Film Studies

Internship Expectations


I. Hours

Interns are required to work a minimum of 8 - 10 hours per week during fall and spring semesters. Summer I and II minimum requirements are 20 hours per week.

II. Learning ObjectivesIntern Abby Dunkin

An important part of your Internship experience is having some specific learning objectives going into your internship. You will need to formulate
2-3 of these, in consultation with your agency supervisor, during the first two weeks of the Fall or Spring semesters. For summer internships, you
must submit your learning objectives during the first week of the semester.

To learn more about learning objectives, and UNCW Internships in general, please refer to the "UNCW Internship Guidebook," which you can read or download by doing the following:

  1. Go to the link:
  2. Select "Student Internship Guidebook"

III. Keeping in touch

While the bulk of your internship will take place at your agency, you will still need to keep in touch with the Internship Coordinator during the semester. Therefore, it is mandatory that you submit posts to the Film Studies Internship Blog ONCE per month (on the first of each month) during Fall or Spring semesters, and WEEKLY (each Friday) during the summer semesters, to update us regarding your progress & activities. Updates should be a minimum of 150 words. I will also be staying in touch with your supervisor at the Agency.

FAILURE TO KEEP IN TOUCH MAY RESULT IN FAILING THE INTERNSHIP. It is crucial to your professional development that you follow-through with your responsibilities to the Internship Agency and to the Film Studies Department.

IV. Professional Field Interview

You are required to interview a professional in your field of interest. This interview may be turned in as a 5-page paper or as an edited video interview. Only one interview is required although some students have done two to maximize their networking opportunities. Please be as professional and prepared as possible, developing well thought out questions beforehand. You will need to research your subject, so you know them as well as they know themselves!

V. Internship Reflection Paper

As part of your Internship, you are required to write an Internship Reflection Paper. This essay is due on the last scheduled day of classes of the semester in which you do your Internship. This 1,000-word reflection essay should discuss the goals you set during your first week on the job, new ones you may have added, and how you worked towards achieving them – or how they changed as a result of the experience.  Be as detailed as you can. This is your record of the summer internship and a chance to reflect on what’s important to you as you evolve as a film professional.

A Few Additional Notes…

Safety 1st!
Always keep safety in mind as you perform the duties related to your internship. If you are working on a film set, for example, be aware of any potential hazards, such as hot lights, electrical cables, heavy equipment being moved, etc. Don't do anything that would put you or anyone else at risk.

Prohibited Internship Agreements

Some internship employers request UNCW faculty and staff and students to sign Indemnity and Hold Harmless Agreements, transferring from the employer to UNCW liability for personal claims, wrongful death or property damage arising out of the performance of their student internship program.

The University of North Carolina legal counsel has informed UNCW Career Services that there is a list of "Prohibited Contract Clauses" which the NC Attorney General has published for State agencies (including UNC schools). Number three on that list of prohibited clauses is "Hold-Harmless or Indemnification Clauses, Both in Tort and Contract, in Favor of the Contractor." Therefore, UNCW and all State agencies actually lack the authority to indemnify and hold harmless another entity, and no UNCW faculty, staff or student should sign such an agreement.

Professionalism & Punctuality

Finally, please remember that you are representing not only yourself, but also the Film Studies Department and UNCW. As the saying goes: "It's better to be 30 minutes early than 30 seconds late." For example, don't tell the agency you can be there 10 minutes after your class ends at UNCW, or you'll run the risk of frequently being late and making a bad impression (or worse, being terminated and failing). It is your responsibility to work out any scheduling issues with your supervisor at the agency.

Best of luck with your Internship! I hope it is an invaluable learning experience, and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.