Four reasons underlie the department's conviction that an internship is invaluable in preparing students for their career after leaving Whitworth:
Finding the right internship for you
The communication studies three-credit internship is designed to be a capstone experience. That means that you already will have considered career options and that you anticipate pursuing a job after graduation with responsibilities very similar to those from your internship.
You are encouraged strongly to do multiple internships during your college career, and most students do two or three. However, except in special cases, students complete only one internship for credit in our department.
Freshmen and sophomores in particular should consider job-shadowing professionals in several fields. Identify organizations that are doing the kind of work that you want to do. Contact someone within that organization and ask to follow him or her while he or she works. Once you have observed several professionals or more, you will have a better idea of what you do or do not want to pursue. You also may want to try an exploratory internship without credit to gain experience and widen your exposure to different fields. The department's internship supervisor is available to help you consider options.
After you have explored your opportunities and narrowed your options, you will be ready to seek an internship for credit. The Whitworth Career Center can help you with researching available opportunities, preparing a résumé, and setting up interviews. Know that you are responsible for identifying and securing your internship, but do not commit yourself until you have cleared the site with the communication department's internship supervisor.
Getting paid for doing your internship is a wonderful bonus. Unfortunately, paid internships aren't as plentiful as we'd like, and in some highly competitive areas (such as TV), many more students desire internships than there are opportunities available.
Internships can take place during the fall or spring semesters, as well as in Jan Term or the summer. Students earn one academic credit for 40 hours of internship work. Most students complete the required three academic credits in a single term, meaning they work at least 120 hours over the course of a semester. However, students may spread work over more than one semester, for instance taking two credits with 80 hours of work at one site in the fall and 40 hours at another site in Jan Term.
Communications internships must meet all the following criteria:
You will have to complete a contract and a liability waiver before starting the internship. The contract will include your signature and the signatures of the site supervisor and the Communication Department's internship supervisor. You will be expected to keep a time log and to complete a workbook during the internship, and to check in with the Communication Department's internship supervisor at about the midpoint of the internship.
Whitworth requires you both to pay for your internship and earn academic credit during the term when the work occurs. That means if you complete an internship in the summer, then you must receive credit and pay for that internship in the summer. Retroactive credit is not granted.
If you are a Communication Studies major, you can register up for either JMC490 or SP490. As you would expect, the JMC internships are media-related, while the SP internships relate to some aspect of speech communication.
Our students have completed numerous internships in news media, public relations, ministry, and government, just to name a few. Previous students have held positions at locations such as: