At Sweet Briar, internships are defined as a work experience related to a student’s academic program. These are serious academic experiences that must be sponsored by a member of the faculty and approved by an academic program. To be eligible for an internship, a student must be a rising sophomore, junior or senior and have a cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.0. She must have completed at least three semester hours of course work in the field of study to which her internship is related, and she must have a grade-point average of at least 2.0 in this field. Students who are on any type of academic probation are not eligible for internships.
An internship shall consist of a minimum of 40 hours of work per earned credit hour, either at the work place or in related fieldwork, and shall usually receive one to three semester hours of credit. Internships of longer duration that are more academically substantive may be awarded more credit –up to a maximum of six semester hours for any one internship – with the recommendation of the faculty sponsor, approval of the academic program and approval of the dean. No more than 12 semester hours of internship credit may be counted toward the undergraduate degree. Internships are graded on a Pass/Credit/No Credit basis.
Students may initiate the internship process by completing an Internship Proposal form, available from career services. The form must be signed by the faculty sponsor and program chair or program director. To receive credit for the internship, the student typically must submit the following to her faculty sponsor, but other activities may be assigned by the sponsor as appropriate for the internship undertaken:
- A journal detailing the intern’s activities and experiences
- A paper in which the student relates the internship experiences recorded in her journal to her academic discipline and to any assigned literature
- A form signed by the onsite supervisor verifying satisfactory completion of the internship
The student must also request that her supervisor send an evaluation of her work directly to the office of career services, which will also share the evaluation with the faculty sponsor. The deadline to complete the approval process and register for an internship is the fifth day of classes for the fall and spring semester, and one week before the end of spring term classes for summer internships.
Internships provide opportunities for students to explore career possibilities and gain work experience. Because of Sweet Briar’s proximity to Washington, D.C., a large number of students are able to serve as political, legal or public service interns. Students work there and elsewhere for U.S. senators and representatives, attorneys and local political organizations.
Economics and business interns have worked for accounting firms in Washington, brokerage houses in New York City and insurance companies such as GEICO. In recent years, arts management interns have worked at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Pearl S. Buck International in Perkasie, Pa., and Children’s Museum of Tacoma, while writers interned at Virginia Business magazine and online literary magazines. Other internships have included resettling refugees at the International Rescue Committee in Charlottesville, Va., collecting data and doing research at the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, learning search engine optimization at WebMD in Atlanta, and working at Huntington Ingalls Newport News Shipyard.
Students may earn Sweet Briar academic credit for participating in an internship abroad, provided they have faculty supervision and approval. For fall or spring semester internships, students are eligible for a proportionate amount of their Sweet Briar merit scholarships if they are billed by Sweet Briar for the internship credits. Please contact the director of international students and study abroad or the financial aid office to learn more about this option.