At Sweet Briar, internships are defined as a work experience related to a student’s academic program. These are serious academic experiences which must be sponsored by a member of the faculty and approved by an academic department. To be eligible for an internship, a student must be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. She must have completed at least three semester hours of course work in the field of study to which her internship is related, and she must have a grade point average of at least 2.0 in this field. Students who are on any type of academic probation are not eligible for internships.
An internship shall consist of a minimum of 40 hours of work per earned credit hour, either at the work place or in related field work, and shall usually receive one to three semester hours of credit. With the recommendation of the faculty sponsor, and approval of the academic department and the Dean, internships of longer duration which are more academically substantive may be awarded more credit, up to a maximum of six semester hours for any one internship. No more than 12 semester hours of internship credit may be counted toward the undergraduate degree. Internships are graded on a Pass/Credit/No Credit basis.
Students may initiate the process of obtaining an internship by completing and Internship Proposal form from the Office of Career Services. This form must be signed by the faculty sponsor and the Chair of the Department or the Director of the Program. To receive credit for the internship, a student must submit a written report of assigned reading related to the academic discipline in which the internship is taken and to the internship itself; a journal which provides a detailed description of what the intern did; a paper in which the intern attempts to make sense of the internship experiences recorded in her journal by relating them to her academic discipline and to any assigned literature; and a form signed by the on-site supervisor verifying satisfactory completion of the internship. The student must also request her supervisor send an evaluation of her work directly to the faculty sponsor. The deadline to complete the approval process and register for an internship is the fifth day of classes for the fall and spring semester, and one week before the end of spring term classes for summer internships.
Internships provide opportunities for students to explore career possibilities and gain work experience. Because of Sweet Briar’s proximity to Washington, D.C., a large number of students are able to serve as political, legal, or public service interns. Students work there and elsewhere for U.S. senators and representatives, attorneys, and local political organizations.
Economics interns often gravitate to the banks and brokerage houses of New York City. For example, students have worked at Chase Manhattan Bank, Merrill Lynch, and Paine Webber Mitchell Hutchins Assets Management. Economics interns have also worked for such companies as the international accounting firm Coopers and Lybrand in Washington, D.C.; Bear Stearns Securities in Boston; and Resort Real Estate Development in Pawleys Island, S.C.
In recent years, arts management interns have gained a better understanding of museum work at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, N.C.; Hirschl and Adler Galleries in New York; and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Students interested in journalistic or editorial careers have worked at Southern Accents magazine, Atlanta; the Wiley Press, New York; and the Nashville Banner in Tennessee.
Other internships have ranged from work for the District Attorney’s Office in Dallas; marketing IBM software in Washington, D.C.; and assisting the managing director of a regional theatre in Pennsylvania, to making farm calls with an equine veterinarian in South Carolina.
Students may earn Sweet Briar academic credit for participating in an internship abroad, provided they have faculty supervision and approval. For fall or spring semester internships, students are eligible for a proportionate amount of their Sweet Briar merit scholarships, if they are billed by Sweet Briar for the internship credits. Please contact the Director of International Studies or the Financial Aid Office to learn more about this option.