An internship is a practical learning experience outside the usual classroom setting. It is intended to provide students a first-hand preview of the professional work that they might be doing after graduation.
As an intern, you are treated as a quasi-employee. You are assigned specific tasks to accomplish. You contribute ideas and accomplishments that will aid the organization, and you are allowed to observe the work of professionals. Generally, your activities are under the direct guidance of a single working professional, but a University faculty member also oversees your progress and assigns academic credit for your experience.
While internships exist nationwide, the location of your internship will depend on your particular interest and experience, opportunities in your community, and ties that you or the Department of English has with various organizations. There are often internships available on campus, either directly connected with English Department programs (e.g., the Faulkner Center or the University Press) or in other offices. In addition, off-campus opportunities are usually available. It is a good idea to check with the Internship Coordinator as early as possible in order to negotiate and facilitate site selection.
Because they involve a rather heavy time commitment (150 hours of on-site experience), internships are best taken by students having proven certain academic competencies and during a semester when students may be enrolling in a fairly light class load.
Remember that the student, the internship organization, and the proposed site supervisor are reviewed to ensure that each internship is an appropriate, productive learning experience.
In general, prerequisites for an internship include
- successful completion of at least 75 semester hours in a college/university setting
- minimum university GPA of 2.75
- minimum departmental GPA of 3.0
- completion of at least 9 hours of course work in any English major option not included in the courses required of all majors
- if you are taking the internship as part of the minor in writing, completion of the 9 required hours
You must contact the Internship Director for an override to enroll in EN 435, a non-graded 3-hour course for which you receive academic credit. Once you are officially enrolled, you are responsible for completing the number of hours specified for the internship and for various other course work responsibilities; these will include a weekly log detailing what you have done on the job and a final report on the internship experience and may also include samples of the writing you have done.
Whether the internship is paid or unpaid, both the on-site supervisor and the intern should realize that the primary aim is learning. Your on-site supervisor has an obligation to see that you have an adequate opportunity during the 150 hours on site to gain information and/or skills to enhance your career opportunities.
For further information on internships, contact Dr. Susan Swartwout.