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Internships: Lessons Learned Beyond The Classroom.

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Innovative Curriculum Developments

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.819.1 - 10.819.6



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Paper Authors

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Stephen Renshaw

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Internships: Lessons learned beyond the classroom.

David Laxman, Michael Bright, Stephen Renshaw Information Technology, Brigham Young University

1. Introduction This paper describes ways in which our internship taught us to use project development models, learn new technology, and communicate our ideas effectively with management. We provide a list of ten guidelines to effectively communicate as interns and describe how businesses can benefit from internships.

Our internship, provided by Central Utah Water Conservancy District (CUWCD), has helped us apply our IT education, gain real-world IT experience, and learn to communicate with management. CUWCD hired us to produce a web-based application known as the Virtual Demonstration Garden ( The Virtual Demonstration Garden was developed using PHP, CSS, HTML and JavaScript, and it is supported by a MYSQL database and an Apache web server. We developed an original idea to create a website that teaches water conservation principles. The site is also an online resource to help consumers find water-efficient plants that thrive in the state of Utah. Our internship taught us many lessons we feel every intern should learn.

2. Project development models. An internship takes a student from a world of textbooks to a world of real application. In the educational realm, a frequent motivation for completing an assignment is to receive a good grade. In the business realm, the motivation changes from receiving a grade to producing a good product. School projects are often short and intended to give a student a small taste of the real world of IT. Business projects generally take much longer to produce, and are much more complicated. Business projects require the use of project development models. An internship is an ideal way for a student to be exposed to and use a project development model.

There are two common project development models: the Waterfall model and the Iterative Development model. The Waterfall model is a process wherein each step of a project is completely finished before moving on to the next step. The steps of the Waterfall model are: Definition of requirements, project design, code and unit testing, subsystem testing, and system testing. Most of the projects we have completed in school have followed a condensed version of the Waterfall model. This model works well for completing school assignments simply because it is a start-forward method and can be completed in the short time of a semester. The Iterative Development model is a pattern for developing a project using an iterative method. Every iteration has its own requirements of planning, definition of requirements, analysis and design, implementation, deployment, and evaluation. Each iteration results in an executable release of the program or project. The Iterative Development model differs from the Waterfall model in that “Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Renshaw, S. (2005, June), Internships: Lessons Learned Beyond The Classroom. Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14145

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