M.S.I.S. Internship (IST 668)

General Information

The objective of the internship is to provide students with an opportunity to test and apply principles learned in graduate study, and develop professional and practical workplace skills. Internships provide valuable experience in contemporary workplaces, help in the development of career opportunities, and provide the opportunity to experience various work assignments. Competency with current technologies and effective information resource management should increase as the student encounters, analyzes, and evaluates the problems, issues, and substance of professional practice.

Course of the Internship

  • Before the Internship
  • During the Internship
  • After the Internship

Before the Internship

Start planning for your internship the semester before you begin. Check “program requirements” information to make sure that you have completed courses that are required before beginning the internship. Planning ahead allows you to develop or update your resume, consult with your faculty advisor, complete the internship application form, and spend some time deciding what kind of placement might be right for you. You might want to talk to other people in the program who are doing an internship or who have completed an internship to hear about their experiences. Time frames and application information will be announced to students on the Information Studies listserv (IST-L).

Some internship opportunities are announced well in advance of the internship semester, and require a separate application to the internship organization. These will be announced on the Information Studies listserv (IST-L) throughout the semester. Students may take advantage of such internship opportunities, paid or unpaid, even if they are not registering for credit. Internship placements must be approved for IST 668 credit by your faculty advisor or the internship coordinator.

School Media internship placements will be arranged by the School Media Internship Coordinator, Sheila DiMaggio. SLMS students may make placement suggestions, but should not interview or make any placement arrangements before submitting an application. Students in other concentrations are encouraged to identify and communicate with potential mentors and internship sites.

Please click here for detailed placement procedures. Students will be able to register for the internship only after the placement is finalized. At that time, the internship coordinator provides the class permission number needed for registration. Ideally, placements are finalized at least one month before the internship is scheduled to begin. A letter is sent to the internship mentor confirming the placement and providing contact information for the internship coordinator and the intern’s faculty supervisor.

Each intern is assigned to an IST faculty member for supervision and evaluation. Before the internship begins you should receive information from your faculty supervisor on academic requirements. An individual or group meeting may be scheduled.

During the Internship

In order to complete the 3-credit internship, each intern works for 150 hours in the host organization under the direct supervision of an on-site mentor. The internship is a core part of each student’s experience, as it is the time when “real life” learning occurs. This may entail some routine tasks, but the majority of the time should be spent on higher level, professional activities. Each intern brings a different set of skills, and a central goal is for the student to stretch in new directions and explore areas where there is a need to gain knowledge and practical experience.

Most interns will complete an on-site project of some kind. Participants should save examples of internship work for their portfolio. At some point during the semester, the intern’s faculty supervisor will be making a site or phone visit to assess the student’s progress. Mentors are expected to provide feedback and evaluation to interns during the course of the internship.

There is also an academic component to the internship, which may include a reflective journal, class or individual meetings with faculty, and a paper or project report. Participants are expected to keep a log of dates, hours, and daily activities. Please see the Internship Syllabus for details.

After the Internship

At the end of the internship, both students and mentors may be asked to complete a short form describing the activities carried out during the internship. Final evaluation (S/U grade) is based on fulfillment of both the on-site and academic components of the internship.

Forms

Information for Mentors

In order to complete the 3-credit internship, each student works for 150 hours in the host organization under the direct supervision of an on-site mentor. The internship is a core part of each student’s experience, as it is the time when “real life” learning occurs. It is important that the mentor and intern agree on a mutually convenient schedule, one which will allow a broad range of experiences. Each intern brings a different set of skills, and a central goal is for the student to stretch in new directions and explore areas where there is a need to gain knowledge and practical experience. The mentor should be available to meet with the student on a regular basis and should have interest in and time available for the management and guidance of the student. It is also expected that the mentor will have a professional degree (M.L.S., M.S.I.S., or other appropriate qualification).

During the placement process, the intern is asked to contact the potential mentor and request a personal interview. The student should bring to the interview, or provide in advance, a resume and list of courses completed. We encourage student to discuss career interests, goals for the internship, and potential scheduling arrangements. After the interview, both student and mentor are asked to let the internship coordinator know if the placement is mutually agreeable.

Each intern expects to complete one or more on-site projects. At some point during the semester, the intern’s faculty supervisor will be arrange a site visit (or in some cases, a telephone interview) to assess the student’s progress. The faculty supervisor is responsible for the academic component of the internship, which may include a reflective journal, class or individual meetings, and a paper or project report. At the end of the 150 hours, the mentor will be asked to complete a brief final report describing the activities and experiences of the intern. The final S/U grade will be assigned by the faculty supervisor in consultation with the internship mentor.