An internship will help you gain experience, develop professionally, explore possible careers, build relationships in your field, and grow in confidence. Internships are a first step in transitioning from the classroom to the workplace. Where will your internship take you?
85% of Communication students complete at least one internship before graduating. Communication students find internships in organizations both in Grand Rapids and across the nation. To learn more about the value of internships, visit the Career Center website.
Take the Internship Class
Taking COMM 346 while you intern enables you to earn credit and get the most from your internship experience. The course helps you reflect on your experiences in order to more successfully work, relate, collaborate, organize, and communicate in professional settings. Coursework includes weekly seminar participation, readings, journals, a presentation, and a professional portfolio. COMM 346 is offered every fall. If you prefer to complete an internship during spring or summer, ask your advisor about courses that can substitute during those semesters.
When you register for COMM 346, try to leave some blocks of time in your schedule open to give yourself time to complete your internship as well as travel to and from your internship site.
Communication students complete internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations in various fields—public relations, media production, journalism, event planning, social media, acting, ministry, human resources, recruiting, advertising, graphic design, and more. Recent internship placements include:
- Amway Corporation
- Bethany Thrift Store
- Catholic Central High School
- Celebration Cinemas
- Christian Reformed Home Missions
- Coastline Studios
- Community Media Center
- Cornerstone Church
- Eastown Community Association
- Foremost Insurance
- Gorilla Creative Studio
- Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
- Grand Rapids Drive
- Grand Rapids Griffins
- Grand Rapids Symphony
- Love, Incorporated
- Our Daily Bread
- Prince Conference Center
- SideCar Studios
- Seyferth Public Relations
- The Cheney Place
- The Geek Group
- The Potter’s House
- Voyage Productions
During the semester you are enrolled in COMM 346, you must intern in a professional setting (for-profit or non-profit) for a minimum of 10 hours each week. For a position to count as an internship, it must provide you with opportunities for new learning under the supervision of an expert in your field who can provide you with guidance. In order to engage the various levels of learning that an internship affords, we require students to intern off-campus and prefer that they work on-site at an organization rather than telecommuting.
Find an internship
Because we want you to gain experience applying for and interviewing for jobs, you are responsible to secure an internship that fits with your professional interests before the semester begins. You should start searching for and applying to fall internships in April and spring internships in early November. You should prepare your résumé and then search for and apply to potential internships. Here are some resources that can help you in your search:
- Calvin’s Career Center provides guidance and help on résumé and cover letter preparation, interviewing, and other job application skills. You can also meet with a career coach to help focus and direct your search.
- Search the Career Center database on Handshake to find internship openings in your field. Use various keywords to search for positions and check back often.
- Career Fairs are a great place to meet potential employers and learn about internship opportunities.
- Connect with organizations that you are interested in or that previous students have interned at to find out if they are currently offering internships.
- Reach out to personal contacts to let them know that you are looking for an internship: They may be able to provide you with information, leads, or connections.
- Watch for emails from the Communication Department that include internship opportunities. Let your COMM 346 instructor know what kind of internship you are seeking.
When you get an interview, be sure you prepare carefully, research the company, dress appropriately, and follow up with a thank you note. Once you have accepted an internship, notify the COMM 346 instructor and complete the internship agreement through the Career Center.
Complete an Intership Course through an Off-Campus Program
Communication students regularly complete internships through off-campus programs:
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