Internship Policies

Goals of Internship

The internship is an opportunity for final year students to work in a professional environment, using the skills and knowledge that they have learnt as part of their degree. Media and Communication internships are designed to benefit both students and employers. Students receive practical experience in a communication-related career, while employers benefit from their skills, enthusiasm and assistance, and may evaluate first-hand possible future employees.

Student eligibility and expectations

Employer eligibility and expectations

The employer must meet the following criteria before an internship may be approved:

  • The employer must offer an opportunity for the intern to apply, practice and develop skills and knowledge emphasized in the MECO curriculum.
  • Work is expected to be substantive and varied (entry-level duties) and must be related to the MECO curriculum. Typically, this means work in print or online media, TV or video production, radio, and public or media relations fields.
  • The conditions of an internship should be established before the student starts the placement and documented on an Offer Form. These include the nature of the internship, supervisory arrangements, specific responsibilities of the intern, compensation (if any), and work schedules. It is expected that employers will provide a safe environment in which students can work and the materials that students need to complete their assignments (a desk, computer, etc). Once the internship begins, employers should review the students' work with them regularly and treat them as professionals. The workplace supervisor must also complete the Completion Form and return it to the Internship Coordinator.

Workplace visit by the Intern Coordinator

Please note that the Internship Coordinator (or the Internship Academic Advisor) may visit the Intern in the workplace. Interns are asked to check with their supervisor then email the Internship Coordinator with possible times for a work place visit.

Key result areas

Taking into consideration the area of the media or communications industry where you are working, you should be aiming at achieving the following:

  • Completion of a specific project for which you are in some way responsible.
  • Performance of a variety of responsible work assignments.
  • Demonstration of an ability to learn on the job and the progression of your skills.
  • Promotion of initiative and resourcefulness. Find useful things to do or follow-up on previous work independently.
  • Demonstration of excellent writing and verbal skills.
  • Development of analytical or investigative research skills.
  • Demonstration of computer and production skills.
  • Establishment of a work ethic. Be enthusiastic, industrious, dependable, and show good attendance.

Duration and work hours

Students must work a minimum of 140 hours. This is based on 20 x 7hour days.

Internships may be undertaken during semester or in the summer or winter break.

Beyond this, the number of hours per week a student works is dependent on the needs of the employer and the other academic obligations of the student. For example you could work 20 full days in any combination of days and weeks eg. one calendar month full-time, or 2 -3 days per week over 10 -12 weeks.

Credit for current employment

Students may receive internship credit for their current employment if the nature of their work meets the previously stated criteria. An Offer Form must be provided to the Internship Coordinator to establish if the criteria will be met.

Multiple internships

Some employers are unable to offer a full 20-day placement. TV Networks might offer 1 week or 2 weeks maximum. In this case, the student must do another internship in order to fulfil the 140-hour requirement. Also, a student who receives one of the internships advertised online and completes 20 days MAY NOT then apply for a second one.

Policies for full-time internships

Any student who agrees to undertake a full-time internship during semester must be academically free to do so. The internship is not an excuse to miss another department's courses and MECO will not approve or support this.

If you feel there is no alternative to taking up the full-time placement, then you may, and must, approach the Chair of the other department/s whose classes you may be missing, and try to come to an arrangement. But permission is TOTALLY at their discretion.

Academic Supervisor - Projects

At the beginning of each semester an academic advisor will be appointed to coordinate a series of seminars which you must attend for the following unit MECO3672. Please see the MECO 3672 for further information on the Internship Project.

MECO3671 Internship due dates

Offer Form Due date: Immediately following an interview with your supervisor or within the first week of starting your Internship.

Completion Form Due date: On your last day of placement.

Reflective journal (2000 words). Due date: 2 weeks after completion of 20 days of internship placement. The journal is to be submitted by Blackboard and it will be marked and returned by email. A hard copy is not required.

Reflective journal

The main purpose of the Journal is to demonstrate reflective thinking. How did this practical experience compare to your theoretical knowledge? Which units of study and which skills you gained from these units, did you draw on, when undertaking your Internship.

The Learning Objectives of the internship are that you should:

  • Reflect on your experiences in the workplace internship in a critical (analytic and evaluative) manner.
  • Develop a practical understanding of the context of media work and reflect critically on the place of media in society.
  • Appreciate and learn to deal with the tensions that may arise from the differences between media theory and professional media practice.

The purpose of the Reflective Journal is to accomplish the Learning Objectives and:

  • Reinforce your learning
  • Assist you to plan, allocate and manage your time
  • Collect resources to assist you with your research project.

Writing the Reflective Journal:
Please see Blackboard for information about writing the Reflective Journal.

The Reflective Journal is to be submitted via the Internship Blackboard two weeks after the 20th day of your Internship placement.