Internship Assistance

The MEM Program's internship requirement ensures students gain valuable experience in industry. An internship can also prove to be valuable resource for relationship building and career exploration. All internships should involve a well-defined project or projects, and students are responsible for finding and coordinating their own internships. A typical internship is 8 to 12 weeks, with eight weeks being the minimum acceptable length of time.

To maximize your experience in the program, the Career Services team recommends that you complete an internship before you begin the program.  If you plan to complete an internship after beginning the program, you should begin your search as soon as you arrive on Duke's campus.

Students with previous work experience are encouraged to use that time as a basis for the internship requirement.

Internship Guidelines

The internship should meet the following criteria:

  • A defined project or projects ideally including:
    • Interaction with a variety of people within or external to the organization or company
    • Guidance and input from a supervisor
    • Analysis and resolution of a problem or challenge
  • Project should provide opportunities for students to observe organizational communication and processes
  • Project should provide opportunities for students to receive both on-going feedback as well as a more formal end-of-experience evaluation
  • At least 8 weeks long (generally spanning 8-12 weeks in duration); at least 320 hours in duration
  • Must be completed after the Bachelor's Degree, and preferably before beginning the MEM Program

Maximizing Your Internship

Already have an internship lined up for this summer? A member of our Career Services team put together these tips on Maximizing Your Internship:

1. Establish goals for yourself at the beginning of the internship: What do you want to learn?  Who would you like to meet?  How will you know that you've had a successful internship?  What do you want to contribute as an intern?

2. Network: This plays an extremely important part in the job search process and a great source of learning.  Try to have valuable conversations with other professionals during your internship.  What has their career path been?  What skills do they believe are most important for their daily work?  What is something they wish they had done at your age in preparing for the world of work?  Not only will you leave your internship with a greater understanding of the work, but you will also have established relationships with others in the company.

3. Professionalism: How can you show that you are professional?  Many companies consider interns professional if they arrive on time to work and all meetings, complete the projects they are assigned, and communicate in a professional manner both through email and also in verbal communication.  Being a reliable worker and someone who doesn't mind doing tasks, even if they are small, will also communicate your professionalism and integrity.

4. Activities within the Company: Many companies host events or community service during the year for their employees.  If this is something that is available, get involved. These events are a good way to meet other people and show that you have an interest in the company. 

5. Documenting Your Internship: Often students don’t write down what they are doing in their internship and the accomplishments achieved.  Failing to do this makes it difficult later when you are writing your resume or trying to talk to someone about what you actually did in the internship.  It is important to keep these accomplishments "fresh" in your mind, and a way many students do this is by writing in a journal or writing the details on their resume.