For several departments on Auburn’s campus, students are required to complete an internship before they graduate.
Students receive credits for completing an internship or a specific amount of work hours within their concentrated field of study.
“Students must complete and may receive up to three course credits for completing an internship before they graduate,” said Dr. Jane Teel, Undergraduate Advisor for the Department of Communication and Journalism. “This is required of all students in all four of our departments.”
Students in the Department of Communication and Journalism are encouraged to complete an internship as early as their junior year, according to Teel.
“We have to make sure our students have completed the appropriate amount of course work before they embark on their internships so that they’re ready for the job they signed up for,” Teel said. “This will also give them a chance to experience the job firsthand.”
Teel also said this trend is popular among most departments at Auburn.
“This summer, I worked with three graduate students from the University of Georgia to collect data from schools in Newnan, Ga.,” said Cameron Mosely, senior in psychology. “Technically, it wasn’t an internship, but it was still field work. Like most internships, I wasn’t paid and I gained a lot of valuable, hands-on work experience.”
Mosley said this experience was beneficial, especially with networking with professionals and building up her résumé.
“The women I worked with gave me great advice and insight into what graduate school will be like,” Mosley said. “They all wrote excellent letters of recommendation that I will use when I apply to graduate schools. Letters are crucial when applying to graduate programs for psychology.”
Abigail Yuzenas, junior in secondary English and language arts education, said her required pre-teaching hours helped her decide on her major.
“I was in elementary education before I completed my pre-teaching,” Yuzenas said. “I decided to switch to an older age group after that week of pre-teaching.”
Hands-on experience such as this is a major benefit of working in the field, according to Teel.
“A lot of times, students discover that they want to do something completely different within their department after completing their internship,” Teel said.
Teel encourages students to keep an open mind when applying to internships or when working in the field.
“Though it is common for students to go home or stay close to Auburn, I do not believe it is difficult for students who wish to travel and work in places outside of Auburn and even the United States to do so,” Teel said. “As long as these students meet the requirements of the program and apply sooner rather than later, anything is possible.”