The Multidisciplinary Studies (MDS) Internship provides academic credit for on-the-job experience under the guidance of a supervisor who is a professional in the field. Internships require approximately 45 hours of work for each hour of academic credit awarded. An internship experience offers students:
- Practical, hands-on work experience
- The opportunity to see first-hand whether a particular field is a good match
- The chance to practice what you have learned in the classroom
- First-hand knowledge of an organization
- The ability to earn academic credit
- The potential to earn money while also taking classes
- The opportunity to network and make valuable connections for future jobs
- Experience in resume writing and interviewing
Is an Internship Right for You?
Are you interested in maximizing your educational experience and putting yourself in a better position for future success? Do you know that over 80% of all college students graduate with an internship experience? Do you know that many organizations use their internship program as an applicant pool from which to draw on when hiring for full-time employment?
MDS students enrolled in both the Flex and Online tracks may earn up to 9-credits* of internship toward their degree plan. Contact your academic advisor to discuss whether an internship is right for your academic goals.
You must complete 45 hours of work at your internship in order to earn 1-credit. Be sure to work with your internship supervisor and academic advisor to determine how many credits are appropriate.
(*493 Internship, 494 Conference or Workshop, and 496 Independent Study are limited to a combined total of 9-credits)
Read About a Recent MDS Intern’s Experience
Christine Gorman, Spring 2018 Internship
Christine Gorman completed an internship coordinating events for Washington DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival, an annual springtime celebration honoring the relationship between Japan and the United States. Read about Christine’s experience transitioning back into the event management industry and lessons she learned through her internship experience that she plans to apply throughout the rest of her time in the program and her career.
Can you give a little context as to what the Cherry Blossom Festival is, what all goes into the event, and its significance in the community?
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a month-long springtime celebration in Washington, DC that welcomes 1.5 million visitors to commemorate the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC. The gift and annual celebration honor the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and the continued close relationship between the two countries. The Festival offers many large signature events like Pink Tie Party, Opening Ceremony, Kite Festival, Petalpalooza Fireworks Festival and the nationally televised Cherry Blossom Parade. In addition to these signature events, there are daily activities during the month at different local museums, restaurants, bars and retail stores. The Festival brings the city together to celebrate spring with the beautiful cherry blossoms and to enjoy all of the fun events.
Why did you choose the Cherry Blossom Festival for your internship?
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a nonprofit organization that produces the annual springtime celebration in Washington, DC. I thought their signature events sounded like a fun opportunity to help me get back into Event Management after taking a break to stay home with my son. It is difficult to re-enter the Event Management industry in Washington, DC without a degree because nearly all positions require a bachelor’s degree (many require a Master’s degree) regardless of my past job experience or having a Certificate in Event Management. I felt that this opportunity to step in as an Event Management Assistant Intern at The National Cherry Blossom Festival would give me valuable experience planning and producing large events as well as a great chance to network after I finish my MDS degree.
What were your primary responsibilities?
I was mainly responsible for helping to find, book and coordinate talent as well as researching and locating all of the supplies for festival activities while adhering to their tight nonprofit budget. Petalpalooza and Kite Festival required local musicians, artists, and other performers as well as family-friendly craft-type activities. I also assisted with the large audition called Sing Into Spring where local singers send in video performances that are narrowed down to finalists competing for a chance to perform at other Festival events including the Parade. I also helped to track all of the requirements for the Grant that the Festival received from The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
How was your experience completing your internship as an online student?
The online internship program at Boise State was just the right amount of support, guidance and thoughtful writing assignments to compliment my internship experience. My instructor, Vicki Budd, was genuinely interested in my internship, very responsive and offered good advice. When you have quality guidance like I had with Vicki, it really doesn’t matter if your instructor is online or on campus.
How do you think your classes or other experiences at Boise State helped you make the most of your internship?
I am pursuing an MDS degree and am interested in working with nonprofit organizations. So, in addition to my internship this spring, I took Boise State’s Volunteer Management course and Funding for Nonprofits course taught online by Dr. Kathleen McDonald. Both courses were very relevant to my internship, and Kathleen always made herself available for questions or just to check in. While learning about grants in Funding for Nonprofits, I was managing the grant requirements at the Festival and while learning about Volunteer Management, I saw how the Festival recruits, trains and retains so many of their 900+ volunteers each and every year. This was a terrific way to learn about nonprofit management with real-world experience.
What did you learn about yourself through the internship?
My internship gave me the confidence that I needed to be successful in a very competitive industry in the nation’s capital. Aside from education, confidence is probably the most valuable thing you can possess.
What did you learn that you think will help you moving forward in the Multidisciplinary Studies program? What skills did you pick up?
I learned how much I could accomplish with good time management. I also learned how to work with a large team to contribute to the many different productions, communicate effectively and solve complicated issues.
Did Boise State staff or faculty support you during the internship? (If so,) What was that like?
I can’t say enough about the quality of my Boise State instructors and how they challenged and encouraged me to push through and manage my time to get the most out of my internship and other courses. Vicki Budd and Kathleen McDonald really put their heart into making their courses meaningful – they make you want to work hard.
Do you have any recommendations or words of wisdom for other MDS students who are considering an internship?
If it fits your schedule, an internship is the way to go! It’s a great way to get real-world experience, get your foot in the door for possible employment and provide networking opportunities. It also adds something interesting and impressive to your resume to help you stand out from other applicants.
How to Enroll in a Multidisciplinary Studies (MDS 493) Internship
Once you’ve decided that an internship is right for your academic goals, follow these steps to get enrolled in MDS 493.
- Identify an internship opportunity.
- Schedule an appointment with the MDS Internship Coordinator, Amanda Ryan.
- Apply online through the Career Center website. (Click on the Internship Application for Academic Credit. You will find MDS 493 listed under Department: College of COAS and Subject: Multidisciplinary Studies.)
- Complete the internship online orientation workshop and quiz.