Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is the purpose of internship?
The purpose of our internship requirement is to give our student both the experience of finding an internship with materials they prepare, and a real-world work experience in a professional setting interacting with skilled designers or photographers before graduation.
2. Who must complete an internship?
Every major in the Visual Communication Design degree program must complete one credit hour of 43091 Internship 1 to prepare for securing an internship and three credit hours of 40192 Internship 2 which is the internship itself.
3. What jobs qualify as internships?
Internships for credit must meet these criteria:
- The job is in the student’s major area of study
- The job is on site for a business or organization (rather than in a home)
- The job involves working in a staff (rather than freelance) capacity
- The student will be guided or mentored by a creative professional
- The student will be performing creative/design work
Exceptions must be signed off on by the Internship Coordinator.
4. What types of design/photo fields qualify?
Internships can be performed in any design/photo field of interest, as long as the job is involved in an area within the profession such as: Graphic Design, Advertising, Illustration, Printing, Exhibition Design, Signage, Audio Visual and/or Multi-Media Presentation Design, Public Relations, Computer Graphics, Environmental Graphic Design, Web Design, Web Production, Studio Photography, Editorial Photography, Photography Professional or Photo Styling.
5. How many credit hours of Internship 2 are required?
Three credit hours of 40192 Internship 2 are required and up to six are allowed. The additional three hours above and beyond the three-hour requirement may be applied towards the VCD Elective requirement or towards the university General Electives requirement. Students should work with their advisor to be sure that the additional elective credits will apply towards graduation goals.
6. How many hours of work are needed for the three credits?
For each one credit hour of 40192 Internship 2, design students must complete 100 work hours, which equates to 300 work hours for three credits. This means working about 20 hours a week per semester. Photography students must also complete 300 paid work hours or 150 hours if their internship is unpaid.
7. When do students do their internships?
Internships are typically worked during junior year, and can be done during any semester. Students doing their internship in the summer should plan on paying summer tuition.
8. What is the registration process for Internship 2?
Students may register for 40192 Internship 2 after they have successfully passed Internship 1 and have arranged an approved internship. To register for the course, students must submit the Internship Policy Agreement to the Internship Coordinator. Registration is controlled.
Note: Students must be registered for Internship 2 during the semester in which they will be completing the internship experience. It is against university policy to register a semester in advance or a semester after completing an internship.
9. Are internships graded?
Internship 2 students receive either an “S” (Satisfactory) or “U” (Unsatisfactory) grade. If the internship is completed successfully, the work hours requirements are met and a self-evaluation and employer evaluation are submitted, an “S” will be recorded. If a student cannot complete their internship in one semester, an IP (In Process) may be recorded for one semester. If an internship and the requisite evaluations are not completed by the following semester, a “U” will be recorded. Keep in mind that a “U” computes as an “F” in grade point averages.
10. Are internships paid?
Internships may be paid or unpaid. Each student is responsible for negotiating their salary, and the Internship Coordinator can provide guidance. Most internships available through the school are paid, with pay ranging from minimum wage to $20 per hour. Some employers offer other benefits such as a stipend or use of resources in lieu of a salary. Students should talk to potential employers about what compensation may be available and what portfolio work they can expect to produce during their internship, while keeping in mind any commuting and parking expenses that they might incur.
11. How do students find internships?
Students are responsible for finding their own internship, using their own network of family and friends as well as the resources provided:
- The Internship 1 course provides direction for the internship search
- The Internship coordinator sends out emails about opportunities
- Listings of approved companies and university departments
- VCD Facebook page
- HANDSHAKE university job posting site
- Career Exploration and Development
- VCD alumni
Students can also utilize job search sites such as Indeed, LinkedIn and Google and work with the Internship Coordinator or Career Exploration and Development representative if they need assistance. All students should have their internship approved in advance of making a commitment to ensure that they meet the criteria for the program.
12. What is required at the end of the internship experience?
Students must submit a self-evaluation to the Internship Coordinator, and the employer must submit an evaluation directly to the Internship Coordinator. These materials will be made available to students enrolled in Internship 2.