COM 491 • Internship

About the course

Internships are a way for you to take some of the things you’ve learned at Saint Joseph’s and the Communication Studies Department into the workplace. Ideally your college education and internship(s) will help guide you toward a career and life with purpose. This class is required for internships that carry credit and my job here is to help you put your internship into a larger context.

We will listen/read/watch some stuff about careers and look at some examples and advice on how work might fit into a purposeful life. We can also use our weekly online chats to talk about more day-to-day issues you face (things like networking, business etiquette etc.).


• To share and discuss work experience, skills and expertise gained during the internship experience.

• To understand more deeply the concept of work-life balance and a “purposeful” career.


We will meet online using Google hangouts on Mondays from 3:30 or Tuesday 6-7. We will meet for 45 minutes to an hour when we will discuss the (very) short reading, video or podacst assigned for that week. Also, feel free free to raise any issues at your internship (or questions in general) that we might consider as a group.

The department also requires some face-to-face meetings. These will be “career salons.” Each of you, either in pairs or small groups, will organize one “salon” in Bronstein Hall during a free period that will include one or two guest speakers. The speakers can join the salon by skype or in person.


Participation (weekly meetings and attendance at 3 of 5 career salons)
You are required to attend (online) one weekly meeting (45 minutes- one hours) and 3 of the 5 career salons during the semester.  20 percent

Career salon 
You and your group are required to organize one career salon during the semester. This includes establishing contact with speakers, organizing their participation and reserving space at Bronstein and refreshments. 20 percent

Alumni profile
You will create an online profile of a Communication Studies graduate that will go on the department website. This will be a Q&A by email and include at least one photo. We will work together to find an alumna/us to profile. 20 percent

• Final presentation and reflection

You will prepare a three-minute presentation on your internship that you will share in person with the COM community. These are scheduled for the last week of classes. You will also write a 750-to-1,000-word reflection essay on your internship.  40 percent


Week 2 – week of Jan. 25 (watch, read or listen to the assigned “text” before the online meeting.

Watch Steve Jobs, How to Live Before You Die

Week 3 – Week of Feb. 1

Watch Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams (It’s a little over an hour, but I promise that it is worth it.)

Week 4 – Week of Feb. 8

Listen to David Foster Wallace, This is Water

Career Salon 

Week 5 – Week of Feb. 15

Ruth Chang, How to Make Hard Choices

Week 6 – Week of Feb. 22

Career Salon 


Week 7 – Week of Feb. 29

Watch Melody Hobson: Color blind or color brave?

Week 8 – Week of March 7

No class – Spring Break

Week 9  – Week of March 14

Watch Larry Smith, Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career

Week 10 – Week of March 21

Read: How not to get a job at theSkimm 

theSkimm is an e-mail newsletter and a really smart company. This may not be your thing, but the advice here applies to pretty much any job. I think a “what not do” in a job interview is always helpful.

Career Salon 


Week 11 – Week of March 28

Watch Angela Lee Duckworth, The Key to Success? Grit

Week 12 – Week of April 4

Watch Susan Colantuono, The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get

Career Salon


Week 13 – Week of April 11


Week 14 – Week of April 18

Career Salon (April 19 or 21)


Week 15 – Week of April 25

Final presentations