An internship is a supervised, work-related experience, either volunteer or compensated. The primary purpose of an internship is to provide real-world experience to a student in applying statistical methods in business, government, or industry. Major parts of the process are initiative, creativity, and communication.
- The student should seek a faculty advisor who will oversee the internship.
- The student must write at least three papers during the semester in which he or she receives academic credit for the internship.
- The first paper is due by the end of the second week of classes. It should outline the responsibilities of the position and include a statement of what the student expects to gain from the internship.
- The second paper is due by the end of the seventh week of classes. The status report should summarize major activities and accomplishments to date.
- The third paper is due before the start of final exams. The final report should summarize major activities and accomplishments over the entire term. It also should discuss how the internship experience educationally and professionally benefited the student. Are there opportunities for future work with the organization? The final report should also include a section providing conclusions and an assessment of the internship experience.
- The student should schedule times with the faculty advisor throughout the semester to discuss the progress and future direction of the internship.
- The student should be prepared to demonstrate initiative and creativity in applying statistical methods in the organization. The student should not expect the supervisor at the internship site to be an expert in statistical methods and to have specific tasks designed for the intern to accomplish. Furthermore, few real-world problems are as well-defined and limited in scope as textbook and exam problems. A systems-level perspective and an analytical approach to problems usually are necessary.
- The ability to effectively communicate the procedures and results of statistical analyses, both in writing and orally, is essential. The written component is addressed in paragraph 2 above. To satisfy the oral component of communication in the internship experience, the student should meet regularly (at least biweekly) with the supervisor at the internship site to update him or her on the student's activities and results. A final oral presentation to the supervisor summarizing the work done and results obtained should be done during the final week of the internship. The faculty advisor should be invited to this presentation at the internship site.