Internships are invaluable in preparing students for their career after leaving Whitworth. Internships offer students the following experiences and skills:
- Prepare for the job market: Finding an internship and spending a concentrated time in a work environment is the best way to gain experience in the field you may enter after you graduate. An internship also helps you build professional contacts for a future job search. It is extremely difficult if not impossible to get a full-time job in any communications field without having had internship experience in that specific area.
- Confirm career goals: An internship provides a valuable check to determine if you really do want to pursue a particular career area, and gives a first-hand look at the working environment for the given profession.
- Make connections from the classroom: Internships help you apply what you have learned in classes to the job situation. If students have a semester or more left after completing the internship, they also may wish to select courses to address certain questions or concerns that arise during the internship.
- Learn what it means to be on the job: An internship helps students learn the norms and expectations of the professional workplace. Many students have never worked in an office or other formal work environment, an experience for which the classroom simply cannot prepare them.
Interning for credit (JMC/SP 490)
Internships can take place during the fall or spring semesters, as well as in Jan Term or the summer. Students earn one academic credit for 40 hours of internship work. Most students complete the required three academic credits in a single term, meaning they work at least 120 hours over the course of a semester. However, students may spread work over more than one semester, for instance taking two credits with 80 hours of work at one site in the fall and 40 hours at another site in Jan Term.
- Must be in a field you plan to pursue after graduation.
- Must be work that a college graduate would do, with less than 40 percent of the total work time being observation or clerical. (Note that time in training sessions cannot be included in the required 120 hours.)
- Must be either at a site you have not worked at previously or a significant change in job responsibilities.
Finding the right internship for you
The Communication studies three-credit internship is designed to be a capstone experience. That means that you already will have considered career options and that you anticipate pursuing a job after graduation with responsibilities very similar to those from your internship.
Freshmen and sophomores in particular should consider job-shadowing professionals in several fields. Identify organizations that are doing the kind of work that you want to do. Once you have observed several professionals or more, you will have a better idea of what you do or do not want to pursue. You also may want to try an exploratory internship without credit to gain experience and widen your exposure to different fields. The department’s internship supervisor Dr. Joy York is available to help you consider options.
After you have explored your opportunities and narrowed your options, you will be ready to seek an internship for credit. The Whitworth Career Center can help you with researching available opportunities, preparing a résumé, and setting up interviews. Know that you are responsible for identifying and securing your internship, but do not commit yourself until you have cleared the site with the communication department’s internship supervisor.
Our students have completed numerous internships in news media, public relations, ministry, and government, just to name a few. Previous students have held positions at locations such as:
- Catalyst Marketing
- Cascade Radio Group
- City of Spokane
- Corner Booth Productions
- Dutch Bros. Coffee
- The Fig Tree newspaper
- Funnelbox Productions
- Girl Scout Mountain Prairie (Colo.) Council
- Inland Northwest Homes & Lifestyles Magazine
- New Horizons Community Church
- The Northwest Inlander
- People to People
- Pinnacle Investigations
- Power 101.9
- Red Cross
- Relevant Magazine
- Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers
- Sacred Heart Hospital Foundation
- The Salinas Californian
- Sen. Maria Cantwell
- Sen. Patty Murray
- Shiloh Hills Fellowship
- Spokane Center for Justice
- Spokane Chiefs
- Spokane Excelsior Youth Center
- The Spokesman Review
- Vision Launchers
- Washington State Legislature
- World Concern
- Young Life
Please see the Communication Dept. website for more information on internships. Internship opportunities are also periodically posted to the Comm Department’s Facebook page.