Department of Communication Studies - St. Cloud State University

Department of Communication Studies - St. Cloud State University

Communication Studies
Riverview 117
St. Cloud State University
720 Fourth Avenue South
St. Cloud, Minnesota 56301-4498

Phone: 320-308-2216
Fax: 320-308-2250

Driving Directions

Internship information for Students


What is a CMST Internship? CMST Intern at Universal Music



An internship in the department of Communication Studies is a form of experiential education.  Students engage in a supervised field experience within an approved agency or organization.  The internships focuses on communication and is designed to enhance the academic experience through applied learning.  Click here for a student’s perspective on internships.

The benefits of an internship include the following:

  • Active application of what has been learned in the classroom.
  • Learn how to work more effectively in an organizational environment (both for profit and nonprofit).
  • Explore career options.  Sometimes students discover they do not want to work for a particular company or pursue a particular career once they have experience in that area.
  • Build your resume.  Internship experience can make up for a lack of work experience, as well as demonstrate experience in a specific area related to career goals (i.e., Marketing, Event Planning, etc.).
  • Build your network.  An internship can provide an excellent opportunity to develop a relationship with a potential employer.  Oftentimes internships evolve into employment with the organization, because you know the company’s culture and how they do things, thus it does not have tospend significant amounts of time training you.  Plus if the organization is pleased with your performance, you are a known commodity, instead of an unknown name on an application.

CMST students can do an internship in fall, spring, or summer. 

An internship is NOT: working for yourself, starting your own business, or receiving credit for work previously completed or experienced. 


How is an internship structured?

An internship involves three parties: the intern, the site supervisor, and the academic director.

  • The intern is a student with a CMST major or minor who has completed at least 50% of his/her major or all of the minor requirements, and has taken CMST 341: Communication in the Workplace and/or CMST 441: Organizational Communication.
  • The site supervisor is an organizational representative from the organization who will host the intern.  This person will serve as the intern’s primary point of interaction with the organization and will relay feedback based on the intern’s performance.
  • The academic director is the CMST faculty member charged with overseeing and assessing the intern’s progress in completing the work and academic requirements of the internship.      
  • The current director is Professor Matt Vorell, Riverview 210B, 320- 308-1257,

SCSU requires its students to take 45 credits in upper division courses, and CMST interns can use an internship to count for 8 -16 of these credits.  Thus, if you sign up for 12 credit hours or more, you are a full time student at SCSU and do not need to take other classes while doing the internship.

The majority of CMST internships are graded pass/fail.  However a student may sign up for a 3 credit hour internship to fulfill a departmental requirement for a letter grade.

The number of credits an internship is worth is based on the number of contact hours a student has with an organization over a semester.  One credit requires 40 contact hours with the organization.  Thus an 8 credit hour internship requires 320 contact hours (8 x 40 = 320) over the semester.  You then take the total number of contact hours and divide it by the number of weeks in a given SCSU semester (i.e., 16) for the number of contact hours per week that an internships requires.  For an 8 credit hour internship, this works out to be 20 contact hours per week (i.e., 320 total contact hours/16 weeks in a semester = 20 contact hours a week).  A 12 credit hour internship comes out to 30 contact hours a week, and a 16 credit hour internship necessitates 40 contact hours a week. 

While each internship is different, there do tend to be a few items necessary for most of them.

  • An updated resume or curriculum vitae that is tailored to fit the specific needs of a certain internship position.  To see an example resume click here. For advice on how to put a resume together click here. For additional information on writing your resume see Resume Writing Tips.
  • A cover letter is a brief letter stating your intention of applying for an internship, your qualities for the position, and your contact information.  Not every internship requires these, but some do.  For information on how to write a cover letter click here.
  • Interview skills are important because based on the importance of the internship, there may be many other interns seeking the position.  A recent study found that 50% of a hirer’s decision on an intern is made within the first minute.  Thus, making a good impression matters.  For information on how to handle an interview appropriately, click here. Additional information can be found about interviewing at Interviewing Tips.
  • Mistakes Millennials Make on the Job Search

How do I set up an internship?

1. Attend mandatory pre-internship seminar

        A.  One held towards end of the semester, you must attend.


2. Make an appointment with the internship director.

A. Professor Matt Vorell, Riverview 210B, 320-308-1257,

B. Start thinking about what qualities you want in an internship (i.e., paid or unpaid, working for profit or nonprofit, how many credit hours you will be going for).

C. In preparation for the meeting, please think back on all the CMST courses you have taken up to this point and type up 25 practical real world communication skills you want to learn more about as well as 50 communication theories and concepts.  The more specific the better.

3. Pick up and fill out an internship interest form from the CMST office in 117 Riverview.  Bring it to your meeting with Dr. Vorell.


4. Start your internship search

A. Start your resume, cover letter, interview training etc.

B. Visit Career Services webpage…and, better, stop by in person 215 Centennial Hall (on the second floor by the Sky Walk heading to Atwood Memorial Center) email at or call 320-308-2151.

C. Start researching organizations where you want to intern.  Many organizations have internship information under the “Career” or “Employment Opportunities” links on their web sites.   

5. Select an internship site

A. Obtain the following information about the internships         

B. Job description, name of supervisor, starting dates, outline of responsibilities, number of working hours, salary.

6. Design Learning Agreement with Dr. Vorell.  This is like the syllabus for a regular course.  You and the internship director will build it together. 


7. Type and present completed Learning Agreement to the site supervisor for discussion, revision, and signature.


8. Bring signed Learning Agreement back to the internship director.  The director will then allow you to register for your internship hours. 


What are the academic requirements in doing an internship?

Interns are required to attend 5 internship seminars over the semester in which they intern.  Assignment wise, interns are also required:

  • Weekly “check in” with internship director.  
  • Site Visit of intern at the job site and discussion with supervisor of intern’s experience an demonstrated competencies.
  • Journal Entries reflecting application of communication theory and skills from the core areas to observations and experiences in the organization, with specific reference to theories and skills outlined in learning contract.
  • A Final Paper identifying how student has achieved the learning goals in each of the core areas as outlined in the contract.
  • A Portfolio of materials reflecting the internship process and/or project and demonstrating achievement in each of the core areas.
  • A Public Presentation demonstrating knowledge of a specific theory (theories) as applied to the internship experience.

Where should I intern? Carnival Music Intern

Think BIG!  While local internships are excellent, location is not a restriction on where CMST interns can go.  As long as you have internet access, you can intern anywhere on the globe.  Thanks to our conference room, the CMST department uses Adobe Connect to video conference interns in from all over the world.  In the past interns have worked in other states, as well as Japan and South Africa. 

Most CMST interns go to work at organizations other then their current places of employment.  However, a student may intern at their current place of employment if they take on at least 50% new duties during their internship.

For internship opporunties in  CMST, see current internship postings.

Where have CMST student interned before?



Catholic Charities

City of Champlin

Edina Realty

General Mills

Habitat for Humanity


KAREChannel 11

Minnesota Timberwolves


St. Cloud Hospital

State Farm Insurance


United Way

Walt Disney World



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