Internship Portfolio
A well-prepared internship portfolio documents the scope and quality of the student’s internship experience and training, as well as the knowledge and skills acquired during the internship. Students provide evidence of their experiences, and assess their successes and failures in the context of their educational objectives. Students also reflect on those experiences to guide them in the next step in their education, both professionally and academically.


The portfolio serves as a component of students’ ongoing plan for setting goals, documenting evidence of achieving those goals, analyzing and reflecting on accumulated knowledge, identifying areas for improvement, and establishing additional areas for development.

With a few modifications, the course internship portfolio also can serve as an employment portfolio for job hunting. Portfolios are used during job interviews as a way to demonstrate to a prospective employer that you are a good candidate for a position. They also are used for admission into graduate school. So, portfolios can have many roles.

Portfolios can: 

·  offer a way to connect work with learning.

·  provide a developmental look at progress, both professionally and academically.

·  provide evidence of performance and understanding beyond factual knowledge.

·  show proof of competency, behind the resume and praise from references.

·  help to monitor progress in meeting education objectives and demonstrating the accomplishments of each objective.

·  encourage reflection – personally, professionally and academically.

·  offer a guide for the next learning step.

The content of a portfolio depends on its purpose. As noted, portfolios are designed for different uses.

§  A college portfolio, like the one required at the University of Dayton, includes materials focusing on the cycle of learning: planning, doing, observing and reflection. It documents your experiences, and accumulation of knowledge and skills.

§  An employment portfolio provides evidence of your competency and qualifications for a job.

§  A professional or showcase portfolio documents performance and competency over the course of career.

§  An internship portfolio is the student’s capstone project for earning academic credit, and provides substantial evidence of education and performance during the internship experience.

Depending on the purpose, portfolios include some or all of the following categories. (Internship course requirements are included here because they are relevant. More specific CMM 498 course information is below.) The subcategories give you examples of what goes into those areas:

Title page


Table of contents

·         with page numbers


·         Including continuing education 

·         Attendance at conferences and workshops, and a description of each 

·         Certifications for special training, programs 

·         Work in committees 

·         Skills 

·         Documentation of technical or computer skills


Internship or Co-op Summary Report


Samples of Best Work

·         Examples (at least five)

o    Published articles

o    Volunteer materials

o    More examples below

·         Prefaced by descriptions (context)



·         Employer evaluations, if available


Citations, Awards

·         Certificates of awards and honors 

·         Letters of commendation 

·         Letters of nomination to honors and academic organizations 

·         Newspaper articles that address some achievement


Reflective Essay

·         Philosophy 

·         Management Style



·         Letters of recommendation

1. A standard 3-ring binder is expected by most employers and human resource administrators. A 2-inch binder is adequate for most students and job hunters, but if you are writing a lot or expect to have several disks, a 3-inch or larger binder would be better.

2. Get a binder with a clear insert on the cover. That way you can create a custom cover.

3. Present your credentials and work materials in a manner that is functional, user friendly and aesthetically pleasing.

4. Use clear plastic page holders inside to keep your pages clean and neat.

5. Use tabbed dividers to organize and separate the contents of your portfolio.

6. Label the different sections of your portfolio for ease of finding information.

·         When job hunting, arrange the portfolio to show how your abilities suit the employer and the employer's needs. That extra effort shows that you are a viable candidate.

·         Suggestions for sections – resume, references, internships & work experience, committee and volunteer work, outside educational activities.

·         Suggestions for subsections – Consider categories the employer will easily reference, such as media relations, strategic planning, community events, scripts.

7. Use 10- or 12-point type Arial, Times Roman or other simple type faces for easy readability.

8. Don't overload the portfolio with lengthy explanatory text, or repetitive graphics or photos.

Communication Internship, CMM 498, Portfolio Organization
1. Use a 3-ring binder. The portfolio should have a well-organized, eye-pleasing presentation format. See the suggestions above.
2. On outside front cover and on the spine put your name, semester, and internship site (name and location).
3. On the Title Page put your name, date, semester and number of credits.
4. Include a Table of Contents.
5. In the Introduction section, include:

·         Job Description: Include a copy of the original and, if relevant, a brief description of how it might have changed.

·         Time on the job: Hours per day, hours per week. Term.

·         Educational Objectives: See Internship Learning Agreement. You can include the entire Agreement or just the objectives. 


6. In the Documentation of Learning section, place each item in context, and relate to competencies where appropriate.


·         Samples of internship work.

o    Include at least five samples of work performed during the internship.

o    Include brief summaries describing the work.

o   Organize your material by type, i.e., all press releases together, designs together.

o    Affix any videos or CDs to the inside of the binder cover. Be sure to label completely and clearly.

·         Affirmations & Honors. For example:

o    Published articles: These are media placements, stories written by journalists based on your press releases. If your press release was used on a web page, be sure to get a copy of the web page.

o    Commendations, citations, awards: To you, regarding your work.

o   Certificates, evaluations from employer: Concerns professional training, assessments. You can include letters of recommendation here for the time being. Be sure that the letter is on official letterhead and is signed.

o    Thank-you notes from clients, customers: If you receive an extraordinary thanks or congratulations because of your professional work, then include signed copies in this section.

·         Assignments

o    Reflective Essay

§  Reflect on ways you met, or didn’t meet, your educational objectives.

§  Address a minimum of three competencies.

§  Consider other issues and questions listed in Reflective Essay.

§  Write three to five pages

§  Use proper English style and format (e.g., spelling, paragraph structure).

o    Resume

§  Revise resume, incorporating newly completed internship.

o    Cover Letter

§  Write new sample Cover Letter to prospective employer, showing how you would present yourself for the next internship or job.

o    Progress Reports

§  Include copies of previous Progress Reports.


 7. Bibliography – Annotated list of professional or academic readings, if any.



Note: If your internship will not result in any work samples, then you must obtain the written permission of the Internship Coordinator at the beginning of the semester and agree to another course assignment.

Work Samples
The portfolio is not a scrapbook, but a representation of your abilities, strengths and achievements. Samples should be of your best work.

Include significant projects that demonstrate a particular set of skills and knowledge. Show a cross section of the kind of work that you can do.

All materials should be accompanied by descriptive explanations  that contextualize the accomplishments represented in the portfolio. The explanation also should briefly describe your role in the development (e.g., as part of a team or independently, edited only) or how you used the sample. Be honest about your role.

Work samples include:

·  news articles, press releases, scripts, online content

·  videotapes, CDs with audio or visual clips (attach in binder pocket)

·  newsletters, brochures

·  reports, backgrounders

·  edited articles or tapes

·  policy briefs, proposals

·  program outlines, strategic PR/marketing plans and outcomes

·  press kits, media lists

·  pitch letters, memos, other correspondence

·  pitches during strategy meetings, written well to appropriate supervisor

·  speeches, interviews, presentations

·  spreadsheets, databases

·  event plans, promotion plans and results

·  advertising

·  displays and exhibits

·  training programs, manuals, surveys

·  written cases, research and results

·  layouts, graphics, artwork, photos

·  cost sheets, financial reports, budgets

·  call sheets, agendas

·  contracts

Be sure that you do not violate confidentiality agreements by enclosing any materials in your portfolio, which might apply to strategic plans, budgets or database information, for example. Also be sure to preserve any personal or confidential information by blacking it out or submitting a blank copy. When in doubt, check with your job supervisor and/or the Internship Coordinator, who will ensure confidentiality.  

Make it Nice
Take the time to create a professional, polished portfolio. Shoddy work won't reflect well on your candidacy for employment – or for your internship credit.

·         To add a professional touch to newspaper clips, "erase" the lines around the clip on the full sheet. (Copy shops now have a program to do that.)

·         When copying Web pages you designed and wrote for, ensure that copies are full width. Oftentimes, copies cut off the right side of the page.

·         If using still photos, tape them to a sheet next to captions printed from a computer. Run a color copy of the whole finished sheet to use in the portfolio, and take the originals back off the taped-up master. Use a copy program that "erases" the lines.

Your portfolio is due to the UD Internship Coordinator office no later than 5 p.m. on the first day of final examinations. (For the exact date, see the UD Academic Calendar of the relevant semester.) If you are out of town, then mail or overnight (FedEx or Express Mail) the portfolio to the Communication Department office to ensure that the portfolio arrives in time. (See your Internship Learning Agreement for the Communication Department address.) The deadline is set so that the coordinator has a few days to review the portfolios and submit grades by the Registrar’s Office grading deadline. It does not matter when your internship ends; the portfolio is due when the semester ends.

Pick up Your Portfolio
Portfolios also are available for you to pick up after grades are recorded with the registrar's office. Portfolios will be stored in the Department of Communication main office, 121 St. Joseph Hall, for about six weeks into the following semester, ready for you to pick up during regular business hours. Portfolios from winter term are usually held until about the end of June to give travelers time to pick them up or to make arrangements to get them. Portfolios that are not picked up by then are destroyed because of the personal information inside and our own lack of storage space. After all the work you put in to present your skills and knowledge, don't just allow your portfolios to be thrown in the garbage.

Make Copies
When possible, use copies of original works in your portfolio, keeping originals in a safe place. If you think it’s unnecessary to keep originals, then recall that time when your hard drive crashed and the disk with all your course work refused to open.

Keep Your Portfolio When Job Hunting
When job hunting, keep your portfolio and never leave it with the prospective employer, even if he or she asks. Instead, make copies in advance of relevant pages – such as your resume, references and a few work samples – to leave. After all the work you put into creating dividers and organizing and coping, you don’t want to duplicate the effort in the likely event that the portfolio gets lost. The copies of those relevant pages can be packaged in a mini-portfolio for about $5 at many copy shops, or you can simply staple the pages or put in a plastic sleeve.

Portfolio resources
Building a Better Portfolio: by Vicki Giambrone of The Children’s Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio
Portland Community College offers some good tips on putting together a portfolio package. has information about portfolios.
Online portfolio information can be found at Jobweb.
Resumes and interview information also is at Jobweb.