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Progress Reports for CMM 498: Communication Internship

Progress reports are students’ periodic assessments of their internship experience relevant to their educational objectives. The reports also allow the Department of Communication Internship Coordinator to verify that students are getting an educational and career-oriented experience as agreed to by both the intern and employer.

Objectives

Progress reports:

  • allow students to reflect on their internship experience in connection with their education,
  • help students to identify suitable materials for their end-of-semester portfolios, and
  • allow the internship coordinator to monitor the internship and guide students in their work and portfolio plans.

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Content

During the internship, you write two or three progress reports that describe and assess your workplace experience. You also report on the degree of guidance and mentorship provided by the employer, including any special programs that might be offered. 


Describe your tasks and accomplishments in relation to your educational objectives specified in the Internship Learning Agreement. Also note how well (or not) you are achieving those objectives and, perhaps, learning something new and unanticipated. You may include samples of your work as addendums to your reports.
Your assessment of how your classroom education is being put to use (or not) at work also is an important element of the report. You might reflect on how you are applying certain theories on the job or using certain skills that you learned in classes.


In the report, you might describe, for example, the PR plan you were involved with. Or, for example, you might note that you covered five news stories in three days, that all stories were published in area newspapers and generated 15 positive letters to the editor. You might note that you helped to produce two videos or that you gave an impromptu presentation to the board of directors – without notes. Connect your tasks and accomplishments to specific educational objectives.


In addition to assessing your professional development, the progress reports help you to identify work product that can be included in your end-of-the semester portfolio. The various aspects of the progress report also will provide useful information for writing your reflection paper.

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Format

Reports are written in objective, business-like fashion with specific, but tightly written, detail. (Keep Media Writing, CMM 330, style in mind.) They are typed and grammatically correct. Paragraphs are constructed properly. If you see that your report has just one or two  paragraphs, then you have a problem with paragraph cohesion. Communication majors are experts in the English language, and excellent style and presentation will be expected.

Keep the I feels and I’m enjoying and I’m having so much fun to our in-person or e-mail chats; they have no place in a professional report. You may use first-person, but limit the use to facts and analysis of your work and observations. 


Your name, employer (company/organization) and 2-3 word job description will appear on page 1 at the top. Subsequent pages will be identified with your name and a page number. Reports will be double-spaced. You may use subheads to organize content and to make reports reader-friendly.


Length will depend on the work you are doing. If you are doing a lot of different kinds of work, then you will probably write a few pages. If you are doing a lot of the same kind of work, then you probably could summarize in a page or two. Keep in mind the purpose of the reports. Generally, however, reports should be limited to no more than four pages.

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Deadlines and Delivery

Progress reports are due by 5 p.m. on the first day of each month.  During summers, students may propose a deadline schedule that accommodates the term of their internship. The Communication Internship Coordinator must approve the schedule. In any case, the final report is due no later than in the last week of classes, regardless when your internship ends.


All students taking CMM 498 must file at least two reports. Students seeking three credit hours must file three reports.


Your reports can be delivered by hard copy to the Internship Coordinator’s office, or sent by e-mail. Keep in mind that Internet traffic and the university’s e-mail system can delay delivery. Sending a report at 5 p.m. will likely mean that your report will be late. Plan ahead.

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Problems in the Workplace

If your assigned work varies greatly from the employer’s job description and does not allow you opportunities to meet some or all of your educational objectives, contact the Internship Coordinator immediately. Although the coordinator, Department of Communication or university cannot guarantee the quality of your internship experience because we have no authority over the employer, we can intercede. We can try to convince the employer to assign you work in accordance with the Internship Learning Agreement that will help you develop professionally.

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