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Internships

Last updated on Aug 02, 2022

The Basics

All students are required to complete an internship in order to graduate from the Interaction Design BFA program. The internship should generally take place during the summer following Junior year. In order to receive credit for an internship, students must ensure their internships meet the minimum criteria set by the program, obtain approval from the college before they begin working, and provide all required documentation.

It is the student's responsibility to apply for jobs, interview, and accept an internship position. Students will be supported in this process by the faculty Internship Coordinator. Our Fall 2022 - Spring 2023 Internship Contact is Erin Malone, Associate Professor and Chair of Interaction Design: erin@cca.edu

IMPORTANT: all Internship-related questions and communications should include designinternships@cca.edu.

Download the Internship Learning Agreement and Hours Log forms here.

You must fill out the ILA and have it approved BEFORE doing your Internship.

Internship Requirements

  1. The organization has a reputation for good design
  2. The organization has at least two interaction designers with 5+ years of experience in the field
  3. The organization can identify and name one senior designer who will act as the intern's mentor
  4. The internship is for a minimum of 225 total hours
  5. The internship pays at least minimum wage or better, but ideally market rate for Junior design talent, ranging from 20 to 30 or more dollars an hour.
  6. EXCEPTIONS: In light of the pandemic, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, some non-paying internships (not-for-profit organizations, government organizations) might be approved but will have to be reviewed by the Intern Coordinator and the Program Chair first for approval. Internships may be remote but must still include a senior designer as a mentor.

Process Overview

Here is an overview of the internship process.

Fall Semester of Junior Year:

  • Meet with your Academic Advisor to let them know that you intend to do your internship next summer and to discuss your graduation plans.
  • Begin work on your resume and portfolio.
  • Attend the two internship information sessions with the IxD Internship Coordinator: one at the beginning and one at the end of Fall semester.

Winter Break:

  • Work on your portfolio and get it live.

Spring Semester of Junior Year:

  • During registration for the coming Fall, register yourself for the Internship Placeholder class, IXDSN 3980 Internship Placeholder.
  • Attend the portfolio review and preparation sessions in January-February with your IxD Internship Coordinator.
  • Finalize your portfolio for public viewing.
  • Attend the IxD invite-only internship event in February (date TBA). Dozens of local companies will be in attendance. Meet people and share your portfolio.
  • Attend the CCA Career Expo. Meet more people and share your portfolio. (Optional but strongly encouraged).
  • Apply to lots and lots of jobs.
  • If your portfolio is strong you will receive invitations to interview.
  • If your interviews are strong you will receive job offers.

Summer of Junior Year:

  • Keep applying to jobs and interviewing until you have an offer.
  • Once you have an offer you're considering accepting, and BEFORE YOU ACCEPT IT:
    1. Let other companies you've applied to know that you have another offer, and give them at least 1 week to give you an offer too (or not). Often your first offer will unlock additional interest.
    2. Fill out an Internship Learning Agreement (ILA) form and send it to the Internship Coordinator for approval.
      • If you're an International student, after you have your Internship Coordinator's signature and BEFORE you begin working, you MUST get approval for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) work authorization from International Student Affairs and Programs (ISAP). Working in the USA without approval from CCA could lead to the loss of your F-1 status. To learn more about CPT, click here. To schedule an appointment with ISAP**, click here.**
  • Accept the internship offer. Congratulations! BUT NOTE:
    1. DO NOT accept a position and then change your mind. If you're not 100% certain you want the job, DON'T ACCEPT IT. If you're not sure, talk to your Internship Coordinator for advice on how to proceed or for help on how to negotiate better terms.
    2. DO NOT accept a position without approval from CCA. You will not receive credit for unapproved internships.
  • Start working! Do a great job, and learn a lot. :-)

Fall of Senior Year

  • To receive credit for your internship, the Internship Learning Agreement must be approved BEFORE the end of Add/Drop period at the start of the semester.
  • After the end of Add / Drop, all students will be dropped from the Internship Placeholder course.
  • If you have an approved internship, you will be added to the official, credited internship course, IXDSN 3980 Internship. This course does not meet like a regular class. Instead, to pass the course, you will need to complete your internship (225 hours minimum), and fill out and submit an Hours Log that has been signed by your supervisor.
    • Completed Hours Logs should be submitted to your Internship Coordinator and to designinternships@cca.edu
  • If you have completed your internship, you will be asked to present at an informational session for Juniors (and your Senior classmates) about your internship experience.
  • If you do NOT have a signed ILA agreement by the start of Fall Semester of your Senior year, contact your Academic Advisor and your Internship Coordinator immediately for assistance.