Loyola University Chicago

Global Studies


Things every intern should know & FAQ

Each intern will arrange a general set of responsibilities with a supervisor before beginning the internship, often as part of the initial interview.  The list of responsibilities may be very narrow or somewhat broad depending on the organization.  Some interns, for example, are assigned to assist refugees settling into the US for the first time.  Their duties could entail everything from interacting with landlords or local public schools to navigating the grocery store.  Other interns work in an office doing research and following up with professional contacts.  Above all, it is imperative that interns understand they are joining a professional organization and should conduct themselves accordingly.  The organizations will come to depend on you as they would a permanent staff member.

Perhaps the most important part of a successful internship involves being proactive in seeking out new responsibilities when assigned ones are completed.  Interns are assigned to a supervisor; however, it is important to remember that in most cases, your supervisor has a full-time job apart from supervising you.  They will not be able to look over your shoulder to notice when you are done with the day's tasks and need something else to do.  Generally speaking, the more competently you complete your initial tasks, the more independence and responsibility you will be given in your subsequent ones.

Beyond the basics likely to be clarified during an interview, such as foreign language fluency or competency with WORD or PowerPoint, interns can be expect to receive training on office-specific systems, and software.  It is imperative that interns ask for clarification when they are unsure of a given procedure.  In the absence of you asking, the assumption is you know what you are doing.

A student may locate his or her own internship and ask for it to be approved.  A short description of the organization and a link to its website, if applicable, should be sent to the internship coordinator along with a list of internship responsibilities.  We caution you, however, that some organizations have little to no experience with interns and might not always work out well.  The list of internships we maintain contains organizations that are well-prepared to host student interns and to which we regularly send our students.

All internships at Loyola contain two parts: the internship itself and an academic component.  The latter consists of the following writing assignments.  First, all interns at Loyola are required to complete the provost's reflection essay, which asks students to respond to three questions that connect the internship to other course work, the university's mission, and their own professional development.  Second, all students enrolled in the GIST internship course must complete three E-journals, which are short reflection essays that address what interns are learning from the internship.  Finally, all GIST interns must complete an 6-8 page research paper that explores both the internship organization and the broader field in which it situates itself.  The class itself (GIST 370) meets only once during the semester as a group, typically at a catered dinner on campus one evening toward the end of the semester.   This mandatory meeting provides the internship coordinator an opportunity to discuss the written assignments in more detail and allows students to talk to each other about their experiences.

Most internships are unpaid.  However, some offer either a stipend or a CTA pass that will cover transportation.  The presence or absence of compensation should be made clear during the initial interview.  To defray costs, Loyola's Office of Engaged Learning is sometimes able to offer $1,500 scholarships to students whose internships comply with the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and who submit an application prior to each semester’s deadline.  For more information on these scholarships, please contact the Office of Engaged Learning here.

Yes, since each new internship is essentially a new experience, students may enroll in INTS 370 more than once.  However, only 3 credits may be applied toward the requirements of the INTS major, so any additional credits will be counted as a general university elective.