Teaching Tools in Tech Comm Programs -Reply

Subject: Teaching Tools in Tech Comm Programs -Reply
From: David Hailey <FAHAILEY -at- WPO -dot- HASS -dot- USU -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 16 Dec 1996 10:49:25 -0700

George Hayhoe has given us a really valuable list of contributions our
industry could make to the professional writing programs surrounding them.
While I completely agree with him on all points (except one small one), I
would like to beat the internship drum.

If other programs are like ours, probably the most difficult task for the
teachers is finding good internship possibilities for their students.
Companies and freelancers can preform a valuable service for the students and
for themselves by offering the students an opportunity to work in the real
world. This can be a cost effective proposition, since many interns work for
free, and the others seldom get more than a pittance. I recognize that
bringing in a green student can actually slow down productivity, we have found
that approximately half of our interns have ended up working for the companies
that worked with them. You might seriously consider this service. In
effect, a company gets to test a potential, new employee and to train him or
her in their to its expectations. We have been surprised by how often this
has happened. In some cases we have had to work things so the students were
able to complete degrees in absentia--because the company wanted them to stay
after the internship ended.

Obviously, not all interns are so valued, but the companies I know that use
internships do value them as more than just a contribution.

Dave Hailey


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