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The following steps are provided to help you in the process of finding the right internship and getting the most from it. It is divided into two parts (before and during) and has both the department processes that must be followed and suggestions for supporting a positive internship experience.

Preparing for an Internship Experience

  1. Meet with your advisor.
    1. Discuss if an internship is a good fit and will move you forward in regards to your professional goals and graduate program of study.
    2. Consider your time away from the program. While you may possibly be engaged in the internship for a single semester, it can put you up to a year behind on their dissertation work, as it will take time to get back into the research process after they leave it for a while. This statement is based on data from alumni who have been there and done that. Past experiences of others have shown that working on your dissertation and an internship simultaneously is either difficult or impossible.
    3. Also, it is sometimes suggested that you may do your dissertation research based on some aspect of your internship work. As always, your dissertation topic is one that is negotiated with your committee, not your employer.
    4. Taking into account your plan of study, course load, and any other responsibilities, identify the number of hours per week you could devote to an internship, which will determine credits earned. For example: 10 work hours/week = 3 credit hours. You have the potential to earn up to 12 credit hours (40 hours of work per week).
  2. If your advisor agrees that an internship is a good match for you, watch the listserv for internship opportunities.
    1. Contact Dr. Lockee to express interest in a particular internship.
    2. Dr. Lockee will present you as a candidate for the internship to the IT faculty.
    3. If the IT faculty determines that you are a viable candidate for the internship, Dr. Lockee will coordinate an interview for you with the organization offering the internship.
  3. If your advisor agrees that an internship is a good match for you, watch the listserv for internship opportunities.
    1. Has the organization sponsored interns before?
    2. Where will I be working? (Determine if you might have transportation issues).
    3. What types of projects will I be working on? (Do they fit into what you plan to do after graduation?)
    4. What other responsibilities or experiences might I have while working for you? (Could you explore areas that you are interested in?)
    5. What type of assessment or evaluation will I have? When might this happen? (Having more than one opportunity for feedback can be helpful.)
    6. I will be doing an evaluation of the internship experience for my university. Are you comfortable with this?
    7. Who will be my onsite supervisor? Can I meet him/her? (Check for a good personality fit.)
    8. Will I be able to take projects with me to show future employers when I am being interviewed? (Having one or more projects from your internship as part of your professional portfolio can be a deciding factor in getting a job.)
    9. Will this be a paid internship? (a nice feature, if it’s possible)
    10. Is there potential for being hired by the company after this internship? (Some companies like to have a short-term commitment before making a final decision.)
  4. After the interview, consult with your advisor to determine if the internship still appears to be a good match for you. Notify Dr. Lockee as soon as possible whether you wish to be withdrawn as a candidate for the internship or continue with the process.
  5. Dr. Lockee will notify you of the organization’s decision. If the organization decides to hire you as an intern, you must complete the following steps:
    1. Fill out the Internship in Education Contract, located at http://www.soe.vt.edu/oap/graduateforms.html. (Circle 5754 for Masters level. Circle 7754 for Doctoral level.)
    2. Get the proper signatures on the form.
    3. Turn the form into Nancy in 105 Gym.
  6. Whether you intern with the organization or not, be certain to write a thank you note to the person with whom you interviewed.

During the Internship

Typically, you will have only one semester to complete the internship, so make the best use of your time. Note that, your advisor will not assign a grade until all required internship activities are completed.

  1. Meet with your internship supervisor early to determine what your assignment(s) will be, your work schedule and end date, the dress code, etc.
  2. Meet with your advisor early:
    1. Determine what will be submitted for the internship evaluation and grade. (Typically, you will submit a log of your hours worked as well as a reflective paper of your experience. But, you need to discuss and confirm this with your advisor.)
    2. Create a communication plan for the duration of the internship:
      1. How often will we communicate?
      2. What form will it take? (email, telephone, in-person)
      3. What is the desired content of the communication?
    3. Confirm completion date for the internship and when the final product/report must be submitted
  3. Keep a log of your hours worked.
  4. Keep notes of your internship experience, including such information as what you are learning and how the internship is preparing you as an IT professional.
  5. Complete and submit to your advisor any agreed-to work product (i.e. reflective paper, log of hours worked, etc.) by the due date.
  6. Complete and submit to your advisor your evaluation of the internship experience using the Internship Evaluation form ( Internship Evaluation form (PDF | 38KB) , Internship Evaluation form (DOC | 37KB) )
  7. Send a thank you note to your internship supervisor, thanking him/her for the experience.
  8. Send the Intern Evaluation form to your supervisor, with a request to complete it and return it to your advisor ( Intern Evaluation form (PDF | 42KB) ,   Intern Evaluation form (DOC | 45KB) )

Information for the Organization Sponsoring the Intern

1. The duties and projects assigned to the intern are expected to fall within the realm of instructional technology work and, to the extent possible, support the intern’s professional goals and interests.

2. Internships are for one semester unless alternative arrangements have been made in advance.

3. Internships typically end one to two weeks prior to the semester’s end, especially if the student is enrolled in other courses.

4. The intern’s supervisor should be assigned prior to the internship to facilitate a timely beginning to his/her projects and work responsibilities.

5. The intern will be evaluated by the on-site supervisor as well as his/her university advisor.

a. The intern will provide the on-site supervisor with the evaluation form. ( Intern Evaluation form (PDF | 42KB) , Intern Evaluation form (DOC | 45KB) ) It should be completed and returned to the intern’s university advisor as soon as possible.
b. The university advisor will assign a final grade to the intern only after the supervisor’s completed evaluation form is received.

6. For consistency, the intern will be expected to work a sufficient and standard number of hours each week, as established prior to the start of the internship by the Instructional Technology faculty in consultation with the intern and the sponsoring organization.