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Academic Internship Programs


The West Virginia State University Internship Program's mission is to provide students with opportunities to integrate academic theories and principles with practical learning in professional real world environments in order to enhance their personal development and understanding of their local and global issue and opportunities. This will enable students to contribute and develop solutions to complex problems in their academic fields. WVSU Internship Program gives employers the opportunity to assist and participate in the student's development, add to their workforce with emerging talent, and enhance their long-range recruiting efforts.

Organization's benefits and responsibilities

When we look at internships from a solution-based perspective, the primary needs of a small to medium sized business are:
  1. Effectively manage work flow to accomplish immediate objectives.
  2. Find new team members to help grow business objectives.
Setting up an internship program meets both needs simultaneously. 
  • 67.7% of 2007-08 interns were offered full-time positions.
  • 83.6% of these offers were accepted.
  • 35.3% of employers' full-time, entry-level college hires came from their internship programs.

Benefits to Organizations

  Benefits of Internship are:

  1. To prescreen our most ambitious and enthusiastic students - the kind who thrive of challenge.
  2. To evaluate temporary employees while deciding whether to make a permanent offer.
  3. An infusion of new ideas and methods.
  4. An excellent source of short term employees.
  5. The opportunity to train an employee in your particular methods and processes.
  6. Greater visibility on the University of WVSU campus.
  7. Participation in the educational process.
  8. Increased opportunities for technology transfer.
  9. Give back to community.
  10. Creates the opportunity to recruit future employees.
  11. Gives the opportunity to evaluate prospective employees virtually risk free.
  12. Saves money since an intern receives less pay and fewer benefits than a full-time employee.
  13. Functions as flexible, cost-effective work force without long-term commitments.
  14. Frees up professional staff to pursue more creative projects.
  15. Offers a year-round source of highly motivated paraprofessionals.
  16. Garners quality candidates for temporary or seasonal positions and short-term projects.
  17. Brings new and innovative ideas to an employer.
  18. Presents an excellent way to find new, energetic, and skilled employees who bring latest industry knowledge fresh from lectures and other campus resources.
  19. Seamlessly converts student interns to full-time employees who can be immediately productive.
  20. Strengthens the bond with the university and projects a favorable image in the community.
  21. Allows the employer the opportunity to have an impact on molding the lives of students.

Responsibilities of The Site Organization

Site Organization: An organization approved by the faculty supervisor and internship director who would provide opportunity for professional work experience for WVSU students. If applicable, financial provisions should be established prior to the beginning of the internship program between the student and the site organization.

The internship plays a vital part in the transition of the students from academic major to professionals. Through the internship, a student is provided with opportunities for "hands-on" experiences so that are based on the application of academic knowledge and expertise that can be applicable to real world problems. This type of exposure is unique and cannot be replicated in the classroom or library. These exceptional skills and work experiences should expand beyond the standard expectations of the ordinary employee and should be of a pre-professional nature, incorporating problem-solving applications when feasible and practicable.

The supervising business should be willing to:

  1. Provide diverse situations with as wide a range of job assignments, tasks and responsibilities as applicable and practicable to increase and extend the general understanding of the student intern. If possible, these experiences should be chosen to enhance and enforce particular strengths, talents, skills, and knowledge of the student intern.

  2. Assign a person as "site supervisor" to oversee the work of the student intern throughout the internship. This person should serve as a mentor for the student intern. The site supervisor does not have to be the person who hired the student or the person who owns the organization. However, the site supervisor should be a person who is knowledgeable about the daily operation of the organization and who is available to the student intern on a daily basis.

  3. Meet the internship requirement for the required clock hours.

  4. Complete the required paperwork including an evaluation of the intern's work performance for midterm and final evaluation. Evaluations forms need to be completed before the midterm and before the conclusion of the internship. It is designed to reflect the quality of the internship experience as related  to the specific internship goals. It is advised that evaluation results be shared with the student interns so that they will become aware of their personal capabilities, strengths, and/or weaknesses. Then the faculty supervisor review these evaluations and post grades for the student's course requirement.

Program Objectives

WVSU Internships are designed to expand the academic knowledge for students in their particular academic programs. The objectives are:
  1. To apply classroom theory in a practical environment
  2. To provide networking opportunities for students
  3. To help students recognize and understand their own strengths and weaknesses personally and professionally
  4. To assist students as they assess personal ambitions in their chosen occupation
  5. To prepare students for employment and/or graduate education
  6. To prepare students to compete with other applicants in the job market

Program Outcomes

By the end of the internship, WVSU students will able to:
  1. To link academic theory to practical experience
  2. To apply their knowledge and skills to a work environment
  3. To learn new ideas through challenging, meaningful, and applicable activities
  4. To develop and demonstrate professional and personal skills and knowledge in the workplace
  5. To learn and demonstrate awareness of the work environment and organizational issues
  6. To develop solutions to complex problems that relate to their area of academic program

Internship Expectations

All student interns must meet:
  1. Meet  WVSU eligibility requirements of the internship program
  2. Identify, interview, and secure an internship position with an approved organization in their academic field of study
  3. Work a minimum of supervised clock hours related to the student's academic program
  4. Complete all the required forms

Reporting Expectations

Once students are admitted to the internship program, they must complete all the appropriate and necessary forms that are listed under the responsibilities of the student intern, submit them according to the timeline, and obtain approval from the faculty supervisor. 
Student intern is expected to apply the academic knowledge and concepts to improve the essential skills. In addition, the intern is expected to demonstrate this knowledge by recording the internship activities such as completing the required clock hours, written logs, and the required forms.

Successful reporting is based on detailed explanation of tasks and activities, how academic preparation provided applicable and adequate background for the student to perform duties, assignments, and tasks, and recognition of the significance of the tasks to the success of the work experience.

At the competition of the internship, the student intern is required to produce an internship report, final bound portfolio, and presentation. The portfolio must include the forms such as copies of all time sheets, log reports, and the statement of achieved goals and projected experiences. This portfolio will serve as a permanent record of the internship performance for the student.

Current Internship Courses at WVSU

College of Arts and Humanities

Communications Field Experience - Comm 400 - (1-4 Credit Hours)

Placement of qualified B.S. degree students in radio, television, film, theatre, and related media agencies with the purpose of providing supervised work experience in the student's chosen area, and a minimum of 200 hours with the approved agency for 4 credit hours. Students must complete internship application prior to registration. Prerequisite: Thirty credit hours of communication courses and permission of department chair. May be repeated up to 8 credits.

College of Business & Social Sciences

Business Internship Advanced - BA 466 (1-6 credit hours)

Placement of business students in various businesses and industries in the community for the purpose of gaining on-the-job training and experience. (Grades on Pass-Fail basis). This course fulfills this academic capstone requirement for Business Education majors. Prerequisite: Completion of minimum of 90 semester hours and the approval of the supervising instructor and department chair.

Senior Seminar/Internship - HIST 400 (3 credit hours)

This senior capstone course completes the requirements for graduation with a BA degree in history. All majors must satisfactorily pass the course, normally in the final semester. HIST 400 offers students two options: a major research project based upon primary sources, for students planning to enter graduate or professional school, or a public history internship/field study, for students preparing to enter the workforce. Prerequisites: Senior standing and permission of instructor.

Internship - POSC 497 (3-12 credit hours)

For political science majors and students in other majors who qualify to participate in one of the various internship opportunities offered through the university. It may be taken for a maximum of three credit hours, unless it is the Judith Hendon Fellowship for 12 credit hours or some comparably competitive and demanding fellowship for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Only six of earned internship credits can be applied towards upper-division requirements in political science. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor.

College of Natural Science & Mathematics

Industry Internship in Biotechnology -  BT 598 - (1-3 credit hours)

Experience in the biotechnology industry through work at an industrial site or government agency. Arrangement determined by industry/government partner in conjunction with the student's graduate committee. Prerequisite: Admission to graduate program; approval of graduate committee.

College of Professional Studies

Internship in Criminal Justice - CJ 413 - (3 credit hours)

This course will provide students the opportunity to go into the criminal justice field and observe the actual operation of the system. Students will be able to compare theory and concepts gained from courses to the actual criminal justice process they have experienced. Students may choose an internship in law enforcement, the courts, corrections, or juvenile justice. Prerequisite: 24 hours of CJ courses, senior standing, and minimum GPA of 2.5.
Faculty supervisor: Mr. Mark Addesa

Internship in Recreation and Leisure - HHP 407 - (6 credit hours)

The student will spend one semester working (400-480 hours) with the administrative staff of an existing recreation agency where he or she will assist and take part in planning staff meetings, budgets, in-service training, etc. Prerequisites: HHP 404 with a "C" or better. For Recreation majors only. 
Faculty supervisor: Ms. Pat King

Internship in Sports Studies - HHP 450 - (12 credit hours)

This course serves as a capstone opportunity for the senior level sports studies student to apply cognitive, psychomotor, and affective competencies learned throughout their studies within the Sports Studies Program. Each student will work and learn with an existing sports business, sports, education/instructional program or sports team in the surrounding community. (480 clock hours). Prerequisite: Student must have completed all course work with the designed Sports Studies Curriculum with grades of "C" or better in all courses. With special permission, the student may be taking no more than two courses to complete their degree while completing their internship. 
Faculty supervisor: Dr. Aaron Settle

Field Instruction - SWK 404 - (6 credit hours)

This course integrates classroom theory and practice by placing students for 240 hours in an approved social service agency where they provide direct social work services under the supervision of a qualified field instructor to individuals, families, and groups. Participation in a weekly seminar and concurrent enrollment in SWK 405 are required. Grading is Pass/Fail. Prerequisite: SWK 316


Advanced Field Instruction - SWK 406 - (6 credit hours)

Students enrolled in this course are placed in an approved social service agency for 240 hours under the supervision of a qualified field instructor. The student will have increased responsibility for providing services. Emphasis will be upon service activities such as policy making, program development, networking, public relations, research, and other indirect service provision. Participation in weekly seminar and concurrent enrollment in SWK 405 are required. Grading is Pass/Fail. Prerequisite: SWK 404. 

Benefits to Students

  1. Gain exposure to real-world problems and issues that perhaps are not found in textbooks.
  2. Cultivate adaptability and creativity in a dynamic world.
  3. Increase marketability to employers. On average, only 30% of graduating seniors have job offers before graduation; however, after completing an internship, that figure rises to 58%.
  4. Evaluate specific companies or specific careers prior to committing to full-time employment - a "try before you buy" type experience.
  5. Ease transition from being a student to entering the workforce.
  6. Increase opportunities within a company for faster advancement and growth. 
  7. Facilitate a higher starting salary than non-interns. In a recent study, interns received, on average, $2,240 more than non-interns for starting salary.
  8. Have resume-building experiences while applying academic concepts and principles.
  9. Have opportunities to fund college education.
  10. Have personal growth experiences and exposure to different job opportunities.
  11. Have hands-on opportunities to work with equipment and technology that may not be available on campus.
  12. According to interns from WVSU, students gain the following benefits through academic internships: experience, skill development, perspective, supervision, professional connections, academic credit, earnings, the opportunity to represent WVSU, and to provide service to others.
  13. Bridge the gap between theoretical study and the professional world.
  14. Become professionals who can take their learning in the classroom and adapt it to the workplace.
  15. Get a head start on classroom learning by working with engineering principles on the job.
  16. Have Internship Program participation noted on their transcripts.
  17. Gain self-confidence and motivation and develop expertise in interacting with people.
  18. Improve significantly the level of job and salary offers they get upon graduation.
  19. Develop professional behavior and social skills.

Video Above: Kaitlin Sada (Interned at Shonk Land Company)

Video Above: Andreaa Slusarciuc (Interned at YMCA of Kanawha Valley)

Video Above: Hannah Keller (Interned at Suttle and Stalnaker)

Video Above: Taylor Fisher (Interned at YMCA)

Video Above: Sandra King (Interned at City National Bank)

Video Above: Lea Summers (Interned at Kanawha Valley YMCA)

Video Above: Denitra Houchins (Interned at H&R Block)

Video Above: Jessica Woods (Interned at USDA)

Video Above: Jimmy Seabolt (Intern at Charleston Family YMCA)

Video Above: Portia Smith (Interned for United States Peace Corps)

Video Above: Lee Ann Bias (Interned at American Electric Power)

Video Above: Hannah Pyles (Interned at Comfort Inn)

Video Above: Amiea Summers (Interned at Sherwin-Williams)

Video Above: Amanda Myers (Interned at YMCA)

Video Above: Carly Settle (Interned at Brown Edwards & Co.)

Resume Writing Tips

Having a solid and effective resume can greatly improve your chances of landing that dream job. That is beyond discussion. How does one make sure that his/her resume is top notch and bullet proof, however?

There are several websites with tips around the web, but most bring just a handful of them. College of Business & Social Sciences wanted to put them all together in a single place, and that is what you will find below: 44 resume writing tips.

1. Know the purpose of your resume - The objective of your resume is to land an interview, and the interview will land you the job. Your resume should be interesting enough for the employer to want to meet you in person during an interview.

2. Back up your qualities and strengths - Instead of creating a long (and boring) list with all your qualities (e.g., disciplined, creative, problem solver) try to connect them with real life and work experiences. In other words, you need to back these qualities and strengths up, else it will appear that you are just trying to inflate things.

3. Make sure to use the right keywords - Most companies (even smaller ones) are already using digital databases to search for candidates. This means that the HR department will run search queries based on specific keywords. Make sure your resume does have the keywords related to the job you are applying for. These keywords will usually be nouns. Check the job description and related job ads for a clue on what the employer might be looking for.

4. Use effective titles - Employers will usually make a judgment about your resume in 5 seconds. Under this time frame the most important aspect will be the titles that you listed on the resume, so make sure they grab the attention. Try to be as descriptive as possible, giving the employer a good idea about the nature of your past work experiences. For example: Bad title: Accounting - Good title: Management of A/R and A/P and Recordkeeping.

5. Proofread it twice - It would be difficult to emphasize the importance of proofreading your resume. One small typo and your chances of getting hired could slip. Proofreading it once is not enough, so do it twice, three times or as many as necessary.

6. Use bullet points - Employers do not have the time (or patience) to read long paragraphs of text. Make sure, therefore, to use bullet points and short sentences to describe your experiences, educational background and professional objectives.

7. Where are you going? - Including professional goals can help you by giving employers an idea of where you are going, and how you want to arrive there. You don’t need to have a special section devoted to your professional objectives, but overall the resume must communicate it.

8. Put the most important information first - This point is valid both to the overall order of your resume, as well as to the individual sections. Most of the times your previous work experience will be the most important part of the resume, so put it at the top. When describing your experiences or skills, list the most important ones first.

9. Font and size matter - Make sure that your fonts are big enough. The smaller you should go is 11 points, but 12 is better. Do not overuse capital letters. Remember that your goal is to communicate a message as fast and as clearly as possible. Arial and Times are good choices.

10. Do not include useless or obvious information - There are many people that like to include statements like “Available for interview” or “References available upon request.” If you are sending a resume to a company, it should be a given that you are available for an interview and that you will provide references if requested.

11. Explain the benefits of your skills - Merely stating that you can do something will not catch the attention of the employer. If you manage to explain how it will benefit the company, and to connect it to tangible results, then you will greatly improve your chances.

12. Avoid negativity - Do not include information that might sound negative in the eyes of the employer. This is valid both to your resume and to interviews. You don’t need to include, for instance, things that you hated about your last company.

13. Achievements instead of responsibilities - Resumes that include a long list of “responsibilities included…” are not efficient. Instead of listing responsibilities, therefore, describe your professional achievements.

14. No pictures - Unless you are applying for a job where the physical traits are very important (e.g., modeling, acting and so on), and unless the employer specifically requested it, you should avoid attaching your picture to the resume.

15. Use numbers - This tip is a complement to the 13th one. If you are going to describe your past professional achievements, it would be a good idea to make them as solid as possible. Don’t merely mention that you increased the annual revenues of your division, say that you increased them by $100,000, by 78%.

16. One resume for each employer - One of the most common mistakes that people make is to create a standard resume and send it to all the job openings that they can find. It will also greatly decrease the chances of landing an interview. Tailor your resume for each employer. The same point applies to your cover letters.

17. Identify the problems of the employer - A good starting point to tailor your resume for a specific employer is to identify what possible problems he might have at hand. Try to understand the market of the company you are applying for a job, and identify what kind of difficulties they might be going through. After that illustrate on your resume how you and your skills would help to solve those problems.

18. Avoid age discrimination - Unless specifically requested, do not include your age on your resume.

19. You don’t need to list all your work experiences - If you have job experiences that you are not proud of, or that are not relevant to the current opportunity, you should just omit them. 

20. Go with what you got - If you never had any real working experience, just include your summer jobs, volunteer work, or internship experience. If you don’t have a degree yet, mention the title and the estimated date for completion. As long as those points are relevant to the job in question.

21. Sell your fish - Remember that you are trying to sell yourself. As long as you don’t go over the edge, all the marketing efforts that you can put in your resume, its content, design, and delivery method will give you an advantage over the other candidates.

22. Don’t include irrelevant information - Irrelevant information such as political affiliation, religion and sexual preference will not help you.

23. Use Mr. and Ms. if appropriate - If you have a gender neutral name like Alex or Ryan make sure to include the Mr. or Ms. prefix, so that employers will not get confused about your gender.

24. No false information, please - Apart from being wrong, most HR departments do background checks these days, and it will ruin your credibility if you have falsified the information on your resume.

25. Keep the salary in mind - The image you will create with your resume must match the salary and responsibility level that you are aiming for.

26. Analyze job ads - You will find plenty of useful information on job ads. Analyze no only the ad that you will be applying for, but also those from companies on the same segment or offering related positions. You should be able to identify what profile they are looking for and how the information should be presented.

27. Get someone else to review your resume - It would be a good idea to get a second and third opinion about it. We usually become blind to our own mistakes or way of reasoning, so another people will be in a good position to evaluate the overall quality of your resume and make appropriate suggestions.

28. One or two pages - The ideal length for a resume is an often debated subject. Most employers and recruiting specialists believe that it should contain one or two pages at maximum. Provide all the necessary information is there, the shorter your resume, the better it is.

29. Use action verbs - A very common advice to job seekers is to use action verbs. Action verbs are verbs that will get noticed more easily, and that will clearly communicate what your experience or achievement were. Examples include managed, coached, enforced and planned, etc.

30. Use a good printer - If you are going to use a paper version of your resume, make sure to use a decent printer. Laser printers usually get the job done. Plain white paper is the preferred one as well.

31. No hobbies - Unless you are 100% sure that some of your hobbies will support you candidacy, avoid mentioning them.

32. Update your resume regularly - It is a good idea to update your resume on a regular basis. Add all the new information that you think is relevant, as well as courses, training programs and other academic qualifications that you might receive along the way. This is the best way to keep track of everything and to make sure that you will not end up sending an obsolete document to the employer.

33. Mention who you worked with - If you have reported or worked with someone that is well known in your industry, it could be a good idea to mention it on the resume. The same thing applies to presidents and CEOs. If you reported to or worked directly with highly ranked executives, add it to the resume.

34. No scattered information - Your resume must have a clear focus. It would cause a negative impression if you mentioned that one year you were studying drama, and the next you were working as an accountant. Make sure that all the information you will include will work towards a unified image. Employers like decided people.

35. Make the design flow with white space - Your resume as short and concise, but that refers to the overall amount of information and not to how much text you can pack in a single sheet of paper. White space between the words, lines and paragraphs can improve the legibility of your resume.

36. Lists all your positions - If you have worked a long time for the same company (over 10 years) it could be a good idea to list all the different positions and roles that you had during this time separately. You probably had different responsibilities and developed different skills on each role, so the employer will like to know it.

37. No jargon or slang - Slang should never be present in a resume. As for technical jargon, do not assume that the employer will know what you are talking about. Even if you are sending your resume to a company in the same segment, the person who will read it for the first time might not have any technical expertise.

38. Careful with sample resume templates - There are many websites that offer free resume templates. While they can help you to get an idea of what you are looking for, do not just copy and paste one of the most used ones. You certainly don’t want to look just like any other candidate.

39. Create an email proof formatting - It is very likely that you will end up sending your resume via email to most companies. Apart from having a Word document ready to go as an attachment, you should also have a text version of your resume that does not look disfigured in the body of the email or in online forms. Attachments might get blocked by spam filters, and many people just prefer having the resume on the body of the email itself. Bulletin point may create problems with some systems so try to avoid bullets in the text version of your resume.

40. Remove your older work experiences - If you have been working for 20 years or more, there is no need to have 2 pages of your resume listing all your work experiences, starting with the job at the local coffee shop at the age of 17! Most experts agree that the last 15 years of your career are enough.

41. No fancy design details - Do not use a colored background, fancy fonts or images on your resume. 

42. No pronouns - Your resume should not contain the pronouns “I” or “me.” That is how we normally structure sentences, but since your resume is a document about your person, using these pronouns is actually redundant.

43. Don’t forget the basics - The first thing on your resume should be your name. It should be bold and with a larger font than the rest of the text. Make sure that your contact details are clearly listed. Secondly, both the name and contact details should be included on all the pages of the resume.

44. Consider getting professional help - If you are having a hard time to create your resume, or if you are receiving no response whatsoever from companies, you could consider hiring a professional resume writing service. There are both local and online options are available.

Student Interns

Dr. Bejou
Director of Academic Internship Programs
West Virginia State University
827 Wallace Hall
P.O. Box 1000
Institute, WV 25112
Phone: (304) 204-4025
Fax: (304) 766-4127 
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