Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Patrice M. Buzzanell

Committee Chair

Patrice M. Buzzanell

Committee Member 1

Josh Boyd

Committee Member 2

Felicia Roberts


Internships are an important part of undergraduate education, with more than 61% of students completing an internship, yet there is not much academic literature surrounding this topic (NACE, 2015). Using Weick’s (1995) sensemaking theory, report data was analyzed thematically looking at how interns made sense of their experiences and what they found to be meaningful. This study found four distinct themes that interns used to navigate unique tensions and power dynamics within their organizational setting: “Just an intern,” “It’s up to me,” “For my future,” and “I was allowed.” Future research could explore framing internships more as a career choice rather than a precursor or stepping stone into a future career.

Included in

Communication Commons