More About Internships
The Communication & Media Arts Internship Program provides students the opportunity to earn college credits while gaining experience in supervised, professional working environments.
The benefits of such "experiential learning" include gaining valuable insider knowledge about a specific career field, improving skills and knowledge, meeting and networking with professionals, and enhancing personal growth.
Students may earn credits on a sliding scale, ranging from 1-12 during each term. Credits are available during Fall, Spring & Summer semesters (No Winter Session credit-bearing internships are offered). No more than a total of 14 internship credits may be earned.
To be eligible for the program, students must meet these criteria:
-Hold an earned GPA of 2.5 or above,
-Have completed 60 or more credits (For transfer students, 12 or more credits earned at Marist)
-Have passed the CRDV100 Employment Practicum course
-Be a duly declared Major/Minor in Communication or Media Studies/Interactive Media/Gaming
All internship sites must be pre-approved by the Internship Director in order for students to earn college credit from Marist.
All credit-bearing internships must be registered at the start of a given semester. No retroactive credit is available. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Definition of "Internship"
The term “internship” is often used to mean a variety of things. The Communication & Media Studies Internship Program defines an internship experience as one that meets the following criteria:
- the student observes, assists in and/or performs work in a professional media setting
- the student is supervised by a qualified and experienced media professional
- the observation and/or work is limited both in scope and in duration; it is a temporary placement (ex: 15 hours per week for 12 weeks)
- the main purpose of the experience is educational, meaning it is for the benefit of the student, not the employer
- the student may or may not receive a salary or compensation
- the student engages in rigorous and regular reflection and analysis. Effective experiential learning requires the student intern to engage fully by integrating the “concrete experience” of the workplace with “reflective observation,” which leads successful students to “abstract conceptualization” about the work experience. Written assignments, such as periodic reports and a Final Paper, are the means by which students analyze and measure their experiences and engage in reflection.
- College internships are governed by federal law and other applicable state or local laws. Both sponsoring employers and students face restrictions under such laws. (See http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.htm )
The 3-Way Partnership
The credit-bearing internship requires a three-way partnership: College-Student-Sponsor/Employer. The student is at the center of this arrangement in which he/she is benefiting from opportunities offered by both the school and the employer. The college offers credits and official support; the internship sponsor or employer gives the student an opportunity in the “real world.” The most successful students are those who bring a mature and responsible attitude and remain flexible and realistic, seeking ways to balance the sometimes conflicting needs of school and internship schedules.
Searching for an internship is a great way to teach yourself about your future career. There are many resources available to you. One key resources is the pre-requisite class,CRDV100 Employment Practicum. (Check out upcoming offerings) It is important to keep in mind that you'll need to do some planning for any internship. For starters, think WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and HOW. While it might seem simple, you shouldn't take anything about your internship for granted. Thinking ahead about WHO you want to work for, about WHAT you want to do there, about WHERE the company/organization is located and HOW you will travel there and what kind of time commitment it will take...all these factors will be important.
Here are four factors to carefully consider:
Internships are competitive field placements that are often balanced with school work. Also, employers work months ahead of time time to select their candidates. Employers vary on how and when they set deadlines. This means that students need to PLAN AHEAD for internships so that they have adequate time to research employers, prepare their materials, apply and interview. Here's a sample timeline:
5 months before planned start of internship...Begin target search of sponsors/employers; evaluate academic schedule
4 months before planned start of internship...Apply to internships; evaluate any related costs for travel or other needs
3 months before planned start of internship...Interview, make additional applications if necessary
2 months before planned start of internship...Interview & accept; finalize academic scheduling and cost needs
1 month before planned start of internship....Accept placement, obtain credit letter and register for credits with Internship Program Office.
Media careers are competitive. You'll need to be a strong candidate. The prerequisite class, CRDV100 Employment Practicum, is designed to give you the job-seeking tools and information you need to be a strong candidate. In Employment Practicum you will develop a professional resume, write a cover letter, research employers, practice professional interviewing and learn other related skills and techniques. You'll need that knowledge to compete. For example, at the bottom of this page you'll find a list of recommended online job boards and a link to the Marist Foxquest internships/jobs database. Using resources like these is a great way to both learn about opportunities in your field as well as target specific companies, locations and job types that you are interested in. Investing time and energy on your internship search is very likely to yield positive results.
For example, let's say you're interested in working for a Public Relations firm in New York City in the Fall or Spring semester. Did you know the vast majority of PR firms require a 2-day per week minimum commitment? That means you'll need to plan a full semester ahead to open up time on your class schedule to accommodate the commute time and work time. Or, in another example, maybe you hope to work for a sports broadcasting company. Sports programming is heavily concentrated on the weekend. You'll need to plan that the internship is likely to require you to work either a Saturday or Sunday shift, which might conflict with a part-time time job or other personal commitments.
Many Marist students take advantage of the concentration of media companies in New York City. If you're headed for a city internship, be sure to include the cost of commuting in your plans. It is likely to cost hundreds of dollars for train fare or gas and tolls. Factor those costs in before you commit to an internship.
Here are some resources that you will find helpful in your search for internships.
- How to Begin Planning for a Communication Internship
- 5 Steps to Your Internship
- Sample resumes
- Internship Job Boards for Communication Majors
- Marist Foxquest
- Internship Search Checklist
Also, check out the many resources for internship/job searching available at the Marist Center for Career Services website. Or, visit them in Library 302.
Most employers want students to apply directly. Students should take full advantage of the Foxquest search system to develop a target list of employers. Follow the instructions given by each employer. Some larger organizations require applicants to create an application on a database system. Smaller employers will simply provide an email address for resume & cover letter delivery. Consulting with the Internship Program staff about this process can be helpful.
Almost every employer or internship sponsor will want to see a student’s resume, and most will ask for a cover letter. The resume is the basic document that facilitates the application process. Some resume guidelines:
Many employers will ask students for "proof of credit" or "verification of matriculation" letters, as a condition of internship sponsorship. This proof of credit or verification of matriculation can take many forms:
- a letter from your academic internship director
- a copy of an academic schedule listing an internship course
- a form issued by an employer that requires endorsement (signature) of an internship director at the college
Employers/Sponsors require these documents for legal reasons. They are asking students to furnish proof that,
1) the student is enrolled in a degree-seeking college program (matriculated). This is a common request for PAID internships
2) the student is authorized by a college to earn credit for an internship (PAID or UNPAID status).
To obtain a credit verification or matriculation letter from Marist, contact the Communication & Media Arts Internship Program staff. You will be directed to sign into Foxquest and create a "Learning Contract" document, which contains the basic internship sponsor name, address, internship job description and schedule information. Be sure to bring or send the internship supervisor's name, job title, and contact information.
- Please do NOT ask faculty members or other Marist staff members to write or sign a credit verification document. They are not authorized to do so.
Students must register for their internship credits at the start of each term - Fall, Spring, Summer. There is no Winter term internship credit available. Also, no retro-active credit is available under any circumstances.
- The internship registration process is handled electronically via Foxquest. Both Student intern and workplace Supervisor must fill out and sign the Learning Contract Form BEFORE the start of the internship. Go online to FOXQUEST to complete your registration form. Follow the instructions included in this handout titled "Instructions for 2018 Summer Internship Registration"
There are several requirements that must be met in order for students who enroll in a credit-bearing internship to earn a passing grade:
- Students must complete the minimum number of "contact" hours at the internship site (see the credits=hours worked charts in the Internship Syllabus). Students may exceed the minimum number of hours required, with permission of workplace supervisor.
- Complete all required Reflection & Analysis writing and blogging assignments in a timely and satisfactory manner. These assignments are specifically designed to help students to make sense of their internship experience. All writing assignments are processed via iLearn and are made available to students at the start of each semester (Spring, Summer or Fall).
- Earn a favorable Evaluation from your internship site supervisor. Students must receive a positive rating from their employer/sponsor in order to earn a passing grade.
Interns who complete the above requirements in a satisfactory manner receive a "Pass" grade for internships.