A communication internship is designed to give you first-hand experience working in a professional communication setting.
Internships may be arranged in publishing, broadcasting, public relations, advertising, lobbying, community development, or other related areas. Regardless of the field, an internship should allow a student to be involved in the production of information and communication services in the organization in which the internship is arranged.
Internships can benefit your course of study in three important ways: 1) they can provide first-hand professional experience working in a specific communication specialty; 2) they offer you an opportunity to improve your professional communication skills such as writing, reporting, public speaking, graphics production, and community development; and 3) they help you develop a portfolio of material that can be useful in post-graduation employment or graduate/professional school admission.
How do you get started?
Both Wittenberg Career Services and the Department of Communication have resources to help you start the process. The best place to begin looking for opportunities is the Job and Internship Board: l. The Communication faculty members also may know of current and past internship opportunities and can help you find direction.
In the past, students have had success finding internship opportunities from organizations that openly solicit for interns (e.g., Disney World has a highly structured program and recruits nationally). However, students have also had great success in developing internships by approaching people in organizations about creating one just for them. Either way, be sure to communicate your expectations and needs clearly to a potential supervisor and be sure to get a very clear picture of what your responsibilities would be to the organization before you commit to intern there.
Can I get paid for this internship?
A number of internships are paid, though a lot are not. Before you dismiss or decline an unpaid internship, though, consider the overall value of the internship experience to your education and your resume. Not only do internships allow you to test potential careers and develop specific skills, they may also give you a distinct qualification when it comes to future employment: experience! Thus, a short-term lack in income may be an investment in your future attractiveness to employers.
Should I do this for academic credit or not?
Some organizations may require you to be registered for academic credit in order for you to qualify for an internship. Even if the organization doesn’t require it, though, you may want to register for credit because it will allow you to earn elective hours toward graduation. In order to receive academic credit for an internship, you must:
File an Internship Agreement Proposal, available in the Career Center, as well as pay normal Wittenberg tuition for the internship credits. This will enroll you in COMM 491: Communication Internship.
Plan to complete a specific number of hours at the internship site in order to receive a certain number of academic credits, at a rate of at least 45 hours on site for one hour of Wittenberg academic credit. Thus, you would need at least 90 hours for 2 hours of credit or at least 180 hours to earn 4 credits.
Ask a faculty member to serve as your faculty supervisor for this internship experience.
- Submit some materials for evaluation at the mid-point and at the end of your internship, such as presenting at our Internship Showcase among other requirements. These requirements are detailed in our COMM 491 syllabus, which you can obtain from your faculty supervisor.
Note: Internships completed during the summer require registration through the School of Community Education. Students pursuing this option should contact a Communication faculty member early in spring semester to make arrangements for receiving credit for the summer internship.
What are some examples of past internships?
Past internships have included recording commercials and doing on-site promotions for radio stations, writing for morning news broadcasts at television stations, event planning and human resource management at manufacturing companies, message development for non-profit organizations, writing and photography for newspapers, marketing for wireless communications companies, and many other valuable work experiences.
On campus, students have completed internships with the Department of Communication, the Office of University Communications, the Wittenberg Career Center, and the Center for Civic and Urban Engagement, among other offices/departments.
In Springfield, students have done internships at Wilt Public Relations, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Avetec, Springfield City Schools, the Springfield News-Sun, Gordon Food Services, and Soma Community Church, among many other sites.
Elsewhere in Ohio, sites have included ABC 6 television station, the Ohio State Fair, and the Ohio State Medical Center (all in Columbus), Licking County Settlers Baseball (Newark), WYTV-33 (Youngstown), All Tools, Inc. (Cleveland), and many others.
Outside of Ohio, students have completed internships with the Indianapolis Colts and Radio One, Inc. (both in Indianapolis), Conde Nast Publications and HWH PR (both in New York City), as well as many other exciting places. Students have also interned at sites in Connecticut, Missouri, Florida, and as far away as Thailand!