The Communication Arts Department at Valdosta State University offers a variety of internship opportunities in Communication, Mass Media, and Public Relations.
According to Forbes Magazine, students reported they value an internship for the opportunity for employment later, employers expect a content-rich internship experience, and the internship experience provides important job orientation and training.
An internship is designed to give you "real life" experience in a professional communication setting while receiving college credit. It is also designed to help you identify a range of future employment possibilities in the person's specialty area.
All internships are coordinated through the Cooperative Education Office. The office is located in Powell Hall and can be reached at 229.333.7172.
Why do an internship
A recent study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that overall, employers extended job offers to close to 65 percent of their interns—emphasizing the important role that internships can play in future career success
The benefit to Students
- Students often gain a new perspective because students are able to see the application and relevance of what they are learning.
- Students gain a head start in their career fields and sometimes secure full-time employment with their internship site upon graduation.
- As a result of participation, students may earn money to support their college expenses.
- Students gain real-world experience, often learning about the latest technology and equipment used in the workplace.
- Students learn job-seeking and job-holding skills, and, as a result, gain maturity, professionalism, and confidence.
- Students have opportunities to sample their chosen career fields early in their studies.
- For many students, the internship experience contributes to a greater sense of responsibility for their own efforts and greater dependence on their own judgment.
- As a result of the internships experience, students have the opportunity to develop social relationships and skills.
- The coordination of work and study tends to increase student motivation and, in some cases, may result in improved academic performance.
Benefits to employers
- Internship programs provide a source of well-trained, quality students who are available for career employment upon graduation.
- Employers tend to hire graduates of internship programs because these graduates are typically more serious and mature in their approach to work and life.
- Employers who hire internship students indicate that these students usually provide better employee performance, evidenced by higher performance ratings and lower absenteeism and tardiness.
- Employers typically view internship students as having a more mature attitude toward work with a greater likelihood of moving up the career ladder more rapidly.
- Employers benefit from the continuous exchange of theory and practice.
- By being involved in internship programs, employers develop positive college and university relations, and, thus, become a contributor to the educational process.
Benefits to Universities/Colleges and the Community
- Internship experiences result in the improved placement of students in career positions upon graduation.
- The employment community can provide training on technical and highly specialized equipment, thus enabling the educational institution to expend its funds on other needs.
- Internship positions can provide a source of financial aid for students who might not qualify for other financial aid programs (e.g. international students).
- Involvement in internship programs provides opportunities for enhanced relationships with the community.
- Student retention often improves because of the increased relevance of education.
- The faculty benefit by having students in their classes who have had practical experience in their fields.
- Internship programs can help colleges and universities attract corporate support.
What to do to prepare for an internship
- You should take COOP 1100 as early as possible in your academic career as you never know when an internship opportunity might arise. COOP 1100 is required prior to any internship experience.
- Make sure that you follow through with the suggestions and requirements outlined in COOP 1100. Remember that you not only represent yourself, you also represent the Department and the University.
- Make sure that you meet the requirements for an internship.
- You can work with the Cooperative Education (COOP) in finding an internship or you can network and find one on your own. All internships must be vetted by the COOP office to ensure that it complies with Federal law.
- You can sign up for three to nine hours. In general, one credit hour equals 40 hours of work. So, a three-hour internship will require 120 hours of work.
- You need to work closely with the internship supervisor. Make sure that you complete all assignments on time.
 Forbes Magazine, January 8, 2014.
 Originally from Sweet Briar College’s INTERNSHIP GUIDEBOOK For Students and Faculty