Information for Faculty Supervision of Internships
- Dr. Corkey is English's Internship Coordinator.
- Michele Boté is the main contact at Experiential Learning and Career Management.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Internship Supervisor
- Determine from the department coordinator the conditions of student assignment (internship location, duration, work function and responsibilities).
- Accumulate a minimum of five (5) communications with the student during their intern experience. Meetings with the student should occur on at least three (3) separate occasions, one of which must be an on-site visit preferably around midterm (site visit scheduled by student), if the student's experience occurs within a 100-mile radius of Millersville University.
- Complete mid-term on-site visitation responsibilities, including a rating/review of the student's work performance-and consultation with the student and their immediate employer supervisor.
- Collect all student assignments and evaluations, and, based on this material and student contact, determine and report the student's grade at the end of the term.
- Whenever possible, initiate new or expanded contacts for the development of additional internship experiences.
- Whenever possible, assist the internship student with registration and other liaisons with campus offices.
- The student is expected to initiate contact with you.
- You represent the university and the interests of the English program.
- You are a liaison with the placement to help the student reach agreed upon learning objectives.
- Complete following checklist:
Approved student's learning objectives _____
Visited site and met co-op supervisor _____
Approved final submission _____
Setting Learning Objectives
Assist student with developing learning objectives for the internship. Have students write down at least one objective from each of the categories below to discuss at the first meeting. You can use these objectives as a basis for subsequent meetings, too. Below are some questions for each topic to help develop focused objectives.
- What theories, concepts, ideas from my coursework will I look to apply in my internship role?
- What aspects of the profession do I want to learn more about?
- I will learn how rhetorical principles apply to various texts created by my organization.
- I want to learn how feminist theory critiques how organizations like this one treat female clients.
- What skills do I hope to learn in my internship?
- What kinds of tasks would I like to practice?
- I want to see how journalism interviewing techniques can help me develop profiles for the company's web site.
- I want to develop the communication skills needed to respond to customer inquiries.
- I want to learn the conventions used to draft and edit blog posts for my organization.
- What would I like to know about leadership styles in the workplace?
- What do I want to learn about the career paths, experiences, and education of people in the field?
- I want to determine if working for a marketing firm is an appropriate career goal for me.
- I hope to learn from my new colleagues how to develop my potential as an editor of online publications.
Suggestions for 5 Meetings
Make the first meeting a business lunch at the Campus Grill that you bill to the department. Emphasize office etiquette and professional decorum: dress, manners, topics of conversation, and phone use.
Perhaps discuss the statement of learning objectives at the first meeting. Use agreed upon learning objectives to guide subsequent meetings.
During ongoing meetings, discuss the student's understanding of the different audiences they are writing for or presenting to. Make sure the student notices the effect of different audience demands on their writing and presenting.
Meeting 3 optional assignment
Have the student write a concise job description of the work s/he has been doing at the internship (one that could be used on a job search website or as an advertisement/call for openings). Give the student some examples and ask him/her to find others by going to job search sites (like indeed.com).
Meeting 4 Optional assignment
Have the student write a list of skills learned/picked up at the job, both hard skills and soft skills. Then, have the student write up a work experience section of their résumé for the internship position (job position, company/organization, dates of employment, primary duties, responsibilities,and accomplishments). Send the student the Career Services booklet and provide examples.
Allow the student to explain, in front of the supervisor, their processes and products to make evident what was learned and accomplished.
Meet with student and co-op supervisor to delineate the experiences that got the student to consider audience dynamics: research that gave the student insight, adjustments made to accommodate different audience needs, inside the organization versus outside, different levels of specialization, etc.
Bring out issues that help the student see the professional roles assumed. Help student see, with the help of the co-op supervisor, how an individual can assume the voices and responsibilities that reflect the goals, message, and identity of an organization. If helpful, meet with supervisor separately from the student to get the most honest assessment of the experience.
Question the student and co-op supervisor to assess the English Department's preparation of the student for this job. What skills did the student feel s/he needed more practice in? What aspects of their assignments were new to them? Bring this information back to Dr. Corkery in the department. For example, in the past we have heard our students needed information on phone protocols for voice calls.
Use the final meeting for a mock interview, where students explain their experience in the context of applying for another job. This meeting could also be used to review the student's resume.
Student could submit a digital portfolio of the work they've completed and provide the contextual framework for each piece included in the portfolio (who it was written for [the audience], the purpose [why it was written], the message, how it was used [placed on the website, placed in a blog, used for advertising, etc.]). This will help them when they create a digital portfolio (for the capstone course) and potentially during an interview when they might explain the work they've done.
Possibly as part of the required portfolio submission, students will develop a presentation (video, poster, panel) for Made in Millersville with the purpose of drawing out insights about how particular classes informed their internship work and how their internships have helped put their majors into a professional context.
In addition to the portfolio submission (currently Outcomes Paper), students will develop a blog post on their experience. This post should be oriented toward students interested in internships to give them a sense of the kind of work done and the quality of the experience. These blog posts will be published on our English Newsletter website.