PS 491: Introduction to Internships Seminar

Past IIW students demonstrating how to and how not to dress for an interview.



As part of the Illinois in Washington’s academic program, this course requires students to combine their academic interests and their internship. Unlike other undergraduate classes in which students may have an assigned set of readings, exams and perhaps a short paper, this course focuses on the internship experience, reflecting on the relationship between this experience and students’ academic learning, while using insights from both of these worlds to generate a high-quality research paper.

Assignments in this class are meant to prompt students to think deeply about their internship experience, how it relates to their academic training, and how they can learn from their internship to inform their academic work and future career goals. Assignments will also be geared to helping students complete a research paper: they will need to formulate a research question and develop an argument, collect data to support that argument and write a paper.

Finally, this course will prompt students to to think about their future career goals, how these goals can be enhanced by their academic work, and how students can best prepare for the next steps, whether it is future courses or jobs or graduate work students want to pursue.

Example Course Assignments

Course Attendance & Participation: Typically, PS 491 is held Friday mornings at a classroom located in the students’ residence building. Students are expected to take Fridays off from their internship in order to attend this course.

Blog Posts: Students are asked to write two blog posts, which we post on the IIW blog, during their time in D.C. These can be related to the students internship or to life in D.C. generally. We also ask that students provide pictures to give their blogs some context.