As a supplement and extension of their coursework, MAPW students complete a required, advisor-approved professional internship in a corporate, government, media, non-profit, arts or university setting. Internships provide opportunities for students to integrate and apply what they've learned in coursework, gain valuable workplace experience, and refine their career goals and preferences. These experiences are valuable for all students and particularly so for career-changers and those with little workplace experience.
Internships are usually completed in the summer between students' second and third semester but may extend 6-months or longer depending on sponsor requirements. The minimum requirement for an internship is 8 weeks of full-time work @ 40 hours per week with most involving 10-12 weeks. The majority of internship in the corporate, government, and education sectors are paid. For internships in the non-profit sector, where funds are often quite limited, we work with students to help them and their sponsoring organization qualify for federal-sponsored Community Service grants to provide an appropriate salary. In addition, students doing low- or unpaid internships in the DC area are eligible to apply for funding through the university's Friedman Fellowship program.
The types and locations of student internships are limited only by each student's interests and initiative. While many employers who have had our students as interns in the past tend to get in touch each year looking for internship candidates, we do not have a fixed roster of set internships from which students must select an option. We believe firmly that each internship should be matched to a student's specific interests, and we work hand-in-hand with you through advising and related support services to identify (and sometimes even create) appropriate opportunities.
In any given summer, we have interns on campus, around Pittsburgh, and throughout the country working in fields as varied as public relations, editing and publishing, media relations, technical writing, web content and design, corporate communications, instructional design, and non-profit communications. While these are the most common areas pursued by students, we’re quite flexible about options and have had students with relevant backgrounds do internships in fields as varied as sports media relations, museum design, healthcare communication, arts marketing, and broadcast news. The overarching goal of the internship program is to help students locate and qualify for internships that position them for the next step in their careers, a full-time position following graduation.
Internship types also reflect the kinds of employment MAPW students seek and find upon graduation from the program.