[Englmajors] Internships: why should you consider them?
swayze at uw.edu
Fri Mar 16 09:56:01 PDT 2012
Dear English majors,
Internships are a very important component of your undergraduate
experience when it comes to career preparation. We recently heard an
amazing statistic: of new college graduates who are being hired in
career-track positions, 70 per cent of them completed internships during
the course of their studies. 70 per cent. In this economy (or in any
economy), that is huge!
Some of the internships led directly to jobs, but more often they were
beneficial for networking and resume building, and the intern
supervisors were excellent references when it came time for students to
enter the job market.
Internships can teach you things you can't learn in the classroom. In
addition, they will help you to discover that you are more skilled and
more valuable than you think you are: you come in with a broad base of
skills you have acquired as a liberal arts student (critical thinking,
writing, editing, research, synthesizing information, communicating
effectively, etc.) and you then have an opportunity to hone and adapt
those skills in a "real life" work situation.
The vast majority of internships are unpaid, but you can earn credit for
them through ENGL 491 (details here:
http://depts.washington.edu/engl/advising/internships/). Is it worth it
to donate your time and energies for a quarter or two? Absolutely!
Some internships require as few as 5 hours/week, and many can be
scheduled on your own time, around your other commitments.
Internships are also a vehicle through which you can try things out. A
career in advertising, for example, may sound very appealing, but after
spending a quarter interning, you may find that it was not exactly what
you thought it would be. On the other hand, you might accept an
internship that seems far afield from your primary interests, but which
you find, to your surprise, is not at all what you thought it would be
and is, in fact, incredibly satisfying work.
The first time you apply, you may not secure your "dream" internship,
but you should consider looking at them more broadly. Let's say that
you are interested in the publishing industry. You may not land a
perfect editing/publishing internship on your first try, but you may be
able to secure an internship where you will gain transferable skills in
editing (such as with a non profit organization or a web publisher) that
will lead to something that is closer to your dream job, providing you
with experience and references toward the next step in your quest.
The English Department sends out internship information over this e-mail
list, and we also post it to our internship blog:
http://engladv.wordpress.com/. You are not, however, restricted to the
internships advertised here. You can contact any business,
organization, or non profit that interests you and ask about
opportunities to intern. Past intern sponsors on our lists are often
recruiting for new interns, so if you're interested, you should send a
query letter. If you would like help pinpointing particular places to
explore, please come by the English Advising Office to chat with one of
us -- we're happy to help you to begin your search.
We have resources for writing resumes and cover letters on our website
-- http://depts.washington.edu/engl/advising/careers/resume.php -- but
you are also welcome to bring your resume or cover letter by our office
and ask an adviser to review it. The UW Career Center also offers
Please stop by our office if we can help!
Best wishes, Kimberly Swayze & English Advising colleagues
English Undergraduate Advising
University of Washington
(206) 543-4592 - voicemail
(206) 616-9318 - fax
A-2-B Padelford Hall
"History is not a procession of illustrious people.
It's about what happens to a people. Millions of
anonymous people is what history is about."
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