In an article written to help English majors find a job, Paul Corrigan emphasizes that internships are extremely valuable, and that, surprisingly, they are very hard for English majors to acquire. Not because we lack skills, but because most English departments across the country do not feature a “built-in” internship program. Corrigan says,
Internships offer a vital advantage on the job market. They give you real world work experience—an essential qualification. They help you make connections with people who might put in a good word for you or who might pass along to you opportunities or information about jobs. Also, internships allow you to explore whether you even want to work in a particular field. Finding out whether something is or is not for you can be of tremendous value. Finally, according to one survey, employers rate internships as the most important part of a resume, even over what you majored in or what your GPA is.
Lucky for us FirstFloorCherry-dwellers, we do have the major advantage of a built-in internship program. Not only are internships accessible, they are quite diverse, ranging from teaching assistant to print and digital media design to, you guessed it, FirstFloorCherry blogger, and more.
If you have somewhere you want to intern that isn’t listed, no problem. The application allows for self-placement upon approval.
And Corrigan is right: in my last two interviews, the only thing they were interested in was my internship experience. I tried to talk about my skills in creating newsletters, they wanted to hear more about my social media experience; I tried to talk about my ability to edit, they wanted to know if and how long I had worked in a ‘real-world’ setting.
Don’t panic, though, if you haven’t taken any internships. All you need is one semester to earn course credit by trying on a career. Applications are due by March 27, 2017 so that everything is nice and prepared by the time the fall semester starts.
Spend a couple hours over spring break filling out the application and have something to talk to employers about for years to come. Your future you will thank you.
Read about the internship experience in the department’s most recent internship profile on Kalyn Johnson.
Questions can be directed to Dr. Angela Jones at email@example.com if they aren’t answered by the department’s webpage.
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