CS 290, CS 390
Internships in Computer Science
Wells College

Here are some guidelines and comments for internships that I sponsor. Please contact me if you have questions. C. Shilepsky


In addition to the formal paperwork (sponsor evaluation, form for CSO), I require the following.
  1. Keep a log of hours, you will need 40 hours for each credit.
  2. Attend the Internship Poster Session and present a poster on your experience in Stratton Atrium on the first Friday of the semesterk, from 12:00-1:20 pm.
  3. A paper describing the internship (see below).

About the Poster

A poster is a convenient and common way to present the results of an experiment or an account of an off-campus experience. It combines some text and illustration with the opportunity for questions and answers in a very concise format. You may wish to select only one or two particularly interesting experiences or observations from your internship and focus your poster on what you learned from these.

The poster should include:
  1. A title strip including the title of your internship, your name, and your sponsor's name and location.
  2. A brief description of your internship (an abstract or summary; you may adapt the summary on your internship registration).
  3. A statement of your special topic(s), or focus of your internship.
  4. An explanation of your activities, observations and/or findings on your topic(s) in any combination of text and illustration which is appropriate for your topic(s).
  5. A brief conclusion.
As a guideline to how much stuff", the poster for a 390-level internship should convey content equivalent to an eight-to-ten page paper (this includes illustrations/graphs/tables and references). The poster for a 290-level internship should convey content equivalent to a three-page paper. This doesn't mean a paper stapled to poster board; instead, make your abstract, background, results, conclusions and illustration captions terse and informative to encompass the appropriate content.

Two pieces of bookstore poster board, or better yet, foam core, will serve a 390-level poster just fine. In order to "present' the poster at the poster session, you stand next to it, direct the viewer's attention through it, and answer questions that viewers ask. The posters will be displayed with those of the Henry Wells scholars who will also share their January experiences. The session uses a Science Colloquium time slot, and will be advertised as a Science Colloquium, so you will also want to circulate and view other posters (you can eat, too!).

Your paper

This should be electronic. I will keep a copy to give other students ideas about what they might do. It shoud be 1 page (single spaced) plus one for every credit you receive. Include:

  1. Your name
  2. The date and location of the internship
  3. Your sponsor's name and position
  4. A description of the company and where you fit in
  5. What you did
  6. What you gained from it
  7. Where it fits in your education and career
  8. An assessment: what worked, what didn't, would you recommend it to another student
  9. Pictures, diagrams, tables that add content (e.g. those you use in the poster),
  10. Correct spelling and grammar

While at the Internship

Here are some suggestions based on sponsor feedback and my experience hiring for other companies.
  1. Do not use company computers or company time for personal email or web surfing. We have had complaints and you should know that some employers consider this stealing. In particular, older sponsors are very unimpressed by MySpace and Facebook.
  2. Dress conservatively: clean, neat clothes, no bare midriffs or cleavage.
  3. Show initiative. If you don't have enough to do, ask if there is an area you can help with or read about. Try for specific suggestions: "I noticed that ..., Would you like me to put that on a spreadsheet?" "I am interested in learning more about (a company product or procedure). Is there reading I should be doing?"
  4. You may be asked to help with work that you consider clerical and/or boring. AFTER pitching in cheerfully, volunteer for something that might be more challenging.
  5. Arrive on time and don't leave early. Long term employees may have more flexible schedules, but this is something you earn.
  6. Remember that your sponsor may be contacted when you seek other employment and, even if the internship is not what you had hoped, you can't afford to leave a bad impression. Remember also that the willingness of this sponsor to take another intern depends on you.
There are exceptions to all of these rules, but let your sponsor be the one to make them. Now, have a wonderful experience and bring back new ideas and enthusiasm.

Using CS 290/390 to Build a Website:

Several students have used this course to design a website for a faculty member or organization. If you do this, one of the components should be helping the faculty member be able to maintain the site when you are done.

From the sponsor:
  1. A description of the proposed site including objective, audience, available materials, hosting, and timeframe.
  2. Feedback to the student during site construction.
  3. A final assessment.
From the student:
  1. A schedule of tasks and deadlines.
  2. Website architecture.
  3. A weekly status report (what you did, plans for next week, issues or problems).
  4. Training the faculty member to maintain the site
  5. One page assessment of the final site.
If the internship is in conjunction with paid work-study, the internship hours need to be in addition.

Previous Internships:

Cornell Information Technologies (Chad Hagstrom, summer'08)
Wells Computing Services (Neale Petrillo, summer'08)
Midland ASphalt (Emiliy Rice, summer'08)
Wells Computing Services (Jessica Stanton, summer'08)
West Valley Demonstration Project (Matt Crandall, summer'08)
Georgia Pacific (Matthew Concha, summer'07)
New Edge Networks (Stephanie Redmond, winter'07)
Kamika Consulting (Ayaka Harada, winter '06)
MITRE (Holly Bolton, summer 05)
MITRE (Holly Bolton, winter 05)
GMAC (Michelle Husain, winter 02)
Cornell Law School (Sarah Chung, spring 02)
Envisage (a small software company in Genoa, NY, Nick Heap, summer '01)
Flash (Zahra Taha, summer 01)


Office on Women's Health, alumna contact, Holly Bolton Beyhl.
Cornell CIT (Aaron Godert is our Professor Godert's husband). Video research and production at Cornell.
AT&T: We have had good internships through this site.
Summer internships in Central NY.
Summer programs in Physics.