DEPARTMENT GUIDELINES FOR WSP
INTERNSHIPS AND OTHER 99'S
is a subject that lends itself naturally to practical application and
to learning through "real world" experience. An internship with
a business firm, labor organization, or public agency can be an excellent
way to deepen one's understanding of economics, both by seeing economic
principles applied and by seeing theoretical assumptions challenged by
real world evidence. Independent projects in economics (other than internships),
both on and off campus, can also be highly effective ways of learning.
However, to turn an internship or an independent project
into an opportunity for effective learning requires considerable advance
thought and careful planning. It is crucial that a project have a clearly
defined and worthwhile intellectual focus and that the project should
be designed effectively to allow you to pursue that focused study. As
the Winter Study Committee's guidelines on 99's note, "The educational
advantages of working elsewhere should be clearly and convincingly set
forth by the student. The nature of a project should dictate its being
off campus, rather than the desire to leave the campus dictating the nature
of the project."
In order to help make sure that the 99's the Economics
Department sponsors meet the educational goals of Winter Study, we set
forth the following requirements:
1. You must
have taken at least Economics 110 or 120. If there is an obvious elective that you should take before doing
a particular 99, we will also make this a requirement. For example, if your proposal related to issues of health and health insurance, we would require at least Economics 230 (Economics of Health and Health Care). If it related
to the Federal Reserve's management of monetary policy, we would require
Economics 252 (Macroeconomics). It
is your responsibility to discuss this with your advisor.
2. You must begin discussion of your proposed project with a member
of the Economics Department well in advance of the deadline for submitting
proposals. It is your responsibility
to find a member of the Economics Department who is willing to act as
your advisor. You need time to
draft a proposal, and to nail down details of your arrangements. Very
often more than one draft of the proposal is needed. This year the deadline
for submission of completed proposals to the department is September 24th.
The proposal must be written or typed in the space provided on the form. You must initiate discussion of your proposal
with a member of the Economics Department no later than (18 September).
We will not approve a WSP 99 or internship proposal that we first
hear about later than that.
3. Proposals should be approximately two typed
pages and should include:
4. Responsibility for gaining access to the information
needed to perform an intellectually effective internship or off campus
99 lies with you. You must provide the department with assurance that
the needed materials exist and that your duties during Winter Study will
allow you both access to them and time for thoughtful study. Interns must
provide a letter from their sponsoring organization to the Economics Department
chairman confirming these arrangements prior to department approval of
These letters must accompany your proposal, which is due on September 24th.
5. You must read in the economics literature on the
subject with which your internship or other 99 is concerned -- commercial
banking, advertising, foreign exchange markets, etc. -- and prior to WSP
-- write a brief (5 page) paper on some of the socially important questions
that the literature suggests (control of bank expansion, liquidity crises,
social role of advertising, destabilizing foreign exchange speculation,
etc.). The aim is to develop further the intellectual groundwork for the
study identified in the original proposal. This paper
is due by the last day of reading period.
If you do not submit an acceptable paper by this date, you will
not be allowed to continue with the WSP during January.
6. Interns must write a final paper (10 pages) summarizing
the findings of their internship and relating them explicitly to the issues
discussed in the proposal and earlier papers. The paper is due on the
regular WSP schedule.
7. Proposals for 99's other than internships must set
out a clear schedule of work and means of evaluation. Unless compelling
considerations argue otherwise, you should expect to include a paper as
part of your work. As the Winter Study Committee notes, a daily journal
alone is not adequate.
These requirements demand of you considerable planning
and commitment. We believe that WSP projects that conform to these requirements
will prove satisfying and intellectually rewarding, and we will be pleased
to sponsor them.