Internships are short-term work experiences with an employer (sponsor), on or off campus, that enable students to gain valuable experience, to test possible career paths and to earn academic credit. Internships are an example of high-impact learning for English majors and Writing Minors. In recent years, English majors and Writing minors have interned with a wide variety of sponsors: OSU Marketing and Web Communications, OSU Press, INTO OSU, Nike, the Seattle Mariners, King 5 TV in Seattle, Calyx Books in Corvallis and Portland Monthly, to name a few.
Interns work with a sponsor many kinds of language arts-related work. Some examples of work include writing and editing magazine articles, newsletter articles, press releases, technical reports, brochures, and grants. Other students have taught or tutored literature and writing students at various levels and in various venues and some contemplating law school have performed duties in a law firm. As well, students in some internships work with cutting-edge media writing that incorporates new technologies.
Earning Credit (ENG 410 – Internships)
Students must be juniors or seniors to qualify for internships. Credit is allocated by the number of hours a student works under a sponsor, and for every 30 hours of work put in, a student may earn one credit. So, for instance, if a student worked nine hours a week during a ten-week term, the student would earn three credits. Students can earn up to 16 internship credits, but only eight can be applied to English major requirements. Any internship credit over eight could be applied to a student’s Writing minor, if they have one, or as general upper-division elective credit.
Once a student has been hired by a sponsoring employer, he or she will be required to fill out an Internship Contract with the sponsor, which is then returned to the Internship Coordinator, who in turn will enable the student to register for the ENG 410 credits. Once the student has completed the internship, the Internship Coordinator may contact the sponsor to ensure the student has fulfilled their contract’s requirements, although in many cases, the student will provide the coordinator with a portfolio of the work they achieved as proof of meeting requirements. Finally, students will be asked to write a short review of their internship in which they will briefly discuss their accomplishments in the internship and the benefits they believe they gained from their experience.
Relevance of Internships
In today’s highly competitive job market, adding a professional internship experience to one’s degree is attractive to potential employers who often are seeking job candidates with a more versatile and “seasoned” background. While the vast majority of internships are unpaid, the value of an internship experience is significant. The knowledge and experience attained and the internship’s notation on a resume may make the difference in landing a particular job. As well, students often make “connections” with other professionals and get leads for jobs, receive the opportunity to gain a their sponsors’ professional references for their resumes, and occasionally, by doing outstanding work and making a strong impression during the course of their internships, be offered a paid, permanent position.
For more information about internships contact Steve Kunert.