Must-Read for Internships

Check back here in early JANUARY 2020 for an ISC 399 information update . . .


Your ISC 399 internship places you on the threshold of your career in the multifaceted ISC world. It challenges you to put to the test the knowledge and skills you've built as an ISC major. It also challenges you to propel your career readiness by learning -about- your ISC 399 intern company and how it operates . . . how it intersects and interacts with its key audiences . . . how it excels competitively . . . and how it strives to sustain motivated employees. Along with facts and procedures, you'll learn, you'll expand and polish your tech-based skills. You'll also expand and strengthen professional connections.

As you know, bright and highly motivated students from all over the country will be competing against you for jobs in the industry. Your goal is to be a standout applicant. Your ISC 399 internship can be a key contributor to that goal.

There is a direct connection between the work you do as an intern and ISC's required senior portfolio. As you see at ISC's listing about the portfolio requirement:

  • "At least 2 of the 8 samples must reflect work completed during your ISC 399 internship."

This requirements applies to all the ISC Paths. While you'll have a range of options from your ISC classes, future employers are especially interested in work created for and used by actual clients. Your ISC internship insures that you'll have opportunities to meet that expectation.

'Applying' to intern via ISC 399 is the starting point . . . it puts you in the ISC 399 pipeline. Right now, read the info below [7 STEPS] so you know 'what's what' in terms of ISC 399 and what it means in terms of your internship planning. Then, you'll be required to confirm, via electronic signature, that you've read and understood the ISC 399/Internship requirements and process.

STEP 1: WHEN YOU'LL BE ELIGIBLE

Prior to your ISC 399 internship, you must complete your ISC PATH [ Creative | Public Relations | Account Management | Direct Response ] . You'll also want to have completed a variety of skills-based and industry-related conceptual ISC electives before the internship so you're a strong competitor for the intern position you want most.

STEP 2: WHEN TO INTERN

The closer you are to graduation - that's the best time to intern via ISC 399. Here's why. Just when you're approaching graduation, as an ISC 399 intern, you'll be Top-of-Mind among the professionals at your intern site. That puts you in an ideal position to get their most enthusiastic support - ranging from recommendation letters/calls ... to helping you upgrade your portfolio to pro-level ... to possible tips about job openings. And if an intern's stars align, once in a while, an entry job opens at the internship site and the about-to-graduate intern (you!) is ideal for it!

STEP 3: WHEN TO APPLY

Apply during the semester prior to the one when you'll intern. Each semester, there's a lengthy window of time when eligible ISC majors can apply. The dates of the application window will be at the top of this 'MUST READ' page. There will also be announcements (and reminders) posted to all majors via the ISC LISTSERV. If you're not yet signed up for LISTSERV messages, go to the 'ABOUT US' tab at the top of this page.

STEP 4: HOW TO FIND AN INTERNSHIP

When you apply to intern via ISC 399, you'll be asked to specify where you plan to intern. So, obviously, you need to start exploring possible intern sites --before-- you actually apply to intern via ISC 399. The site (company/organizations) where you'll intern must be one that's applied for and earned 'APPROVED' status from the ISC Department. You'll find a broad range of approved sites at the RECENT INTERNSHIPS page on this website. There, explore approved internship site options and identify several best-fit opportunities for the career future you want. Of course, interns are expected to have the basic skills necessary for the company where they'll intern.

If you are applying at more than one site, list all of them on your ISC 399 application. Here's a reality to keep in mind when considering 'where' to intern for ISC 399 credit: ISC majors help themselves by seeking & securing an internship at an approved, _new-to-them_ site. It maximizes having new challenges where you build more skills and expand your professional/career network. It ALSO helps ensure that your resume looks richer ... more diverse ... and more impressive.

Here are core criteria that are assessed when a prospective site applies to host an intern:

  • Has intern work/lesson plan centered on a focused range of ISC-keyed tasks.
    Several of these must result in job-hunt worthy portfolio work.

  • The person who's to be the intern's site supervisor must be a professional working in an ISC-keyed position and have a documented record of ISC-keyed work.

  • Dedicated work space for the intern, equipped with the current hardware/software needed to do assigned tasks.

  • Starts the intern's week - or ends it - with a brief status chat. The supervisor offers their view of the intern's development . . . quality of work, personal 'air' of professionalism, tips on areas to improve, etc. It's also a time to discuss work for the week ahead and how to prioritize tasks. The goal for supervisor and intern is to have a clear work-week plan so the intern's 'on clock' time is always productive.

ISC also requires that internships be on-site, not remote. Along with the goal to develop/learn/refine ISC-keyed skills, we also expect ISC majors to learn how to develop professional relationships with co-workers where there is regular/ongoing in-person, business-based interaction/dynamics. Among other in-person site-based interactions, we look to interns being able to experience in-person staff meetings, meetings with clients, and meetings with prospective clients. We also look for ISC interns to be able to shadow/sit in with other staff to better understand how the intern's work impacts the ISC-keyed work done at the site. The opportunities and rewards of being on-site and in-person are significant, valuable features of the ISC 399 internship.

These are conditions where a site would not be approved to host an ISC intern:

  • A position where a student (the intern) would be the only ISC/communications person within an organization, thus without supervision by a professional with ISC skills.

  • A position where an ISC intern will be supervised by another student.

  • A position where sales is the focus.

  • A position where the majority of the student’s time is spent making copies, filing, entering spreadsheet data, answering telephones, or the like. The ISC internship experience must focus on ISC-keyed professional tasks.

If you're interested in a site that fully meets the ISC Department's criteria we require, ask the person who would be the prospective intern supervisor to fill out the ISC Host Application. We'll review the site's info/intern plan and determine whether the internship will qualify for ISC 399 credit. Keep in mind that a site's application to host an intern for academic credit does not guarantee that the site will earn approval.

When you're sure the supervisor has submitted the application, email Prof. Ryan (scoobie@uky.edu) that the application is ready for review. If the prospective supervisor has questions, have him or her email Professor Ryan. An application review can take time, perhaps including a site visit, so it's essential an application-to-host is made early in the term prior to the planned internship semester.

Over time, an approved site may be changed to 'No Longer Approved'. That occurs when/if any of the core criteria (above) changes or there are other, unexpected changes.

STEP 5: HOW DOES THE PROCESS FROM 'APPLY' to 'ENROLL' to 'PAY TUITION' WORK
  1. You apply

  2. Your application is reviewed & you receive an email confirming your eligibility (or, telling you otherwise).

  3. You're also told if the site where you propose to intern is approved to host an ISC 399 intern.

When your ISC 399 application at an approved site earns approval*, you'll shortly be sent an ISC 399 contract form, with tips about filling it out by the ISC faculty supervisor (Dr. Whitlow scott@uky.edu). Use your laptop to read the info and prep the contract -- not a cell. When your contract earns ISC approval and, then, is signed/turned in, you'll be enrolled in ISC 399. Please note: students can not self-enroll in the ISC 399 class.

Contract Prep Your ISC 399 Internship contract states what you expect to learn (goals) during the internship, what your intern responsibilities and duties are throughout the internship and what your outcomes/results will be. [NB: Keep foremost in mind that several of these results must be portfolio-potential items.] To prep the contract, you'll need to discuss each of these topics with your internship site supervisor. As soon as you've prepared your contract, submit it to the ISC faculty supervisor for review. Be prepared to make any needed changes and resubmit it for approval.

Until the ISC 399 supervisor approves your contract, you'll not be enrolled in ISC 399 and NO hours you might have worked will count toward the required 150 hours.

Retroactive ISC 399 credit, for any prior internship work, is not available.

Tuition UK will bill you for tuition (along with other courses you're taking) during the semester in which you're working at the internship site. If you intern during the Fall or Spring semester and register for between 12 and 19 course hours, ISC 399 will be included in your tuition for the semester. If you enroll in the Summer, you will be registered for ISC 399 during the second 8-week summer session and you will pay per credit hour. ISC 399 is three credit hours.

* Be aware that, as a function of the criteria stated above, in STEP 4, it's possible that a site may not earn approval to host an intern.

STEP 6: WHAT'S EXPECTED OF YOU DURING THE INTERNSHIP

Time Requirements: The ISC Department requires you to spend 150 hours at your internship for three credits. That means that during a 15-week Fall or Spring semester, you would usually be at the internship about 10-12 hours a week. The maximum during Fall/Spring is 12 hours. During the Fall or Spring semester when you intern, plan your overall schedule so you have blocks of time (EG: 4-5 hours/day) reserved for the internship.

Class Requirements: Across your ISC 399 internship, you'll write a weekly log, reporting on aspects of your intern work. You'll also write a Mid and a Final Report. Information about the prep of these will be provided when you are enrolled in ISC 399.

STEP 7: HOW YOUR GRADE IS DETERMINED

ISC 399 is a pass/fail class. It is not uncommon for students to receive an incomplete. Students may receive an incomplete because grades had to be submitted before the student completed all the assignments, their required internship hours, or the on-site supervisor did not complete the required evaluation. Once assignments, hours and the evaluation have been submitted, the "I" will be changed to a "P.” While it does not happen often, students have failed ISC 399. Because it is a required course, that means the student must then begin over and complete another, 150 hour, internship.

Now you’re ready to apply . . .

To certify that you have read and understand the above faqs, please return to this page during the registration window from January 6th to January 16th.

TIPS TO BE A 'STAR' INTERN
  • Be professional

  • Treat an internship as the first step in your career. It IS!

  • Be on time, stay the hours you’ve said you’re going to work, avoid doing personal errands, email or social media when at work, and don’t burn any bridges.

  • Remember the employer evaluation completed by your internship supervisor is a vital part of the evaluation process. Negative feedback can adversely affect your grade. Students have failed ISC 399 due to poor evaluations.