JAMS Internships FAQ

For Internship Sites

Q: How do we become an approved internship?
A: Send a detailed internship job description to jams-internships@uwm.edu. Include the name, business title and contact information of the person/people who will supervise the intern. The JAMS internship committee will discuss whether or not your opportunity is a viable option for JAMS student interns.

Q: Do we need to pay interns?
A: This is something for your business/organization to discuss, but we recommend that if it’s not a paid position you grant a stipend to interns who have done exemplary work throughout the semester.

Q: With the minimum 10 hours/week requirements, does the intern need to work on location for the duration of the semester?
A: Not necessarily. Often there are projects students can perform without being at your physical location. We do recommend that if you allow students to work from home that they report your physical location/meet in person at least once/week to gain workplace experience.

Q: Are there certain tasks/requirements that may disqualify our opportunity from being approved for a JAMS internship opportunity?
A: Yes. Interns should not replace a regular staff position. The tasks completed by students should be supervised and critiqued by a media professional. Students should be given the opportunity to create pieces for their resumes and portfolios. Students should not be doing more than 20% administrative tasks for their overall duties. All other questions and concerns can be sent to jams-internships@uwm.edu.

For Students

Q: How do I apply for an internship through JAMS?
A: Apply directly on this website. The JAMS webpage explains some of the requirements and the frequently asked questions sheet should explain the rest. If you have further questions after reading this information sheet, send questions to jams-internships@uwm.edu.

Q: Who decides whether students will be approved for a JAMS for-credit internship?
A: An internship committee comprised of three or four members of the JAMS faculty and staff review internship applications and check to make sure that internship applicants meet the requirements as defined by the JAMS department.

Q: Are there certain requirements and classes I must take before I can apply and be approved for an internship for credit?
A: Yes. Depending upon your sub-major area of focus, you will have to have taken certain classes, as well as be a JAMS declared major, and have a cumulative GPA 2.7 or above. See the main internship page for more details.

Q: What is the reasons essay I must submit, and how long should it be?
Make this about one page, double-spaced. Explain to us 1) Why you want an internship; 2) Why you would be a good representative of the JAMS Department in an internship; 3) Which area you are wishing to intern in, and whether you already have an internship lined up; 4) Any holistic details you want us to know about you and your background to help us understand your academic potential.

Q: When and how will I be notified if I have been accepted for the JAMS internship for credit?
A: All applicants will be notified by email telling them if their application is approved or denied. If you haven’t heard from the internship coordinator two weeks after the application deadline, then it’s time to check in with us.

Q: When I apply to the JAMS internship program does this mean I’m automatically an intern?
A: No. After you’ve applied and been accepted into the program, your next step is to apply for internships. *Please note the program application deadline is one week prior to the start of the next semester. Journalism interns are encouraged to apply two to three months prior to the start of the semester due to the nature of the industry hiring.

Q: May I take more than one on- and off-campus internship for credit through JAMS?
A: You may take one on-campus internship and one off-campus internship for major credit through JAMS. That is a total of 6-internship credits for the major. You also may take two off-campus or two on-campus internships instead for a total of 6 credits of 399 or 600. Additional options are available to students who have completed JAMS 399/600. These additional options do not count toward the major credit requirements.

Q: If I am approved for the JAMS internship program, does JAMS find an internship position for me and place me with a company?
A: No. Just as with any job experience, you will have to apply to companies and organizations for internship positions. The companies and organizations decide whom they wish to hire as interns. We will give you leads for companies and organizations that are in search of interns, or who have hired JAMS internship students in the past. Of course, you may also search for internship opportunities beyond our list of options. You are responsible for finding, applying, interviewing and landing the internship. We do not place students in jobs. Check the JAMS Internships Facebook page for ideas.

Q: If I currently have an off-campus internship, can I apply for internship credit through the JAMS committee?
A: Sometimes, yes. It will depend somewhat on how long you have been at your current internship and what your job duties are at the internship. For instance, if this is a relatively new internship (six months or less), you will usually be approved to continue for credit. If you have been at this internship for six months or more, we may ask you to consider finding a new internship to broaden your experience, to earn credit. We do not grant retroactive credit for already completed internships, however.

Q: Are all internships paid opportunities?
A: No. Some are paid and some are not. It depends on the organization. However, some unpaid internships are wonderful opportunities, providing students with a lot of work to fill their portfolios or that eventually lead to a paid position. Others are paid, and we do encourage sites to pay our interns some type of compensation, even if it is an “end-of internship” stipend. But, not all sites offer or are able to provide paid compensation.

Q: If I am accepted to the JAMS internship program, but cannot find an internship or decide to wait a semester, must I reapply for an internship?
A: Not always. You may simply be asked to submit a new transcript to verify your current GPA. Simply tell the internship coordinator of your decision to wait or of your inability to find an appropriate internship. As long as you find an internship opportunity within one year of being accepted for an internship, you need only to resubmit your transcript to ensure you still meet the general requirements. Basically, we approve you for credit, but you don’t actually register for and pay for the credits until you get an internship.

Q: Once I apply and have been accepted for an internship-for-credit, when should I start looking for an internship position?
A: Once you are notified (by email) that you are accepted, you should begin your search right away. You can even start looking before you are accepted. Some students approved for a fall internship may choose to wait until mid-summer to begin their search, and that’s fine. But don’t wait too long. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to find a great opportunity and the less choices you’ll have to choose from. Journalism interns should have their internship in place two – three months prior to the next semester.

Q: How do I know for sure that the internship that I have will meet the JAMS internship requirements? (This question is especially relevant if you find a “new” site that JAMS has never worked with before.)
A: If there is any question as to whether a site meets JAMS internship experience requirements (enough hours, career related duties, reporting to a communications professional, etc.), your internship supervisor will need to provide the JAMS internship coordinator with a job description. This should be done as early as possible. If a site cannot meet our minimum requirements, then we can either work with the site to get the requirements up to standard, or, as is sometimes the case, the intern may need to look for a new site to fulfill his/her internship. We want interns to get a great experience, learn a lot and get items for their portfolios.

Q: What types of letter and forms will I need to obtain once I am offered an internship?
A: Before the internship begins you will need to secure the following documentation:

  • Proof you were offered the internship (email is fine)
  • An internship (job) description, or detailed explanation of anticipated duties (unless already provided by the site; ask the internship coordinator)
  • This letter should also include the number of hours of expected service each week
  • Proper title and contact information for your internship supervisor

Q: What type of information will I need from my supervisor once the internship begins?
A: Your supervisor will be required to complete a mid-term and end-of-semester evaluation form on your performance. It’s your responsibility to make sure they complete the forms and that the forms are received by the JAMS internship coordinator by the due date.

Q: Is there anything, in addition to the actual internship, that I will need to do to receive a grade?
A: Yes. In addition to completing your internship and submitting your supervisor evaluations, you will need to submit assignments, such as journals, to the course D2L site. You are also required to participate in discussions posted by you and your fellow classmates and to submit social media posts. Details on the assignments are explained when you are allowed access into the course.

Q: Once I’ve completed the requirements for the internship, must I stop working for the place at which I held my internship?
A: Not at all. Not if you and the site decide mutually that the position will remain yours. This could be an extended internship or, as has happened after good interns complete their internships, you could be offered a job. However, you may only receive up to 6 credits of any combination of JAMS 399 and JAMS 600.

Q: What do I do if I’m experiencing complications at my place of internship employment?
A: First, try to work it out with your supervisor. If you’ve done that and you are still having problems, contact the JAMS internship coordinator or send an email to jams-internships@uwm.edu for advice. If needed, we will act as a mediator, although that is rarely required. Do not wait until things are unmanageable.

Q: What do I do if I have more questions after reading this information page?
A: Set up a time to discuss your situation with the JAMS internship coordinator or send an email to jams-internships@uwm.edu.