Media, Communications and Journalism
The Department of Media, Communications and Journalism at California State University, Fresno has developed an extensive internship program. While internships are required for students majoring in public relations, we encourage all of our students, regardless of sequence, to complete an internship.
Our students are looking for internships in the following areas:
- Broadcast Journalism
- Print Journalism
- Public Relations
- Multimedia Production
Internships provide our students with valuable experience, allowing them to learn while they gain “real world” work experience and the opportunity to learn from the best communication professionals available. Internships help students clarify career goals and aspirations and enhance their resumes. It also gives them the chance to apply what they’ve learned in their course work.
Looking for an Internship?
The MCJ Department offers internships for credit (via the MCJ 191I: Internship course) during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. Start looking for your internships EARLY and sign up for MCJ191I prior to the start of the semester.
MCJ 191I is offered for 1-3 units, repeatable up to 6 units. The course is for a letter grade.
- You are a MCJ major or minor.
- You are at least a 2nd semester junior and have complete at least a couple of your major option area courses.
- You do not currently work for the company you are wishing to sign up with to do an internship.
- The supervisor of your internship (e.g., the person you will be working under at your internship) must have a minimum of five years of full-time experience in the field/area you will be engaged with in your internship.
- If you wish to intern for a company, they must be approved and have completed all the required contracts with us.
- You must secure your internship and enroll in MCJ191 no later than the 2nd week of the start of the new semester.
Steps to Take To Secure an Internship
If you are interested in signing up for MCJ191I and completing an internship for college credit, here's what to do:
- Find your internship. You should seek out those companies that will have an internship in your area (TV stations, Marketing agencies, newspapers/magazines, etc.). Visit HireFresnoState to see any listed internship opportunities. Contact Prof. Sidlow (MCJ Internship Coordinator) if you need help finding a company or to check to see if the company is approved.
- Watch your Fresno State email for announcements from the MCJ Internship Coordinator on new internship opportunities.
- Secure your internship. Contact them, meet them and impress them! Treat this just like a JOB interview! Please keep in mind that if the company is not on our approved list of companies, they will need to sign a contract and be approved before you can do an internship with them.
- Complete the Online form. Fill out your portion of the form and be sure to include your supervisor’s name from the company you’ll be interning with and his/her email prior to completing the form. Remind your supervisor to watch for an email with the AdobeSign and to please complete all of his/her section. When you complete your portion of the form, it will automatically go to your supervisor and when he/she completes it, it will automatically go to the university and then to me. Contact me for a link to this form
- Once the steps above are completed and the internship is approved, Prof. Sidlow will send you a permission number to enroll in 191I.
- Start your internship and complete the required hrs for the number of units enrolled.
Requirements During Your Internship
- You and your supervisor at the company should keep track of your hours (a tracking sheet will be posted on Canvas).
- You should complete the required hours for the enrolled number of units (1 unit = a minimum of 50 hours total (25 hrs by mid-term); 2 units = a minimum of 100 hours total (50 hrs by mid-term); 3 units = a minimum of 150 hours total (75 hrs by mid-term)
- Watch Canvas for announcements and assignments.
- Once you have completed the required mid-term hours, you will need to complete your Mid-Term Self-Evaluation Form. This form will be on Canvas.
- When you are finished with your internship (completed the required hours for the enrolled units), you will need to also complete your Final Self-Evaluation Form. This form is also on Canvas.
- When you have completed your internship, you will be required to give you supervisor the Supervisor Evaluation Form. This form will be made available on Canvas. The supervisor will need to complete the evaluation and send directly to the internship coordinator.
- Failure to complete the above evaluations will result in a failing grade for the internship. Failure to complete at least 3/4 number of hours required for the internship and/or poor evaluation by the supervisor will also result in a failing grade.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Prof. Sidlow, MCJ Internship Coordinator.
Looking for an Intern?
Thank you for your interest in working with our MCJ department and our amazing students. We've included some useful information on this page for companies who may be interested in recruiting our students for internships.
- To complete an internship for college credit, students must be MCJ majors or minors and work for an organization first approved by the MCJ Internship Coordinator.
- Students must be under the direct supervision of someone with at least 5 years experience in the area(s) from which the student will be engaged and learn.
- Students are not allowed to work from a personal residence to complete their internship.
- Students are required to complete the required hours for the enrolled number of units (1 unit = a minimum of 50 hours total (25 hrs by mid-term); 2 units = a minimum of 100 hours total (50 hrs by mid-term); 3 units = a minimum of 150 hours total (75 hrs by mid-term). Companies should not exceed these required hours.
- We offer internships for credit in the Fall (August-December), Spring (January-May) and Summer (End of May-end of July) semesters. Please contact the MCJ Internship Coordinator to learn about specific dates.
Learning Site Requirements
- The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
- The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
- The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
- There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework. Duties required by the student must be outlined on the learning agreement prior to the start of the internship.
- There is direct supervision by a professional with at least 5 years expertise and educational and/or professional experience in the field of study.
- There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.
- There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals. The student is not expected or should be asked to use their own resources and/or equipment unless outlined in the learning agreement completed at the onset of the internship.
U.S. Labor Laws & Paid vs Non-paid internship
If you are a for-profit company, please note that the U.S. Department of Labor has strict guidelines regarding paid vs. unpaid internships. If you are looking for a student to fill an unpaid internship, you will be required to provide the MCJ Internship Coordinator with a written plan, subject to Department approval, regarding how your organization will abide by the Department of Labor Standards for unpaid internships. Visit the U.S. Dept of Labor's web page for more information.
Students interning at nonprofit organizations are eligible to earn a stipend for successful completion of 150 hours. Visit Fresno State Career Services for more information about this valuable program. Half of the stipend, plus an administrative fee, (total = $790) is paid by the nonprofit, and the other half of the stipend ($750) is paid by the Community Service Scholarship Program. So, the student earns $1500 for the semester.
Please note that if your internship opportunity doesn't meet our requirements (above),
students will not be made available and MCJ students will not be able to earn college
credit for your opportunity. If the Internship Coordinator learns that the requirements
are not being adhered to during the internship, the intern may be removed before the
completion of the internship.
If your organization is looking for an intern, please contact Prof. Faith Sidlow to learn more about setting up an internship. If your company is interested in recruiting interns, here is a few things you'll need to do.
- Ensure that you are approved by the MCJ department and the university Internship Director.
- Send the internship coordinator a description of the internship and requirements.
This should include:
- Information about your organization
- A brief description of the internship opportunity and what the students will be learning about and doing in the internships.
- Any deadlines or company requirements. This can also include any specific skills you might be looking for with the interns (e.g., photography skills, social media experience, etc.).
- Contact information and how the student should “apply” for your internship.
- Internship descriptions should be submitted each semester that the company is seeking interns (even if your company is a continuing participant in our internship program).
- Please send the description(s) to the internship coordinator at least several weeks prior to the given semester. The deadline for students to sign up for internships is typically within the 2nd week of the new semester.
- Once an internship description is approved (and the company has been approved), it will be submitted to our MCJ students. Any interested student will then contact the company directly about obtaining the internship for the semester.
*NOTE: The Internship Coordinator reserves the right to remove the student from an internship if she suspects the company is not complying with the requirements and/or labor regulations.
MCJ Internship Coordinator
If you have an internship opportunity or have any questions, please contact Prof. Faith Sidlow.
MCJ Internship Opportunities
Visit HireFresnoState to see any recently listed internship opportunities and click on "company menu" to see a list of all approved. Before a student can sign up to intern, the company must go through the approval process. If you don't see a company you are interested in interning with, please contact Prof. Sidlow.
For various entertainment industry internships including those in film, television, video game and interactive media — offered by the California State University system.
For resume and cover letter assistance, see faculty in your option or the Career Services office.