Equal Opportunity & Access

Internship Program Getting Started Guide

What should I do first?

If you haven’t done so already, you will need to do a bit of self-reflecting to determine:

  • Where you are now in your professional career?
  • Where you want to go in your professional career?
  • What skills/experiences you need to get you there?

Next, consider which administrators and/or administrative areas you feel will provide you with the best opportunity to gain the skills/experiences you need to get you where you want to go.

Please note: These must be administrators or administrative areas outside of your current college or division.

Next Steps

Once you have identified the administrators and/or areas, you need to have a conversation with the administrators in order to determine if a mentoring relationship is possible. During the initial conversation you should share information about the experiences/skills you wish to develop and any ideas you have for a specific project. If you have yet to formulate a project idea, let the administrator know that you are open to his/her suggestions. Although projects sometimes change, it’s best to have some idea upfront of what you’d like to accomplish during the internship.

Once you identify 2 potential administrative mentors:

  • Complete the Equal Opportunity & Employment Administrative Internship Application Form (PDF) and submit by the deadline.
  • Please note: the application form suggests that you name two potential mentors.

Application Process

After the application deadline has passed, the Equal Opportunity & Employment Affirmative Action Administrative Internship Committee (AAAIC) will meet to evaluate the applications. At this point, the committee may deny the application or invite the applicant for further consideration.

Those applicants who will be considered further are invited for a formal interview with the AAAIC. After the interviews are completed, members of the committee will contact those administrators who have been named as potential mentors to ensure their willingness to participate. The applicants will be notified in mid– to late March, whether their internship has been granted.
Once your internship is granted:

You should spend some time further developing your project plan and developing some internship goals. This may include more self reflection, a little research and conversations with your mentor. Doing these things in advance will allow you to get a quick start once your Internship actually begins. Note: Please be cognizant of taking up too much of your mentors time, prior to your internship officially starting.

During Your Internship

Once your internship officially starts you should meet with your mentor to:

  • Discuss project and goals
  • Clarify expectations
  • Establish regular meeting times

Throughout the Internship, you should check the progress of your goals (or rewrite them, if plans have changed) to ensure that your internship stays on track.

If you have any questions or concerns during your internship, you should address them with your mentor, if possible. The AAAI Coordinator and committee members, as well as the Equal Opportunity & Employment Director, are also available for your support.

After Your Internship


You will be expected to write a report on your Internship accomplishments and experiences. This report should be submitted to the AAAI Coordinator within 30 days.

Things to Keep in Mind


Goals are set by the mentoring pair very early in the relationship, but they may be modified at any time. The mentee is expected to articulate the goals s/he wishes to pursue; a good understanding of the desired goals is likely to lead to a more satisfactory relationship.


Remember to review your goals periodically so that you can gauge your progress. If you're on track, great. If not, you may need to reassess your goals or modify your process for getting there. Also, please remember that mentors are not expected to know all the answers. Mentees are encouraged to become familiar with, and take advantage of, resources available outside the mentoring program that will help him or her reach the stated goals.


To get the most from your Internship experience, you should be prepared to engage in open and honest communication with your mentor and to adapt when necessary. The most successful mentoring partnerships have clearly established expectations and goals that are:

  • Conceivable
  • Achievable - given the mentor and mentees strengths, abilities and resources
  • Challenging
  • Measurable

Committee Members

For more information contact:

Rica Calhoun
Western Illinois University
Sherman Hall 203
Macomb, IL 61455