- I am concerned about my health doing an internship due to the Pandemic. Do I need to work onsite? We understand that health and safety are the number one priority. Many design positions are still remote but as the COVID numbers have declined in 2022 and 2023, more internships have moved to a mix of remote and in-person work. We encourage you to start your internship search well BEFORE class begins. Ideally, you should start searching for Fall internship in late Spring, a Spring internship in the prior October and a Summer Internship as early as February. Students who are members of this site should also receive emails of job opportunities and career sessions that I post on the home page.
- Does the Department place students in an Internship? No, the department does not place you in an internship. We will provide you with assistance in finding a position and job postings on this site but it is up to you to write the resume, the cover letter and go on the interview and land the job. Your first stop should be the Professional Development Center on campus to attend their sessions and be sure you are on Handshake, the online career management systems for students here at City Tech. This course is designed to help you develop the skills you will need to find jobs after you graduate and beyond your first job. After reviewing this site, if you have further questions, you can meet with Assistant Professor Tanya Goetz, the department’s internship course coordinator. Her office hours are posted in the main office or you can email her at email@example.com.
- I’ve found an internship, how many hours do I need to work at this internship?
The course requirements are to work 120 hours at the internship site. These hours will need to be signed off on by the supervisor at your internship. Sixty percent of your grade in this class is based on your Supervisor’s Evaluation plus the verification of your hours. Both the supervisor evaluation and the timesheets can be found on this site under https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/comd4900internship/syllabus/.
- I’ve found an internship, now what?
Congratulations on landing your internship. The next step is to download the internship agreement form at https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/comd4900internship/syllabus/ and fill it out and submit it to the department’s assistants in the main office on the 11th floor. You should keep a copy of it for your records (a photo of it on the iPhone will do). You should also download the timesheet for your supervisor at the internship and also the supervisor evaluation sheet. The timesheet should be signed weekly by your supervisor. We have issues later on when a weekly signature is not completed of a discrepancy between the hours the intern thought they were working and what the internship supervisor was prepared to sign off on. To avoid this situation, have it signed weekly. If you submit your internship agreement BEFORE the first day of classes, you will then simply turn up to your first class for your section. If you don’t have an internship before the start of classes, see the answer to question number 4 below.
- I don’t have an internship entering the class. What do I do?
Don’t panic. While it is an ideal scenario to have an internship before the first day of class, if you are diligent about job hunting, you can find one in the first four weeks of class. On the first day of class, your instructor will be taking you through all the resources available to you on this site.. We have a list of companies that have hired City Tech interns in the past few years and you can use this list also to being your search. The class will also be shown sample resumes and cover letters and you can see further examples of such documents on online sites provided such as the Muse. The biggest issue many of our students face in job hunting is that they do not have samples of their design work to show along with their resume. For many internships. Four-Five strong pieces should suffice–you don’t need a complete portfolio. This portfolio could even be work posted on your Linkedin profile page. For the most competitive internships, you should have a more extensive portfolio on Square spot, Wix, Creatively, WordPress, Illoz or a similar platform. If you are an illustrator, then illoz is a heavily used platform. See the site of Edel Rodgriguez to get a sense of how work is presented on that site.
- I don’t have those 4-5 strong pieces. What advice can you offer in this situation?
The best advice I can offer is that you will need to find an internship that will work with you to develop such portfolio pieces OR wait to take this class until you DO have those pieces prepared and work with the leader of your module or another COMD professor/advisor in advertising, web design, illustration, graphic design, AIG to develop these in advance of taking this course. If you choose the former route of taking an internship without those pieces, the internship will likely NOT be paid, be at a smaller company, or a non-profit. Such situations often have more time to provide mentorship and you get to work on a greater variety of projects. You may also have a little more assistant-type work as the supervisor mentors your skills to the point where you can take on more creative work.
- I need a paid internship. Are any of the internships students get offered paid?
Yes, about 35% of our students are in paid internships though this percentage varies from semester to semester. Getting a paid internship generally requires more planning ahead of time. For example, the Brooklyn Tech Internships and the Faculty Commons Design Internship are all paid but must be applied to in November for the Spring semester. Paid internships almost always require samples of your design work–see the answer to question 5.
- I did a Brooklyn Tech Triangle or some other Internship already last year. Can I receive credit for this internship for COMD 4900?
Unfortunately, if you did an internship with a Brooklyn Tech company or some other firm last year and you were not registered for the course, you can’t receive credit for COMD 4900. The COMD 4900 course has class meetings and additional requirements (blog, and presentation see the page on this site at https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/comd4900internship/syllabus/. However, if you are STILL working there doing design work and you will still be there during the semester, then you can receive credit for up to 60 hours of work before starting the COMD 4900 class. For example, Brooklyn Tech internships often last six months beginning in Summer and ending in December. So, if you are working for a Btech internship in the summer, then register for the Fall COMD 4900 and bring your BTECH paperwork to the department and email Professor Goetz at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know that you have this spot and then attend your first class as you would any other COMD class to get the syllabus, assignments, etc and attend the required classes, complete the assignments for the semester as you do for any class. If you get an internship in the Spring in March or April and and enroll in the summer course COMD 4900, you can bring those hours into the summer internship class which begins in June.
- I’ve just landed an internship and I’m only a sophomore or first-semester junior. Can I receive department permission to take COMD 4900?
Yes, this is possible. However, it is decided on a case by case basis depending on your career path–illustration, AIG, etc. — and the type of internship you have landed. Make an appointment to see Professor Goetz and receive this permission if this is your situation. Her office hours are posted in the main office or you can email her at email@example.com provide her the information about your internship, its job description, etc. and be sure to be in the subject line of the email: Permission for COMD 4900.
- Are these class meetings for the internship class?
This class does have class meetings with an instructor throughout the semester. Different instructors handle the class differently with regard to how many class meetings are done in person and how many sessions are online. All sections have some sessions offered online using either Blackboard or Openlab —in general, plan on eight or 9 sessions in person and the rest online. The first 2 classes and the last class are generally in person and are critical to attend. There are also classes that are completely asynchronous. Check CUNYFirst to see what sections are hybrid and which are asynchronous.
- The hours of my internship conflict with my course section times. What should I do?
There are multiple sections of internship so the first route to try is to change sections. Often there is a spot in a section that won’t conflict. If and only IF that can’t be done, you should speak with your instructor and work out a plan with your supervisor to attend the first two classes and the last two classes (these all crucial sessions) and then you should discuss with both Professor Goetz and your internship instructor as to how you will meet regularly at appointed times to make up work you miss during the in-person meetings.
- I haven’t found or been offered an internship that I am interested in and it is week 5 of the semester? Is it still possible to pass the course?
Every semester there are a few students who find themselves in the position where it is week 5 or 6 of the semester and they have not yet landed an internship for various reasons. It could be that the internships they have been offered are not of interest or because their schedule is so full they can’t work the internships they were offered into the days/hours that were needed. There is no one answer for this question. In general, if there is not a financial aid issue with withdrawing, then it is best to withdraw from the class and take it again later when you have time to job search without the demands of other classes. In special cases, where there is an illness or a student lands the just-right internship in week 7, an incomplete may be a solution after consultation with Professor Goetz, your instructor and the department chair. However, in the case of landing the job on week 7, the student would still attend all remaining class sessions, blog about the internship and wrap up the remaining hours at the internship site in January or the summer and then do the oral presentation the following semester to a section of the internship class.
- Does the Department offer an internship class in the summer?
Yes, the department usually runs at least one section of COMD 4900 internship in the summer. I recommend students take the internship class in the summer if they can as they focus on doing their internship site work and the internship course requirement without the demands of 3 other classes. Many internship spots are available BUT again, you do have to plan in advance. Summer spots are often posted for the best companies between January and April. Also, you need to ensure that your Fall financial aid is not jeopardized by taking a class in the summer.
- Does the Department offer an internship in the winter interim session?
No, the department does not offer an internship course during the short winter session as there isn’t enough time to do the 120 hours and the required coursework. However, I highly recommend that you land your internship during winter intersession and even begin working at the site PRIOR to the first week of class so you can get acclimated to your worksite and have some hours logged prior to starting all of your classes.
- When does the department recommend that I enroll in COMD 4900, the internship course?
There is no one blanket answer to this question as our students all have individual career goals. However, below are some general guidelines:
• COMD 4701 The Design Team is the prerequisite or co-requisite for this course because there are skills that you learn in that class that the department believes are important to having a successful internship including research, collaboration, meeting deadlines and client interaction. Therefore, for most students, you should not enroll in COMD 4900 before taking this course, which would mean you would be a second-semester junior or a senior. For some of our students who have prior experience freelancing or from a previous internship, you may be ready to enroll earlier. See the answer to question 8 above.
• For some students who have excellent time management skills, who don’t work many hours outside of the classroom, have strong GPAs AND who aren’t taking four or five classes in their final semester, the last semester just before graduation is a very good time to take the internship class as there is always the possibility that you will land a spot that, should you impress the employer as an intern, you will land a full-time job with them upon graduation. In Fall 2017, 4 students in Prof. Goetz’s internship classes were offered jobs by their internship site.
• For students who are carrying a heavy course load their final semester, have a low GPA and/or who know that they have struggled with time management in the past, you should plan on NOT taking COMD 4900 in your last semester along with Senior Project and the Senior Portfolio class as you will find it stressful and will not do your best work in any of the classes. Instead, take it during your junior year or better still, the summer before your senior year.
- I’ve found an internship on my own that is in design and now my employer is asking me for a letter stating I am receiving credit. Can I get a letter from the department for this employer?
If you are NOT enrolled in the COMD 4900 class at the time you receive the job offer, the department cannot provide you with a letter stating you are receiving credit for this internship. You MUST be enrolled in the class for the department to provide you such a letter. If you can quickly enroll in the class for that particular semester, you should do so as soon as you land an internship you want. See the answer to question #8 above. Employers are asking you for this letter as they can’t hire unpaid interns unless he/she is receiving credit. But equally, we can’t write a letter stating you are receiving credit if you are not enrolled in the Internship class. In rare instances, if the internship can be extended through to the summer, it might be possible for you to take the internship once you’ve enrolled in the Summer class and the department could provide you a letter to that effect.
- I’m an international Student. Is there paperwork I need to fill out?
If you are an international student, there are important forms you need to fill out. Please see the International Student Page on City Tech’s website and reach out to the contact listed on that page. Our International Students advisor will work with you on this paperwork and answer questions you have regarding filling it out.