Statistics 598 Internship Requirements

Course Outline

Credits: You must be registered for 3-6 credits in the concurrent semester with the internship.

Instructor: The Internship Coordinator is the Department Chair or another designated faculty member

Purpose and Objectives: Practical experience in the application of statistical methods is vital to enhancing your education and preparing you for your professional career. The internship program has been designed to challenge you to productively combine statistical practice with what you are learning in the classroom while pursuing your degree. By participating in an internship, you will:

  • Gain firsthand insights about the spectrum of career opportunities in statistics, and closely related fields.
  • Better understand the educational needs and responsibilities of practicing professionals in areas of interest to you.
  • Be able to make better decisions about future course work and the direction you wish to pursue in your career.
  • Have the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge to actual work situations, thereby gaining a clearer understanding of academic concepts and being able to hone skills that will serve you in the future.
  • Be able to evaluate the professionalism of your employing organization and your own professionalism and to articulate these analyses through an interactive reporting process with your academic advisor.

Grading:

Requirements
Percentage
Completion of work, a minimum 8 weeks and 400 hrs. 
40%
Weekly Reports and Final Summary Report 
35%
Supervisor Evaluation and Forms 1-6 with attachments 
25%
Total 
100%

Internship Guidelines

The following information is intended to serve as a guide to the internship option of the Statistical Sciences Master’s degree requirements.

Internship Description and Eligibility

  • The internship field experience is limited to Statistics students who are in good standing, have completed at least 3 of the core courses including all indicated professional coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  • Preferably, the student is to be within one or two semesters of graduation before the internship. However, we understand that in some circumstances, an excellent internship opportunity may present itself prior to this point. In these cases, work closely with your advisor to see if the opportunity is appropriate for an internship. Internships may be undertaken during the spring, summer, or fall semesters.
  • The student must obtain approval to participate in the internship in advance from their academic advisor and the Internship Coordinator (Internship Eligibility and Approval Form 1).
  • The internship should be a full-time affiliation for a period of not less than eight weeks duration and not less than 400 hours. However, in some cases, it is necessary for the internship to be part-time work spread out over a longer period of time, or part-time work with two different organizations.
  • The internship may be undertaken at any time during the year. Many excellent experiences are available during non-summer months.
  • The internship should be compatible with the student's chosen career specialization within statistics and should provide exposure to professional opportunities in their field.

Finding an Appropriate Internship

  • It is the responsibility of students to seek out the internship placement opportunity with advice and consent of their advisor. Identifying employment opportunities and applying for jobs are integral parts of the learning that can be gained from an internship. It is not the practice of the faculty to make direct internship placement of students. We will give you as much help as we can in locating a suitable intern experience, but we do not "place" students in internship positions. Approval is required in advance and prior to enrollment in Statistics 598.
  • There are many sources of information to aid you in finding a suitable internship or seasonal job:
    • The Department of Statistical Science maintains a job information bulletin board in Brink Hall outside Room 400. We make every effort to keep it current.
    • The Career Center maintains a program that provides many services to help you find seasonal or permanent employment. They schedule interviews by various businesses and government employers, help with the preparation of résumés and job applications, and provide insight in how to apply and interview for jobs.

Getting Your Internship Approved

  • Once you have found what you believe is a suitable internship, discuss it with your advisor. A suitable internship provides professional experiences such as study design, data collection, statistical analyses of data, and written and oral communication of results. Let your advisor know the nature of the internship, when you will be working, and how long you will be employed.
  • Approval to participate in the internship must be obtained in advance from the student’s academic advisor and the Internship Coordinator (Internship Eligibility and Approval Form 1).
  • After receiving approval, you may enroll for 3-6 credits of Statistics 598. You should enroll for credit in the period concurrent with your internship. If you plan to work longer than the minimum period necessary to fulfill the intern requirement you may enroll for additional credit.

The Internship Organization

  • Internships may be completed with private for-profit, non-profit, or governmental organizations.
  • The internship student should be provided with a program of wide ranging direct learning experience with the organization. These may be scheduled during the normal course of the daily work assignment or above and beyond the daily work assignment. These scheduled experiences should bring the student into direct contact with many facets of the work of the organization. It is highly desirable that the student be provided with a written schedule of these activities at the outset of the placement with the organization. Positions without this flexibility might not be acceptable for internships.
  • It is expected that the site manager or supervisor of the internship organization will inform the Statistics Internship Coordinator of their willingness to accept the student for internship training and to provide information pertaining to the full nature of the work to be experienced by the student. Attach this letter to the Internship Eligibility and Approval (Form 1). Also, submit the Internship Organization Information (Form 2) prior to beginning the internship.
  • The internship organization will provide the Statistics Internship Coordinator with an evaluation of the intern promptly by the end of four weeks. This evaluation may be an abbreviated form of the final evaluation (see Supervisor’s Midpoint Evaluation – Form 3) and is intended to direct the intern's efforts by building on strengths and working on weaknesses. The intern will also provide a brief self-evaluation (Form 4) at this time.
  • Upon completion of the internship, the internship organization should provide the Statistics Internship Coordinator with a written evaluation of the participation and professional promise of the intern. This may be in the Form of a letter, employee evaluation and performance forms in regular use by this organization, or by using Supervisor’s Final Evaluation of Intern (Form 5).
  • At the completion of the internship, students should complete an evaluation of the internship organization and their supervisor (Intern Evaluation of Internship Organization Form 6).
  • It is important that the internship organization be willing to undertake the role of working to contribute to the student's professional training and development in anticipation of their entering the professional workforce in the future.
  • The internship providing organization should assist the student in gathering and understanding information about the organization.

Weekly Information to be gathered during the Internship Experience

The following is representative of information the intern should become familiar with and gather during the internship. This material is vital to the successful completion of the internship, to your full understanding of the organization for which you serve as an intern, and to your ability to demonstrate a synthesis of your academic and internship experiences. This material should be sent in weekly installments to the Internship Coordinator over the course of the internship, either by typed hard copy or by email. Most reports should be 2-3 pages in length.

  • Week 1:
    Introduction: A brief sketch (2-3 pages) of first impressions including an introduction to the site and an outline of the internship once the intern has arrived.
  • Week 4:
    Self-evaluation (Form 4) and supervisor’s mid-point evaluation (Form 3)
  • Weeks 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7:
    Brief reports should reflect on one or more aspects of your experience that contribute to your training as a statistician. Describe what you have experienced with your organization on the selected topic, and how this relates to your education on this topic.

Final Internship Summary Report

The final written requirement is a 6-8 page typed summary of your internship experience. You will complete this summary and mail in a typed hardcopy form to the Statistics Internship Coordinator by the last day of the semester so the coordinator can submit a grade. This summary should include, at a minimum, the following sections:

  • Name of internship organization, with name and title of supervisor
  • Inclusive dates of internship experience
  • Summary of work responsibilities during internship experience
  • Summary of skills and knowledge gained from internship experience
  • One page self-evaluation which highlights your own strengths and areas where you still need professional development
  • Suggestions to improve the organization's programs and services
  • Most valuable aspects of your internship experience
  • Suggestions to Statistical Science for improving the internship program
  • An appendix with copies of the reports (excluding the week 4 supervisor’s evaluation)

Suggested Actions throughout the Internship Experience

  • Maintain a daily journal of the work experiences throughout the entire period of the affiliation.
  • Take it upon yourself, during your own off-the-job time if need be, to visit as many different offices of the organization and talk to as many people as possible in order to expand your knowledge of the operation of the organization.
  • Attend any and all meetings that are available to you within and outside the organization such as staff meetings, planning meetings, public hearings, speeches by members of the organization before outside audiences, etc.
  • Visit as many other similar operations, other than your own, and as time permits, talk with people in charge to learn about their operations, etc.
  • Gather any and all published and printed information relative to the above including plans, reports, brochures, etc. that are made available to you.
  • Take a series of slides, pictures or digital photos depicting the organization areas and facilities, program of services, scope of operations, key personnel, your place of work and work experiences, etc. Most importantly, take some photos of yourself at work. You can use these in a professional portfolio or donate some to the Department of Statistical Science for our website.