English Internships

Purpose Of An Internship

Internships prepare students for future employment by giving them the opportunity to apply the organizational and verbal skills that they have developed in their course work in a vocational setting. The process of obtaining an internship also provides students with valuable practice in interviewing for a job. All internships should focus on writing, research, or related language skills rather than clerical duties or unskilled tasks. Students should expect to work at least 75 hours during the semester of their internship; they should not work more than 110 hours. Internships count for three credits, as ENG 498, an upper level English elective.

Step 1. Compose Your Resumé & Prepare Your Writing Sample

See the Career Center, Old Main 016, for help in structuring your resume. In addition to your resume, your future on-the-job internship supervisor may wish to see a sample of your writing. Prepare such a sample by choosing a paper with which you are pleased and revising it, correcting all errors. The staff of the Career Center is experienced in working with liberal arts students on resumes and writing samples.

Step 2. Find an Internship

Many internships advertise with the Career Center in Old Main 016. Roslyn Colon is the Career Center's internship director. She can help you find internships that are appropriate for English department credit and that fit with your interests.  You might also call businesses, organizations, and programs in which you are interested to find out whether they offer internships and what their application process is. The English Department Internship Director will be glad to discuss internships with you. The current director is Amy Wolf, PhD, (Churchill Tower 903, (716) 888- 2627, @email).  If you are interested in creative writing internships, you can make an appointment with Mick Cochrane, PhD, (Churchill Tower 901, (716) 888- 2662, @email). Tom Reber, PhD, will discuss internships for the writing minor (Churchill Tower 911, (716) 888- 2629, @email).

Step 3. Get A Faculty Mentor For Your Internship

Choose a mentor from the English department faculty. Your mentor will evaluate your work and give you a grade for English 498 at the end of the semester.

Step 4. Get An Internship Registration Form

Internship Registration forms are available in the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences office or from Dr. Wolf. Internship applications must be completed at least one week prior to the start of classes for the semester in which the internship is requested. You should ask your faculty mentor for guidance in completing the form. The form includes a project description, a statement of learning goals, and an academic learning agreement. After you complete the form, take it to the following people for their signature: your faculty mentor, the English Department chair, and the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences. The Office of the Associate Dean will keep the form and see that you are registered for the internship. Keep photocopies of the completed form for yourself and for your faculty mentor.

Step 6. Ensure That You Receive A Grade For Your Internship

Be sure to complete the following processes on time to receive a grade for your internship:

A. Obtain an "Internship Progress Report" form and an "Internship Final Report" form from the Internship Director (Dr. Wolf) and give them to your work supervisor.

B. Ask your work supervisor to document your performance in the internship by filling out the "Internship Progress Report" midway through the semester.  Have him or her mail the report to your faculty mentor.

C. At the end of the internship, your work supervisor fills out the "Internship Final Report" on your performance throughout the semester, and mails it to your faculty mentor. (Make sure that your mentor receives this report well before final grades for the semester are due.)

D. Write a six to ten page essay for your mentor in which you describe your internship duties and what you learned from them. Your essay should include an explanation of the extent to which you were able to meet each of the learning goals for the internship. This is an especially important document. See your mentor for any special instructions he/she may have about its content or form and for an exact due date.

E. Give your faculty mentor your essay along with a portfolio of the writing or editing you have done in your internship.

Your final grade will be based on your mentor's evaluation of these documents. If any of the documents are missing, you may receive a grade of FX until you provide them. Thus, you will want to make sure that these documents are completed and delivered to your mentor in a timely fashion.