Register for an SIAS internship

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There are 4 basic steps to register for an internship:

1. Find an internship

  • Determine the type of internship you want to do and identify the learning objectives you want to accomplish.
  • Login to Handshake using your Net ID and password and search for an internship that fit with your interests and your major/minor. See below for the link to Handshake.
  • Search for an internship site. Local businesses, government, and  non-profit agencies regularly utilize interns. There are links on this page to help you start your search for an internship site.

Starting your search for an internship:

Searching the web is an important tool for finding an internship, but also, be sure to talk with family members, faculty, and friends for their ideas and possible referrals. The School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences does not provide internship placements. However, the SIAS Internship Program Manager may know of openings in your area of study or will be able to help you with ideas and suggestions.

To find companies and organizations that might offer internships in your area of study, search by keywords and include "internships" in your search. Some organizations list their internship opportunities under their employment or jobs sections on their websites.

Some general websites with internship posting

The University of Washington uses Handshake as a recruiting platform for jobs and internships:

Writing a proposal for an internship

If you find an internship position with an application process in place, all you need to do is apply. If you are hoping to create an internship at an organization of interest, you will need to write a proposal. Many great internships are waiting to be created! Some companies do not participate in a formal internship program or publicize their opportunities, but this does not mean they are unwilling to consider an intern. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to find an opportunity tailored to your goals, you can develop a very rewarding experience for yourself.

1. How to write your proposal

  • Define what you are proposing; is it a specific project the organization needs or a particular position you know about? It's important to define a concise description of what you are offering to do for the company. The people at the organization are too busy to take the time to help define what someone "willing to do anything" could do as an intern. Defining what you want to do should be a reflection of the learning goals you have set for yourself.
  • Highlight why you are a good fit for the project you want to work on or the position you want to fill.
  • Include the dates of your availability and how many hours a week you can be on site. Also, let the organization know if you are seeking a paid or non-paid position.
  • Include an updated resume and a cover letter with your proposal.
  • Find the name of a specific person within the organization that has the authority to hire an intern. Make an initial contact with a phone call or an email. Ask if they hire interns, have hired interns in the past or if they might consider hiring an intern. If they are willing to have an intern, ask if you may forward your proposal, cover letter and resume for their review.
  • To find the right person to send it to start with Human Resources staff, but also request referrals to a manager who might have a better idea of the company's current project needs.
  • Follow up with a thank-you note - a handwritten thank you note - even if you do not get an internship. Remember, you are establishing contacts in your chosen profession and first impressions matter.

2. Find a faculty supervisor

  • Make your request once you have found an internship.
  • The faculty member supervises the academic component of the internship. Faculty sponsorship of internships is at the discretion of the SIAS faculty.
  • A natural fit is a faculty member who teaches courses that match the content of your internship. The faculty supervisor must have expertise is the area of the internship.
  • It’s best to approach a faculty member with whom you already have a working relationship.
  • Determine the number of credits you wish to attempt. Generally, three (3) hours/week onsite over the course of an 10-week quarter will earn one (1) credit. Check with an SIAS academic advisor or your faculty advisor about appropriate placement of these internship credits in your program of study.

3. Review Academic requirements

  • Meetings: In addition to the initial development meetings, students are expected to confer on a weekly basis at a specified time with the site supervisor and the faculty supervisor to review and assess the student's performance and progress in the internship. Meetings with faculty should be on days when they have office hours. Conferencing via email is also encouraged.
  • Course assignments:
    • Work log - Students must maintain a weekly work log in which they keep a record of their work and their comments and reflections on it. The log should be submitted to the faculty supervisor at least twice during the quarter and again with the final paper.
    • Deliverable project - Students must submit a paper, poster project, video, etc. at the end of the quarter. The project should provide an analysis of an issue or issues related to the field work experience.  A written paper should use relevant books, articles and other reference sources suggested and approved by the faculty supervisor, to give depth and a broader perspective to work experiences, and will vary in length according to the number of credits being earned: 1-2 credits = 4-5 pages, 3-4 credits = 7-8 pages, 5 credits = 10-15 pages.
    • Academic Learning and Service Learning Objectives - Academic learning objectives should include the new knowledge you expect to acquire, the skills you want to learn or enhance, and areas of competence or abilities you seek to develop or improve. Service learning integrates experiential learning and community service in an academic context. Through activities and experiences mutually negotiated between academic and community partners, service learning addresses identified needs, enhances curriculum, and fosters civic responsibility.

      Civic Identity: Demonstrate active civic engagement in society.

      Cultural Humility: (a) Examine the ways one’s own attitudes and beliefs are different from those of other cultures and communities. (b) Value learning about and from the perspectives of diverse communities and cultures.

      Perspective Taking: Identify, explain, apply and evaluate multiple perspectives to understand community strengths and address community needs.

      Systems Awareness: Propose solutions aimed at addressing historic and contemporary role and effect of economic, political, and social structures on experiences of individuals and communities.

      Integrative Learning: Articulate the relationships among learning in the course with community engagement and other experiences.

    • Self-evaluation - Students must submit a written evaluation of their internship, 1-2 pages in length, indicating whether their goals were met, how they performed their responsibilities and whether their ideas and attitudes changed as a result of the experience.

      Mid-term evaluation forms for student and site supervisor: These forms provide a way for the student and site supervisor to evaluate how the internship is evolving. Adjustments can be made to improve the experience at this point if needed.

      Final evaluation forms for student and site supervisor: The student's site evaluation provides the student an opportunity to give an assessment of the internship experience. The site supervisor's form ranks the student's performance. Both forms assist us in making modifications for future interns.

4. Complete the internship learning agreement

Once you, the faculty supervisor and the site supervisor have agreed on the learning objectives for your internship, complete the SIAS Internship Learning Agreement. This can now be done one of two ways:

1) Through your student Handshake account. Please see the Student Instructions for Handshake for help with doing this. Please remember: it is your responsibility to obtain the appropriate course number and SLN from the quarterly registration guide. You, your faculty supervisor, your internship site supervisor, and the internship program manager will all receive an email from Handshake to approve the internship learning agreement by clicking a link. This link serves as an electronic signature. After all approvals have been completed, you will receive an email with the entry code to register for the academic credits you will earn for the internship. You register for the credits through your UWT student account just as you do for any academic course; it is your responsibility to register for the credits. 

2) You can still use the paper form of the SIAS internship learning agreementSign the form yourself, and then ask your faculty supervisor and site supervisor to review and sign the completed form. Make copies of the signed form before coming to the SIAS office to drop it off. The original will be kept in the SIAS office. You will need to have copies for your faculty supervisor, your site supervisor, and for your own records. Bring the original signed form to the SIAS office in WCG 424 to have it reviewed and signed. The entry code will be emailed to you as soon as possible. Completion of the form does not mean you are automatically enrolled in the course. Use the entry code to register by the 10th day of the quarter.

The United States Department of Labor website outlines the criteria for unpaid internships under The Fair Labor and Standards Acts.

Internships may be paid or unpaid. Payment for internship work is subject to business/agency policy and is negotiated between the student and the business/agency. Payment is not the distinguishing factor of what defines an academic internship; earning academic credit is the distinguishing factor. Whether or not the student is paid has no bearing on the granting of credit provided all requirements of the SIAS Internship Learning Agreement are successfully met.

In the circumstances of a paid internship being done as a Capstone project, it is the student’s responsibility to check with their faculty supervisor to ensure all Capstone requirements are being met.

Please schedule an appointment with a SIAS Internship Program Manager if you have any questions.

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