Communication

Undergraduate Internships

The Department of Communication encourages you to pursue an internship during your studies at WIU. Internships provide you with valuable hands-on experience in the communication field that complements your coursework and can expand your career opportunities and marketability. Completing an internship can also help you build a more impressive resume´. Three hours of internship credit can be applied to your communication major/minor and the remaining hours are elective credit, applied toward your university electives. Fifty clock hours are equivalent to one hour of internship credit. No more than 40 hours will be counted in one week.

Example: If you would like to earn 3 hours of academic credit for an internship you would need to work a total of 150 hours. If you work part-time (20 hours per week) you would need to work 7 1/2 weeks. If you work full-time (40 hours per week) you would need to work 3 1/2 weeks.

You are expected to seek your own internship site, but Cindy Ridle, Internship Coordinator, can be very helpful in suggesting appropriate organizations. Internships may be paid or unpaid. Communication students hold a wide range of internships in profit and non-profit organizations, in areas such as public relations, human resources, advertising, radio production/promotions, tourism, management, recreation, event planning, media, and more. Internship announcements are posted on the bulletin board outside of Memorial Hall 339 and electronic announcements are sent to all majors.

In order to qualify for internship credit through the Communication Department at WIU, you must have a 2.25 overall GPA and a 2.5 in the communication major/minor. In addition you must have junior or senior standing and have 12 hours completed in the communication major/minor. Internships can take place during Fall, Spring, or Summer semester. The application deadline is the Friday before final exam week of the semester prior to the internship.

You must apply to the Department of Communication for academic internship approval. The internship application packet can be downloaded from this site or picked up from the internship coordinator's office.

Steps in the Intership Process:

  1. Print or pick-up a copy of the internship packet (includes Agreement and Application) and review our Frequently Asked Questions here or from the internship coordinator's office.
  2. Apply for internship with the internship site of choice. Direct application of classroom knowledge in the work world is one goal of the internship experience. Think about the knowledge and skills that you have developed through your coursework, as well as those you would like to build. The most suitable internship for one student may be different from what best suits other students.
  3. Interview with selected sites.The type of organization or the mission of an organization may be important in selecting an internship site. During the interview find out additional information about the work environment in order to assess whether this organization will meet your own needs.You may have several interviews before the right match is found. Interviewing for an internship is much the same as a full-time employment interview, so plan on presenting yourself professionally. Prepare and present a professional resume and cover letter, and dress professionally.
  4. Once you have found an internship site, complete and sign the internship application.
  5. Have your academic advisor complete the advisor verification on the internship application.
  6. Turn in the application, documentation of company’s internship program and/or letter from the supervisor, job description, and the major/minor coordination form. Turn these in to the internship coordinator by the deadline above.
  7. The Communication Department will contact you concerning approval or denial of the internship.  If the application for internship is approved, share the on-site supervisor responsibilities with your supervisor. Complete the internship agreement and obtain the supervisor’s signature, and submit the agreement to the internship coordinator. Once you are approved, the Communication Department Academic Adviser will register you for Communication 496.
  8. During the internship you and the supervisor will have responsibilities.  See the internship packet for a description of these responsibilities.
  9. Upon completion of the internship you will turn in a binder.  See binder requirements in the internship packet.  This binder is due within six weeks of the start of the semester following your internship.

The internship will be graded satisfactory or unsatisfactory by the internship coordinator.