The American Word :: Unique Senior Professional Internship program opens up doors

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An American University student-run magazine since 1999



Unique Senior Professional Internship program opens up doors



Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in the April 25 print edition of our magazine.

Internships are often mentioned as the capstone of an undergraduate education.  It supplements the curriculum and allows students to expand their depth of interest and knowledge in a field through real-life challenges. Students apply to every position that meets their criteria to win the coveted experience, yet they might be surprised by how different this learning experience is from what they are used to.  Internships require a different set of skills from what you normally need in a classroom.  The typical experience is more hands-on and personal, as well as more time-consuming.  Without classmates to support you and TA’s making sure that you file your work on time, internships can be demanding, even overwhelming, to a newcomer.

Communications students now have the ability to enroll in the Senior Professional Internship course.  This unique program allows students to apply their academic Communication studies out in the field, while still getting the support and guidance that comes from a class setting.  The course permits the student to gain internship experience and earn college credits at the same time.

On average, the internship will run for 15 hours a week over the semester.  In addition to any other regular classes, the student will attend the internship every week and fulfill on the job duties to be evaluated by a site internship supervisor.  The internship requires students to be professional, timely and proactive.

The unique component of this opportunity is the course.  The Senior Professional Internship class meets three times over the semester, either in person or online.

Communications Professor Scott Talan teaches the course. Professor Talan is known for his engaging teaching style and his passion for communications.  While AU holds a reputation when it comes to fitting students with quality internships, Professor Talan acknowledges that “even so more can be done to increase the benefits for students.  This is partly where the COMM 491 Senior Internship course comes into play.”  Talan says the course ties “academic aspects directly to the internship experience,” which “means reflecting on things to learn and also attempting to anticipate items or issues before they occur.”

Apart from helping students get the most out of their internship experience, Professor Talan points out that a major objective is introducing them to career tools such as Linked In, the world’s largest professional network.

This course is for students that want to take initiative in expanding their educational base. The Senior Professional Internship course will create a smooth transition from the classroom to the field, as well as open doors to other professional skills and opportunities so that you can get the most out of your internship experience.