Internships are one of the best ways to get experience in a chosen field as a student. They can be an important part of deciding what post-college life will look like and have numerous benefits such as hands-on learning. The Mount encourages students from every major to aspire to obtain an internship before they graduate. Many majors at the Mount even require their students to participate in an internship in order to graduate. These majors are as follows: History, Business, Philosophy, Political Science, Economics, Health Sciences, Communication, Education, Conflict, Peace and Social Justice, Human Services and Sports Management. While internships are an extremely important experience for any college student, it can also be a very intimidating and confusing process. However, after talking to Matthew Pouss, the Lead Internship Coordinator at the Mount, it is clear that the process of gaining and registering for an internship is really a smooth and easy procedure with numerous advantages for the student.
When first looking for an internship, a helpful step is to go to the Career Center and talk to one of the counselors. This can help you determine if there is a specific place at which you would like to intern and if there is any way the Mount can help with the internship process. Once the internship is picked out, it is important to read the policies and guidelines for credit-based internships. This document will detail all of the important regulations that are placed on internships when doing one for credit and will outline the next steps the student will have to take once they get the internship.
Once the internship is acquired and the student is ready to register for the internship credits, the next important document to look at is the Learning Agreement. The student must fill out this form to show the parameters of the internship--all the information about the organization which the internship is through, the faculty sponsor who monitors the student’s progress and the students learning objectives among other essential information. The faculty sponsor is an important step because they will be analyzing and grading all the work that is done throughout the internship in order to earn the credit. When choosing a sponsor, it is best to choose a professor or administrator in that particular field or with whom the student has a working relationship. Once this part of the document is all completed, the student will need to sign the document and obtain signatures from both their sponsor and the chair of the department of the specific major. The document is then sent to the Career Center, where it will be reviewed and recorded for use throughout the semester.
Internships are highly encouraged for students because it allows them to get experience that they would not have from simply learning in the classroom. The student is able to reflect on the concepts that they have already learned and gain experiential education in the field they have been studying. It gives the student the opportunity to build and expand on the skills that have been obtained in the classroom so that they are better prepared for the workforce after graduation. The Career Center is always available to assist and guide further in the internship process and any of your career needs throughout the semester.