The RTM program at Concord University places an emphasis on students learning by doing. Our internship program is key to that idea. Internships provides students with real work experience in something they are passionate about.
An internship is required for all RTM majors except those with a Sports Management degree emphasis. Upon approval by the RTM Faculty Internship Supervisor, the student is allowed to take an internship during the fall, spring or summer semester.
Find out about the benefits of an internship, student eligibility, advice on selecting an internship, application forms and more below.
Benefits of an Internship
What you get from your internship will be determined by what you put into it. The exact nature of each internship will be determined by the type of business or organization in which the student is placed. The following are a few specific benefits you should expect:
- Receive practical hands-on work experience before graduation.
- Learn current methods and techniques in a work environment.
- Practice, improve, and evaluate classroom skills, techniques, and theories.
- Identify and meet individual goals while growing as leaders.
- Evaluate personal likes and dislikes to make sound career decisions.
- Develop professional contacts with networking opportunities.
- Build a stronger resume that will help in obtaining full-time employment.
Student Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for enrollment in the Internship Program, the student must meet the following requirements:
- A 2.0 grade point average
- Senior standing
- Completion of most RTM core courses
- Prior approval from the faculty member (advisor) responsible for the student's particular concentration.
- Notification of intentions to the Faculty Internship Supervisor
Picking an Internship
Select the type of experience that you believe is most appropriate for meeting your professional objectives. Remember, if you wish to be a restaurant manager, you will not want to have all of your experience be in hotel housekeeping and front desk management. Remember also that having a variety of work experiences is useful. Completing an internship away from home and away from campus is an excellent way to demonstrate your mobility. This will show prospective employers that you are self-reliant, independent, etc.—all positive traits within the hospitality industry.
The internship should support or complement your educational objectives. As you consider each internship option available to you, you may wish to ask yourself how that choice would “fit” your concentration. Also, ask yourself if you are personally and professionally prepared for field experience. If it is truly to be a worthwhile experience, the choice must be based on more than just choosing Florida in the winter or the mountains in ski season.
When selecting an internship, view it as more than training. A good internship will provide you with an opportunity to affirm (or refute) your chosen career path. Look at the internship as an opportunity to gain a competitive edge on your peers (and in economic times like these, this has become more important than ever). By linking classroom theory with practice through participation in an internship, you're also signaling your commitment to the industry.
Internship Requirements and Grading
Students must obtain employment in an approved position, preferably in their area of emphasis, during or after their senior year. This work experience shall be for a minimum of 600 clock hours (to earn 12 credit hours). A grade of Pass or Fail will be recommended for this course.
The internship is expected to be a complete job experience and should incorporate a wide range of responsibilities. The student is expected to become a working part of the agency and to seek broad experience by observing, reporting, participating, supervising, and managing agency activities whenever possible.
As part of the experience, the intern is required to maintain and submit a written record of the internship. This written record will include a daily log, a bi-weekly activities report and an internship final report. The final report must be typed, double-spaced and be at least 5 - 10 pages in length. The final report must be submitted to the Faculty Internship Supervisor no more than two weeks after the completion of the internship. The faculty internship supervisor must also receive a completed RTM Internship Student Evaluation form completed by the placement site student's supervisor.
The internship grade will be based upon the student's performance relative to the general and specific responsibilities identified in the Internship Contract and the placement site supervisor's evaluation to the Faculty Internship Supervisor.
The initial task of each internship will be for the student to identify an interested business or agency that can provide an informative, innovative, expansive, and encompassing experience—one that matches the interests and career objectives of the prospective intern. Once this task is accomplished, many other details of the internship placement must be worked out with the participation of the host business or agency, the on-campus internship supervisor, other interested program faculty, and the prospective intern. Completion of these details will require substantial lead time. Consequently, the prospective intern is encouraged to begin planning for the internship well in advance of the desired beginning date—at least one semester, preferably a full year.
A professional attitude is critical to the success of the internship. The student intern should view the experience as both a professional position, with commensurate responsibilities and obligations, and a learning opportunity about his or her chosen career field. A positive, enthusiastic, and hard-working attitude will greatly enhance the experience and the benefits gained from it.
The success of the internship will also be dependent upon the degree of commitment the intern has to the placement site and to the internship program. Professional conduct and a high standard of performance are to be maintained throughout the internship, just as would be expected of any full-time, regular employee. Conduct and performance should reflect the policies and standards of the placement site, Concord University, and the tourism/hospitality profession. Prospective interns should be aware that failure to maintain acceptable standards of conduct and performance may lead to termination of the internship by the placement site supervisor or the Faculty Internship Supervisor.
Student interns are expected to adhere to the work schedule agreed upon by the agency supervisor, the student, and the faculty internship supervisor unless changes are formally agreed upon by all parties. Any frequent or prolonged absences or any major deviation from the work schedule must be reported and explained to the Faculty Internship Supervisor. Excessive absenteeism or failure to carry out duties agreed upon in advance is grounds for termination of the internship, resulting in a grade of “W” or “F” for the experience.
Get a full appreciation of what’s expected during the internship. This applies not only to you but also to the company or agency that agrees to sponsor your internship. If you do not have a shared understanding of both the objectives and parameters for your internship, you will need to establish such an understanding. Earning academic credit for industry-related field experiences depends on the strength of the relationship between all parties. The internship relationship is like that of a partnership. All members are equally important. Ideally, each partner shares in this obligation. Ultimately, though, the responsibility is yours. After all, it is your education!
Faculty Internship Supervisor
To learn more about the RTM Internship Program, contact the Faculty Internship Supervisor below. She will walk you through the process of finding, applying and successfully completing your internship.
Dr. Susan Williams
Associate Professor of Recreation and Tourism Management
Marsh Hall, Room A121
Recreation and Tourism Management
Campus Box F-42
Marsh Hall 105
P.O. Box 1000
Athens, WV 24712-1000
Internship Program Forms
The Internship Program forms below are provided in PDF format. For best results, download the forms on your computer and open them in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have Acrobat Reader, it is available here as a free download.