What IS an internship?
The most important thing to know is that an internship is not just a job! Rather, it is a learning experience. You take a classroom course in order to gain specific learning outcomes - an internship has the same objective. An internship provides you with the unique opportunity to gain "real world" experience in your chosen career field while pursuing your classroom studies. It provides the opportunity for you apply knowledge and skills that you learned in the classroom to practical situations and problems under the supervision and guidance of a practicing professional. It will also help you to build extremely valuable "networking" relationships with those already working in your area of interest.
Do I have to meet any academic requirements to be eligible for an internship?
Yes. You must be well advanced in your degree program. As a general rule, this means that you will have taken the majority of courses required for your degree and that you are classified as a Senior. In addition, your major GPA must be at least 3.0 at the time you start your internship.
If you are reviewing this information at an earlier stage in your program (freshman through junior status), please be sure to read the section "Ok, I want to do an internship. How do I start?" The time to start preparing is now, for any status.
Who are the people involved in making your internship a quality learning experience?
Academic Advisor: Make and appointment with an academic advisor in the College of Business at 850-474-3442.
Faculty Advisor: The faculty member responsible for evaluating and approving the internship for the awarding of academic credit, reviewing the Internship Sponsor's evaluation of your performance, evaluating your Internship Report, and assigning your grade for the internship.
Internship Team: Your Academic Advisor and your Faculty Advisor.
Internship Sponsor: The on-the-job person directly supervising your internship experience and evaluating your performance at the firm or organization where you do your internship. Typically, this person is a mid- to upper-level manager in the firm or organization, and is a practicing marketing professional.
Do all internships earn academic credit?
Not necessarily. Internships must meet the Department's academic standards in order to qualify for course credit. It is possible for students to arrange non-credit internships on their own, but we don't recommend it. Usually if we don't think the internship is worthy of awarding academic credit, you're taking a chance on the quality of the learning experience. All the information in these FAQ's applies only to internships that qualify for academic credit.
How much academic credit can I earn?
Typically, you can earn up to 3 hours of academic credit (i.e., the equivalent of one elective course in your degree program). In certain circumstances, the Faculty Advisor may approve the awarding of additional credit, up to 6 hours. For example, some large firms offer very high quality, well-managed internship programs where students interns may work as much as 40 or more hours per week while earning a professional-level salary. Exceptions to the standard 3 credit hour policy must be approved by your Internship Team.
How does an internship count in my degree program?
For Marketing and Economics majors, an approved internship may count as a MAR or ECO elective. Internships cannot be used as substitutes for College of major core courses required in your degree program.
How am I graded for my internship?
Internships are graded on a "Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory" (S/U) basis. A "U" counts as 0.0 grade points (same as an "F") while an "S" has no impact in the calculations of your GPA. Your Faculty Advisor determines your grade based on a performance evaluation and Faculty Advisor's evaluation of your Internship Report.
How is my performance evaluated by the Internship Sponsor?
This is the Supervisor Evaluation form used by the Academic Advisor.
What is an "Internship Report"?
You are required to write and submit a report of your internship experience. The deadline for the report is the last day of regularly scheduled classes in the semester in which you do your internship. In general, the report will consist of four sections: (1) a summary of your activities during the internship; (2) a discussion of how you applied knowledge and skills that you learned in our courses in your degree program during your internship activities; (3) a discussion of new knowledge and skills that you acquired during your internship; and (4) your assessment of your personal career possibilities in the industry in which you did your internship. Specific guidelines for your report will be agreed on by you and your Faculty Advisor.
Where are good internship opportunities geographically located?
Literally, all over the world. Opportunities are available just about anywhere you want to go, from here on the UWF campus to all over NW Florida to Atlanta to New York and beyond. However, depending on your learning goals for your internship, your selection might be somewhat limited geographically.
May I do an internship where I am already employed?
In most cases, no. Rare exceptions may be made if the proposed internship is not related in any way to your current job responsibilities. Exceptions must be approved by your Faculty Advisor.
How do I find a good internship position?
There are several ways to find an Internship Sponsor. The best internships are carefully planned and carefully selected.
Information about the internship program can be found on the Career Services web site. In addition, students registered with Career Services' JasonQuest can view current listings of internship opportunities. Students who are unable to locate an internship through JasonQuest, can contact an employer directly to arrange an internship position, subject to approval by the intern advisor.
If you locate an opportunity that you find attractive, just remember that both your prospective Internship Sponsor and Internship Position will have to be approved by your Internship Team. You may obtain an "Internship Position Description" form for the prospective Internship Sponsor to complete and submit before approval will be considered.
How much time does it take to do an internship?
Total time spend "on the job" for a 3 credit hour internship will be at least 160 hours and should not exceed 180 hours during the internship period. Usually, it's best to divide hours evenly during the term, as in the following examples, but exceptions may be made by mutual agreement between you and the Faculty Advisor.
|Hours worked per week (based on minimum total hours, rounded to the next whole hour)||Minimum Total Hours||Academic Credit Earned|
|Fall/Spring Term (15 weeks)||Summer Term (12 weeks)||Summer Term (6 weeks)|
Will I be paid by my Internship Sponsor?
Maybe. The best internships usually compensate you in some manner, although opportunities may arise where unpaid positions are a perfect match for your interests and you may decide to forgo compensation. The bottom line is that it's your decision; if you decide that you must receive compensation, then you are free to limit your search to those that pay!
When do I have to start the application process for an internship?
You should start a minimum of six weeks before the beginning of the term in which you plan to do the internship. It can take some time to find the perfect match for your goals. The best internship experiences are those that are carefully planned and carefully selected.
Follow these steps; each is important and each must be accomplished.
- Go back and read all the FAQ's in this document, if you haven't already. Determine your eligibility (senior status and 3.0 GPA).
- Develop your goals for the internship experience. Ask yourself these questions: What do I want to learn and experience? Do I want to learn a particular skill? What knowledge do I want to acquire? What type of business or industry do I want to know more about? How will an internship advance my future career goals? How will an internship "fit" in my degree program?
- You will want to discuss some of these issues with your Academic Advisor, your Faculty Advisor, and Career Services. Career Services is an excellent source for information, particularly in the very early stages of your career planning. It is recommended that you be oriented to their array of services early in your degree program.
- Summarize the results of Step 2 into a targeted Objective statement and integrate it into your current resume.
- Meet with your Academic Advisor to submit your current resume and to complete an Internship Interest Assessment Form. Be prepared to discuss the type of questions suggested in Number 2. If you have already identified a prospective Internship Sponsor, you may bring with you to the meeting a completed Internship Position Description form (PDF).
- Upon approval of your participation and the Internship Position, you will be registered by the Department for course credit. You can then start your internship and have a great learning experience!
- At the end of the internship, you must present a 3-5 page report and two evaluation forms (the Student Evaluation (PDF) and Supervisor Evaluation (PDF) forms) to the Faculty Advisor for review and evaluation. Upon approval, the academic credit based on the hours worked will be added to your records.