As a communication major at Truman, you’re encouraged to pursue internships as an extension of your in-class learning experiences. This gives you the opportunity to explore a potential career and gain professional experience.
Here are some resources to help you learn more about the internship process. To receive notification of when the Communication Department updates our internship database, fan Truman Communication Internships on Facebook.
What is an Internship?
An internship is a serious commitment of a semester or summer. It takes place under the supervision of a professional qualified in the area of expertise of the internship experience, usually off-campus. The duties of the intern when placed in a specific job should be similar to those of a person who would be permanently employed in that position. As the student will be receiving college credit for the experience, the duties should be of a nature that would provide this level of experience. So, as an intern you are essentially an apprentice to a professional in your field. You must possess the skills and understand the theories necessary to function at the entry level. You must be willing to accept responsibility and to face challenges, failures and criticism. Truman faculty members encourage internships in such fields as public relations, advertising, journalism and political communication.
Finding an Internship
It is the student’s responsibility to find an appropriate internship opportunity. Internships must meet the characteristics indicated in “Internship Requirements” and must have a professional mentor as the Workplace Supervisor with substantial experience in the field of the internship. The Communication Department website has information about several opportunities from organizations that have contacted us, as well as internships our students have completed in the past.
The department has a Facebook page for internships entitled “Truman Communication Internships” where upcoming internship opportunities are posted. On Twitter, see @comminternships for another example. Other possible ideas for locating internships include:
- Contact possible places of employment. Ask if they offer internships.
- Some internship notices are posted on the Internship board outside the Academic Internship Supervisor’s office and in the University Career Center (this page requires a log-in).
- Your adviser may be aware of opportunities.
- The Web is an excellent help in finding internship information; conduct keyword searches for areas of interest.
Start looking early and use vacations and breaks as opportunities to talk to organizations and companies. Understand that most organizations have deadlines for submitting applications for internship employment.
Internships for Credit
An Internship experience involves applying curricular knowledge in a way designed to enhance, deepen, and/or complement learning in the discipline in which the internship is being awarded academic credit. The Internship is guided by objectives which specify anticipated learning outcomes that are developed by the student in communication with the Academic Internship Supervisor, the Internship Board, and the On-site Workplace Supervisor(s) prior to the experience. The Internship involves co-mentoring and supervision of the student by a Truman faculty member as the Academic Internship Director and an on-site Workplace Supervisor. The Internship experience and the evaluation course with the Academic Internship Director produce tangible products which a) evidence achievement of learning outcomes and career development b) exhibit self-reflection by the student on the learning process and the relationship of internship activities to the curriculum. These products include a journal, portfolio, paper, and presentation.
Internships for credit require prior approval of the Communication Department. Students who wish to be awarded university credit for their internship experience must apply to the Communication Department Internship Board in advance of the internship. Academic credit for an internship will not be awarded retroactively.
Internships for credit are not “free.” Students who desire Truman credit hours for internships will be charged the per credit hour rate on their Truman student account for that internship. An internship for credit requires a minimum of 3 credit hours and no more than 9 credit hours in COMM 487 and 1 credit hour for each internship in COMM 488. One semester hour of credit in COMM 487 is based on a 40-hour work on-site at the internship.
-Example: If the internship is 160 hours of work on-site, it is worth 4 credit hours of COMM 487 Internship and 1 credit hour of COMM 488 Internship Evaluation, so students will be charged the rate for 5 credit hours.
Internships for credit have specific requirements and objectives that are monitored by faculty. The duties of the intern when placed in a specific job should be similar to those of a person who would be permanently employed in that position. As the student will be receiving college credit for the experience, the duties should be of a nature that would provide this level of experience. The intern is expected to remain in regular contact with the Academic Internship Supervisor.
Internship Application Requirements, Process, and Details
Takes place under the supervision of a professional qualified in the area of expertise of the internship experience, usually off-campus.
Should be pursued when you have completed a majority of applicable courses in the major. For example, you should not attempt a reporting internship without having taken the media writing courses or an event planning internship without having taken the public relations courses unless you have substantial preparation in those areas in other ways.
Have successfully completed a face-to-face tutorial on Internship Preparation. Contact Dr. Michelle Kleine (email@example.com) for more information.
Each student must have a cumulative and major GPA of at least 2.75. (If you do not have the required GPA, consult with the academic Internship Supervisor about preparing an appeal to the Communication Department Internship Board that includes a written letter of recommendation from the academic adviser and/or a faculty member in the area of the desired internship justifying a waiver of the GPA requirement.)
- Internship credit must be approved by the Internship Board before the start date for the internship. Academic credit for an internship will not be awarded retroactively.
- Complete the required tutorial on Internship Preparation.
- Submit the completed Application Packet to the Academic Internship Supervisor. Early applications are encouraged. Plan ahead. Deadlines are determined each semester; typically the deadline will fall not later than the Monday of the third week before the last day of classes of the semester prior to the internship.
Application packets must include:
–Verification of completing the required online tutorial on Internship Preparation.
–A cover letter addressed to the Internship Board, stating how this internship opportunity fits with your academic program, career plans, and how your experiences and coursework have prepared you for this opportunity.
–A resume of work experience and education. Applicants must demonstrate the competence needed for entry-level work through course work and/or experience. The names and telephone numbers of at least two references should be included on the resume.
–A completed Communication Internship Application form (found below at end of internship overview).
–A completed Workplace Supervisor Agreement Form (found below at end of internship overview).
The application packet should be submitted to the Academic Internship Supervisor, Dr. Michelle Kleine, BT 1103.
The Communication Department Internship Board will review your application. (The Communication Department Internship Board consists of three or four Communication faculty members who are chosen annually and the Academic Internship Supervisor.)
- If the Communication Department Internship Board and the Department Chair approve the application, the Academic Internship Supervisor will notify you that you may enroll for credit.
- If the application is not approved, the Academic Internship Supervisor will request a meeting with you to discuss your internship plans.
Obtaining Academic Credit
- You will enroll simultaneously in COMM 487 Internship (graded Pass/Fail) and COMM 488 Internship Evaluation (graded with a letter grade A-F).
- The total number of hours you plan to work determines the total number of credit hours you can earn. You must work 40 hours for each credit hour of COMM 487. For example, if you plan to work 10 hours a week for 12 weeks (total of 120 hours), you will enroll for four hours of total credit, three hours in COMM 487 and one hour in COMM 488.
- You may earn a total of nine hours of credit in COMM 487 and three hours of credit in COMM 488 during your University career. You may not enroll in fewer than three credit hours of COMM 487 for any internship. You must enroll in one credit hour of COMM 488 for each internship. So, you can complete up to three internships with an evaluation course for each.
- A negative evaluation from your Workplace Supervisor or a failing grade from the Academic Internship Supervisor can result in a failing grade in COMM 487 and/or failing to submit the required course materials or deficient materials in COMM 488 can result in a failing grade for that course.
Payment for internship credit hours will be at regular tuition rates, due at the time of registration. If you do not need elective credit hours toward your major and you do not wish to pay for the credit, you may consider doing the internship but not for academic credit. Be aware that some companies and organizations require students to take internships for academic credit.
Course Syllabi and Important Forms
- Internship Course Syllabi (PDF)
- Internship Application (DOC)
- Workplace Supervisor Agreement Form (PDF)
- Supervisor Evaluation Form (PDF)