Explore Our State-of-the-Art Facilities and Equipment
The School of Communications complex houses a state-of-the-art media production and education facility, meeting industry standards, and including unique, first-in-the-region technologies and capabilities. Studio facilities include an audio and video production/recording suite, sound stage, workshop space, photography studio, gallery, animation, game design, and video post-production labs as well as flexible teaching spaces.
The Center for Portfolio Development and Internships assists more than 150 undergraduate students within 16 different majors each year in securing internships across the country. Internships are available in production houses and studios, agencies, health care, sports entertainment, nonprofit organizations, educational environments, commercial studios, publications, radio, television, corporate settings and cultural institutions. Internships can be paid or unpaid, depending upon the organization. Each year the Center invites a sampling of these groups and organizations to the St. Louis campus for an Internship Expo. Through the Internship Expo students can meet a variety of professionals, begin networking and even obtain an internship.
Students may complete internships in all three academic semesters (fall, spring, and summer). 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.
- Provide students with the resources necessary to achieve success.
All undergraduate students who participate in a School of Communications-approved, credit-bearing internship by partnering with the Center for Portfolio Development and Internships:
- Intern under the supervision of an intern supervisor or mentor who is an established professional in their field/industry, and who has significant professional experience and preferably a degree or certification in the student's area of study.
- Intern at an organization that provides a dedicated commercial work space and all necessary equipment for student intern to perform their duties, tasks and assignment.
- Gain opportunities to apply knowledge learned in the classroom and engage in projects and tasks that contribute to students professional development.
- Perform a minimum of 192 hours during internship, and meet the course requirements for MEDC 4950 Internship, including monthly seminars.
- Receive a grade based 50% on academic work and 50% on evaluation by the internship supervisor.
- Ensure you meet the prerequisites — per your academic major.
- Be at a junior or senior status
- Pass portfolio review and/or a specific course if required by your major.
- Meet with your academic advisor to determine the prerequisites (per major) and best semester to do an internship.
- Schedule a student appointment on My Success Network/Starfish, search for Trezette Dixon, click on Schedule Appointment, select Academic Leadership, then General Meeting and pick an available time. It's best to begin preparing for your internship search the semester before you plan to complete your internship, two semesters prior if you plan to intern outside of St. Louis. Internships follow academic semesters (i.e. a fall internship takes place Aug.-Dec.; spring, Jan.-May; summer, June-July). This may vary slightly depending upon the organization and the hours worked per week.
- Prepare for the meeting. Research organizations to get an idea of places you would like to intern and also create a draft of a resume. Read through the "Prior to Applying" section on the FAQ to get an idea of other ways you can begin preparing. Follow the links to learn about resumes and other application materials.
- Attend the meeting. Some items you may discuss include: career paths that interest you, possible organizations at which you could apply for an internship, how to prepare application materials (including resume, portfolio, cover letter, correspondence, etc.). Make sure to bring the draft of your resume and any other materials you have prepared to this meeting.
- After the meeting, complete application materials. Make sure to review and proofread these materials before sending them out.
- Begin applying for internships. Trezette will give you leads for SOC-approved internship opportunities that align with your major, but keep in mind that internship opportunities are not limited to the organizations with which the Center has established partnerships. Internships must be completed under the supervision of an expert in your field of study and must offer relevant entry-level professional experience. If you find an internship opportunity on your own and the position is outside of the Center's network, it must be reviewed and approved by the Center's office before you can intern there for credit.
- Begin the interviewing process. Use the Career Resources materials to view the applying, interviewing and correspondence tips and suggestion documents.
- Accept an offer and finalize your internship. Communicate this update to the Center as soon as possible.
- Talk with your internship supervisor to create a schedule and then fill out the Internship Authorization form. This form is to be used in the final authorization process for a credit-bearing, School of Communications-approved internship.
- When creating your schedule, keep in mind that you will need to complete at least 192 of work hours during your internship, which will fulfill three academic credit hours (64 hours of working equals one credit hour). Note: If you will not have a set schedule, you will need to designate that on your Internship Authorization Form, and then complete weekly timesheets (PDF).
- To receive academic credit for an internship and meet the requirements for graduation, you must earn at least three credit hours. We encourage you to do a second internship for credit as long as the total number of credit hours does not exceed eight.
- Submit your Internship Authorization Form. This form must be submitted, reviewed, and approved prior to the student's enrollment in the internship course and prior to the student beginning work at the internship site.
- Email Trezette Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org to enroll in the internship course, MEDC 4950 Internship. Enrollment is not available online.
- Begin your internship! Show up on time, dressed professionally and ready to take on projects. Fifty percent of your grade will come from your internship supervisor (through a mid-term and/or a final evaluation). The Center will send the evaluation, which includes 13 performance indicators (PDF), to the internship supervisor.
- Participate in monthly seminar meetings and submit academic assignments. 50% of your grade will be based on your participation and your academic assignments.
- You are required to secure a SOC-approved internship, submit your Internship Authorization Form and internship description, and be enrolled in and complete MEDC 4950 Internship (please follow steps in the order listed) to receive academic credit for your internship.
Start early. Plan to begin at least one semester prior to the time you plan to start your internship and two semesters prior if you would like experiences outside St. Louis. Make sure you read about the internship application process.
Begin networking and stay current in your field Use the career resources page to find lists of websites related to your industry that may help you during your search process.
Become a professional online:
- Google yourself and check your social networking sites. Make sure they are set to private and/or that you don't have any photos or information posted that is not appropriate for a potential employer to view.
- Consider your e-mail address. Make sure it is professional and easy (such as your first and last name). If you'd like to have a creative or unique e-mail address, that is okay for some industries, but make sure it is still professional.
- Get connected. For example, create a LinkedIn page. Using online outlets such as this is a great way to network.
Brand yourself. Everything that a potential employer sees needs to be branded. This includes your resume, cover letter, business cards, reference page, online and physical portfolio, etc. You should use the same fonts, design, headers and footers and contact information (i.e.: give the same e-mail address and phone number on all pieces).
Apply to multiple positions. As you apply to positions, you get your name out there and also learn more about different organizations. The more you apply, the more you begin networking professionally.
Apply through e-mail: Most organizations will ask you to send your resume and cover letter through e-mail. When applying for an internship this way, remember to be professional and use the right tone. We tend to be much more informal on the Web. Don't take this attitude too far when applying for an internship.
Applying through an online application program: When applying to a larger company you may be asked to fill out an online application and send your materials through a database. Have your application materials ready to go to make this process smooth.
No matter which way you apply (through an online program, email, mail, etc.), remember to keep your application formal. It is important to ALWAYS follow the directions stated on the position description in regards to application. Specific directions trump the suggestions provided by The Center.
Treat the internship like you would any job. Show up on time every time you are scheduled to work; dress appropriately and professionally; act mature and responsible; etc.
Show enthusiasm, passion and stay positive. Show your supervisor and other people in the organization that you are excited to be there working with them. Smile and say thank you when given new projects and opportunities. Every task you are given is experience for you to add to a resume or portfolio to gain knowledge.
Work independently, yet be ready to ask questions as opposed to completing a task incorrectly.
Be self-disciplined and meet all deadlines on or ahead of time. Sometimes you may be juggling multiple projects. Figure out which one is most important and ensure to get them all completed when needed.
Communicate! You have to be able to talk with your supervisor about projects, time-management, priorities and your performance.
Be a self-starter. If you have down time, seek out projects. Ask your supervisor first, then see if it is okay to ask others in the organizations if they could use your assistance. While you wait for projects to come in, explore the organization's website, marketing materials, etc. in depth.
Network. Now is your chance to network with not only your supervisor, but every other employee with a related field in the organization. Talking to people and letting them know your interests and goals will allow them to get to know you better and may lead to a new opportunity. Set up networking opportunities with people in the organization and be social in general.
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