Communication Studies Internships

Student Spotlight

Savannah Necker at her summer internship at CBS Affiliate WHBFSavannah Necker had an excellent experience at CBS affiliate, WHBF.

"I have to admit, my internship has definitely taught me a lot about where I want to go in this competitive field. I began my internship producing and working the assignment desk, finding stories for other reporters. Later on, I ended up being able to cover my own stories, set up interviews, do stand ups, script write, edit packages, and was given the opportunity to be behind the anchor desk, where I was coached and critiqued. 

I would be lying if I said it was easy or that I didn’t question the field I went into. In fact, for once, I questioned everything & began to feel uncertain about the future I used to envision. There’s obvious times of stress and frustration when a story falls through or the person you set up an interview with decides not to show up on time. I had to relearn a new editing software and to script write hard news stories. There were also days where I worked over 10 hours at a time in order to get stories completed. Yet, that stress also pushed me to produce some great work... including one of WHBF’s Top Stories and landing an interview with NFL’s Casey Kreiter. 

I was offered a full-time multimedia journalist position so I must’ve done something right. 

If I had to give a word of advice for other interns...you truly have to love what you do so make sure the profession you chose is the right fit. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it’s okay to fail, and never be afraid to stand up for yourself or voice your opinion. Depending on where you intern, it may be easy or tough.... but continue to push through because you’ll be so happy to see how far you’ve come at the end of it. ”

Internship Program Overview

Welcome to the University of Northern Iowa’s Department of  Communication Studies Internship Program!  All students are encouraged to complete an internship - students majoring in Digital Media, Political Communication, and Public Relations are required to have three hours of internship credit upon graduation. 

Internships should be considered a unique three-way partnership that involves the students, the business/organization, and the university. Students have the opportunity to learn new skills in a business/organization and apply theoretical concepts that they have learned in the classroom. Therefore, interns receive academic credit for working a specific number of hours for the business/organization while completing academic work.

What are the benefits of an internship?

Meaningful internships give students an opportunity to:

  • Learn more about a chosen field
  • Apply classroom theory to real work situation
  • Strengthen written and oral communication skills
  • Enhance their resume
  • Make contacts to gain future employment while gaining work experience
  • Bridge between college and work
  • Gain an increased awareness of skills, attributes, personal qualities, and values
  • Provide mentoring opportunities with industry professionals
  • Practice networking skills and learn about organizational culture
  • Provide evidence that you have initiative, are reliable, and have a sense of responsibility
  • Enhance your application to Graduate School

Watch this video for more information....

Read this article for more information....

What do interns do?

Interns may work independently on several projects or be part of a group process.  A professional in your chosen field will guide your work experience.

Some Sample Job Titles

  • Training Assistant    
  • Assistant  Project Manager
  • PR Specialist
  • Special Event Coordinator
  • Field Operations Assistant  
  • Museum Assistant  
  • Marketing Intern
  • Production Assistant
  • Producer
  • Digital Editor
  • Promotion Assistant
  • Media Buyer    
  • Campaign Assistant
  • Regional Campaign Director

Sample Job Duties

  • Assist with company trainings/seminars
  • Create and give presentations regarding company policies, products, or procedures
  • Create curriculum
  • Coordinate and plan special events
  • Update promotional materials
  • Write press releases and speeches
  • Create advertising campaigns and media kits
  • Design and update websites
  • Design crisis plans
  • On-air camera time
  • Radio/Video production and editing
  • Sell advertising space for news, radio, and television stations
  • Create promotional digital materials
  • Prepare candidates for debates
  • Conduct research

Where do I find an internship?

You should consider your internship search as your first experience in searching for your career.  What would you do to begin searching for a placement linked to your career goals?  Do the same for your internship.  Consider: 

  • Contacting Career Services at 102 Gilchrist.  Use CareerLink to look at and apply for opportunities.  
  • Have an organization in mind?  Call them.  Go there.  Let someone there know you are interested in about the possibility of an internship.
  • Join the UNI Communication Studies Facebook Group:/https://www.facebook.com/groups/153765914715149/ for the most current opportunities
  • Pay attention to your email.  The Director of Internships sends regular emails with internship opportunities.
  • Check with your faculty.
  • Do you know where you want to be?  Check out that areas online newspaper sites as well as Economic Development and Chamber of Commerce organizations. 
  • Search online 

Specific past internships are listed on individual pages here:

When can I take internship credit?

To gain internship credit you must:   

  • Be of Junior standing (60+ hours of completed coursework)
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the major
  • Have completed twelve hours of major coursework prior to the semester of the internship
  • Additionally:
    • Digital Media majors/minors must have successfully completed Digital Media Production I (COMM DM:1655)  prior to the semester of the internship.
    • Public Relations majors/minors also must have successfully completed Public Relations Writing (COMM PR 3855) OR  News Writing for Print Media (COMM DM 2653) prior to the semester of the internship.
    • Digital Journalism minors also must have successfully completed News Writing for Print Media (COMM DM 2653) prior to the semester of their internship.

How do I apply for internship credit?

  1. Complete the Online Form.  Login to the UNI Job & Internship Board using your Cat ID:  https://careerservices.uni.edu/job-board
  2. Schedule a pre-qualifying meeting with Career Services by calling 273-6857 or stopping by 102 Gilchrist Hall.  At this meeting you will need to have your printed application and a current resume.  Career Services will make sure that your intended placement is upstanding and you have met all of the pre-requisites.
  3. After meeting with Career Services, make an appointment with Nikki Harken (Lang 323, nichole.harken@uni.edu) to receive final approval.  
  4. If approval is given, academic requirements for internship credit will be reviewed.  If approval is not given, Nikki will provide input for future steps.

What are the deadlines to get internships approved?

  • Deadline to register for a FALL Internship:  Sept. 15

  • Deadline to register for a SPRING Internship:  Feb. 15

  • Deadline to register for a SUMMER Internship:  June 15

Complete the application early and submit well IN ADVANCE of deadline.  Supervisors must also send job descriptions also well IN ADVANCE of deadline.  

Late applications will not be accepted.

Questions?  

Email Nikki (Nichole) Harken at nichole.harken@uni.edu


 

 

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