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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Undergraduate Internships

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Communication Studies highly encourages you to do an internship for course credit while in our program.  The practical experiences an internship provides nicely compliment your degree in Communication Studies.

What is an internship?

An internship is a structured opportunity for you to learn, grow, and contribute in a professional setting. There are many variations of internships:  They might be paid or unpaid, part-time or full-time, taken for credit or no credit.  They could be local, national, or abroad. Regardless of these variations, what makes an internship an internship are these common features.” (University of Washington Career Center).

Why should I do an internship?

An internship provides you will practical professional experience.  This experience is crucial to help you build your resume so you can find a job after graduation and this experience helps you grow as a person and a professional.  We encourage you to watch this video and hear from a few recent CMST interns.

An internship is not ...

An internship is not a clerical or “unskilled” position, nor is it an unstructured position without a clear supervisor and clear feedback on your performance.  An internship is not something you are already doing as a job.

What are the requirements for doing an internship?

You must have a 2.5 GPA in your major.  Typically, you completed at least 15 credits of your Communication Studies coursework.

Can I do an internship where I work?

Maybe.  But the internship cannot be what you already do for a job.  For example, we have a student who works as a cashier at large grocery store.  She is also doing her internship there but not as a casher.  The store moved her into a public relations position for her internship.  Talk with your advisor or others 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.  You have energy, excitement, and new ideas. You also work hard. You give the company your service and they give you a broad range of experiences and skills.  When you apply for an internship you are not just asking for a favor—you are giving them something and they are giving you something.

How do I find an internship?

  • Search for an internship (or employment!) at Greater Mankato Jobs. GMJ is a partnership of Greater Mankato Growth, MN Job Match and RealTime Talent. 
  • Search for an internship with MavJobs will suggest jobs based on your user profile and your job application history. 
  • Talk with family and friends to see if they know of internship opportunities where they work.  Personal contacts often really work well.
  • Talk with your academic advisor. This is crucial. He or she can often help you explore options here in Mankato and beyond.
  • Talk with other professors inside and outside of the department. They often have connections that can help you.
  • Keep your eye on the department’s website and Facebook page. We post several internship opportunities throughout the semester.
  • Work with MSU’s Career Development Center. In particular, make sure you know what Mavjobs is and you are signed-up for it.  Many great internships come from here.
  • Keep your eyes open for all the internship events put on by our Career Development Center. We encourage to you connect with the Career Development Center through one of their many social media options.

How do I apply for an internship?

 This depends on how you get your internship, but more often than not a resume and cover letter are required.  This documents have to be very strong to get internships and jobs.  The Career Development Center offers lots of resources to help you prepare resumes and cover letters.  Their Job Search Handbook is particularly helpful for helping you prepare resumes and cover letters. 

How do I take an internship for course credit?

After you have identified an internship of interest, you should to the following to take an internship for academic credit.

  • Find a faculty supervisor for your internship (this can be your advisor or any member of the department)
  • Print out the I[PDF] nternship Contract Form (305 KiB)
  • Talk with the faculty member to ensure the internship is appropriate for course credit
  • Work with your faculty internship advisor to complete the internship form (notice it has to be signed by your MSU  internship advisor and your supervisor at your internship site)
  • Get your form to CMST’s administrative assistant. If on campus, bring from to AH 230.  If you are a metro student you can email the form. The administrative assistant will enter permission for you to register for CMST 498 (internship).

 How many internship credits can I take?

Up to eight credits of internship can be applied to your degree in CMST.  You may take an internship for up to 12 credits total, but only eight credits will apply to your major. If you took an internship for 12 credits, the four additional credits would count toward the 120 you need for graduation but only eight credits would count toward your degree.

How many hours must I work at my internship?

You have to work 30 hours per credit.  A 4-credit internship means at least 120 hours of work at your internship.

How long are internships?

This can vary, but in most cases an internship is one semester.

How will my internship be evaluated?

The supervisor at your internship itself will complete an evaluation from assessing your performance.  You will also write an internship paper to be turned in to your MSU faculty internship supervisor.  You will discuss details of this paper with your MSU internship supervisor.  Sample papers are below.  Internship papers and the overall internship experience always has you apply what you are learning in your classes to the internship.

[PDF] Internship Evaluation Form (129 KiB)

Example Internship Papers (from students featured in above video)

Previous Internship Locations for CMST Majors

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 Mutal * FYE Office at MSU, Mankato * Camp for children with Disabilties * 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 * Bethany Lutheran College * Art Education Calsses * Finish Line * Student Events Team-MSU, Mankato * MN Council of Churches * Refugee Services-Mankato Office