English majors have a range of internship opportunities. Students may intern for publications, in writing or editing, or they can use their communication skills to find positions in fields like marketing or public relations. Internships provide exciting career options and valuable experience to students looking for post-graduate direction. While the English department does not find specific internships for students, students are allowed to earn English credit for internships that involve supervised writing and editing.
Some students consult with the Career Services to find internships in career fields that are of interest; others contact directly the organization or company where they would like to intern. For example, Maria Ribas had an internship with Simon & Schuster in New York, and Ryan Lamont spent his summer working in Washington, D.C. for Organizing for America, President Barack Obama’s grassroots organization. But there are also many internship opportunities in the Richmond area during the regular academic year and in the summer. For example, Christina Delillo worked as an intern in public relations at the Science Museum of Virginia; Carrie Kenady spent a semester as an intern at Style Weekly; Meghan O’Connor had an internship at the Women’s Health Care Center at the Medical College of Virginia, writing feature pieces and reviewing medical books and videos for the Center’s newsletter; Colleen Haynes interned at the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice; Noelle LeCrone had an internship at the office of Texas State Senator David Sibley; Emily Moore interned at the Virginia Film Office; and Jackie Strouse interned with Subudhi Consulting Group, a public relations, marketing, and communications agency. Other majors have interned on campus in University Communications and in Human Resource Services.
Finding a good internship is a lot like planning to find a job after graduation—the earlier students begin to inquire about internships at Career Services, and the more persistent they are, the more likely they will find an internship that meets their needs.
To complete an internship for English credit:
- Research the opportunities for an internship, making use of the vast resources at the Office of Alumni and Career Services in the Tyler Haynes Commons.
- Identify a faculty member in English willing to direct the internship.
- Submit a proposal to that faculty member. The faculty member will decide whether or not to oversee the internship on the basis of your academic performance to date, the quantity and quality of writing anticipated and the appropriateness of the endeavor. The written proposal should include:
1) The name of the internship organization, its address, and the name and telephone number of the on-site supervisor at the proposed internship;
2) An indication of the dates for the internship;
3) A detailed description of the duties required by the position;
4) A description of the written work you propose to complete in order to receive credit for the internship;
5) A statement indicating why you are interested in pursuing this particular internship and why you feel it would be a good “fit.”
6) A recent academic transcript.
- If the internship will take place during the summer, with credit being granted the following fall, you must submit the proposal during the prior spring—no exceptions.
- No retroactive approval will be granted for work already completed.
- The amount of credit (.25, .50, or 1 unit) will be determined by the faculty director.
- One unit of credit requires at least 150 hours of on-site work each semester; .5 credit, 75 hours; and .25 credit, 38 hours.
- Internships do not count as credit toward the English major or minor.
- The faculty director of your internship will assign the final grade.
Written Work Submitted to the Faculty Director
The faculty director will assign this work in consultation with you, after reading your proposal and your internship contract, which is to be signed by you, your on-site supervisor, and your faculty director. Such work might include detailed journal entries, samples of writing produced for your on-site position, an essay providing an evaluative summary of your experience, and so on.
The semester grade will take into account:
- Written work submitted to the faculty director.
- Formal evaluation by the on-site supervisor.
Academic Terms & Special Requirements
- For a spring internship you must apply before the end of the preceding fall semester.
- For a fall internship you must apply no later than the first day of the fall semester (and may, therefore, pick up the class during the add-drop period).
- For a summer internship you must apply before the end of the preceding spring term.
- You may also receive credit for a summer internship during the summer. In that case you must enroll through the School for Continuing Studies and your faculty director must agree to that arrangement.
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