Communication Internship Guidelines

Communication Internship Registration

Preparation for the Communication Internship must begin during the latter portion of the semester prior to when the student anticipates registering for the internship. 

Specifically, a student should go to the Career and Internship Center in Rowley Hall to speak with internship counselors there, and to review Marymount’s database of internship opportunities. 

The student must find his/her own placement in consultation with his/her academic advisor in the Communication department. This means that a student needs to have a current resume, and must be prepared to seek interviews at Communication-related internship sites which have the likelihood of being approved by Communication faculty.  

We want the Communication student to work with and learn from Communication professionals in bona fide Communication-related departments or offices or media institutions, such as: radio/TV, print journalism (newspapers/magazines), government public affairs offices (local, state, federal), public relations firms, sports promotions management, non-profit agencies, PR departments in substantial organizations such as Verizon or Marriott, etc. Communication majors have built a rich record of internships at organizations such as COMCAST, WJLA-TV, Voice of America, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Museums, Capitol Hill, the White House, the March of Dimes, Wolftrap Center for the Performing Arts, the Nature Conservancy, etc. (See the MU/CIC database.)

The Communication Intern is expected to use the internship as an opportunity to supplement their classroom learning and to assist in building a portfolio of exemplary samples of work such as press releases, audio/video footage, newsletters, etc.; and to build a professional network of contacts that could potentially assist the student-intern in finding a professional job in a communication field.

COMM400 Internship: is considered a 3-credit-bearing course. It has a defined syllabus; and there are other requirements too, including a mid-term call or visit by the Academic Internship Mentor (AIM) with the on-site supervisor, two evaluations completed by the on-site supervisor, and a ten-page minimum paper completed by the student and submitted to the Academic Internship Mentor at the end of term. (See guidelines in COMM400 syllabus.) The internship is taken very seriously by Marymount and by Communication faculty as a new “on-the-job training” opportunity for experiential learning in a student’s disciplinary interest.

Internship Registration: A student is registered for the internship only after the digital contract agreement (see “Handshake” site) between the student, the on-site supervisor, and the advisor (AIM) has been completed and approved by the Communication faculty and the Associate Dean in Design, Arts and Humanities. 

The student must submit the completed digitized Internship Agreement Contract prior to the last day to late-register or late-add a class, preferably even weeks sooner than that deadline. The student must have met all prerequisites, secured the internship position, confirmed his/her work schedule with the site supervisor, and completed the internship contract form with approval indicated by the student’s advisor/AIM, prior to registration. If the form is not submitted by the deadline, the student will have to wait for the next academic semester to register for the internship. 

Department Policy for Communication Internships: The standard for academic credit in Communication is a minimum of 120 hours of on-site experiential learning in a bona fide Communication-related organization for a 3-credit internship, plus other requirements as noted in the COMM400 syllabus. Some employers require additional on-site hours. We do not allow work-from-home, or on-line long-distance internships. We do not allow or give retro-active credit for the internship. Internship credit can only be earned during the semester in which the student is duly registered for the internship. We do not allow a student to work in someone’s private home office, garage, or extra bedroom. Nor do we allow interns to work in a parent’s or other relative’s business, or be supervised on-site by a parent or a relative. We also do not allow on-campus internships related to a student’s employment on campus.

An internship as part of a study-abroad experience is allowed—with faculty advisor approval—based on an appropriate site and a Communication-related job description, and with prior coordination with the Office of Global Studies.

Substitution for the Internship: If you as the student are unable to do an internship (for reasons such as illness, family responsibilities, transportation issues, a need to keep working at your current job, or something else), or feel that you do not need an internship at the present time (perhaps due to previous professional employment), please discuss with your advisor the possibility of substituting a 300/400 level Communication course to satisfy the 3-credit requirement. The required credits in Communication are never waived and must be earned via additional coursework in order to achieve the 45-credit minimum in the Communication major.

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