What is COMM 450?
COMM 450 is the Internship Program in Communication. This program is designed to provide each student with practical experience and crucial network contacts in their chosen field. COMM 450 is a requirement for all Communication majors whose emphasis is Public Relations, Journalism, or Cinema / Digital Media. Communication Studies students who are interested in Graduate School are encouraged to take COMM 455.
Why should I get an internship?
Nearly everyone who gets a job right out of college is hired from their internship. It is a fantastic way to get to know the field that you will be working in and make great contacts to assure your future.
When do I take COMM 450?
In order to enroll in COMM 450, you must be a junior or senior at VU. You may register for COMM 450 in the fall or spring semester. If you plan on completing your internship during the summer, you must register for COMM 450 in the fall only. When registering for the fall but completing the internship in the summer, you must make sure your internship advisor has received your purple internship agreement form and you must still attend the internship summit in the fall. You may not register in spring of your senior year for a summer internship.
How do I find an internship in my chosen field?
The Department of Communication has several resources for finding great internships:
UP-TO-DATE POSTINGS for Communication students
Also, check the internship forum on vanguard’s website that is updated weekly with varied internships in the field.
Are there any other helpful hints to find the right internship?
• Begin looking for an internship at least 3 weeks before the semester starts.
• Look at several different places, don’t fall in love with just one.
• It is crucial to have a cover letter and resume when applying for internships.
• Make sure that you list your skills on your resume and you are truthful about them. You could find yourself in an internship that is way over your head if you are not careful. Most companies expect that training will be needed.
• Aim high. Interning at companies with big names is an easy way to get a big name on your resume. You may sometimes be relegated to getting coffee in some larger companies, but if you give yourself enough time to find the right fit you may get to do something extraordinary at an extraordinary company.
• Spend extra time and effort finding the right internship. If you choose the “easy” internship, it may pigeonhole you for future endeavors. Remember that your internship is the first step in your career.
What if I’m enrolled and I can’t find an internship I like?
If you are registered for COMM 450 and are unable to find an internship by the add/drop date for classes, you must drop the class by the drop deadline and reregister the next semester. If the class is not dropped by the add/drop date and/or your purple agreement form has not been received by your internship advisor you will be automatically withdrawn from the class, resulting in an F grade.
What if I still can’t find the internship I want? Where else can I look?
You can ask other students, cold call companies and check company websites that you are interested in. It is also helpful to ask fellow students where they have interned to see if you might be able to take their position once they leave. Do not be afraid to ask around. This is a program designed for you to start making connections and keeping contacts everywhere you go.
For example, if you want to work in radio, check out the radio stations website and see their policy on internships and if it can be a possibility for your semester ahead. Just remember everywhere you look, there will be different rules, dates and regulations. It is best to find not only an internship you like, but also one that can fit your schedule and give you time to complete.
Who can I talk to about finding information for internships?
It’s best to start with your advisor. Just make sure to plan ahead and schedule your appointment before it is too late in the semester. It is also helpful to ask friends, fellow students and/or family members who might have an opportunity just waiting for the right person -you!
Does the school get internships for students?
An internship is your responsibility. It is your first chance at a major job accomplishment on your own. How are you going to know how to look for a job when you graduate if you don’t even know how the process works? Vanguard and the Communication professors can help with many internship opportunities, but it is the student’s job to act upon them.
What if I’m enrolled in the class, found an internship, turned in my forms to Vanguard and find that I do not like my internship. Can I still drop out or do I have to complete the course?
If there is still time to meet the add /drop course deadline, then you can drop the internship and find one next semester. However, it is encouraged to complete your internship. You may not like all the tasks involved, but showing your commitment to yourself, the course and the company will get you farther in finding a job and a career in your field. It is best to show your best qualities and do ALL tasks involved. Often times, an intern supervisor will start you with menial tasks until they can assess your talents and capabilities. It takes a great deal of time and investment to train you in an internship.
Can I get more than one internship?
The more hands on experience you get, the better. To be enrolled in COMM 450, you only have to do one internship. Previous students have done more than one internship, by enrolling different semesters for COMM 450. You can take up to six units credit for Internship. Although, make sure to plan your schedule accordingly before it becomes to stressful and effect the work in your other classes. If you find a good internship your junior year, you might want to continue the internship for one unit each semester as to not exceed your total of six units and keep up your contact with the company until you graduate.
I got an internship! What should I expect?
When you meet with your internship supervisor the first time, they will let you know what tasks you will be responsible for during your internship.
•You must work 50 clock hours for every credit unit for COMM 450. If you are enrolled in 3 units, you must work 150 hours.
• Expect to work in at least 3-5 hour time blocks at your internship.
• Make sure to let your supervisor know your hourly availability. You must make time for your other classes and classwork.
• Plan on arriving a few minutes early than your scheduled “in” time. It will give your supervisor a chance to explain some of your duties and get you up to speed before your day begins.
• Plan for traffic. We live in Southern California.
• Communicating with your intern supervisor is key. If you feel that you are not understanding what is expected, ask questions.
• Working with a team and making contacts is one of the most important parts of any job experience. Do everything you can to get along well with others and learn their names.
• Forget your pride. Sometimes you will be asked to do menial tasks in life. Always do them with a servant heart. Don’t ever complain.
What is my grade in COMM 450 based upon?
1) Turning in all forms:
- Application Contract
- Midterm Student Evaluation Form
- Midterm Supervisor Evaluation Form
- Signed Internship Hours Form
- Supervisor Final Assessment
2) Your attendance at the Internship Summit in the middle of the semester
3) Your completed resume with your new job information.
4) Your performance based on the Internship supervisors’ assessments (mid-term and final).
I completed my internship. What do I do now?
Ask to have a meeting with your co-workers. Let them know that today is your last day and you are thankful for the opportunity to work there. Make sure to keep the contact information for all your co-workers, including other interns.
Often times your internship supervisor will be so happy with your performance that they will offer you a job or a letter of recommendation. Make sure to write them a thank you note for the experience and their mentorship.
Turn in your final internship hours sheet to the Communication department assistant. Double check and make sure all electronic forms were submitted while you are there.
Meet with your internship advisor and bring your new resume with your new job information details. Check with your intern advisor to make sure all forms were completed appropriately.