MSIS Internship Placement Procedures

Fran Reynolds, Assistant Dean of the Information Studies Department, sent this email to IST-L listserv about obtaining an internship in the Masters of Science in Information Science program. Note: Students in the school media track have different guidelines.


Internship information and application forms are available on the Information Studies web page.

  1. Make sure that you are eligible for the MSIS internship.
    You must meet minimum credit requirements (24 credits), including core and concentration courses. Discuss questions about eligibility with your faculty advisor. See guidelines.
  2. Prepare an internship application.
    Discuss internship goals with your faculty advisor (please ask for your faculty advisor’s comments/ signature on the application).
  3. Prepare an updated resume and attach it to your application.
    Submit the completed application with resume to the Internship Placement Coordinator (currently Assistant Dean Fran Reynolds).   You can do this by fax, e-mail or by leaving it in Fran’s mailbox in Draper 113.
  4. Schedule a 30-minute meeting with Fran Reynolds.
    Call the Information Studies office at 442-5110 (or by stopping by in Draper 113). At this meeting you will discuss placement options and get information on internship requirements.
  5. Decide on a placement.
    With input from the placement coordinator, decide on which placement site to contact first and move ahead with contacting the potential mentor.
  6. Meet with internship on-site supervisor.
    The placement is considered complete when both the intern and the mentor have contacted the Internship coordinator after a face-to-face meeting to report a mutually beneficial arrangement.   The intern should provide contact information for his/her direct on-site supervisor including mailing address, telephone, and e-mail address.
  7. Is it the right fit?
    If a selected site is not available for placement in a particular semester, or the interview does not lead to an internship placement, then the student will contact the placement coordinator to select another site.

Tips for contacting mentors:

  • E-mail is preferred since a resume can be attached, along with internship documents (Information for mentors, Syllabus, Evaluation checklist)
  • Introduce yourself, give some information about your concentration and interests.
  • Follow up with a phone call if you don’t get a response within a week.
  • Request a face-to-face meeting/interview.
  • When meeting in person, dress appropriately, be prepared to discuss your interests, goals, and scheduling.

Notes and General Information:

If students would like to propose an internship site out of the greater Capital District area or one that has not previously hosted MSIS interns:

  1. Provide essential information about the site, including contact information, to the internship coordinator.  Mentor(s) must have appropriate degree and/or professional experience for supervision.   [See mentor information form.]
  2. Complete steps 1-3 above before initiating a request for an interview with the mentor.

There is a binder with information about past placements and potential internship ideas available in Draper 113.   Just ask Fran R. or anyone in the office if you would like to look through the binder.

Most internship sites will only host one intern each semester.  Only one student should initiate contact with each mentor unless there is prior arrangement.     The Internship Placement Coordinator will keep track of this to avoid conflicts and “contact overload”.

Mentors should have MSIS, MLS, or appropriate degree for the student’s concentration.

The interview is an important step in the placement process.  Be professional.    Be prepared to discuss your goals and interests.  Know something about your placement site.  First impressions are important.  Dress appropriately.  Demonstrate enthusiasm.  You are representing your professional self, the Department of Information Studies, and the University at Albany.

To make sure that internship sites are equally available to all MSIS students, and to be fair to mentors, each student should select one site to contact and follow through on the procedure until an outcome is reached.   If there has not been a successful placement, the student will select another site.

Contact the Internship Placement Coordinator if there are any questions about internship placement procedures or requirements.

Registration for IST 668 requires a Class Permission Number (CPN).  The CPN will be distributed after the placement is finalized.

Before the semester begins, each MSIS intern will be assigned to a full time faculty member for supervision and evaluation.


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