Internships: Conclusion

While internships are a tremendous benefit to the student, there are a number of potential risks to both the student and the University. The intern is not expected to be perceived as a "go-fer," an "expert," or a "volunteer." The School of Communication & Multimedia Studies is concerned that all interns be treated with respect and that their educational experience receive the utmost priority. It is understood that certain professions require employees to do a reasonable amount of clerical work (i.e. photocopying, faxing, stuffing envelopes). However, these tasks should not represent the bulk of the student's internship experience. The internship director reserves the right to terminate the internship of any student where suspected exploitation and/or harassment is taking place. Students are strongly encouraged to report any type of exploitive or harassing behavior to the internship director. Examples of this type of behavior might include being asked to do additional tasks unrelated to the internship, pressure being placed on the intern to develop personal relationships with the agency supervisor or members of the agency, or any type of sexual innuendo or overture being made toward the student by an agency supervisor or any of the agency members.

At the same time, students should realize that while they are participating in the internship program, they represent Florida Atlantic University and the School of Communication & Multimedia Studies. The opportunities available to succeeding students depend on the record of diligence, achievement, and good will achieved by current interns. The behavior of the intern results in a collective consequence; hence, personal determinations constitute only part of the picture.

Students are encouraged to be particularly selective when choosing an internship placement. However, once a student assumes an internship, he/she should see the internship as a priority commitment. Many times, students drop classes when their schedules get too busy. However, dropping an internship can have severe consequences for the University and subsequent students interested in a particular placement. Students behaving irresponsibly at internships will forfeit their privileges to procure future internships through the School of Communication & Multimedia Studies.

Students are encouraged to maintain regular contact with the internship director who is available to discuss concerns related to the internship. If problems do exist, they should be reported to the internship director immediately.