WHAT IS COMM 450?
COMM 450 is the Internship Program in Communication. This program is designed to provide each student with practical experience and crucial network contacts in their chosen field.
COMM 450 is a requirement for all Communication majors whose concentration is Cinema Arts or whose emphasis is Public Relations or Journalism. Communication Studies students who are interested in Graduate School are encouraged to take COMM 450.
In order to enroll in COMM 450, you must be a junior or senior at VU. You may register for COMM 450 in the fall, summer, or spring semester. If you plan on completing your internship during the summer, you must register for COMM 450 in the summer or following fall only.
When registering for the fall but completing the internship in the summer, you must make sure your internship professor has received your internship application contract and you must still attend the internship summit in the fall.
You may not register in spring of your senior year for a summer internship.
HOW DO I FIND AN INTERNSHIP?
1) Get your resume and cover letter into shape.
The first step is to go to the Career Services with your resume in hand. Make an appointment by calling 714.619.6474 . They will help you get your resume and cover letter together and walk you through the interviewing process. While you are there, sign up for Lions Link , if you haven’t already.
2) Check Lions Link and the Internship Boards.
Lions Link (new link https://vanguard-csm.symplicity.com/students/index.php) is a great resource for internships that fit what you are interested in. Also check out the internship boards at ENTERTAINMENT CAREERS and VARIETY.
3) Ask your Network
Your family, friends, and fellow students may have a connection to the internship you are looking for. Never be afraid to ask. You are offering your expertise for free.
4) Ask the Vanguard Network
Ask the Communication Department Assistant for a list of alumni that might be interested in hiring interns.
5) Cold Call
Ask the Communication Department Assistant for a list of the latest companies that students at Vanguard have interned for. Find something interesting? Call them. See if they are looking for new interns. Check LA 411 for companies that interest you. Give them a call – don’t email, it’s too easy to get lost in the inbox.
6) Be Persistent
You may need to send out your resume and cover letter to more than 5 different companies before you hear a positive response. In our industry, closed doors are a normal challenge – keep going.
I GOT AN INTERNSHIP! WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT?
When you meet with your internship supervisor the first time, they will let you know what tasks you will be responsible for during your internship.
•You must work 50 clock hours for every credit unit for COMM 450. If you are enrolled in 3 units, you must work 150 hours.
• Expect to work in at least 3-5 hour time blocks at your internship.
• Make sure to let your supervisor know your hourly availability. You must make time for your other classes and classwork.
• Plan on arriving a few minutes early than your scheduled “in” time. It will give your supervisor a chance to explain some of your duties and get you up to speed before your day begins.
• Plan for traffic. We live in Southern California.
• Communicating with your intern supervisor is key. If you feel that you are not understanding what is expected, ask questions.
• Working with a team and making contacts is one of the most important parts of any job experience. Do everything you can to get along well with others and learn their names.
• Forget your pride. Sometimes you will be asked to do menial tasks in life. Always do them with a servant heart. Don’t ever complain.
• Make sure to fill out the following forms and logs during your internship:
- INTERNSHIP CONTRACT
- MIDTERM STUDENT EVALUATION FORM
- TIME LOG
- FINAL STUDENT EVALUATION FORM
- FINAL SUPERVISOR EVALUATION FORM
• Here is the Welcome Letter for all students enrolled in COMM-450 for the Spring 2011 semester that includes due dates for each of the assignments and the date of the Internship Summit:
ADVICE FROM COMMUNICATION STUDENTS WHO HAVE COMPLETED THE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM:
• “Decide what area you are thinking of pursuing a career in and then pursue an internship in that area.”
• “If you want to work in Hollywood as a writer, working as a camera operator at a church won’t get you the experience you need to be hired later on.”
• “Be brave and apply to major companies.”
• “Be persistent.”
• “Go to the Career Center to get your resume makeover. I didn’t get a reply for the first 3 weeks of trying, then I went to the career center and emailed out my resume. I got a call back the next day.”
• “Get there early and use the extra time to get acquainted with equipment or people around you.”
• “Take time at home to study what you need to do for the job and get an overall understanding of how things work.”
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What if I’m enrolled and I can’t find an internship I like?
If you are registered for COMM 450 and are unable to find an internship by the add/drop date for classes, you must drop the class by the drop deadline and re-register the next semester. If the class is not dropped by the add/drop date and/or your internship application contract form has not been received by your internship professor, you will be automatically withdrawn from the class, resulting in an F grade.
What if I still can’t find the internship I want? Where else can I look?
You can ask other students, cold call companies and check company websites that you are interested in. It is also helpful to ask fellow students where they have interned to see if you might be able to take their position once they leave. Do not be afraid to ask around. This is a program designed for you to start making connections and keeping contacts everywhere you go.
For example, if you want to work in radio, check out the radio stations website and see their policy on internships and if it can be a possibility for your semester ahead. Just remember everywhere you look, there will be different rules, dates and regulations. It is best to find not only an internship you like, but also one that can fit your schedule and give you time to complete.
Does the school get internships for students? An internship is your responsibility. It is your first chance at a major job accomplishment on your own. How are you going to know how to look for a job when you graduate if you don’t even know how the process works? Vanguard and the Communication professors can help with many internship opportunities, but it is the student’s job to act upon them.
What if I’m enrolled in the class, found an internship, turned in my forms to Vanguard and find that I do not like my internship? Can I still drop out or do I have to complete the course?
If there is still time to meet the add /drop course deadline, then you can drop the internship and find one next semester. However, it is encouraged to complete your internship. You may not like all the tasks involved, but showing your commitment to yourself, the course and the company will get you farther in finding a job and a career in your field. It is best to show your best qualities and do ALL tasks involved. Often times, an intern supervisor will start you with menial tasks until they can assess your talents and capabilities. It takes a great deal of time and investment to train you in an internship.
Can I get more than one internship?
The more hands on experience you get, the better. To be enrolled in COMM 450, you only have to do one internship. Previous students have done more than one internship, by enrolling different semesters for COMM 450. You can take up to six units credit for Internship. Although, make sure to plan your schedule accordingly before it becomes to stressful and effect the work in your other classes. If you find a good internship your junior year, you might want to continue the internship for one unit each semester as to not exceed your total of six units and keep up your contact with the company until you graduate.
HOW AM I GRADED?
1) Turning in all forms:
- Internship Application Contract (15%)
- Midterm Student Evaluation Form (10%)
- Signed Tim Log (10%)
-Final Student Evaluation Form (10%)
-Final Supervisor Evaluation Form (10%)
2) Your attendance at the Internship Summit in the middle of the semester (25%)
3) Your completed resume with your new job information. (10%)
4) Your performance based on the Internship supervisors’ assessments (mid-term and final). (20%)
I completed my internship. What do I do now?
Ask to have a meeting with your co-workers. Let them know that today is your last day and you are thankful for the opportunity to work there. Make sure to keep the contact information for all your co-workers, including other interns.
Often times your internship supervisor will be so happy with your performance that they will offer you a job or a letter of recommendation. Make sure to write them a thank you note for the experience and their mentorship.
Turn in your final internship hours sheet to the Communication department assistant. Double check and make sure all electronic forms were submitted while you are there.
Meet with your internship advisor and bring your new resume with your new job information details. Check with your intern advisor to make sure all forms were completed appropriately.