This page explains grading and course requirements for internships and offers tips for making your internship successful. Please read it thoroughly. If you have additional questions about the requirements, contact the Internship Director before beginning your internship.
Reporting and Grading
Your internship counts as an undergraduate course. You must attend meetings and submit work to earn your final grade.
Read each requirement carefully.
Your final grade will be based on the following:
- Internship Director Observation/Phone Interview: 10%
- Internship Daily Log 10%
- Supervisor Evaluations: 30%
- Portfolio: 25%
- Final Paper: 25%
- Midterm On-Campus Meeting: See below.
Internship Director Observation
During your internship, the Internship Director will visit or call your supervisor to review your work and progress. The Internship Director will contact you to arrange the meeting.
The log is a daily journal that details your work. For each day of work, write a one-paragraph summary of the work you are doing, what you are learning, and what you plan to do the next day. It is best to write this entry at the end of each work day, while the details are fresh in your mind.
Your on-site supervisor will evaluate you twice during the internship: at the midpoint and at the end.
You are responsible for ensuring that your supervisor evaluates you and completes the paperwork for this process.
Before beginning the internship, give these forms to your supervisor and explain them. After each evaluation, the supervisor will decide whether to share the results with you, but you are responsible for making sure the evaluation forms are completed and returned on time.
Throughout your internship, you should collect samples of your work product to develop a portfolio of your work. Ask your supervisor for permission to copy or remove work materials from the office.
At the end of the internship, submit the portfolio in a binder. At the front of the binder, insert a one-page summary of the projects and your contribution to them.
If your internship does not lend itself to a portfolio binder, you may apply to your COM400 instructor for permission to submit a video that summarizes your internship experience. More details as to the content of this video are available from your instructor.
(This option is available as of Spring 2013; talk with your instructor.)
At the end of the internship, write a final paper describing and evaluating the internship experience, focusing on what it has taught you about your field.
Write two double-spaced pages for each internship credit. For example, a six-credit internship requires a twelve-page paper.
Follow this format for the paper:
- Introduction: Describe the internship and identify the main points of the paper.
- Evaluation: This section will be the majority of your paper. Discuss in detail how well your coursework prepared you for this internship. What classes, theories and/or concepts were most helpful to you in this experience? What concepts from your courses were you able to apply to your internship?
- Obstacles: Discuss any problems and how they were solved.
- Recommendations: Discuss ideas for improving the internship program in general and your experience in particular. Would you recommend this internship to other students? Why or why not?
Midterm On-Campus Meeting
Near the mid-point of the semester, you will be required to attend one on-campus meeting with other interns to discuss your experience. You will be notified by e-mail of the time, date and location of the group meeting. All interns are required to attend the meeting. If your internship is more than 1.5 hours away from campus, you must contact Dr. Pearson and arrange to attend the meeting by Skype. Failure to attend the meeting will result in a one-letter reduction in your final grade. In addition to your midterm meeting, you instructor may require up to two individual meetings with you.
Submit your portfolio and final paper to your instructor. Your portfolio will be graded within one week of submission. Pick up your work within one week of grading. All materials will be removed and destroyed after two weeks.
Tips for Successful Internships
You are not expected to be a polished professional when you begin your internship. You are expected to bring enthusiasm, a strong work ethic, and a willingness to learn! Here are some pointers to make your internship successful for you and your organization:
- Show up every day on time (or, even better, a little early!).
- Dress appropriately. (Take your cues from employees there.)
- Be pro-active about introducing yourself, shaking hands, and learning the names of your co-workers.
- Listen carefully to all instructions, and ask questions whenever you need more direction. (No, you won’t “sound dumb”; you will sound conscientious!)
- Avoid gossip, personal conversations, texting and phone calls.
Meet (and, if possible, beat) deadlines.
- Ask for more work when you finish a project.
- Identify projects that interest you, and ask if you can help with them.
- Occasionally ask for feedback on how you are doing, and listen for ways that you can improve.
- During the internship, try to identify and complete projects that result in a tangible work product. Ask your supervisor if you may take a copy of the work for your portfolio.
- Do not take any work materials from the workplace without permission from your supervisor!
- In the final weeks of the internship, tell your Internship Supervisor if you are interested in working for the organization. If you are not interested in working there but the internship has gone well, ask for a general letter of recommendation that you can use in future job interviews.
- At the end of the internship, thank everyone with whom you have worked for the opportunity. If you have had a positive experience with anyone, ask if he or she will serve as a reference for you.
You are the face of West Chester University at your internship. The more successful you are, the more likely the organization will be to invite future WCU students.