Graduate Communication Internship FAQs

Answers to Common Internship Questions
How do I receive course or academic credit for participating in an internship?
What requirements do I need to meet to register for COMMUN 998?
Where can I do my internship?
How do I find an internship sponsor?
What do I do after I find an organization that agrees to sponsor me in an internship?
How do I register for COMMUN 998?
What learning activities will I be expected to do in COMMUN 998?
If I have additional questions, who should I contact?

Q: How do I receive course or academic credit for participating in an internship?
A: The Department of Communication offers graduate internship credit through COMMUN 998.

COMMUN 998 is designed to provide students with an opportunity to:

  1. Examine professional workplace communication issues
  2. Develop skills and experience while engaging in the work of an entry-level professional
  3. Apply and evaluate content learned from Communication courses
  4. Synthesize coursework and "real-world" experience within the framework of a graded term paper

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Q: What requirements do I need to meet to register for COMMUN 998?
A: General Internship Rules

  • All internships must be under the supervision of a UWM Communication faculty member holding Graduate Faculty status
  • All internships must adhere to the requirements listed in COMMUN 998 Internship Application and Enrollment Policies and Procedures (available in Johnston 210, from Internship Director, or from this website. Student and Sponsor Guidelines for Communication Internships
  • No student can take more than one internship per semester
  • COMMUN 998 may be taken for 1-3 credits
  • The minimum number of internship hours required by the Department of Communication for 1 credit is 40 hours. Therefore, registering for 3 credits requires the student to work a minimum of a 120 hours during the semester.
  • Academic credit is not given for the time spent or activities completed during the internship/work experience. Instead, academic credit is given upon the successful completion of academic exercises completed during and related to the internship. For more information on these activities ask the faculty member supervising your internship for his/her's COMMUN 998 Course Syllabus.

Prior to enrolling in COMMUN 998, Communication Internship, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Completed 12 credits in graduate Communication credit
  2. Students completing an internship as part of the Graduate Certificate in Mediation and Negotiation must also have completed at least six of the twelve credits from the list of approved mediation courses
  3. Received written confirmation that you have been accepted to do an internship from a sponsoring agency or organization
  4. Received written consent from the faculty member supervising the internship
  5. Received written consent from the director of the Communication Graduate Program

Be certain that you meet all of these requirements before looking for an internship. The Department of Communication will make no exceptions to these requirements.

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Q: Where can I do my internship?
A: Internship opportunities are available in local non-profit and for-profit organizations. Internships may also be paid or unpaid. There are also opportunities which may involve relocation to the organization or to a branch site, such as, Walt Disney World in Florida or Greenpeace. Former COMMUN 998 students have worked for a variety of internship sponsors including:

Briggs and Stratton
Mortgage Guaranty Investment Corporation
Northwestern Mutual
Harley Davidson
Kohler Company
Direct Supply
City of Milwaukee
Johnson Controls

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Q: How do I find an internship sponsor?
A: The most suitable internship for you may differ considerably from what best suits your fellow students. You need to think about the knowledge and skills that you have to offer, as well as, those you would like to build. For some students, the type of organization or the mission of an organization may be important in selecting an internship opportunity. These decisions are yours, but here are some ideas on where to search for an internship sponsor:

  • Access UWM's Career Development Center
  • Access other web sites devoted to internships (e.g., www.internshipprograms.com)
  • Seek out information from organizations that you are attracted to about the internship experiences they sponsor (keep in mind that all opportunities must be publicly advertised - see Student and Sponsor Guidelines for Communication Internships
  • You are also free to contact an agency or organization to inquire if it has an internship program. Keep in mind that many agencies and organizations post their internship opportunities on their company websites. However, all sponsors must publicly advertise the availability of the internship in a manner that allows equal and sufficient access to the posting by all UW Milwaukee students. The Department of Communication will make no exceptions to this rule.
  • If you are planning to do an internship with a sponsor NOT listed or posted on UWM's CDC website you must provide the Internship Director with a copy of the internship advertisement.
  • You are responsible for making all necessary arrangements to contact and interview the prospective agency or organizational internship sponsor(s).
  • Contact the organization to ask about the availability of the internship and discuss your interest. However, if the organization indicates that you should not call them, please respect their wishes. Be certain to follow the application instructions per their advertisement.
  • Application materials usually include a well-written cover letter, resume, and any other materials requested by the sponsoring organization. If you'd like assistance with any of these materials, contact UWM's Career Development Center (414-229-4486 - Mellencamp Hall 128). The CDC would be more than willing to review your letter and resume and offer suggestions.
  • Like all job searches, finding an organization willing to sponsor you in an internship takes time and patience. The chances are that you will rejected by some organizations. However, keep trying!
  • Once you find an organization willing to sponsor you in an internship, you will want to register for COMMUN 998.

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Q: What do I do after I find an organization that agrees to sponsor me in an internship?
A: First, you need to ask a UWM Communication faculty who is qualified to teach COMMUN 998 if she or he is willing to supervise your completion of COMMUN 998. If you look under COMMUN 998 in the UWM Schedule of Classes, you will find the list of faculty who are qualified to offer COMMUN 998 credits. The decision to direct your internship is the faculty member's. If he or she agrees to direct you in COMMUN 998, your next step will be to locate a company or organization willing to sponsor you in an internship.

Second, you and the organization or agency agreeing to sponsor your internship must complete and return a Communication Internship Application.

Information on this application will be used to verify that your internship experience will primarily involve training you to perform work related tasks and that you will be under close supervision during this instructional process.

You can obtain a copy of this application by:

  • Going to the Department of Communication, 210 Johnston Hall
  • or Downloading the application below

Download an electronic version of the Student and Sponsor Guidelines for Communication Internships and Application to apply.

In addition, this information will be used to confirm that the sponsoring agency or organization has signed an Affiliation Agreement with the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. If the agency or organization has not signed an Affiliation Agreement, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s Office of Risk Management will contact the agency or organization to arrange for an Affiliation Agreement.

Your completed Communication Internship Application should be returned to the faculty member supervising your COMMUN 998.

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Q: How do I register for COMMUN 998?
A: You may enroll in COMMUN 998 only after your COMMUN 998 Communication Internship until this agreement has been approved by the faculty member supervising your internship and the Director of the Communication Graduate Program.

Your supervising professor will notify you that your application has been accepted and after you receive this confirmation you may enroll in COMMUN 998 using the PAWS registration procedures.

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Q: What learning activities will I be expected to do in COMMUN 998?
A: The specific learning activities associated with your internship will vary based on the faculty member directing your internship. Please consult with this faculty member to determine these learning activities as well as course and grading policies.

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Q: If I have additional questions, who should I contact?
A: For general questions regarding the internship program contact:

Kathryn Fonner
Associate Professor; Internship Director
Department of Communication
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
fonner@uwm.edu

For questions regarding internships for the Mediation and Negotiation Certificate Program contact:

Nancy Burrell
Professor
Department of Communication
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
nburrell@uwm.edu

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Department of Communication
Johnston Hall, 210
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
2522 E. Hartford Ave.
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201
(414) 229-4261