been hired by an internship venue and have a start date, f ill out the two required form s. These are the “Internship Data Sheet” and the “Off - Campus Stud ent Participation Agreement”. They are here, on - line , for you to download . Turn those in and the Internship Coordinator will remove the “block” on Cougarnet, which will allow you to complete your enrollment into MC 481 on - line in the usual manner. Durin g each semester’s add/drop week (the first week of the semester), instead of enrolling on line, you must fill out an add/drop form . Turn in your paperwork and get the add/drop form signed by the Internship Coordinator. Then walk it over to the Service Ce nter . The last possible date you can sign up for an internship is the end of the first week of the semester you wish to intern . If you miss that deadline, you’ll have to wait until the following semester. So don’t procrastinate! And remember that some i nternship venues do procrastinate. It’s frustrating, but some wait until the last minute to line up their choices for interns. All you can do is apply early and follow up with them if you don’t hear from them promptly.

How soon should I begin job - hunt ing to secure an internship?

As noted above, the sooner the better. For example, some of the best TV production and TV news internships in St. Louis are filled as much as six months in advance. And there are busier times of year: Summers are the worst, b ecause so many students are applying for internships. Fall is the least busy (read “easiest to get an internship because there’s less competition”), followed by Spring. Some out - of - town internships are only offered in the Summer, and application deadline s are usually in the late Fall. Don’t procrastinate about your internship.

How can I get help writing my resume?

Download the handout, “Do’s and Don’ts of Resume and Cover Letter Writing,” available on this site. This handout includes a sample resume f or a Mass Communications graduate. It is highly recommended that you use the elements o f this resume in preparing yours, since everything is geared toward the MASSCOMM grad, and our resume advice to you has been vetted by a number of currently working med ia pros.

Does my portfolio need to be completed and turned in during the same semester as my internship?

No. Often students do their internships – for example – in the Summer, and turn in their portfolios in the Fall and graduate in December, or e ven intern in Summer and turn in their ports and graduate the following Spring. In such a case, a student would complete about half of the MC 481 requirements during the semester he/she is enrolled in (intern evaluation form and intern paper) and receive an Incomplete grade in MC 481. Eventually the “I” will be changed to a letter grade when the portfolio and the assessment letter are turned in. Download a MC 481 syllabus for more details on the requirements of MC 481.

How do I get information on ho w to create my senior portfolio?

Detailed instructions and requirements for creating your portfolio are also posted on this website. Also, the Internship Coordinator has a few sample portfolios in his office for you to view. You also have the option to p ut your entire portfolio on - line rather than create a paper portfolio. Generally, an on - line portfolio will be better for you in your job search, so if you’re good enough in website building, you should choose the on - line version. Download the portfolio instructions and requirements handout for more information.

I already have a part - time job and a lot of commitments, and, frankly, this internship thing is just too much to bear. What do you think about – in my case – just finding some easy, “no big de al” internship somewhere so I can slide my way through this requirement?

You’d be surprised how many times a question like this – usually couched in a less frank statement – comes up. Do yourself the biggest favor you’ve done in the last 4 - 5 years: Don’ t blow off this internship opportunity by choosing some do - nothing, “no big deal” internship. Stretch yourself and apply for the kind of internship that constitutes your “dream job” after graduation. The best broadcast station, production company, ad age ncy, P.R. firm, whatever ... you can find. At these places, you’ll learn new and important skills, make the best professional contacts you’ve ever made, add a “name” internship to your resume, and give yourself a shot at the success you dreamed about when y ou came to SIUE. Go for it!



Downloadable PDFs

Download PDFs - Adobe Acrobat Reader Required To Open.

PDFInternship Hosts
PDFInternship Data Sheet
PDFMC 481 Fall 2014 Syllabus

PDFOff-Campus Student Participation Application
PDFSenior Portfolio Instructions
PDFDo's and Don'ts of Resume Writing