World Campus Internship FAQ's | College of Information Sciences and Technology
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World Campus Internship FAQ's

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Career Solutions & Corporate Engagement

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Email: careers@ist.psu.edu
Phone: (814) 865-4509

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This is dependent upon your level of experience.  If you are a true undergraduate just exploring the IST/SRA field for the first time, you should begin seeking an internship as you begin your junior year (300-level coursework).  A lot is dependent upon the technology skills and knowledge that you have gained through life experience as well. 

It is OK for you to complete your internship at any time but you will be more competitive for internships as you develop your skill set.

We encourage students NOT to wait until their senior year to plan their internship.  This can add a very high degree of stress to put off this requirement until the end.

Finding an internship is your responsibility.  Part of the learning for the internship is the process of getting it.  We do not have internships to hand out to students.  Students are required to seek out an internship, part-time or full-time position that can meet the requirement.  Students have also been able to use IST/SRA related research with a professor for an internship.  Sometimes students have been able to use their current organization working with their internal HR connections to create an opportunity, which will allow them to transition into an IST or SRA unit at their current location.

Compass is IST’s job posting system.  It is specific to companies wishing to recruit IST and SRA students and it is open to all IST students (World Campus, University Park and Commonwealth Campuses.)  At the beginning of each semester, students receive an email with login and password information.  If you need assistance with your Compass login and password, contact careers@ist.psu.edu.

An internship does not have to be a called an internship.  It could be a full or part time job. You can look for positions that would qualify to fulfill the internship through many different locations.  There are several linked on the IST website under career resources on the left navigation bar.   Additionally, do not forget your personal network of family and friends.

The IST 495 class must be taken while the students are completing their internship requirement.  If an internship is found after the mid-point of the semester, students will wait until the next semester to begin the class with a full cohort of students. 

Students cannot register for IST 495.  The complete registration process is found here.

Students begin by emailing careers@ist.psu.edu and providing information about what they are going to be doing for their internship, including job responsibilities as they are related to their coursework and the name of the organization they will be working at.  If approved, students will be  sent the application link to be registered for the internship class (IST 495). All of this is explained on the website linked above.

Students can easily be registered for the internship as far as five weeks into the semester.  At that point, students will be asked to wait until the next semester to be registered. 

All IST and SRA students must complete an internship.  It is a required part of the degree.  There are two options for fulfilling the internship requirement.  It is important that students have had these conversations with their academic advisors as they are selecting their majors.

The options are as follows.  (Note that a fulltime position related to their major can be used to fulfill the requirement.  Additionally, if the student has significant experience that can be compiled into a portfolio they can fulfill the requirement using the Credit by Portfolio.)

1.  An internship – this may or may not be called “an internship”.  It might actually be a fulltime position.  The length of the experience is 300 hours and requires the student complete four deliverables associated with the IST 495 credit course.  Students are required to seek out an internship, part-time or full-time position that can be utilized to meet the requirement.  Students have also been able to use IST/SRA related research with a professor for an internship.  Sometimes students have been able to use their current organization working with their internal HR connections to create an opportunity, which will allow them to transition into an IST or SRA unit at their current location.  

2.  Credit By Portfolio -  this option is for IST/SRA professionals who have significant experience within the field.  They are generally upper level individuals who are able to build a portfolio of their work.  Students would submit a proposal meeting the requirements outlined on the IST website.  Once approved, they submit the completed portfolio for review and, if satisfactory, are awarded credit fulfilling the internship requirement.  These projects must have been completed within the past two years and must be of a depth and breadth that represent a deep understanding of the professional IT field.  http://ist.psu.edu/students/careers/resources/internships/portfolio