1. How does the process of getting enrolled work?
The semester before you want to do an internship, figure out if you’re eligible. The requirements by major are listed ISC / MAS / JOU.
If you’re eligible, go ahead and start looking for and applying for your internship. You can start by looking at the list of approved internships for your major here. YOU are responsible for finding, interviewing for, and securing your internship.
*If you want to create your own internship, please have the supervisor at the place you'd like to intern fill out our screener questionnaire. It's at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JAT399_Internship_Site_Screener. We'll review the answers and determine whether or not the internship will qualify for JAT 399 credit.
*If you need help with writing a resume, cover letter, deciding where to intern, or preparing for an interview, you can set up an appointment at the UK Career Center.
Next submit an application here, so we can confirm that you’ve got the classes you need. You’ll need to choose an internship site before you submit your application.
You’ll receive an email letting you know you’re approved for an internship. Then you can complete the contract with your supervisor at your internship site, which is found here.
Turn in your contract to your faculty supervisor (ISC: Dr. Whitlow; MAS: John Clark; JOU: Scoobie Ryan). Once your contract is approved, THEY will add you to JAT 399. You cannot add or register yourself.
2. Do I have to find an internship by the time I register for classes?
No. You must first qualify for the internship by meeting the requirements for your major and then submitting an application to the internship director before you will be able to sign up for JAT 399 credits. The internship director will actually add you to JAT 399; you can't register for it yourself.
3. How do I find and apply for an internship?
To find and apply for an internship, check out the list of approved internships for your major here. Each internship site has a preferred method of contact listed, along with the documents required to complete your application.
Remember, if you want to create or participate in an internship that’s not on the list for your major, you’ll need to have the person you’d be working with fill out this questionnaire so we can assess the appropriateness of the internship for JAT 399 credit.
4. How do I know if I am eligible for an internship?
Check out the requirements page (ISC / MAS / JOU.) for your major.
5. Do I have to do a JAT 399 internship to graduate?
Only if you are a MAS or ISC major. Journalism majors (both print and broadcast) do not have to do an internship. It is worth remembering, however, that the 3 internship credits count toward the 9 credits of upper-division electives journalism majors must complete, and that prospective employers expect to see at least one internship on your resume. Work done on a journalism internship can also contribute to your required portfolio.
6. What is an internship contract?
It is an agreement that you, your internship sponsor, and the internship director will sign that states in writing what your responsibilities and duties will be while completing the internship, and what you expect to learn during the internship. It’s like a syllabus for your internship course. To complete it, you will need to go over your major duties and responsibilities with your internship site supervisor, TYPE the contract, then turn it in to your faculty supervisor for review, any changes that need to be made, and approval. It must be completed before you begin your internship—you will not be added to JAT 399 until it’s been turned in and approved.
7. How many hours a week will I be at the internship?
The School requires you to spend 150 hours at your internship for three credits. That means that during a 15-week fall or spring semester, you would usually be at the internship about 10 hours a week. During the 8-week summer session, you would devote close to 20 hours a week to the work. (If it is okay with your internship supervisor, you can register for the 8-week summer session but begin the work in the 4-week term. That way the hours would be spread out over 12 weeks rather than eight.)
*You cannot do an internship during the summer unless you are registered for the 8-summer session. In other words, you can't do the internship in the summer but register for it in the fall.
8. Will I be paid for the internship?
Although there are a few paid internships, most likely you will not be paid. The additional income would no doubt help, but you must consider the internship to be an excellent opportunity to develop skills and help your career whether or not you are compensated for the work. The paid internships that are offered are naturally more competitive to acquire, so you need to start applying for them early.
9. What kind of grade will I receive for the internship?
Credits for JAT 399 are awarded on a pass/fail basis.
10. How do I proceed if I don't know where to do an internship?
Check the list of approved internships (ISC / MAS / JOU). Talk to your friends in the major and make an appointment with a Career Center adviser if you need help narrowing it down.
11. What if I know of an internship opportunity myself?
If it’s not on the list of approved internships for your major, you must have your contact at the organization complete this questionnaire so that we can assess the suitability of the internship and let you know what the faculty decide.
12. Do I have to take the internship for 3 credits?
MAS and ISC students must complete a 3-credit internship to graduate. Journalism students can do an internship for fewer credits, although most do it for 3 credits. The School requires that you spend 50 hours working on the internship for each credit. Thus, to receive 3 credits, you would spend 150 hours during a semester working on your internship.
13. Can I do more than one internship?
Yes, but you can only complete one internship for 3 credits within our School. The second internship would have to be through EXP 396 and our College does not accept those credits toward graduation. That means you would have to complete 123 credits to graduate. See the EXP vs. JAT discussion for more information about this. You should pick your JAT internship carefully because it is likely to be the only one you do.
14. How do I keep a record of my internship activities?
See the “Assignments” page for information about this.
15. What reports do I complete at the halfway point and at the end of the internship?
See the "Assignments" page for information about this.
16. What do I do if the internship is not working out?
Begin by talking to your internship supervisor. Let that person know that you are not happy with your current responsibilities and activities and would like to do different things. If you cannot resolve the issue, contact your faculty supervisor and s/he will talk to your internship supervisor.
17. What do I do if there is something going on at the internship location that makes me uncomfortable?
Depending on the nature of the problem, you may be able to talk to the internship supervisor about it. However, if it is a sensitive matter, you should immediately get in touch with the faculty internship director who will talk to all the parties involved and try to resolve the issues.
18. Should I intern in the summer or fall/spring?
It really depends on your situation and preferences. If you intern in the summer, you will have to pay for 3 hours of credit, which you won’t have to do if you intern during the fall or spring.
19. By when do I have to pay tuition if I am doing an internship during the summer?
You must pay tuition by the first week of June. The student billing office is supposed to send you a bill by the middle of May. (Internship students are registered for the 8-week summer session). For more information, call student billing at 257-3406.
20. Why did I get an "I" (incomplete) for my internship?
Most likely you received an incomplete because grades had to be submitted before you completed your internship. Once you have submitted your final report and your supervisor has turned in the evaluation, the "I" will be changed to a "P" and the "I" will disappear from your transcript.
21. Can I do the internship one semester and get credit for it another semester? In other words, can I do the internship during the summer, but not pay the tuition for the credits until the fall semester?
No. You must do the internship and be registered for JAT 399 during the same semester whether it is fall, spring or summer.
22. When is my mid-semester report due?
When you have completed about half of your internship hours, you should write and hand in the mid-semester report. There is no specific due date but you should finish it halfway through your internship.
23. How do I get in touch with my faculty supervisor?
See the “requirements” page (ISC / MAS / JOU) for your major to get an e-mail address and phone information for your faculty supervisor.
24. What assignments do I need to complete before finishing my internship?
See “Assignments” page.
25. How am I expected to act while at my internship?
You must recognize how important the internship may be to your career. You have chosen to major in an intensely competitive field. Bright and highly-motivated students from all over the country will be competing against you for jobs in the industry.
That is why you must be extremely conscientious and responsible about your internship. Exhibit PROFESSIONALISM. Do everything you can during the time you are there to learn new skills, to better understand how the communications industry works, and to make a positive impression on the employees who may be in a position to hire you when you graduate.
You should be on time, stay the hours you’ve said you’re going to work, turn your cell phone to silent or off when you’re at work, avoid surfing the Web for personal use/email when at work, and don’t burn any bridges. As an intern in this field, you can expect to work holidays, weekends, and long hours. Make sure to be sensitive as to when other people are taking time off—you shouldn’t expect to get time off that full-time employees are not granted. If you’re going to have to be gone for weeks in the middle of your internship in the summer, it may not be the best time to do your internship.
You not only are representing yourself when you walk in the door of the sponsoring organization, you are also representing the School. Students who work hard and have an upbeat attitude at the internship reflect positively on the School's faculty and students. That adds to the reputation we have as a School and benefits all of the students who graduate from our program.
Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Students with poor work habits and an unpleasant demeanor make the sponsoring organization think that we are not serious about preparing our students for professional careers. They do not always know much about how our JOU, TEL and ISC programs work. By the quality of your work at the internship, they will judge how successful we are in teaching those who will soon be looking for professional positions in the communications industry.
Keep in mind that one of your assignments is to turn in the employer evaluation completed by your internship supervisor, and negative feedback can negatively affect your grade.
26. Can I do my JAT 399 internship outside the United States?
No; we only award JAT 399 credit for internships done in the U.S. There are a lot of internship opportunities abroad (see the UK Education Abroad web site for what's available), but you can only earn EXP credit for non-U.S. internships.
27. Can I use the school's equipment for my internship?
No. Because of the limited availability of our cameras, audio recorders and editing facilities, the school's equipment cannot be used for internship work. Your internship site will need to provide any hardware and software needed for you to do what's expected of you.
Your internship can be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll have as a student. Many times, internships lead directly or indirectly to job opportunities during and after graduation. Take every chance to make a great impression and make contacts—you’ll use them later, along with the skills and lessons you learn!
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