Internship Portfolio Requirements

Students taking Internship (POL 444) are expected to do more than just have an “experience” in the real world in order to receive academic credit. The student must be expected to relate that experience to the experiences of others and to prevailing theory in the Political Science, IR, or Public Administration disciplines. That is, the student must be able to integrate that experience with academic coursework, assigned readings, and outside research (if any). The student must be able to communicate learning from the experience to the internship director. These goals will be reached in part through two required written assignments. The portfolio must be submitted before noon of the day SCSU has identified as graduation for the semester the internship is served.

An internship portfolio is an organized record of your internship experiences, achievements and professional development over the period of your internship. It consists of a collection of documents which illustrate the variety and quality of work that you did which include (but not limited to): a goal statement, resume, internship contracts-learning agreement, a weekly journal, assessment, various documents -----along with your reflections on these documents and on your development over time. A portfolio will be kept in a folder with sub-sections.  For those who have the ability it can be kept in a electronic form with a file of supporting documentation.


1. Collect your materials in a loose-leaf notebook (or electronic format). You may want to use plastic sheet protectors for some of the items, especially original documents. You should also use tabbed dividers where appropriate.

2. On the outside front cover and on the spine, display your name, semester, and internship site.

3. The first page should be a title page including the same information as well as the course number (Pol 444), number of credits, and faculty sponsor.

4. The second page should be a table of contents with page or section numbers.

5. The third page should be a letter from your internship site supervisor, verifying that you completed the contracted hours and evaluating your performance.

6. The fourth page begins your goal statement essay which should explain why you planned this particular internship. When you apply for your internship, you must submit a goal statement with your portfolio describing the purpose behind your application. Tell in some detail what type of internship experience you seek and what you hope to accomplish during your internship. Your advisor may also ask that you extend your goal statement to include a writing sample in which you describe what you expect a single day of your internship to be like.

7. Resume-Every portfolio includes two resumes.

Introductory Resume

Final Revised Resume which includes

*Describe the job or internship duties

* Describe the organization, agency, or internship site

* Include your internship contract

* Comment on your internship contract, explaining any ways that your work diverged from your plan as outlined in the original contract

8. Weekly journal. Write a journal entry for each week worked, recording the number of hours worked, the types of work that you performed, and any observations, thoughts, or comments that you want to share relevant to what you have learned that day. You should maintain the journal on a weekly basis so that you can reflect on the work in which you are involved.

9. Samples of internship work—each of these should be preceded by a summary sheet that explains the activity the item:









e-mail messages

Other forms of documentation:



Newspaper articles

Thank-You notes…

10. Reflective Essay

In this 5-7 page essay, you should reflect on the meaning of the internship experience for your intellectual development and career planning. You might consider the following questions (But do not simply provide answers to each one. Rather, let them spur your thinking.):

In what ways did I meet my learning objectives?

In what ways did I fall short?

How can I interpret these successes and failures?

How did this experience influence the way I understand the world?

What new insights did I gain into the practices and problems in this line of work?

What contributions did I make to this site?

What classroom experiences prepared me well for this internship?

What coursework or experiences do I need to continue my career preparation?

What were the best aspects of this experience?

What were the worst aspects of this experience?

What do I intend to do differently because of this experience?

11.   1-2 pages Internship Placement Site Assessment

Provide a candid evaluation of the internship experience as it relates to the site and the site supervisor. Would you recommend this internship to another student? (This document will be kept in the intern director files. Your identity will be kept confidential.)

12. Internship Learning Agreement and Application


DOCUMENTS- These are professionally organized samples of work you completed during your internship. Each item should include a brief explanation, its purpose, your role in its creation and the results (when available). You should keep all drafts of your work because it is always a good idea to include those in your portfolio to illustrate the process and your growth on the job. The internship portfolio is an important means of assessing your internship experience. Documents that contain sensitive material should be approved by your site supervisor and in steps such as redacting should be taken.

Do I get to keep my internship portfolio?

Your internship portfolio is yours to keep following your exit interview. However, as the internship meets SCSU 420 Upper Level Writing Assignment a copy must be left with the department.

The Internship Director has several examples of internship portfolio materials. If you would like to see some examples, please stop by our office.

A good portfolio has a professional look to it, but these days, with laser printers available to just about everyone, the creation of portfolio documents and the physical materials of a portfolio should not be very costly. Naturally, you will want to purchase attractive binders or cases for your materials and the cost of these will vary, just as briefcases and attaches vary in cost.

"Does everything have to fit in a binder?" Not everything that you bring to a job interview needs to fit into a binder. However, the easier it is to pass a portfolio around without worrying about losing parts of it, the better for everyone. Still, there may be portfolio materials that have to be removed to be examined (video or audio cassettes, for example). Students who will be producing portfolio work of this type will find that there are presentation portfolios available that are designed to secure such materials. In addition, there are specially designed portfolios to accommodate work that exceeds the 8 1/2" by 11" dimensions.

Testimonials, letters of thanks, newspaper accounts of your activities, certificates of merit, scholarship notice and other award notifications are highly valuable to your portfolio.

Communicate regularly with the intern director throughout the semester. Please keep in touch with the director so they know how your internship is progressing, through a combination of meetings, telephone conversations, and email communications. You will be asked to talk with the director at least once every two weeks, at the minimum sending an email update describing what you are doing. If any problems or issues arise or if you need assistance in a particular area, please contact the director as soon as possible.

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