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Northwest Missouri State University


Frequently Asked Questions About Internships

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How do I find an internship site?

Students have the sole responsibility for finding an appropriate internship site. The internship coordinators maintain a listing of some of the past sites used by our students. You also may search for one using a database from Career Services. It is up to the individual student to contact a given site and secure an internship with them. All sites still need to be approved by the coordinator for the undergraduate internship in Psychology or Sociology.

Should I be concerned that I do not know what kind of field I want to work in when I graduate?

Not necessarily. The whole point of the internship experience is to explore different career areas and opportunities. You should, however, choose a site that has potential career interest for you. Internships should never be afterthoughts, and the organization which sponsors you should only be chosen after careful investigation.

What makes an internship different from a regular job?

An internship is a fixed-term educational opportunity and it has clear learning objectives. Because students earn academic credit for their experiences, most internship sites do not pay regular salaried wages.

The employer is benefited by this arrangement because they get free (or reduced waged workers), and the student is benefited because he or she receives formal supervision and "hands-on" experience.

How will the internship affect my studies?

Studies show that experiential learning programs can enhance classroom performance because in some cases an internship can help you relate an academic theory to actual practice.

Can I do more than one internship through the department?

Generally speaking no... each student is allowed to only do one internship for credit within their program. Exceptions are made for those with a comprehensive psychology and sociology major or those with special circumstances. Individuals may, however, feel free to do non-credited internships at any time.

How many academic credits do I get for an internship?

Each internship is worth three (3) academic credits.

Can I take an undergraduate internship Pass/Fail?

No. Because the undergraduate internship is a course within the psychology, sociology, and comprehensive major, the University will not allow students to take it pass/fail.

What types of things will I be doing at an my internship site?

This is rather a tough question to answer. Each student and site coordinator individually sets up the goals to be attained during the course of the internship. Students are to be involved with as many aspects of the site that are legally, ethically and feasibly possible. Typically students are involved with intake interviews, home visits, individual and group assessment, programming and office duties. Students, however, are not to take internships that only involve clerical work. Such sites will not be accepted by the program director.

What can I do to set myself apart from other applicants that are trying for the same internship?

Treat applying for an internship just like you are applying for a job. Do background research on the potential internship site, make formal contacts, dress and act professionally during the interview, accurately state your strengths and limitations (do not exaggerate), and emphasize that you are motivated and willing to learn.