It's a Catch-22. Employers want to hire people with experience, but you can't get experience without being hired. Fortunately, there is a way around this obstacle: internships. These days, internships are a necessity not a luxury.
An internship is an opportunity to obtain "real world" experience in your field of interest and learn first-hand about companies, careers, and industries you are considering. Depending upon the employer, its business needs, and supervision capability, internships can vary. They can be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, for credit or not-for credit.
Where Do Moody College Students Intern?
Advertising | Communication | Communication Studies | Journalism | Public Relations | Radio-TV-Film
Did You Know?
Why You Should Intern?
Internships are intended to supplement your academic foundation with practical experience in a professional environment. You have the opportunity to learn or reinforce valuable skills while:
- gaining professional experience to strengthen your repertoire,
- building a network of valuable industry contacts
- developing the business skills necessary to succeed in a competitive environment.
According to a recent survey of the nation's 1,000 largest companies, 47% rated "experience in the profession" as the most important aspect in hiring recent college graduates. In contrast, only 18% and 17% rated "type of degree" and "GPA", respectively, as most important. Your degree alone, in most cases, is not enough—you need internship experience.
How Do You Find an Internship?
The first step to finding an internship is knowing what type of experience you wish to gain. Once you have defined your goals, decide where you want to be. Hollywood or New York? Austin or Houston? Once you have established your focus, you are ready to begin your search. Internship opportunities are everywhere. Career Services provides several internship listings:
Schedule a career advising appointment by calling 512-471-9421 or visit our Career Toolkit for additional resources. Career advising is available to Moody College students and alumni only.
For more information on how to pursue credit-based internships in the Moody College of Communication, please visit the Internships for Academic Credit section of the Moody College website.
What Questions Should I Ask?
Sample questions to ask regarding internships include:
- Does your company offer internships?
- What types of internships are available? In what areas/disciplines are interns generally hired?
- How competitive is it to obtain an internship at your company?
- Is the internship paid?
- Have you hired interns from UT Austin before? If so, in what areas?
- What is the application procedure? By what date does the application need to be submitted?
Beginning the Internship
Once you have landed your internship, consider it just as important as a full-time position. From day one, you will be expected to adhere to the same standards as the professionals with whom you work. Preparing yourself before you begin your position will ensure that your internship is a rewarding experience. The following tips will help you make the most from your internship experience.
- Perform your job with a sense of professionalism (e.g., respect other's schedules, wear appropriate attire, be punctual, etc.).
- Schedule your time and anticipate potential problems so you aren't always operating in a crisis mode.
- Know your own daily energy levels and schedule project work accordingly.
During the Internship
Even under the best of circumstance, problems can occur. Potential problems include too little work, too much work, scheduling difficulties, inadequate training/supervision, dislike of the work or work environment, and problems with coworkers. Students are encouraged to face any and all problems and deal with them early.
- Be honest, communicate directly, and avoid intense emotional reactions! Wait a day to consider options before taking specific actions.
- Evaluate all the factors contributing to the issue and look for new perspectives.
- Develop a concrete, proactive plan or solution and present when voicing your complaint or concern.
Completing the Internship
As you move toward the completion of your internship, make your departure easier on both you and your employer by doing the following:
- Perform a self-evaluation of your work and ask for one from your employer.
- Notify any clients with whom you are currently working about your departure date.
- Organize existing projects so others can pick up easily.
- Gain closure with coworkers and supervisor.
- Analyze aspects of the internship that you enjoyed and compile a wish list of job duties for your future job search.