The Center: Partnering Organizations

Information for Partnering Organizations with Internship Opportunities

We want qualified students to gain entry-level experience in their chosen fields of study and we want organizations to experience the benefit of an intern dedicated to learning and achieving success. This is where you come in.

In order for our program to grant academic credit for an internship, our host organizations must meet certain criteria including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Internship supervisor is established professional in field/industry, with significant professional experience and preferably a degree/certification in the student's area of study
  • Student intern is provided opportunity to assist on and/or perform what the industry would consider entry-level work
  • Host organization provides a dedicated commercial workspace and all necessary equipment for student intern to perform his/her duties, tasks and assignments
  • Internship provides an opportunity for student to perform a minimum of 192 hours of supervised work for three credit hours
  • Supervisor evaluates student's performance through completion of Midterm and/or Final Evaluations

Webster University's School of Communications is always searching for new intern partnerships to expand the number of real world experiences available to qualified students and welcomes the possibility of establishing a partnerships.

The Center is affiliated with National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) and National Career Development Association (NCDA).

Partnering Organization Success Stories:

Nestle Purina Petcare logoNestlé Purina Petcare Company offers internships in the areas of Advertising & Marketing Communications and Public Relations. Daniel Koehler, account executive, Marketing Public Relations gave us a few tips and tidbits about interning at Nestlé Purina Petcare Company’s internal creative communications and design department. Read more »

International Institute St. LouisKate Howell, a Webster alumna (M.A., Management and Leadership, 2010), is the vice president of Development and Communications and the assistant director of Festival of Nations. She gave us the following insight on completing an internship at the International Institute of Saint Louis (IISTL). Read more »

St. Louis Magazine logoSt. Louis Magazine offers a wide range of internships to SOC students, including photography, graphic design, marketing, web,and editorial.  Stefene Russell is the Culture Editor for St. Louis Magazine. Read more »

Partnering Organizations Overview

The Center assists more than 150 undergraduate students within 15 communications majors each year in securing internships across the country and globe. To ensure students are prepared for their internship, the Center works hard to provide career path advice to students, match students with internships based upon skill set and interest and provide students with resources necessary to achieve success.

  • Most School of Communications students are required to complete an internship in order to graduate.
  • Students must meet academic prerequisites to be eligible to participate in the internship program.
  • Once prerequisites are met, students work one-on-one with the director of the Center for Portfolio Development & Internships to establish the best potential placements for the intern, based on credentials and interest. Students apply to the suggested organizations.
  • Upon being offered and accepting an internship, students officially enroll into the internship program. Students will attend monthly seminars with other interns from Webster University's School of Communications and are awarded college credit for their experience.
  • Students receive a letter grade upon completion of their internship; 50 percent of the grade is based on their performance at the internship site (based on your evaluations) and 50 percent based on their academic requirements.
  • Students are required to work a minimum of 192 hours at an internship site over the course of a semester. Semesters run from August through December (Fall), January through May (Spring) and June through July (Summer).
  • Once an eligible student secures in an internship, we ask that the student work under the supervision of a seasoned professional in their chosen field of study.
  • The goal is to provide an opportunity for students to learn from a mentor and receive feedback on their performance in a work environment. The student should be involved in duties similar to those of an entry-level professional.
  • Internships can be paid or unpaid, depending on the company or organization.

Benefits of Hiring a Webster University Student Intern

Internship programs should be established in order to benefit the student as well as the organization. Interns can bring fresh ideas and new perspective to an organization. Webster University School of Communications (SOC) interns are dedicated to continuing to learn about their field and will have a desire to achieve. SOC interns will bring ready and willing attitudes and will want to impress.
We are looking for organizations that offer:

  • Mentorship: Your organization should have a seasoned professional willing and able to mentor an intern in the student's specific field.
  • Real projects: Interns should not just be brought in as a workhorse for you or your organization. They should be provided the opportunity to work on real projects and constantly be presented with learning opportunities. Students should be able to add work samples produced at your organization to their portfolio upon completion of the internship.
  • Work space and resources: Interns will be required to work in your office under the direction of a supervisor. Interns will need a workspace and all of the resources (software, equipment, etc.) required in order to complete projects assigned.
  • Networking opportunities: Allow interns to network with leaders in your organization and introduce them to colleagues outside your organization.
  • Reference/Recommendation: Interns should be able to fill their resume with new experiences and skills upon completing an internship. Another great benefit for interns is having a working professional in their field willing to attest to their work by being a reference.

Submit the Internship Information Form

Once you determine the commitment your company or organization has for an intern, complete the Internship Information Form to describe the internship position in detail. Please include the objectives, responsibilities, outcomes, and how this internship will be educationally significant for the student. Submit the Internship Information Form to The Center for Portfolio Development & Internships. Upon submission, review, and approval, your position will be entered into The Center's database.

Become a Partner: Internship Information Form

 

Intern Pay and Earned Academic Credit

All students  through the Center for Portfolio Development & Internships program receive academic credit for their internship field experience. The academic internship your organization offers may be paid or unpaid. If your organization is a for-profit business, we encourage you to offer compensation. If your organization (for profit or non-profit) is unable to pay, consider providing a stipend, or other "perks" such as free parking, mileage reimbursements or meals.

Unpaid student employment will not violate the U.S. Department of Labor's Fair Labor Standards Act if it is a training program that meets the following criteria:

  1. The training should be similar to that given in a vocational setting
  2. The experience is for the benefit of the student
  3. Students do not displace regular employees
  4. The site sponsor provides the training and receives no immediate advantage from the activities of students
  5. Students are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period
  6. The site sponsor and student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

Mentoring Tips for Partnering Organizations

Mentoring an intern takes time, patience and dedication. In order to make this partnership beneficial for the student intern as well as your organization, please consider the following:

  • Ensure the intern supervisor will be able to mentor your new student, as well as provide relevant projects and tasks and give advice when needed. The supervisor is not necessarily the person coordinating the internship. The supervisor should be a seasoned professional in the field in which the intern was hired.
  • Work with your new intern to create a schedule. When doing so, please keep in mind the student's schedule of courses. Also, students will be required to attend monthly seminars on Webster's campus. Ensure the schedule will allow the student to complete the 192 hours requirement for academic credit.
  • The student will require your participation to complete the Internship Authorization Form prior to the beginning of his or her internship. 
  • Meet with interns at least on a weekly basis to discuss projects, answer questions and provide the informal feedback needed for the student to perform well.
  • Supervisors will conduct a formal evaluation session midway through the semester and at the end of the term. Half of the student's grade for the internship program will be based on these reviews.

Tips for the intern supervisor & coordinator:

  • Upon beginning the internship, orient the student to the office and your organization. Show them around the workplace and give them an overview of the company.
  • Be honest about what you expect from an intern in terms of work and behavior.
  • Review goals the student has and ask them what they are hoping to achieve out of the internship.
  • Give interns real work and the resources he/she will need to do the job. Interns are looking to be challenged.
  • Offer ongoing support and plenty of feedback. An intern is looking to learn about the industry and, more importantly, make connections with someone willing to teach them the business.
  • Invite interns to meetings, lunches or coffee breaks. This will allow them to relax and develop relationships, and likely allow them to work better with you and co-workers and open up.
  • Recognize your intern's hard work in meetings and privately.
  • Remember, this experience is a learning experience for the intern and can provide them excellent skills and experience for the future, but it can also be rewarding for your and your organization. An intern will have fresh ideas, a genuine interest in completing good work and will be able to elevate some of your and your organization's workload.

Webster University - School of Communications: The Center for Portfolio Development and Internships
Leif J. Sverdrup Building, Room 124 | contact: Mindy Berkowitz | Phone (314) 246-7614, Fax (314) 246-8274 | mindyb@webster.edu