Reporting Requirements

Before you begin your internship, you will need to complete a proposal that confirms the details of your work. During the internship, you will submit at least two interim reports. At the end of the internship, you will write a final report.


RCA 44 photo by Wired Photostream on Flickr-001
The proposal confirms that you, your supervisor, and the Director of the CMCS agree on the terms of your internship. In the proposal, provide a detailed description of your goals for the internship and the activities you’ll undertake to meet those goals. Because it is about the future, the proposal needs to establish your credibility and motivation. You also need to persuade the sponsor that you have a good understanding of his or her needs and those of the organization. In signing off on the proposal, a process that may require a few iterations, all readers agree to the terms established there for the internship’s conduct and products. Include these segments:

Note that this is a proposal to undertake an internship with a particular organization (name it), at someone’s (name that person) request. Briefly describe the organization and the context for your work, any projects you’ll be part of, and your personal interest in this internship. Overview what will come in the rest of the proposal.

List your goal or goals for the internship. Show clearly how they relate to your minor in material culture studies. What skills or knowledge in the field do you hope to gain?

Then detail what you’ll do. If possible, provide a schedule of your activities. Note the total number of hours you will spend, on which days.

Final pitch
At the end, reiterate the scope and significance of your activities and ask for approval.

Interim Reports

photo by rachel at last on Flickr-001
At least twice during the term of your internship, more frequently if conditions warrant, update the Director of the CMCS on your experience in an email message. Reflect on your activities to date and consider whether you need to change the internship’s scope or approach. Things happen. This message takes that into consideration. It’s not about excuses; it’s about a reasonable picture of where you stand. Include the following:

In the first, very short paragraph, note why you are writing (in response to my request for a status report) and highlight any significant information from your work during this period.

Recap of your activities
Next, briefly review the goals and activities you outlined in your proposal.

Status of your activities
Then detail what activities you’ve undertaken to meet those goals and your success in that pursuit. If you’ve discovered gaps or problems in your work, note any corrective actions you think might be needed.

Future work
Describe, in detail, what activities lay ahead, and put them on a timeline.

Connect what you are learning in your internship to the understanding of material culture you’ve gained from your classes in the minor. Any surprising revelations? Any new insights?

Final Report

Westinghouse Model RS Radio Receiver photo by jschneid on Flickr-001
To complete the internship, you will submit a final report on the internship experience, which will be retained in your file in the Center. Provide a copy, too, for your internship supervisor (although you may want to omit the discussion of your supervision-see below). The report is due no later than 2 weeks after the terminal date of the internship. In it, you:

  • Restate your learning objectives and assess your success toward achieving them. Did you learn new skills? In what ways was your knowledge base expanded?
  • describe the mission of the cultural institution in which you undertook the internship. What is its role in the community? What is its governance structure? Who visits it-and why?
  • If you worked on a particular project, describe its purpose and your methods. What was your work schedule? What part did you accomplish?
  • Briefly discuss both positive and negative features of your experience
  • Discuss the nature and quality of your supervision as well as the suitability of this site for future internships

In addition, attach copies or urls for any material you produced. Images are always welcome!