ART4953 Internship detailed instructions

1. Make a plan for your preferred schedule and availability.

Before approaching someone about a specific internship, look at a calendar and plan when you could potentially be available to work, including how many hours a week you could work and which dates you can be available. The minimum hours required to get ART credit for an internship is 200 hours. This is very important to understand and to plan for before you start, because if you turn in less than the required hours at the end of the semester, you could potentially fail, and get no credit at all. As you plan out possible availability, you are encouraged to build in some extra time. Being willing to be flexible in regard to when you work will make it more likely that you can secure the internship you want. And giving yourself more time than the minimum hours will help you adapt if something unexpected happens that makes it impossible to be available for some of the hours. Time missed for emergencies can be grounds for an incomplete, but such events cannot be the basis for turning in fewer than 200 verified hours.

Note: If you know at the outset that you cannot achieve 200 hours by the end of a specific semester, you are allowed to start an internship in one semester and finish it in the next one, but to do that you have to plan ahead, and not register for the internship until the semester when you plan to finish it. If you want to handle things that way, you still need to fill out the Assignment Set #1 at the outset (see below), and you need to be in communication with the faculty member you will be working with, to see iis fine to be up front about it, but the official registered class has to be during the semester in which the internship is completed, NOT in the semester when it is started (you will need to register in advance, as usual, of course).

2. Find or request an internship related to your degree and track.

While some degrees require an internship, it is also possible to do one as an elective. The most common art area used as the basis for an internship is Graphic Design; however those in the Studio Art track or the BA in Art History and Visual Culture can also do internships. In all cases, the internship must involve practical experience related to your degree and degree track. At the outset, you should seek advice from one of your professors with expertise in that area. However you should not expect them to find the internship for you, as that is your responsibility, however they might have some ideas about where to look. You will also need to make sure that professor (or another faculty member) is willing to serve as your faculty advisor. This should be done well in advance of the semester when you want to get credit for the internship, because if the faculty member agrees, then they will need to communicate with the Head of Visual Arts, to get the faculty member listed in the course catalog for their own internship section.

TWU has an online system that lists internships – called Handshake – and you are encouraged to log into that and check to see if there is something relevant to your interests. But you are not limited to internships listed in Handshake, and in many cases your best options will require going beyond campus. To be clear, you are not limited to any kind of pre-existing internship arrangement, which means you are welcome to reach out to companies, institutions, etc. to see if someone would be willing to have you serve as an intern. Though that might seem intimidating, it is great practice in regard to learning to boldly create your own opportunities. You are more likely to get an internship that fits your interests if you take risks by making requests.

3. Communicate the minimum hours to the potential supervisor up front.

When communicating with the office, business, or institution where you will potentially intern, communicate to your potential supervisor there that you must work a total of 200 hours to meet the requirements of the course.

4. Prior to registration, fill out a course registration approval form. Log on to Handshake and follow the instructions:

5. Send your course registration approval form to one of our internship faculty advisors.

  • Fall and Spring semesters:
    In the long semesters (Fall and Spring) each ART 4953 section caps at three on a first-come, first-served basis. As mentioned above, not all faculty are listed with a section each semester, and if you have discussed working with someone who is not listed, they will need to reach out to the Head of Visual Art to discuss that. Here are the three faculty members who are possible options for Graphic Design internships:
  • Summer Semesters:
    Usually the Head of Visual Arts will serve as the faculty advisor during the Summer:
    Professor Colby Parsons

6. Get the course number and registration code.

You will get this from the faculty member who has agreed to advise you (they might need to reach out to the division administrative assistant, or to the Head of Visual Arts). And then you need to register.

7. Begin to complete assignments.

Once you are registered for your internship course, there are assignments that you need to complete.

As of the time of this document’s latest update there are two “assignments” which are really sets of assignments, due at different times. We have added notes based on our own advice:

Assignment Set #1

  • Course Registration Approval Form: that is listed here in this step, but you will have already turned it in earlier, as it is required prior to registration.
  • Guidelines and Agreement: This includes several statements to make sure you understand what is expected of you in regard to behaving professionally. We expect you to do so because it is good for you to develop such habits in your future professional life. However it is also important because in doing any internship you will be perceived as representing TWU Visual Arts, and/or TWU overall. The value of your degree depends on people having a great impression of anyone they deal with who appears to represent the institution, so it is in your best interest, and the interest of your fellow students, to behave professionally and with excellence, throughout your internship.
  • Learning Objectives: This is in some ways the most important document among your assignments, and we ask that you give significant attention and thought to filling it out carefully. The form includes three parts that you need to fill out, then you need to get your Faculty Advisor’s agreement that it is ready before having your supervisor sign it.

The three sections of this form are: Statement of Purpose, Student Learning Objectives, and Skills and Competencies. In filling this out, we ask you to be specific, rather than generalized or vague. An example of a purpose that we would consider to be too general would be “to get more graphic design experience”, while a more targeted purpose would be “this particular internship will help me develop in the area of design and layout for social media marketing.” The point here is that you will get more value from an internship if you are declare a clear intention at the outset. Ideally, your supervisor will help you achieve those goals, but it is also up to you to help make that happen. If you get the sense at the outset that your supervisor is not willing to help you achieve your stated goals, you should find a different internship. Also, clearly stated goals will make it easier for your supervisor to assess whether you achieved something you set out to do. The same goes for the objectives (which need to be measurable) and the skills you hope to learn. We ask that you avoid putting down the same things for objectives and skills by the way. It is fine if they are related, but they should not be identical.

The way to treat this whole assignment is to imagine yourself at the end of the 200 hours, being asked to explain what you did that met your objectives. If you are clear at the start, and communicate with your supervisor along the way to make sure you are getting relevant experience, then it will be easy at the end to provide strong examples of projects you worked on that achieved those intentions.

Assignment Set #2

  • Internship hours: The most important thing here is that you need to have 200 hours or more. As mentioned above, if you know at the outset that you cannot achieve this by the end of the semester, you are allowed to start an internship in one semester and finish it in the next one, but – and this is very important! – to do that you have to plan ahead, and not register for the internship until the semester when you plan to finish it.
  • Internship final report: This is your own self-assessment where you say what you did for the internship, explain how you met your initial objectives, reflect on what you gained, and consider areas where you still need to develop further. This final report will be easier to complete if you put a lot of thought into your learning objectives assignment.

8. Send all assignments on time to the TWU internships coordinator.

Currently that is Juan Armijo Reach out to Juan if you have any questions about procedures for assignments.

9. Be in Communication with your faculty advisor

During the first week of the semester, meet with your faculty advisor for tips and procedure for your internship. Also let them know how things are going a few times during the internship, and feel free to reach out with questions.

10. Ask to meet with your supervisor early on.

Ask your Supervisor for 15-30 minutes of their time to meet with them, ideally in the first week of your internship. During the meeting, ask what specific duties are required for your contributions to their company/organization. This will establish an open line of communication from the start and greatly increase the likelihood that you will have a clear understanding of how to best meet your Supervisor’s expectations. That in turn is likely to lead to positive reports on your progress and overall results.

11. Meet with your faculty advisor about your “Midterm” evaluation.

At midterm, or near the halfway point of your internship, the TWU internship coordinator sends an evaluation to your internship supervisor to fill out. Juan then forwards your supervisor’s evaluation to your faculty advisor. At this point, it is up to you to schedule a meeting with your faculty advisor to review your evaluation.

12. Meet with your faculty advisor about your final evaluation.

Near the end of the semester or the end of the internship, the TWU internship coordinator sends a final evaluation to your internship supervisor, which once filled out, is forwarded to your faculty advisor. You then need to set up a final meeting with your faculty advisor for semester wrap-up and to review your evaluation.

13. Your faculty advisor will turn in your final grade.

It is important to understand that your final grade is based mainly on your supervisor’s final evaluation of your internship performance and your own answers in the “Internship Final Report (ART4953 Assignment #2).” To some extent it is also based on the initial learning objectives form, since the final evaluations are based on what you declare on that.

Page last updated 1:52 PM, July 25, 2023