Internships provide students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with professionals in a field of their choice. These opportunities enrich student professional development by building connections, improving resumes, learning applied skills and are highly recommended. These positions may be paid or unpaid and students may apply up to 8 internship credits toward their major electives.
Where to Look:
- Search for an internship, there are many wonderful options out there! Greater Mankato Jobs is a partnership of Greater Mankato Growth, MN Job Match and RealTime Talent. Indeed, Handshake and Linked-In also have great internship opportunities.
- Work with the University’s Career Development Center (CDC). The CDC hosts internship events throughout the academic year.
- Handshake will suggest jobs based on the student’s user profile and job application history, so it is important to keep track of what the user has signed up for.
- Students should talk with their professors inside and outside of the department to help explore options in Mankato and beyond. Most importantly, talk to your faculty academic advisor to ensure that an internship is appropriate for course credit.
- Talk with friends and family to see if they know of internship opportunities where they work. Personal contacts often work well.
- Check the department’s website and Facebook page. We post several internship opportunities throughout the semester.
Previous Internship Locations:
- Harley Davidson Mankato
- Weichert Realtors Heartland
- March of Dimes
- Mankato City Center Hotel
- AmericInn, Mankato
- United Way, Mankato
- Radio Mankato
- Habitat for Humanity
- Alumni Center
- Northwestern Mutual
- FYE Office at MSU, Mankato
- Camps for children with disabilities
- VITRO, San Diego, CA
- Clear Channel communications
- Enterprise Rental Car, Mankato
- Extensive Travel
- Verizon Wireless Retail Store
- St. Stephens Human Services
- Chrysalis Chiropractic
- Lifetime Fitness, Eden Prairie
- Sindhorn Tower, Bangkok
- First Presbyterian Church
- Feeding our Communities, Backpack Food Program
- Bethan Lutheran College
- Art Education Classes
- Finish Line
- Student Events Team at MSU, Mankato
- MN Council of Churches
- Refugee Services, Mankato
A majority of internships require a resume and cover letter. These documents must be strong and well laid out to even be considered. The Career Development Center offers many resources to help prepare resumes and cover letters. Their Job Search Handbook is particularly helpful for helping prepare these documents (plus there are examples!). Here are some additional resources for students:
- ResumeBuild, Indeed Resume Builder and Resume.com can be used to craft resumes but there are many other resume builders out there. Students should find the one that suits them best.
- Cover Letter Builder is a resource to help understand what a cover letter should look like. Students should write their own, original letters but this can be used to get students started.
- Community Engagement (volunteering) can help build connections, enhance a student’s relationship with the community and provide a new outlook to someone else’s life all while helping advance one’s own career.
Internship Contract Form:
After students have identified an internship of interest, the following should be done to take an internship for academic credit:
- Find a faculty supervisor for the internship. This can be a student’s academic advisor or any member of the department.
- Students should talk with their internship advisor to ensure that this internship is appropriate for course credit. Students should work with their advisor to complete the internship contract form.
- Keep in mind, the contract MUST be signed by the student’s internship advisor and by their onsite internship supervisor before it can be accepted by the department.
- Submit completed contract forms to the Communication Studies Department (AH 230). The administrative assistant will enter permission for the student to register for CMST 498. Metro students can email this form in to the department.
How will my internship be evaluated?
The student’s supervisor at their internship will complete an evaluation form assessing the intern’s performance.
Internship papers and the overall internship experience always challenge students to apply what they’ve learned in classes to their internship.
Students will also write an internship paper to be turned in to their MSU Mankato internship adviser. There will be an opportunity for students to talk with their adviser on what details must be included in the final paper.
Example Internship Reflection Papers:
Why should I do an internship?
An internship provides students with practical professional experience. This experience is crucial to help build resumes so finding a job after graduation. This experience helps students grow as people and as professionals.
An internship is not…
An internship is not a clerical or “unskilled” position nor is it an unstructured position without a clear supervisor and feedback on job performance. An internship is not something the student is already doing as a job.
What should I do before looking for an internship?
It is important for students to have material to put on their resumes. If it seems that the resume is lacking, students can volunteer around the community or join an organization on campus.
What are the requirements for doing an internship?
Students must have a 2.5 GPA in their major. Typically, students have completed at least 15 credits of their Communication Studies coursework.
Can I do an internship where I work?
This depends on what position the student holds at their work. For example, a student who cashiers at a large grocery store can intern there but not as a cashier. The store moved them into a public relations position for their internship. Students should talk to their adviser about turning a job into an internship.
Why would anyone want to hire me as an intern?
Companies and non-profits gain a great deal from interns. These students have energy, excitement and new ideas all while working hard. Students give the company service and a broad range of experiences and skills. Each party has something to gain from internships.
How many internship credits can I take?
Students can register up to eight credits of internship that can be applied to their CMST degree. Students may take an internship for up to 12 credit total but only eight credits will apply to their internship fulfillment. If an internship is taken for 12 credits, the four additional credits will count toward the 120 students need for graduation.
How many hours must I work at my internship?
In compliance with the federal policy, standard expectations are 45 hours of on-site internship experience for each credit hour earned.
How long are internships?
This can vary but, in most cases, an internship is one semester.
Can I intern in another country?
Yes! This needs to be discussed with the student’s advisor as soon as possible to make sure the internship meets all of the requirements.