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Departments vary on internship opportunities

According to the Career Center, an average of 1,300 Boise State students partake in some sort of internship for academic credit each school year.

“Employers’ expectations have increased dramatically over the last couple of years,” said Debbie Kaylor, director of the Career Center.

It’s becoming more common among entry level jobs that a college degree is not enough.

“Employers expect them (college graduates) to walk out with not only a degree, but a set of skills and relevant experiences,” Kaylor said. “They (employers) expect you all to hit the ground running from the start.”

In the Marketing Department, Gary McCain, internship coordinator and associate professor of marketing, keeps a list of internships that are open for upper-level credit. On his list for summer of 2014 there are 65 different openings, 30 of which are paid.

“The internships that don’t pay that students take fall into two categories – they have some kind of glamour or they’re non-profit causes that the student believes in,” McCain said.

Even though there are 65 available internships, McCain estimates they have six to 10 students participating in an internship each semester.

In the Art Department, associate professor and internship coordinator  John Francis counted 16 students currently participating in an internship.

“The university is actually the most consistent source for hiring interns,” Francis said. “We have probably three or four different departments that have an (Art Department) intern.”

The most common internship for students of the art department to find is in graphic design positions. Though other positions are available within the valley.

“We have a woman who has a sculpture studio and hires a sculpture intern,” Francis said.

Francis imagines most of the graphic design positions are paid, but isn’t sure on the other internships available.

Emily Zamzow, a graduate of the Environmental and Occupational Health Program, participated in an internship in summer of 2013 with the United States Public Health Service and earned $25/hour while doing it.

“In this field, environmental and occupational health, we’ve been fortunate,” said Dale Stephenson, internship

Stephenson estimates over half of the internships within his program are paid.

Each department chair has a different procedure on how they manage the students within internship programs, but many of them treat the internship as a separate class with the internship supervisor being the professor. Francis, McCain and Stephenson all meet with the students just at the beginning of the internship and at the end.

The internship supervisor is generally a person with a vast amount of experience and knowledge to pass onto their interns.

“I make it a requirement that whoever the person’s supervisor is they have to be someone who has a degree in that area or has extensive experience,” Francis said. “A student should be learning something in their
program area.”

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Keely Mills is a senior communication major with a media production emphasis at Boise State. When Mills isn't writing or reading, she plays musical instruments such as the drums, guitar, piano, and accordion. Mills is always ready for travel and for learning new things. Follow her on twitter, @PelozaJ and check out her photos at