FAVS Internship Guide

Internships –Why?

Internships provide an opportunity for students to gain practical experience, reflect on those experiences, and apply academic theories outside of the normal classroom environment. In FAVS, we prepare students for complex circumstances in the real world. Student’s benefit greatly when they have the opportunity to apply academic theories being learned in the classroom to actual situations that arise in the work environment. Not only does the student have the opportunity to make insightful reflection on what is being learned in the classroom, but they also gain critical work experience that helps develop additional workplace skills that employers are looking.

More specifically, internships are important to your future marketability because they provide valuable career-related work/learning experience and the opportunity to:

  • test out, clarify, and confirm your career goals.
  • put your education into practice.
  • develop skills that enhance future professional employment.
  • make professional contacts in your field.
  • possibly gain an employment offer upon graduation.
  • Must be a declared Film major
  • 90 hours of college credit completed (senior status)
  • 21 hours of FAVS courses completed
  • Minimum 2.0 overall Grade Point Average (GPA)
  • May be paid or unpaid
  • Minimum of 150 total hours on-the-job

Procedures to Register for FAVS 450

  1. Secure an eligible internship

  2. Internship Application: Complete no later than the 1st Day of the semester (See the academic calendar for dates.) Print/Save a copy of your completed application for your records.

  3. Experiential Learning Agreement: With your internship supervisor complete the agreement in full, including all signatures and initials. Form must be submitted before the Last Day to Add classes in the intended semester. (See the academic calendar for dates.) Keep a copy for your records.

  4. Register for FAVS 450: After we receive the entire ELA form (pages 5-11), you will be given override permission to register for FAVS 450 (3 credits). It is the student’s responsibility to register for the course after receiving the override permission. *Note: By adding this course, you are responsible for the 3 credits of tuition, just like any other course you would register for at Mason.
During the Internship:
  • Students keep a Log of each date and times worked and your activities and decisions made / research completed on site for each date. Your schedule can be configured in any way. This information becomes a journal entry that documents your work.
  • Journal entries are to be compiled throughout the internship. See the FAVS 450 Syllabus for prompts and deadlines throughout the semester. All Journals are due via Blackboard.
  • Any problems should be reported to Prof. Chesler immediately. Particularly if students feel that you are not being challenged enough in the internship. Notify the Site Supervisor and Prof. Chesler. We will work together to maximize this internship experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How soon should I get started?
Students should begin their internship search a minimum of 3 months prior to when they plan on doing the internship. Please keep in mind that the application deadlines will vary from organization to organization. Plan ahead!
What internship opportunities are available?
The DC metro area provides many internship opportunities. Students can also do an internship outside of the DC area and abroad. Internship Organization possibilities are listed (but not limited to) here: http://favs.gmu.edu/internships/internship-locations/
Are there paid internships?
Several organizations offer paid opportunities and many are unpaid positions. Review the job posting and reach out to the organization if you need more information. George Mason University also offers scholarships for those who pursue an unpaid internship: Scholarships
Can internships be substituted for students with work experience?
All students, regardless of work experience, must complete an internship (FAVS 450).
Can current work experience count toward internship credit?
An internship may be completed at the student’s current workplace ONLY if a student is completing different/new work under a different supervisor and Prof. Chesler has approved the work.
How do I find an internship?
It is up to students to be proactive and seek and apply to internship opportunities. Most companies and organizations have listings on their website or postings on job search engines. While internships are available in almost any type of organization, some of them are structured, competitive programs, requiring a formal application process. The student must understand that coordinating the approval of a new site may take time and may not allow the student to register for the experience in that particular semester.
Where can I find internship sites?
To enroll in an internship for academic credit through the Film and Video Studies Program, you must have the approval of Prof. Chesler. Your request for an internship will be assessed individually to determine how the placement fits into your academic and career goals. You may register for an internship during Fall, Spring, or Summer terms. Students need to register for an internship during the semester the internship takes place.
How do I register for FAVS 450?
You will only receive approval to register for an internship course after you have been offered and accepted an internship. You must complete the FAVS Application, learning contract, and course guidelines, and submit to Lori Yi, Academic Advisor, who will then submit an override to allow you to the registrar on Patriotweb.
What other tips can help me select an internship?
  • Start by analyzing your skills and interests, academic, and career goals. Draft your resume and ask friends and family or your advisor to critique it for you. You can also bring your resume to Career Services for assistance. You can also reach out to Prof. Chesler for guidance in crafting your resume.
  • Think about what kind of experiences you want. What kinds of organizations sound intriguing? What are your schedule constraints - how many hours? When can you begin and end? Any geographical limitations?
  • Narrow your search to a manageable number of organizations, and rank them according to some criteria (e.g., your favorite organization, ideal locations, stipend available, etc.). Try to get complete information on what each organization does, whether or not it has a formal internship program, and any application requirements.
  • Develop a plan for each organization internship site. Review your resume and cover letter to be sure it is tailored to the internship position opening.
What do organizations require when you apply for an internship?
Organizations typically require a cover letter, current resume, examples of your past work, recommendation letter(s), and academic transcript. These materials should be prepared ahead of time.
How many hours do I have to work at the internship site?
Undergraduate internships require a minimum of 150 hours for the 3 academic credits (FAVS 450). In a semester there are about 15 weeks, so that is roughly 10 hours per week. Some internships will require a longer period of time to complete with less hours per week for some venues, particularly for students who have part- or full-time jobs. Please note that these are the minimum hour requirements. Your site may require you to work more hours than the university requirements.
How will I be graded?
You will be assessed on the progress you make toward your learning objectives. Multiple methods will be used to assess your performance, including your journal entries, a formal written evaluation from your on-site supervisor. All written work must be submitted through Blackboard by their deadline.
What do I do if I have a problem during my internship?
Complaints or issues regarding your internship experience, work environment, or site supervisor should be brought to the attention of Prof. Chesler immediately.