The Purpose of an Internship Opportunity
In recognition that education extends beyond the formal classroom, the faculty of the School of Information Studies (iSchool) recommend students to participate in special learning situations outside existing courses. The internship program is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to work in a day-to-day professional environment under the supervision of an experienced professional and with the guidance of an iSchool faculty member. In addition, the programs are designed to promote positive interaction between the faculty and students of the iSchool and experienced information management and technology professionals in institutions, businesses, libraries, and other agencies.
Where the Internship fits into an iSchool Program
Students can register internships for credit after completing approximately one- half of their academic program for the School of Information Studies (iSchool) . This is to ensure that they have the skills to be successful in the work experience they select. However, students are encouraged to plan early so that their work experience will best parallel their professional goals. It is never too early to contact the Academic Advisor or the Faculty Supervisor to develop a goal and discuss possibilities.
Internship experiences for credit can be used as “Elective IST” credit or “General Elective” credit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I required to do an internship?
No. Internships are not currently required in the undergraduate curriculum at the School of Information Studies. However, the chance to further develop skills learned in the classroom, to make connections in the working world, and to test possible career plans is an invaluable opportunity that many students choose to take advantage of. In addition, internships are an impressive addition to a recent college graduates resume.
How and where do I register for an internship?
You must register through MySlice for your internship credits, just like you would for any other class. Register for IST 471 for all IT work experiences. Be sure to enter the number of credit hours you are seeking for the internship. Most iSchool undergrads choose either three (3) or six (6) credits of internship, depending on the number of hours worked. If you seek three (3) credit hours you must work a minimum of 150 hours; six (6) credits would require 300 work hours. iSchool internship courses have a variable amount of credit associated with them, so be sure to enter the correct number of credit hours you plan to earn. MySlice will default to one credit hour if no amount is entered. If you have questions about registering for your internship, contact Kathy Benjamin ( email@example.com ) for assistance.
In addition, you must document your internship by submitting the forms found in the IST 471 Blackboard course during the semester you are working at the internship. The Proposal form must be uploaded to the IST 471 course on Blackboard at least one week before you begin working. You will not get credit for the internship if you do not turn in this paperwork! In addition, the Proposal cannot be accepted for past work experiences. The three additional forms necessary for internship credit are the Learning Agreement , Student Evaluation and Site Supervisor Evaluation . There are also topics for discussion that require student postings, all of which can be found in the IST 471 course on Blackboard. Be sure to check for any other assignments on the syllabus and/or Content/Assignment section of the Blackboard course.
Finding an Internship
In selecting a site, use the following resources:
Your advisor has probably worked with other students in similar situations, and may have suggestions for where you can pursue an internship. He or she may also help you define your skills to include on your resume.
Your program listserv
This listserv (istugrad) is utilized by the iSchool’s Career Services and Employer Relations team to post some currently available jobs, internships and co-ops, including local to international positions. Information on employer-hosted info sessions and workshops are also sent to the program listservs as they become known to the iSchool Career Center staff.
The main web-based system in which students should search for jobs, internships, and co-ops is Handshake ( syr.joinhandshake.com). Handshake can also be accessed from your MySlice account.
iSchool Career Services
This office, located in 114 Hinds Hall, puts together the iSchool Career Fairs, held every fall and spring semester, where employers come to campus to meet students with technology skills to fill internship and employment opportunities within their organizations.
The members of the Career Services Center can help with resume preparation, mock interviews, and career guidance. They can also help you with internship requirements for credit and working with employers to schedule information sessions and events on campus as well as post job/internship opportunities in Handshake.
Schedule an appointment through Handshake to meet with any member of the Career Services Center.
Tips for Finding an Internship Site
Use all of your connections
The internship opportunity does not have to come from the iSchool or Career Services. Feel free to enlist the help of family, friends, professors, administrators, or anyone else you may know who is in a position to help you. Be creative in the utilization of resources from the library such as national guides for internships to reach outside of the Syracuse community.
There is a vast assortment of online resources available that provide lists of internships worldwide, as well as individual company websites listing internship opportunities. Just keep in mind that the site and your role there must meet the criteria specified by the School of Information Studies in order for you to earn credit.
There must be a Site Supervisor who has professional work experience and is more knowledgeable about the work than the student
The Site Supervisor must be willing to guide, supervise, and evaluate the student
There must be specific, finite tasks for the student to complete
These tasks must be considered educationally useful by the faculty supervisor
Be sure to obtain the faculty supervisor’s approval before you begin work
Have an effective resume
Remember, this may be your initial contact with an employer. Make sure it reflects exactly what you want conveyed to an employer. There are a variety of resume workshops scheduled during the academic semesters, usually before career fair time. These workshops could be one-on-one resume review sessions with employers that come to the iSchool or could be in a group setting hosted by the iSchool Career Services team.
Students who may be unfamiliar with the resume and its purpose can start by visiting the iSchool Career Service’s website for a resume template . Once a resume draft has been created, you should schedule an appointment with a Career Services advisor through Handshake for a resume review. They can give you tips and pointers for an effective resume to send to potential employers.
Internship sites are as varied as the students who find them. When you are searching for a site, consider these organizations that have hosted interns in past semesters:
- Ernst & Young (EY), New York, NY
- JPMorgan Chase & Co., New York, NY
- Deloitte Consulting, New York, NY
- General Electric (GE), Schenectady, NY
- Sidearm Sports, Syracuse, NY
- Cognizant Technology Solutions, Teaneck, NJ
- Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority, Sterling, VA
- Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA
- Iron Mountain, Boston, MA
- Cardinal Health, Dublin, OH
- Crowe Horwath, New York, NY
- Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Washington, DC
- Revlon, New York, NY
- KPMG, New York, NY
- Fox News, New York, NY
- IBM, Gaithersburg, MD
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio, New York, NY
- The Hartford Financial Services Group, Hartford, CT
- Atlantic Records, New York, NY
Who’s Who in the Internship Process
A guide to the important players in your internship opportunity search and successful experience:
This is you. The weight of this experience is on you, but the benefits are yours to reap. Here are some things you MUST do:
- Be proactive in your search for an internship opportunity
- Ask questions and be persistent in securing an internship
- Turn in the necessary paperwork on time
- Meet with your Faculty Supervisor
This faculty member will act as the professor for the course, assisting you throughout the internship opportunity, contacting your Site Supervisor to track your performance, and assigning your grade.
This is the person with whom you will work at the site. He or she is not determined until you have selected a site and been offered a position; and this might not be the same person who hired you. In order to qualify for this position, this person must have skills superior to yours, have professional work experience, and must be willing to guide you and evaluate your work. The Site Supervisor’s main responsibilities are to:
- Advise you in your work
- Orient you to the site
- Provide you with the necessary space and supplies to work
- Assist with completion of the Learning Agreement
- Evaluate you at the completion of your assignment
- Communicate with the Faculty Supervisor in reference to your work
iSchool Career Services & Employer Relations Coordinator
Kathy Benjamin (firstname.lastname@example.org) can help you with the internship process. She can also assist with internship registration issues and general help for internship searches. Kathy is the go-to person for CPT and OPT letters for international students.
Center for International Services
International students must see an advisor in this office to ensure that they can work in the United States. There is additional mandatory paperwork required by the CIS that you must complete before starting an internship.
The Center is located on Walnut Place (across Waverly Ave. from Bird Library) and the telephone number is 315-443-2457
Overview of the Internship Process
When you’ve accepted an Internship Position
Step 1: Accept a position and contact your Faculty Supervisor
Ideally, you should contact your faculty supervisor before you accept your position. Your faculty supervisor will make sure that your selected site is appropriate before you have spent significant time filling out paperwork.
Step 2: Register for IST 471 through MySlice
It is preferable to register during the regular registration period for a semester. If you have any registration questions or concerns, contact Kathy Benjamin, Career Services & Employer Relations Coordinator, 114 Hinds Hall, or email her, email@example.com . You may register before you have found a site if you anticipate that you will find one during a particular semester.
Step 3: Fill out the Proposal Form and submit it to Blackboard course for IST 471
This form must be turned in at least one week before you begin work. This documents your internship opportunity with the School of Information Studies but must still be approved by the faculty supervisor. This form provides the school with a brief, overall outline of what you think you will be doing at the site. While it must have some detail, you do not need to know every aspect of your internship at this point. If you need assistance, discuss the form with your Site or Faculty Supervisor.
Once you've started working
Step 4: Complete the Learning Agreement
This form should be completed once you have worked 30 hours for the site. By this point, you will have a much better idea of exactly what you are doing on the job, and can detail your assignment more accurately. If there are changes between what you expected to do and what you find you are actually doing, report them here. You may limit your response to the form, or attach additional pages if necessary. This form is an important part of your grade, so it should be taken seriously and filled out with care. Upload your Learning Agreement to the Blackboard course for IST 471 .
Step 5: Check IST 471 in Blackboard for any additional assignments/postings during the semester
Step 6: Mid-point Evaluation
Expect your Faculty Supervisor to contact your Site Supervisor for a discussion of your performance. In some local cases, the Faculty Supervisor may make a site visit.
Step 7: Finish the work assignment and Student Evaluation Form
At this point, you must complete the Student Evaluation Form and upload it to the Blackboard course for IST 471 . This form will not affect your grade, but will give you the opportunity to rate the value of the experience in relation to your overall program at the School of Information Studies and to your career goals.
Step 8 : Ensure that your Site Supervisor has completed the Site Supervisor Evaluation Form
Your supervisor will receive a copy of this form early in your internship, but it is a good idea for you to make sure that he or she is in possession of the correct form, and that it is returned in a timely manner. All site supervisor evaluations should be returned to Kathy Benjamin ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) or faxed to her at 315-443-5673. In addition to the form provided by the School of Information Studies, the Site Supervisor may choose to evaluate your performance using an in- house evaluation form. This is also an excellent time to request that your Site Supervisor provide you with a reference letter for your future use.
Internship Overview Checklist for Students
- Finding an internship
- Meet with your Academic Advisor
- Check Handshake and program listserv for internship opportunities
- Familiarize yourself with the internship process outlined in this guide
- After you have accepted an offer
- Contact your Faculty Supervisor
- Register for IST 471
- Meet with your Site Supervisor
- Fill out a Proposal Form and submit it to the IST 471 course on Blackboard before starting work at the site
- During the internship
- Fill out the Learning Agreement, upload it to the IST 471 course on Blackboard after you have worked 30 hours
- Work the necessary number of hours
- Complete any postings and/or assignment(s) for your Faculty Supervisor
- Upon completion of the assignment
- Fill out the Student Evaluation Form
- Remind your Site Supervisor to complete an evaluation form
- Complete any assignment(s), if required, for your Faculty Supervisor