FAQ

Why should I do an internship?

If you are a Linguistics or English Language major, or an Editing or TESOL minor, an internship gives you real-life experience in your chosen field.  This can lead to improved skills and an advantage in your future job searches.  An internship can also help you identify areas of application for your academic training and solidify the recognition that you’ve chosen the right field!  TESOL minors need to complete an internship in order to receive a TESOL Certificate (a term that is recognized around the world).  If you are not working part-time in your field, the only way to obtain experience before graduation is by doing one or more internships. You can also build an impressive portfolio or resume by doing internships.

The following reasons from the BYU Intern Office recognize improved employability after completing an internship:

• Increase your marketability to employers. On average, only 30 percent of graduating seniors have job offers before graduation; however, after students complete an internship, that figure rises to 58 percent

• 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

• Gain exposure to real-world problems and issues that perhaps are not found in textbooks

• Evaluate specific companies or specific careers prior to committing with full-time employment—a “try before you buy” type experience

• Increase opportunities within a company for faster advancement and growth

• Increase self-confidence in the workplace while developing an expanded network of associates and professionals

• Have résumé-building experiences while applying academic concepts and principles

• Have hands-on opportunities to work with equipment and technology that may not be available on campus

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Why bother getting credit for an internship?

• If you register, you are protected by the university’s liability insurance (one million dollars per “occurrence”).

• The main university document showing you did an internship is a transcript with the internship course on it: ELang 399R, Ling 399R, or ELang 496R. We strongly recommend that you sign up for the credit so that you will have this official record.

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When should I start doing internships?

Ideally, you should plan your course work so that you are ready for an internship in your junior or senior year. For TESOL minors, many entry-level TESOL positions require a year or more of experience. If you complete the TESOL Practicum course (ELang 478) and then complete an internship (ELang 496R), you have met that requirement. Editing minors face the same expectation of having some experience before securing an entry-level job. Since some internship providers do not require experience or completed classwork, editing and linguistics interns can start an internship earlier in their academic coursework.

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Will I be paid during my internship?

Some, but not all, internships are paid. An intern may do an internship for credit only. However, one benefit of completing the internship is that some sites will hire an intern after a semester of working for credit alone.

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Can editing a book for a friend, working on a linguistics project on the side, or teaching an English class to a group of non-English speaking friends count as an internship?

No. All internships require a qualified supervisor who can help you strengthen current skills and develop new ones. You can meet that requirement by interning with a professional organization or by obtaining a qualified faculty advisor who will supervise your teaching.

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If I am already working as an editor, linguist, or ESL teacher, can I also sign up for internship credit?

Yes, if the work site is approved.

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Can I do an internship out of state?

Yes. The provider must be approved by BYU, and an Internship Master Agreement must have been signed. Search the list here and under Department Internship Coordinators look for the Internship Master Agreements Database. If the provider is not on the list, the following actions must be taken:

• The potential provider must guarantee that a qualified supervisor will oversee your work and give you feedback.

• The site must also be approved by the BYU Internship Office and our internship coordinator.

• Before you begin the internship, the potential provider must sign the Internship Master Agreement.

• If a Master Agreement is not in place, you can initiate that process [link to Master Agreement] and then give the agreement to the BYU internship office (5435 HBLL, email internship@byu.edu).

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Does the university provide liability insurance?

The BYU Internship Office states, “The university provides liability insurance for each student who serves an internship to cover damage or harm caused by the student. The insurance covers up to $1,000,000 per student, per occurrence, $3,000,000 in the aggregate. The liability insurance, however, is only in effect when both the experience provider and the university have signed the Master Agreement, and the student is enrolled for the internship.”

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Can I do more than one internship?

Internship credits can range from 1 to 9 credits for any internship. You can divide that credit between more than one internship. Of course, you can do as many noncredit internships as you wish. Three credits can fulfill an elective in our department, but only one 3-credit internship is allowed as an elective. If you are a TESOL minor, you are required to do 3 credit hours of ELang 496R in order to receive the TESOL Certificate.

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Can I be given credit for hours I worked the semester before taking an internship class?

No. University policy forbids giving credit retroactively. Only those hours worked during the semester(s) you take the internship class will count.

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If I get a “low” grade for an internship class, can I repeat the class to replace my grade?

A low grade cannot be replaced by repeating the course. Once you sign up for the course, you will have a year to complete the experience and all the requirements before being given a grade of Pass or Fail (TESOL) or a letter grade (Editing, English Language, and Linguistics). Most students complete their internship within a semester. You can prevent a low grade by working the required hours, completing course assignments, and obtaining required evaluations of your internship work.

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How do I find an internship?

Finding an internship is similar to finding a job: you must locate, apply (sometimes a test is required), and receive an offer. This Website lists possible internship opportunities for students. The BYU Linguistics & English Language Facebook page is also where information about new internships will be posted. Check the list periodically. The department’s internship coordinator will also have suggestions. If you are interested in a specific company or school, check its website for posted internship openings.

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Am I restricted to the internships posted on this site?

No. You can find an internship on your own. Students often have interests and preferences that are best suited by carrying out their own search. However, the provider must be approved by BYU, and an Internship Master Agreement must be in place. Search the list at https://intern.byu.edu/ under Department Internship Coordinators and look for the Internship Master Agreements Database. If the provider is not on the list, the following actions must be taken:

• The potential provider must guarantee that a qualified supervisor will oversee your work and give you feedback.

• The site must also be approved by the BYU Internship Office and the internship coordinator.

• Before you begin the internship, the potential provider must sign the Internship Master Agreement.

• If a Master Agreement is not in place, you can initiate that process and then give the agreement to the BYU internship office (5435 HBLL, email internship@byu.edu).

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I know someone who wants me for an intern. What does that person have to do to set up a new internship site?

• The potential provider must guarantee that a qualified supervisor will oversee your work and give you feedback.

• The site must be approved by the BYU Internship Office and the department internship coordinator.

• Before you begin the internship, the provider must sign the Internship Master Agreement [link to Master Agreement].

• Give the agreement to the BYU internship office (5435 HBLL, email internship@byu.edu).

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What should I do if my internship provider has not signed an Internship Master Agreement?

The BYU Internship Office states, “The university’s legal council has designed the Master Agreement to protect the university, student, and experience provider against any malpractice incidents or other issues that may endanger any party involved or lead to law suits.” You can send them the Internship Master Agreement and ask them to sign it and return it to the BYU Internship Office (5435 HBLL, email internship@byu.edu).

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Do I need a portfolio? How do I prepare one?

Most internships do not require a portfolio. The Church magazines, for editing interns, are a major exception.

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Do I need to obtain permission before including editing samples in my portfolio?

Anytime you want to include text you have edited while on a job or internship, you should obtain permission from the person or organization who owns the copyright. That person may want you to remove any identifying information. In making your request, state that you want to include the document marked with Track Changes as well as the final version.

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What if I don’t have any editing samples yet?

You won’t need editing samples for most internships. After all, one purpose of an internship is to develop editing samples. If you do need a sample, you can always copy a relevant item off the Internet and edit it.

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Do I need writing samples to apply for an editing internship?

Editors often need to write as well as edit, especially magazine editors. Thus some providers, such as BYU Magazine, the LDS Church magazines, and others, give preference to applicants with relevant writing samples. If all you have written are academic papers, consider writing one or more articles similar to those the provider publishes. Be sure to study the provider’s publications and guidelines to learn how to make your articles acceptable. If you feel an article is good enough, submit it for publication as well as put it in your portfolio.

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How should I write my resume?

Read the information on creating a résumé provided on this web site.

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Where can I find the information needed to write a resume specifically for the provider?

Read the provider’s web site to determine:

1. the type of students they teach, products they work on, or publications they produce.

2. the services the provider offers.

3. the teaching methodology or style guides the provider follows.

4. the background of the contact person.

5. the company’s values (such as emphasis on customer/student satisfaction, timeliness, accuracy, etc.). You may also visit the work place or call with a few well-chosen questions.

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How do I prepare for an interview with the provider?

Practice answering sample interview questions. If you haven’t already, also review the provider’s web site to determine:

1. the type of publications, products, or students they work with.

2. the services the provider offers.

3. the teaching methodology, style guide, or programming the provider follows.

4. the company’s values (such as emphasis on customer satisfaction, timeliness, accuracy, etc.).

You may also visit the work place or call with a few well-chosen questions.

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What if I have to have a criminal background check or drug screen before I start the internship?

You have the responsibility of obtaining and paying for required checks and screenings.

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What must I do to qualify for an internship?

Some internship providers have no prerequisites.

For editing: Providers may require only a passing score on their editing test. Still others require ELang 350 either before or during the internship. A few, such as BYU Studies, require ELang 410 or 430. If you will be doing copyediting or proofing, you should have completed ELang 350 regardless of the provider’s requirements. You want to represent BYU students so well that the provider offers the internship again.

For TESOL: You must have completed the minor classes, including the Practicum at the English Language Center (ELang 478).

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What must I do if the internship is international?

If the internship is international, you must contact the International Study Programs Office in the Kennedy Center at 801-422-8687 or at kennedycenter@byu.edu.

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Are there any requirements other than working?

Because this is an academic class, you are expected to do some assignments. Your internship coordinator will ask you to make the following progression to complete your internship; after completing the 10 steps, you will receive a grade. If the assignments are successfully completed and submitted on time, you can expect to receive an A (editing and linguistics interns) or P (TESOL interns).

1. Pre-Approval, Meet with Coordinator

2. Report 1

3. Work Log 1

4. Work Log 2

5. Mid-Service Evaluation from your supervisor

6. Work Log 3

7. Work Log 4 (if needed)

8. Report 2 (including an Appendix for Editing interns)

9. Site Evaluation completed by you

10. Final Evaluation from your supervisor For TESOL interns, complete your TESOL Certificate application

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If I did all the assignments for an earlier internship, do I have to do them again?

You need to continue to report hours with corresponding assignments.

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How do I enroll to earn university credit for my internship?

To enroll in an internship you must first find an internship site. You may do a local internship, a domestic (out-of-Provo) internship, or an international internship. When you find an internship, register for the appropriate class (ELang 399R, Ling 399R, or ELang 496R). You must complete an Internship application on IRAMS (Internship Registration and Management System) on the BYU Internship Office site: intern.byu.edu. This application is accessed on BYU’s class registration page through the link located next to the desired intern class. If the internship is located internationally, you must work with the Kennedy Center to get approval. This IRAMS application must be fully completed for your internship to be approved. The information you will need in order to complete the application is the address you will have while doing your internship, the address of your internship provider, a contact name, email and phone number, your internship start and end dates, and the amount of credits you wish to earn. We require 42 hours of interning to earn 1 academic credit hour. When you submit your IRAMS application, you will also need to fill out a Pre-Approval form for our department. Contact Dr. Nancy Turley at nancy.turley@byu.edu to ask for that form and to inform her of your internship. She willl need to meet with you to tell you the academic requirements for the internship course. After that, she can approve your IRAMS application and you will be allowed to register for the internship class. Remember that 1 credit hour = 42 hours of internship work; approximately 3 hours of interning work per week would meet the 1 academic requirement (9 hours per week would be necessary if you sign up for 3 academic credits). Internships, although typically completed in one semester, can be completed over a two-semester span.

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Which internship class should I register for?

Linguistics majors should register for Ling 399R, English Language majors and Editing minors for ELang 399R, and TESOL minors for ELang 496R . If you are a TESOL graduate student, you should register for Ling 688R. A Linguistics graduate student would sign up for Ling ?.

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How many credit hours should I sign up for?

You must work 42 hours for each credit hour. Your internship provider will usually give you an estimate of the time you are expected to spend during the semester/term you are registered for the internship. Register accordingly. Although many interns complete their 126 hours needed to receive 3 credits in one semester, it is possible to spread the internship over more than one semester.

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Can I register for an internship class before I find an internship?

No. You must be preapproved to register for an internship class. Read the answer to How do I enroll to earn university credit for my internship? for further information.

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Must all of the legal forms be completed and filed before I begin an internship?

The BYU Internship Office states, “Ideally, contracts will be signed and filed with the Internship Office prior to the start of a student’s internship. Nevertheless, university legal counsel has stipulated that the student may begin work as long as the student is enrolled and the contract is in progress and has a reasonable expectation of approval.” For our students, the required documents include the student agreement. For off-campus internships, an Internship Master Agreement is required before the internship can begin. Note: in some instances, an employment contract must be signed before the student begins an internship. However, this contract does not need to be filed with the university.

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Can I fill my required internship hours over two semesters or terms instead of one?

Some internships go both spring and summer or fall and winter. You can enroll more than once in an internship class. For example, you might sign up for 2 credits in the winter semester and then 1 credit in spring term. Be sure to adjust the number of credit hours you take to match the hours you will be able to work: 42 interning work hours per credit hour.

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Can I start an internship after the add deadline?

Yes. If the add deadline has passed, the BYU Internship Office will register you for the class after you complete the IRAMS application. You can access that directly on their website: https://intern.byu.edu/. Be sure to accurately enter how many credit hours you intend to complete, as the Intern Office will use that information to register you. You may start an internship in any given semester as late as the last day before the discontinuance deadline (which is usually in the third month of the semester). For answers regarding specific situations, please contact the Department’s Internship Coordinator, Dr. Nancy Turley, or the university Internship Office.

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What should I do if I am not given as much work or am given more work during the semester than I signed up for?

You must meet the requirement of 42 work hours per credit hour. If, however, the work at your internship diminishes through no fault of your own, you may reduce your credit hours by contacting the Internship Coordinator, Nancy Turley. Alternatively, you can pick up a second internship to supplement your hours. We are happy to work with you and help you find additional hours opportunities. You may also increase your credit hours if you have more intern work than you expected through the same process (contacting the Internship Coordinator).

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