Internship FAQs

Answers to Common Internship Questions:

Q: Why should I work in an internship before I graduate?

A: Internships are a great way to gain experience in a low risk, short term position to help you decide what direction you want your future career to take. Additionally, internships can help you launch your career. Internships are the most influential experience employers look for on resumes (National Assoc. of Colleges & Employers, 2018). These work experiences also provide you with professional experiences to discuss in interviews and can lead to recommendations, contacts in communication, and job prospects.

Q: Where can I work for my internship?

A: For an internship to qualify for course credit, it must be a position that will help you gain experience in a career field you are interested in pursuing upon graduation. This means different internships are better suited for different students depending on the end goal. You need to consider the knowledge and skills that you have to offer, as well as those you would like to build. For some students, the type of organization or the mission of an organization may be important in selecting an internship opportunity. These decisions are yours, but the baseline expectations are that students will:

  • Intern in a field of interest for their professional goals
  • Work a minimum of 10 hours per week (paid or unpaid)
  • Complete less than 25% administrative work as part of the internship

Q: Where have other internship students worked in the past?

A: Students worked in a variety of organizations in the last year including:

  • Adaptive Engineering Lab
  • Children’s Hospital of WI Foundation
  • The Compass
  • Husch Blackwell
  • iCombat
  • Johnson Controls Inc.
  • Metro Business Publications, Inc.
  • Milwaukee County Executive Office
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • Sodexo Campus Services
  • Spiderz Sports Inc.
  • True Friends – Camp Eden Wood
  • University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Orientation Office
  • WUWM Lake Effect

Q: How do I find an internship sponsor?

A: The best place to start looking for internships is the UWM Career Resource and Services Center. You can also contact Dr. Sarah Riforgiate, the Communication Internship Director at sriforgi@uwm.edu for ideas.

Additionally, helpful links on career opportunities can be found at:
https://uwm.edu/communication/undergraduate/careers/employment-resources/

Q: Can I be placed into an internship?

A: The short answer is no; applying for internship positions and interviewing is an important part of the learning process. Additionally, working through the job search process allows students to find positions that best fit with their goals and interests.

Q: Can I get paid for my internship?

A: Yes! Paid or unpaid internships both provide great learning experiences and count for class credit.

Q: How do I receive course or academic credit for participating in an internship?

A: Academic or course credit is NOT given for participating in an internship. Academic or course credit may only be earned upon the successful completion of academic exercises (e.g. papers, readings, etc.) completed during the semester you are working at the organization or company that is sponsoring your internship experience. Coursework is designed to foster professional development and bridge content from previous coursework to the internship experience. Students complete weekly assignments, a theory application paper, and produce a portfolio to be shared with future students.

Q: What requirements do I need to meet to register for COMMUN 698?

A: Student requirements to enroll in the internship include:

  • Junior status
  • Successful completion of GER English composition and mathematics requirement
  • Successful completion of COMMUN 101, 103 and 105
  • Declared Communication major, minor or approved program of study
  • Completion of a minimum of nine hours of 300-level or above Communication course credits
  • A cumulative overall GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • Completion of the Undergraduate Internship Application Form
  • NOTE, the internship must satisfy the following requirements:
    • Internship work provides professional experience suited to career goals
    • At least 10 hours per week of work is completed during the internship course
    • Less than 25% of the internship tasks are administrative work
  • Receive consent from the Communication Internship Director to enroll at sriforgi@uwm.edu

Q: If I have additional questions, whom do I contact?

A: Please contact Dr. Sarah Riforgiate at sriforgi@uwm.edu