Luther’s academic program stresses education beyond the classroom walls and encourages students to engage in real-world learning in order to test their career goals and gain valuable professional experience. Internships are a crucial component of this experiential learning, and Luther helps match communication majors with choice internships at businesses, newspapers, magazines, radio stations, educational organizations, and various nonprofit organizations. Recent communication majors have interned at United Way, Amundsen's Clothing, Inspire(d) Media, WAY-FM radio, the Wisconsin School Music Association, and the Humane Society of Northeast Iowa -- just to name a few.

According to the Career Center, the benefits of the internship experience are: 1) to confirm and clarify your career goals, 2) to gain practical work experience, and 3) to develop industry contacts with whom you can keep in touch in the future. An internship experience can give you "an edge" as you plan for life after Luther!

A student with at least 12 hours of COMS course credit can earn one credit hour for every 36 hours of work at an internship site.

All internships in the Communication Studies Department are credit/no credit. The course is COMS 380 and it can apply towards the COMS major or minor as an elective. Only one, 4-hour internship credit may apply towards the COMS major or minor, but several internships may be combined up the 4 credit hour limit. A minimum of 36 hours of actual supervised work on site is necessary for each credit hour.

Because the primary purpose of an internship is to connect classroom concepts to real-world situations, a journal must be kept during the internship experience. The journal should have substantial entries at least daily in which the intern describes what the tasks she or he has been doing on the job and identifying theories, methods, or other concepts from classes that directly relate to the internship experience and duties. The journal should be proof-read, typed and submitted to the faculty internship advisor either in hard copy or electronically within one week of the last day of the internship.

For more information about internship opportunities at Luther, visit Luther College Career Center’s internship program webpage.

Below are some recent internship highlights:

Jordan Boge

Jordan BogeWhen: Summer 2016
Where: Connection Events, Montréal, Canada
Major: Communication Studies and French

Over the summer, Jordan had the opportunity to intern at Connection Events in Montréal, Canada that organizes international business conferences related to visual effects, animation, and gaming. He was able to talk with and get advice from some of the top animation and visual effects artists in the world. Jordan’s language proficiency grew, as his entire internship was in French. Language barrier aside, he loved the city of Montréal and made valuable connections he will use after Luther. Jordan’s dream has always been to work in the animation industry, and after this internship, he is even more motivated to achieve his goal of working at Pixar!

Elizabeth Stay

Elizabeth StayWhen: Spring 2016
Where: Susan Davis International, Washington, D.C.
Major: Communication Studies

Elizabeth spent a semester at Susan Davis International in Washington, D.C. As a public relations intern, she helped draft press releases and brainstorm public relation plan ideas, among other tasks. To complete these tasks, Elizabeth found that many skills such as interpersonal communication and articulate writing were essential to her internship. Elizabeth was able to use the skills she learned in her classes at Luther to help her succeed. One of the most important skills she developed was how to accept and grow from her flaws. Despite the challenges she faced, Elizabeth was able to embrace and overcome them. Most rewarding to Elizabeth was how much she had grown over the course of the semester. This growth mindset is what she will continue to apply towards her career field.

Hannah Mick

KWWL News Channel 7

When: January 2016
KWWL News Channel 7, Waterloo, IA
Communication Studies

KWWL News Channel 7 is a news channel based in Waterloo, Iowa. Hannah had the opportunity to intern there where she observed and worked with the producers, photojournalists, journalists, and reporters. She gained hands-on experience writing the news, shooting and editing video, interviewing, and creating news packages. She realized that it takes a lot to physically produce the news, and that broadcasting news is more like a team sport. Everyone was positive and worked together to create something meaningful and important. Hannah knows that she chose the right major and minor to study because she was able to apply so many of the things she learned from various classes during this internship. Not only did she learn that coffee will be an essential beverage in her future, but found that working in the TV news business is what she wants to do with the rest of her life, which is extremely important.

Kalla Galyon

Headshot of Kalla Galyon at her Silver Tree internship.When: January, 2015
Where: Silver Tree Communications
Major: Communication Studies

Silver Tree is a marketing, advertising, and public relations agency located midway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Kalla was challenged to jump into her J-term internship with both feet. She performed marketing research for a top-50 university, wrote copy for retail advertising, and conducted website analysis for a healthcare client, all in just a few short weeks. This was a "hybrid" internship, in which Kalla spent some time in Silver Tree's offices in Kenosha, but also spent much of her internship working online from her family home in Mount Prospect, Illinois. She came back to campus with a new understanding of the wide variety of tasks involved in communication work and a greater appreciation for the way her Luther courses emphasize learning to write in a variety of styles.

"I think it is just very interesting that there are so many media that we can write for, and how the dynamic and way that we write for each is vastly different than another," she reflected. "This is what I think makes writing so much fun."

Silver Tree president, Kate Colbert wrote, "I was very impressed by Kalla's level of energy and enthusiasm. She was always willing to take a new project, and exhibited the ability to quickly shift gears and priorities when needed."

Paige Lobdell

Paige with one of her coworkers during her internship with KFAN.When: January, 2015
Where: iHeart Media
Major: Communication Studies

Last January, Paige worked for the iHeartMedia company in Minneapolis and specifically under the KFAN Sports Radio. This station covers Minnesota professional and collegiate athletics with four shows throughout the day, hosted by a variety of radio figures. At KFAN, Paige worked at the shows, such as the “Paul Allen Show,” and was in charge of greeting guests, answering fan call-ins, running prize giveaways, and setting up interviews. She also learned how to use editing software to cut audio clips and set each of them up for podcasting. In her spare time, Paige would sit in a recording studio and practice creating her own show. At the end of her internship, Paige was sent to the University of Minnesota to sit in on basketball or hockey press conferences and record the audio for future shows. Throughout her experience, Paige is most proud of her time on-air. She loved reading the vibes of the conversations and is proud to have both Paul Allen and Ben Leber compliment her voice and mention she has a bright future ahead. This internship gave her complete insight to the media world of radio, allowing her to compare it to other forms of media and decide which might be the right fit in the future.

Aldon Severson

Internship - Aldon Severson

When: Spring, 2014
Where: GoodBlogs Inc.
Major: Communication Studies

Last spring, Aldon had the opportunity to work remotely from Luther for GoodBlogs: a patent pending, community blogging software that combines the innovation of crowd-sourced content with the power of content marketing. His primary role was client acquisition and business development, meaning he would discover prospective clients in a given industry to be targeted and contacted by the sales team. He also maintained a database recording all companies, executives, and lead statuses. Since GoodBlogs is still evolving, Aldon feels he most benefited from his internship by participating in a variety of sales and marketing calls because he got to witness the transformation of the company’s sales processes and marketing models.