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Internship Guide

Information for all stages of the Internship process: before, during, and after

Internship Prep

The Internship Preparation section of the Blackboard course is designed for students who have not yet secured an internship but have Internship on their schedule for a given term--so not all students will have the Internship Preparation portion in their course.

If you do have the Internship Preparation section in your course--each week, you should work on the folder that corresponds with the schedule listed in the course. Once you have secured your internship, please notify Kristin Fike and your Internship Facilitator; they will transfer you into the section of the course designed for students who are out on their internship. When your internship begins, you will no longer be responsible for completing internship prep activities.

 

An important component of the Internship Prep is writing a reflective journal entry each week (except Week 1) about that week's activities.  As detailed in the Reflective Journal Entries tab at the top of this box, the purpose of a reflective journal is two-fold: to provide information and insight about an experience to whoever is reading the entries AND to assist you (the writer) in processing and learning from an experience. 

Taking the time and making the effort to produce thoughtful reflective journal entries will help you have a better internship experience--which could help you first choose and then develop a more satisfying career.

An important component of the Internship Prep is writing a reflective journal entry each week (except Week 1) about that week's activities. 

The purpose of a reflective journal is two-fold: to provide information and insight about an experience to the reader of the entries AND to assist you (the writer) in processing and learning from an experience. 

Taking the time and making the effort to produce thoughtful reflective journal entries will help you have a better internship experience--which could help you first choose and then develop a more satisfying career.

 

In a non-reflective journal entry, you might simply report what happened:

  • I revised my resume by adding some additional job experience information.
  • I made some changes to my social media account by removing some pictures.

In a reflective journal entry, in addition to including what happened you analyze and discuss WHY you did something:

  • After talking with Career Services, I realized that I needed to add more detail to my job experience listings so that I could showcase the skills I have developed.  My experience creating graphics for social media is a skill listed in job ads for careers I'm interested in.
  • After looking at the social media accounts of professionals in the field I wish to enter, I decided that I should remove the pictures of my friends and family from being publicly viewable and keep them private so that I project a professional image when someone does a public search.

 

Watch the video below for a detailed description of the why and how for reflective writing.

During Week 1 of the Internship Prep activities, you will watch 5 videos that help provide an orientation to the internship experience. 

You will then create a Discussion Board post: Please list 3 things that you learned as a result of the information provided in the videos.  Likewise, please list any questions that you may still have about internship.  The Internship Coordinator will make sure your questions are answered.

 

Video 1: Introduction to your Internship

This week you will begin to prepare for your internship.  The video will help you to learn more about what the internship is and the overall process.

Video 2: Internship Manual Review

Throughout your internship you will complete paperwork and assignment submissions.  The video describes the requirements in detail.

Video 3: First Day at your Site

On your first day at your site, you will want to make sure that you start off on a good foot.  The video will help you to learn what you should do and expect on your first day at your site.

Video 4: Professional Communication with your Site

You will begin communicating with your site as you are interviewing and before you begin internship hours.  The video will teach you how to handle communication with your site before and during your internship.

Video 5: Transitioning from Internship to Employment

As you reach the halfway point of your internship, you should begin thinking about employment after your internship and graduation.  The video describes some suggestions on how you can approach this.

During Week 2 of the Internship Prep portion of the course, you should focus on revising and updating your resume.  You will then write a reflective journal entry about the experience.

 

Schedule a time to review your resume with a Career Services counselor, your internship facilitator, or your advisor.

 

A good resume is an essential job-searching document and should therefore be an effective marketing tool.  A resume is one of the first communications you will have with a prospective employer.  Employers use resumes as a way of quickly assessing and screening applicants.  You want your resume to catch and hold their attention for the right reasons.


Basics

  • A resume should capture the highlights of your education, experience, skills, and activities as they relate to jobs that interest you.
  • Your resume and cover letter should help you get an interview.
  • You may have more than one resume for different types of positions.
  • Be sure to research your industry/career field to be aware of skills you may want to emphasize.

 

Formatting

  • Use phrases instead of complete sentences. Avoid use of personal pronouns such as “I” or “my.”
  • Print on resume paper for physical copies--save as a PDF document for sending electronically.
  • Remember to proofread!  Ask several people to review your resume before submitting to employers.

During Week 3, and then during any additional week(s) before you start your actual internship hours, you will choose an activity from the following list (1 activity each week). 

After completing the activity, you will write a reflective journal entry about the activity, as you did with the content from week 2 (see the Reflective Journal Entries tab at the top of this box).

 

Internship Preparation Activities:

  • Analyze articles from: trade publications, industry websites, industry-created blogs, and professional organization websites
    • Try to find articles that relate to what you want to do/will be doing for your internship
  • Polish your social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blog site(s), Create a LinkedIn profile, etc.
    • Remember: be sure anything publicly available/viewable shows a professional image
  • Complete the FOCUS assessment in the Career Services office
  • Collect letters of reference from academic and professional contacts
    • Ask professors/mentors/supervisors who you had/have a good relationship with
    • Give letter writers a deadline--but give them plenty of time (e.g. end of the term)
  • Further revise cover letters
    • Remember--while you can reuse some parts of cover letters, be sure each letter is specific to each job opening
  • Identify relevant career opportunities
    • Find and read ads for different types of jobs in your field.  Compare the job requirements to your skills, training, and abilities so you can better position yourself for success in cover letters and interviews.
  • Engage in professional networking activities by attending a networking reception, professional conference, career event, and/or professional organization mixer
  • Participate in a mock interview with Career Services
  • Practice presentation skills: attend a Toastmasters meeting, review a professional presentation skills website and/or YouTube channel
  • Assemble a professional portfolio using the Optimal Resume EFolio (contact Career Services)