Checklist for Securing Internships
Below are guidelines and recommendations for securing a Furman Advantage or
PSY 503 Internship. Throughout the process of arranging your placement, the Internship Coordinator can be consulted for any assistance you may need. However, part of
the value in securing an internship is going through the process of contacting
potential host agencies and arranging interviews. Try to do as much as you can
without assistance, but do seek help when you feel that you need help.
Fall Term . . .
1. Notify the Internship Professor or other intended supervising faculty member of your
intention to do an internship.
2. Begin your search for a host agency. To determine possible placements students
can consult any of the following resources:
a. internship sourcebooks in student lounge
b. internship bulletin board (outside of room J201)
c. Internship professor
d. psychology department webpage
e. Internship Office, Ms. Susan Zeiger
f. Internship Office (www.furman.edu/intern/index_internal.htm)
As you consider the possible placements, please think of the following:
a. When do you want to do the placement?
b. What are your objectives for your placement?
c. What do you want to do? How does this relate to career plans?
d. What people or organizations do you want to work with?
e. How much supervision are you hoping to receive?
f. Do you want to do primarily observation or function as a staff assistant?
g. How far are you willing to travel (do you have transportation?)?
h. How much time are you willing to commit?
3. Put together your resume.
Students can consult with Career Services or Internship Office for assistance with their resumes.
Once completed, please let a psychology faculty member see your resume; you
may be under or over-representing yourself.
Late Fall or Early Spring . . .
4. Arrange list of potential placements to call.
A. When calling, if you do not have a specific contact person,
ask to speak to the Head of Personal, or to the Unit or Program Director of
the program you want to find out about. You may simply state that you are a
psychology student at Furman and that you are hoping to talk to someone about
the possibility of doing an internship at that facility/agency, etc. This may
require going through multiple transfers to other contacts before you finally
get to talk to someone in a position to consider your placement. Be patient.
B. Once you make contact with an interested person, introduce
yourself as a Furman psychology student who is trying to find an internship
placement for the Spring term (for PSY 503) or for the summer (for Furman Advantage;
Furman Advantage students, please consult the specific instruction sheet relevant
to this topic ? Be prepared to describe the program to the person to whom you
are talking. Don’t embarrass yourself and decrease the chance of getting
the placement by making this call without preparation.
C. If necessary, ask the contact person if he or she would
like to speak with your faculty supervisor (this often reassures the person
that this is a legitimate program). If the person indicates that he or she would,
tell your contact person who is the supervising faculty
member and that you will ask them to call. Get the best number to call and indication
of a good time to call. Thank the person for his or her time and state that
you look forward to following up.
D. You are not obligated to have the faculty
member call. If you feel that the conversation is going well, ask if you could
schedule a time to meet with the person to talk more about the program and your
interest. If a time is established for a meeting, ask if he or she would like
you to send a copy of your resume.
E. Remember to be gracious and respectful. Although you will
be making a great contribution to their program, they are doing you a favor
to consider the placement. Be sure to convey your appreciation.
Preparing for the Interview
F. For the interview, you should dress professionally, without
being inappropriate to the placement. A business suit/dress is not necessary
for a job at the teen shelter and may suggest to the potential supervisor that
you haven’t really thought about what you would be doing at that facility.
However, you should dress is such a way that the person interviewing you cannot
dismiss you or judge you negatively based on your attire. Talk to any faculty member about this if you have questions.
G. If you are inclined to body piecing, think about whether
or not you want the person to judge you relative to your body adornment. Understand
that different people have different attitudes toward the various forms or body
art. Be prepared to accept the choices that others make relative to your presentation.
This relates to other stylistic decisions that you make. It is certainly within
your rights as an American (ain’t it a great country) to dress as you
wish, but you need to be aware of the implications of the choices you make.
If you smoke, try not to smoke prior to the interview. For some potential supervisors,
the smell of cigarette smoke may be very detrimental to your putting across
a good image.
At the Interview
H. Offer a solid handshake and look the person in the eye
with a smile. Thank the person for taking the time to meet with you.
I. Before the interview begins, provide the interviewer with
a copy of your resume, if you haven’t already sent one. You may want to
take a copy, even if you’ve already sent one.
J. Have questions in mind to ask--your faculty supervisor can assist you
with this; however, you may want to consider the following types of questions.
a. What types of experiences would I be able to have?
b. In what ways will I be able to contribute to the efforts of the program?
c. Will I have opportunities for individual supervision?
d. Are there particular responsibilities that I would have?
e. Will I have the opportunity to participate in or observe .
K. When the interview winds down, if it is clear that the
interview has gone well and you know that you would like to pursue the placement,
go ahead and state it.
“It sounds really great. I think I could get a lot out of the placement
and hopefully be
helpful in the process.”
If they indicate that they would be willing to sponsor you for the placement,
then talk to them about the practical issues of completing contracts or applications
(Placement Site Contract for PSY 503, or Employer Form for Furman Advantage,
see below). Often they will be noncommittal, frequently indicating that they
to check with a superior. Tell them you understand and ask when you could call
find out about the placement or if they’d would prefer to call you. Thank
taking the time to talk to you.
L. If they haven’t told you when to call, I suggest
calling back the next afternoon. If they are unable to sponsor you, tell them
that you understand and thank them for taking the time to consider the placement.
If they indicate that they are willing to sponsor your placement, make arrangements
to get together to complete the Placement Site Contract (for PSY 503) or Employer
Form (for Furman Advantage). Be aware that this must be completed prior to the
beginning of spring term for PSY 503 and by the application deadline for Furman
Once the placement site is determined . . .
1. Complete PSY 503 Proposal
This should describe your goals for the internship and a preliminary idea of
how you will achieve those goals. This form will be circulated among the psychology
faculty for their approval. Once approval is obtained, you should complete the
Placement Site Contract.
2. Placement Site Contract
This form should be completed with the on-site supervisor. On this form, you
will state the specific objectives for the internship and plans for meeting
those objectives. Once completed, the intern, on-site supervisor and faculty
supervisor will sign this form. This form will be used
in evaluating the performance of the intern at the end of the placement. Once
the form is completed and signatures obtained, you can register for PSY 503.*
Forms can be obtained from Donna or downloaded from the department webpage.
* For Spring term registration (late Fall term), students are advised
to register for a full course load, excluding PSY 503. Once the placement has
been secured and the placement contract signed, you can drop one course and
add PSY 503. This strategy is recommended in order to prevent students from having
a limited selection of courses should he or she need to add a course later because
the PSY 501 was not secured or approved.
1. Complete Furman Advantage Internship Application
Deadline: Yet to be determined, usually in early March
Applications can be obtained early Spring Term by going to the engaged Learning webpage
on the Furman web.
It is very important you have all aspects of the application completed prior
to the deadline. While applications that might be lacking employer information
may be accepted by the Advantage Committee, incomplete application will have
lesser probability of funding than complete applications.
You can now submit the application online. Because the Faculty Sponsor From
and Employer Forms may come in separately from your own forms, it will be necessary
to double check with Susan Zeiger to be sure that your application is complete.