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Undergraduate

Internships

Psychology 3191 – Internship in Psychology


To get instructor permission to add Psych 3191, fill out the Enrollment Form.


Why are internships important?

Internships are important components of a well-rounded study of psychology. In an internship, you can see psychological theories and concepts come to life! In addition to the real-world application of psychology, an internship is an exciting opportunity for you to explore career possibilities, gain hands-on experience, and build your network by meeting people who are working in the specific field matching your career goals. Internships allow you to “try out” a career before deciding if it is the right path for you.

Internships also enhance your marketability in the professional world. For students entering today’s competitive job market directly after earning their undergraduate degree, internships are practically a must. They’re a key factor in setting you apart as a job candidate. As an intern working with a professional in your field of interest, you’ll be able to apply your in-depth classroom knowledge to real-world applications. All employers value hands-on experience coupled with a solid academic foundation!

Not planning to enter the work force right away? If you are planning to enter graduate/professional school immediately after your undergraduate education, you know that the application process is also very competitive. More and more graduate programs are looking beyond GRE scores and GPAs to see if you have done any experiential learning (internships, volunteer work, research) to enhance your education.

Another reason that internships are a good idea: it could lead you to a full-time job after graduation! Nearly 40% of interns go on to full-time employment with the company they intern with (from naceweb.org). Also, by building your network and experience in the field, you will discover even more job opportunities outside of your internship site.

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What kinds of internships do psychology students do? What kind of internship is right for me?

Psychology students participate in a wide variety of internship experiences. Any internship that relates to your psychology coursework is fair game! For example, many psychology students have volunteered with the Suicide Prevention Hotline accepting calls from suicidal adults. Others have worked with Goodwill Industries, designing programming for adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities. Some have worked as interns in human resources departments, helping to design new employee evaluations. Still others have worked alongside physicians and nurses as research assistants at Nationwide Children’s Hospital or as family support at Wexner Medical Center.

When searching for internships, ask yourself:

  • What do I want to do with my psychology degree?
  • What is my dream job?
  • Who is doing my dream job? How did they get started?
  • What kinds of internships or volunteer opportunities are available for people getting started in that field?
  • How can I learn more about this field, and if it is the right fit for me?
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How do I find out about available internships?

There are many paths to finding an internship. An opportunity isn’t always advertised as an internship; it may be advertised as a volunteer opportunity – it won’t necessarily even be advertised at all! The first step to finding an internship is to get a better idea of what kind of internship you want. Ask yourself the questions above. Remember an ideal internship will help you continue to explore career options and give you hands-on experience. Here are a few places to start looking:

  • OSU’s Arts & Sciences Career Services Office in 48 Townshend Hall is a great place to start. Career Services provides lots of career resources for students, such as preparing resumes, cover letters, and mock interviewing opportunities, in addition to listings of possible internships. First, stop in for a walk-in appointment to get your resume reviewed, and then you can schedule a meeting with an Internship Advisor.
  • Join FutureLink to view a database of current employment and internship postings geared toward Arts and Sciences majors. FutureLink is part of the Buckeye Careers Network, Ohio State’s university-wide online resource to connect Ohio State student with employers for jobs, internships, co-ops, and career opportunities. It is a free resource for students, and you can often apply for internships online. ASC Career Services runs workshops on how to use FutureLink effectively.
  • Visit http://www.ohiomeansinternships.com/.
  • Explore psychology-related internships on our CarmenWiki. In past years, psychology students have listed their internship sites on this database, along with their reflection on their internship. General duties and contact information are also listed with each internship site.
  • Visit your Psychology Advisor to discuss internships that are related to your interests. In the Psychology Undergraduate Advising Office (room 15 in the Psychology Building), you can also ask to see the huge binder loaded with information on more internships.
  • Come to the Psych Department’s Career, Internship, and Graduate School Fair. Here, you can speak with representatives from over 20 organizations that have job and internship opportunities for psychology majors. This is a chance for you to make face-to-face contact and gather lots of information about psychology-related internships. Remember to wear interview attire and bring copies of your resume!
  • Your own network is also a great place to find internship opportunities. Ask fellow students what kinds of internships or sustained volunteer jobs they’ve had. Ask your professors. Ask your advisors. Ask your parents. Ask people at your job or place of worship. If you have an idea of what you’re looking for (e.g. working with the homeless), start looking for service providers in the Columbus area (e.g. homeless shelters), contact them and check their websites, and ask if they have volunteer/internship opportunities for college students! (Wondering what to say? See the etiquette tips below.)
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I have an internship. Can I get course credit for it?

Yes! Psychology 3191, Internship in Psychology, is an online course that accompanies a psychology-related internship experience. Internships provide psychology students with an opportunity to work in a professional setting and to begin to integrate academic knowledge with experiences, expectations, values, and demands of the world outside the classroom. This is a distance-learning course and all assignments will be on Carmen. Psych 3191 is graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.  Readings, discussions, and assignments will focus on the professional and psychological issues relevant to the internship experience, and topics related to “life after graduation.”

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What are the prerequisites for Psych 3191?

Academic requirements

  • You must have credit for Psych 100 or 1100.
  • You must have declared a Psychology major or minor.

Internship requirements

  • You must have secured an internship that is related to Psychology (paid or unpaid).
  • The internship must promote skill development and hands-on learning.
  • You must have a supervisor who is directly responsible for overseeing your work.
  • Your supervisor must be able to evaluate your performance at the internship site and must be willing to document the hours that you work at the internship and complete an internship evaluation form.
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How much time commitment is involved in Psych 3191?

Psych 3191 is a variable credit hour course. The online assignments comprise approximately 1 credit hour of work, and the rest of the credit hours reflect your hours of work at your internship. Enrollment is determined by the number of total hours that you work at an internship during one term.

  • Psych 3191 must be taken in the same term as you are working at the internship. Retroactive credit is not permitted (e.g., if you completed an internship last year, you cannot enroll in Psych 3191 now).
  • Psych 3191 is repeatable to a maximum of 5 semesters or 15 credit hours.
  • Enrollment hours are based on the hours that you will work at your internship this term (at least 38 hours per credit hour):
    • 1 credit hour of Psych 3191 = 38-75 hours at your internship (approx. 3-5 hrs/wk in a semester)
    • 2 credit hours of Psych 3191 = 76-113 hours at your internship
    • 3 credit hours of Psych 3191 = 114-151 hours at your internship
    • 4 credit hours of Psych 3191 = 152-189 hours at your internship
    • 5 credit hours of Psych 3191 = 190-227 hours at your internship
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I have an internship. How do I enroll in Psych 3191?

Enrollment is by instructor permission only. Once you have your internship secured, download the Enrollment Form. Once you fill out the Enrollment Form, submit it to the instructor, Jackie von Spiegel:

  • Email to von-spiegel.2@osu.edu
  • Fax to Jackie von Spiegel at 614-292-5136
  • Drop off or mail to the Psychology Advising Office at 15 Psychology Building, 1835 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43210

Once Jackie has received your Enrollment Form, she will email you with further instructions.

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Etiquette Tips: What should I say when I email people about potential internships?

Etiquette is always important. Internships are often competitive and you want to put your best foot forward right from the start. A polite, professional email could make the difference between never getting a response and getting an internship offer.

DO NOT say…

Hey, I’m interested in an internship with your organization. Do you have any openings? Thanks.

  • This email is too casual and does not include the necessary information that an internship will need to know. Your email will likely be ignored.

DO say something like…

Hello Mr./Ms./Dr. (Last Name),

My name is (your name), and I’m interested in the work you’re doing at (name the organization). I learned about your organization from (state where you found the internship/who you talked to about the internship) and your mission at (organization) relates directly to my interest in (state your interest). As a psychology major at The Ohio State University, I’ve learned about (name something you’ve learned that relates to the internship) and would like the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and offer my services as an intern.

I am currently seeking internship opportunities for (state the term you hope to enroll in Psych 3191). Is your organization looking for interns or volunteers for that time frame? If so, would you be willing to meet in person or by phone to discuss those opportunities? I’m available (name specific days and times you are available within the next two weeks). I am reachable by phone or email, but if you can’t get back to me, I’ll happily (call or email) you again (next Monday). If your organization does not have internship or volunteer opportunities, do you have any suggestions of other organizations in the Columbus area that are doing similar work?

I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you very much for your time.

Sincerely,

Iam A. Student

  • Use proper English, including correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation
  • Important information to include:
    • Definite date when you can start
    • Contact information (name, phone, email)
    • What you can contribute to the organization
  • Do not attach your resume to the email (could be confused for spam)
  • Customize every email you send so it doesn’t look like a form letter. Make it specific to each organization.
  • Use a specific subject line, e.g., Internship Position with (organization) – (your name)
  • Follow up with another email or a phone call if you haven’t heard back after a week or two
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