Students majoring in Public Relations are REQUIRED to complete a three-hour internship. For each hour of credit, the student must work 50 hours. Therefore, most students will take a three-hour internship and work 150 hours.
To gain internship credit you must have:
- Junior standing (60+ hours of completed coursework)
- A minimum GPA of 2.5 in the major
- Twelve hours of major coursework completed prior to the semester of the internship
- Public Relations majors/minors also must have successfully completed Public Relations Writing (COMM PR 3855) OR Newswriting for Print Media (COMM J 2755) prior to the semester of the internship.
Finding an Internship
- Contact Career Services at 102 Gilchrist. Use CareerLink to look at and apply for opportunities.
- Approach businesses that you are interested in about the possibility of an internship, many are open to the idea.
- Join the Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/153765914715149/https://www.facebook.com/groups/153765914715149/
- Pay attention to your email. The Director of Internships sends regular emails with internship opportunities.
To become an approved internship, the opportunity must:
- Allow the creation of original works that can go in a portfolio (e.g., press releases, brochures, videos, news reels, training manuals, presentations, newsletters, event planning work, website pages). For this reason, many sales positions that involve the distribution of such materials will not work.
- Connect to your chosen major, even if it does not perfectly line up with your future career goals. You are signing up for an academic course that fulfills required or elective major credits in communication, so your internship needs to reflect that fact.
- Take place where you have worked in the immediate past. Internships are intended to represent new learning experiences and involve you in the complete job search process. Therefore, internship credit is not given for current or past employment activities. Four main reasons explain this policy:
- It looks great on a resume to have experiences from several different companies.
- It may give you an unfair advantage in preparing your portfolio for examination.
- Part of the learning experience should be about creating relationships with new people, processes, and ideas.
- There is no way to guarantee that the internship would vary greatly from the tasks that you currently have at that company.
- Furthermore, internship credit is not granted retroactively for previous internships that you may have completed. There may be situations, however, where you may wish to intern in an organization where you are employed in another capacity. This may be done subject to the following guidelines:
- You obtain an internship in a department separate from the area where you are currently employed (or)
- Your supervisor writes a letter to the Internship Coordinator verifying your internship responsibilities are completely separate from your normally assigned duties
- Take place in organizations or departments where immediate family members (parents, siblings) are employed.
- Students may NOT complete their internship with any on-campus group.
Applying for Internship Credit
- Complete a departmental application form, available in the main office, Lang 326. If you want an electronic version, email the departmental office manager at email@example.com. (Summer internships require one additional form.) Sign up for the correct number of hours (1-6). EMedia or PR Majors are required to have at least thee credits. Political Comm Majors are required to have four credit hours.
- Return the completed form to the main office or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ask your supervisor send a job description directly to the main office. This description can be mailed, faxed to (319) 273-7356, or sent via email from the supervisor’s account to email@example.com. This description cannot come from the student.
- Your completed file is reviewed by the internship coordinator, possibly in consultation with the department head. If you are approved, the main office will enroll you in the Internship/Cooperative course. There is nothing further to do until your internship, and the semester, begins.
- A notice of approval/enrollment will be emailed to you at the address you provided on the application. The process can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks, so plan ahead! The Internship Director will contact you when you have been enrolled for further instructions. Check your email regularly.