What Is An Internship?
An internship is an intensive, responsible work experience related to your previous academic studies and your career or general goals. It is also an opportunity to gain practical experience in your major field of study and apply knowledge gained in the classroom. It will also give you a chance to find out if a particular field is right for you. It is also a way to earn credits outside of the classroom. Lastly, it is an excellent resume builder and provides an opportunity to make useful contacts in your professional field.
When Can I Do An Internship?
You are eligible for an internship when you have achieved sophomore standing or have completed two semesters at Wilmington. You must be in good academic standing at the time the internship is approved.
How Many Credits Can I Earn?
Between one and six credits can be earned through an internship. You may include up to 12 internship credits in your Wilmington degree program. Most internships last for one semester. You may work for shorter periods of time, such as school vacations. Internships are part-time during the academic year, and may be full or part-time during breaks. The majority of the work must be completed during the semester in which the credit is given. For each academic credit earned you must work 42 contact hours. For example the contact hours required are as follows:
1credit = 42 contact hours
2 credits = 84 contact hours
3 credits = 126 contact hours
4 credits = 168 contact hours
5 credits = 210 contact hours>
6 credits=– 252 contact hours
What Does An Internship Cost?
Tuition for an internship is the same as it is for other credits at Wilmington. Also, the same add/drop deadlines apply.
How Do I Arrange An Internship?
Visit the Career Services Office and your faculty advisor to discuss your internship goals and to learn what opportunities are available. The Career Services Office will assist you with preparing your cover letter and resume in preparation for contacting potential internship employers. With assistance you will then determine the appropriate employers that best meet your goals and send your application materials to them.
Securing an internship can take several months so you should begin this process at least 4 months before you wish to intern. Some internships are very competitive so multiple sites should be targeted to ensure securing one.
The employer will usually have an interviewing process which you must undergo. If the employer agrees to accept you as their intern then you must obtain an internship contract from the Career Services Office. This contract has four parts. The first section requires you to state your learning objectives for the internship. The second part must be completed by the site supervisor who is the person at the internship site who will supervise you. In this section the supervisor will detail your responsibilities including daily activities and special projects. The third part must be completed by your faculty sponsor who must be a full time faculty member in the department in which you are obtaining the credit. This section indicates what type of credits and the number of credits you will earn for the internship. It also includes the due dates for your mid-term journal and whether you will do a final paper or presentation and the due date. This section also may include additional questions that you must address in your final paper or presentation. The last section requires the signatures of the intern, the site supervisor, the faculty sponsor, the faculty advisor and the Director of Career Services. Once the contract is complete it must be submitted to the Career Services Office.
After the Career Services Office has the contract, the director will clear you to register for the internship. Your faculty advisor must also clear you to register for classes for the term during which you will be participating in the internship. After you are cleared you must register for the appropriate type and number of internship credits.
How Will My Internship Be Evaluated?
Throughout the internship you are required to keep a journal. The journal will be evaluated by your faculty sponsor at mid-term, and at the end of your experience.
You are also required to submit either a 10-12 page written report on your experience or present a ten minute professional presentation at the end of the semester. Your faculty sponsor will evaluate the content and quality of your paper or presentation.
Your site supervisor also submits midterm and final evaluation forms, indicating the quality of your work. These forms are faxed to your site supervisor when you submit your contract to the Career Services Office.
If all evaluation materials are approved, a grade of "credit" (not a letter grade) will be entered in your transcript.
What should be in my weekly journal?
Your journal must be typed and consist of weekly entries. Note at the beginning of each entry the date and the hours worked. Each entry should include the following:
- Description of activities and duties
- Skills, concepts and attitudes learned
- Application of classroom learning
If you are doing repetitious work, thoroughly explain the duties the first time you do it; then refer to that entry in subsequent entries. You do not need to repeat your entry each time you do the same activity.
When you are describing the application of classroom learning, think broadly about your education not just about the classes in your major. Perhaps you have learned something in classes outside of your major that are applicable.
Two copies of your journal are due in the Resource Center at mid-term and at the end of the term. Please note the due dates on your contract.
What are the final paper requirements?
If you and your faculty sponsor have opted for the final paper, be sure that two copies of it are received by the Resource Center by the due date on your contract. The paper should include the following sections:
- Description of the internship – what, when, with whom and where
- List of objectives for the internship and how you have met those objectives
- Description of your activities, projects and duties
- Detailed explanation of the classroom knowledge that you have applied
- Answer to the questions listed on your contract
- Description of the effects of this internship on your career choice
Your paper will be graded on content, grammar, sentence structure and organization. Also, please note on your internship contract the due date for your final paper.
What are the requirements for the final professional presentation?
If you and your faculty sponsor have agreed that you will do a professional presentation for your final project, it should include the following sections:
- History of the company/organization
- Description of your activities, projects and duties
- Description of the skills, knowledge and attitudes you acquired
- Explanation of the classroom knowledge that has been applied
- Reasons other students should intern with this employer
Please note on your contract the date, time and location for your final presentation.
How Can I Have a Successful Internship Experience?
Understand what will be expected of you during the internship. Know what hours you are to work and what tasks you will perform. Pay attention to the organizational climate. Notice how the employees dress and how they interact with one another. Do your best to "fit in." Remember that you are one of them for the duration of your internship. Realize that you are there to learn. Accept that you will make mistakes and profit from them. Expect to start at the bottom. Be open to all new experiences you will encounter. Communicate regularly with your supervisor and faculty sponsor.