There are a few key steps that go into the internship process. Below is a checklist for how to successfully get through this process.
- Secure an internship
- Fill out the IMS Form and submit it to the PSM coordinator
- Request permission from the PSM coordinator to register for PSM 691
- Complete your internship experience
- Give your oral presentation
- Complete your internship report and submit this to the PSM coordinator and your program director
- Celebrate your completion of the internship experience!
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CONTACT US IF YOU ARE AN INTERESTED EMPLOYER
The first step is to secure an internship.
Second-year students are a great resource for possible internship sites, as is your program director and the PSM program coordinator. We also hold a workshop in the fall on how to approach the initial stages of searching for an internship. When contacting possible internship mentors, always be respectful and professional. Many of them will already be familiar with our programs, but some will not. The PSM program coordinator has information regarding the purpose and expectations of the internship which will be helpful for you. If there is an employer you would like to contact but you don't know where to start, ask the PSM coordinator for assistance. We will do our best to help you find internship opportunities, but it is ultimately your responsibility to secure one. Click here to view some current opportunities.
Once you have found an internship, please talk with your mentor about expectations and requirements for the experience. Some places have had many interns through the years, and they have well-structured requirements and expectations to help prepare you for the internship experience. However, other internship locations won't really know what to do, so that's where you'll have to be more involved.
The PSM program expects three basic things from you in part of the internship experience. First, we expect students to spend ~440 hours on their internship. More than the required hours is accepted, but less can be problematic. You can complete more than one internship if the total hours required cannot be completed in one internship. Second, we expect students to gain practical experience in their discipline. This means you should perform meaningful work within your discipline and have an opportunity to develop your technical skills, preferably under the mentorship of someone at the internship site. Third, we expect students to be exposed to the business and professional side of the workplace. This means that you should have an opportunity to develop your professional skills - teamwork, communication, leadership, ethics, etc. - under the mentorship of someone at the internship site.
Please fill out the PSM Internship Management System Form. The form is brief and simple and will be used in the program evaluation and assessment. Once completed, it should be sent to your program coordinator and site supervisor for final approval.
You will be permitted to register for PSM 691 once you have turned in your internship request/agreement form. It is the PSM coordinator's responsibility to register students for PSM 691, so communicate directly with the PSM coordinator if you have any questions regarding the registration steps. It is also required that you complete a minimum of 4 credits of PSM 691 to complete your degree. The course can be taken for 1, 2, 3, 4, or up to 9 credit(s) at a time. This flexibility allows you to select an appropriate number of PSM course credits in a semester to maintain full-time status or to limit the impact on your bank account. If more than 4 credits is requested for PSM 691, (in conditions where students may need a certain number of credits for their GAs), only the required 4 credits will count toward your degree. All semesters of PSM 691 are graded as incomplete until the oral presentation and written reports have been completed. Only at this point will the grade will be changed to CR.
Once you've made it this far, the next step is to make the most of your internship experience. Ask to learn new technical skills that will be useful to you later. Give talks whenever possible. Attend as many meetings as you can. Meet and network with as many people as you can. Take on leadership positions when possible. Be ambitious and interested. Use this time to learn as much about your discipline as possible.
When the internship is drawing to a close, this will be the time to prepare for completing the final requirements.
- Submit a written report. This report should be reviewed and approved by your internship advisor before it is sent to your graduate program director and the PSM coordinator. Report guidelines are attached.
- Give an oral presentation on your internship. The contents of this presentation should be approved by your internship advisor and the date and forum for your presentation can be arranged with your graduate program director.
- Be evaluated by your internship advisor. Once your internship is completed, the PSM coordinator will send a request to your advisor asking her/him to fill out a short evaluation. Final grades for PSM 691 will not be impacted by this evaluation since it is primarily an evaluation of the program, not the student.
And that's it! Any questions should be addressed to the PSM coordinator, who is willing to sit down and talk with you through the internship process.