Internship FAQs

I’m interested in an internship; when is the best time to complete it for course credit?

Your senior year is the best time to enroll in CST412 Internship Studies for two reasons.  First, by that time, you will have completed your CST core requirements and most of your CST elective courses.  This will provide you a good foundation for understanding and relating your communication studies to your internship.  Second, your internship will provide you good networking opportunities as you start interviewing for a professional position.  

What is the goal of an internship?

The purpose of an internship is to understand and appreciate how the theory and research you studied in your CST classes with a specific faculty member applies and is operationalized in the professional world.  An internship is not required as part of your CST major and, therefore, should only be considered if you have successfully completed coursework that prepares you for your interest area and applies directly to the coursework you have taken with the faculty member you would like to supervise your internship.

What is the first step I should take after I decide I’m ready to do an internship?

First, consider the area you’re interested in.  Some things to consider:

  • Do you want to work in a not for profit organization?
  • Do you want to work in a for profit organization?
  • What area will support your future professional goals – event planning, PR, human resources, social services, etc?
  • Have you completed your CST course work specific to the area of your intern interest and completed the coursework specific to the requirements of the internship?
  • What hours do you realistically have available to do an internship (be sure to include travel time, holidays, and your course schedule)?
  • For 3 s/h you will have to do 90 documented hours of work
  • For 6 s/h you will have to do 180 documented hours of work

OK, I have answered all the above questions, do I have to find  and make my own internship contacts or will UNCG provide this service?

Although you may be given some ideas of internship opportunities from a CST professor, you will have to make your own contacts and arrange your own interview.  Also, remember you will need a professional resume as you start your search.  The Career Services can help you with this http://csc.dept.uncg.edu/ or http://csc.dept.uncg.edu/students/

What contacts are available to assist my search?

  • Professional contacts – job fairs, networking contacts, informational interviews
  • Personal contacts – friends, family
  • UNCG Career Services – they have a listing of internship opportunities on Spartan Careers (http://csc.dept.uncg.edu/students/)
  • Professors – they may be able to provide you some leads 

How long does it generally take to find an internship?

It varies.  However, finding the appropriate internship that matches your skills, your professional goals and completed coursework can take several months.  You should approach an internship search as you would a professional position; it takes dedication and research. 

How do I start the process in the CST department?

  1. Check the list of faculty members that direct internships and his/her course requirements before you approach him/her.  Be sure the faculty member you approach to supervise your internship is one who is very familiar with the work you did in his/her class.  The primary goal of an internship is to apply the research and theory you completed in class to the professional workplace.  If you have not taken the required courses identified by the faculty member, or the internship requirements are not specific to his/her research/class content, he/she will not likely supervise your internship. 
  2. Schedule an appointment with the faculty member to discuss your interest.  Your professor will likely want a copy of completed STUDENT INTERN INTEREST FORM (see CST forms) as well as a current audit sheet (from Genie) to determine if he/she is the appropriate person to direct the internship.  He/she will also go over specific requirements for meetings and assignments during the semester.
  3. If the match is appropriate and there is available space in the professor’s internship section, you will be directed to the intern forms and guidelines on the web.  Although your intern faculty member may have specific requirements, the following requirements are common to all CST412 internships:
    • A syllabus (attached is a sample)
    • An internship contract with learning objectives (job description) completed by site intern supervisor and student.  This is then returned to your UNCG faculty intern supervisor.
    • A university agreement that is to be completed by site intern supervisor and returned to your UNCG intern director.
  4. Once all the signed forms are returned, you will be given a class admission slip (Pink Form) so you can register for CST 412.  AGAIN, ONLY AFTER ALL PAPERWORK IS SUBMITTED WILL YOU BE SIGNED INTO THE CLASS.

At the end of my internship, what will be required?

Again, you will want to discuss this with your professor.  However, in all instances you will be required to submit a comprehensive paper, documented work hours and an evaluation from your intern supervisor and a required paper and/or portfolio.

If I already have a job, can I consider that for my internship?

Simply using your current job and responsibilities will not satisfy your internship unless there is a significant project that is above and beyond your normal work activities and work hours.  You will want to discuss this during your with the faculty during your meeting. 

Can I receive intern hours for an internship I have completed in a previous semester?

No, an internship can only be taken during the semester in which you are registered for CST412, that has a UNCG intern faculty director and has all paperwork completed.  However, you may at any time do an internship for experience without receiving course credit. 

Can I complete an internship during the summer for credit?

Similar to all your courses, the internship must be done the semester for which you are registered.  Since CST412 is not offered during the summer, it cannot be taken for credit then.  However, again, if possible it is recommended you do a summer internship for experience.

If I have additional specific questions about internships, who can I contact? 

You can contact Sarah Dunning and set up an appointment.  Email: sgdunnin@uncg.edu.