What can you do with an English major? The short answer is “anything!” – but how do you find out what you want to do? One way is to complete an internship.
Internships allow you to work in a professional setting to get a feel for that particular kind of work and environment. They provide the kind of experience that employers are looking for, as well as contacts for continued professional growth after graduation. Many internships are available both on campus and in the Metrowest area, and you can get course credit for completing ENGL 494 Practicum in Journalism or ENGL 495 Practicum in English (see the official course descriptions, below).
What will I do during a writing internship?
The work itself will vary, depending on the internship site, and may include editing and research, as well as writing. All interns seeking course credit are also expected to do the following:
- Work a minimum of 160 hours during the semester
- Meet with their internship supervisor every two weeks
- Keep a journal of their experiences
- Write a reflective paper (10-12 pages) at the end of the experience to examine connections among their internship, their coursework, and their professional plans
- Collect copies of writing and editing work completed during the internship to be included in a substantial portfolio
How will I be evaluated on my internship?
When your faculty supervisor evaluates your internship experience, s/he will look at the following:
- The quality of your written and edited material
- Your adherence to standards of professional conduct
- The assessment by your on-site supervisor
- The quality of your reflective report
What are the requirements for an internship?
- 20 course credits completed or in progress
- A 3.00 GPA in your relevant coursework:
- If you are an English major, a GPA of 3.00 in the major
- If you are a writing minor of any kind, a GPA of 3.00 in your minor courses
- Completion of at least two writing courses. If you are a journalism minor or an English major with a journalism concentration, there are specific courses you must complete. See the course description below for more information.
What does the process look like?
Internships require a lot of planning, so you need to do the following the semester before you want to actually take the internship course:
- First month of the planning semester (September for spring internships; February for summer and fall internships):
- Schedule an appointment with the appropriate internship advisor:
- Regardless of whom you schedule your meeting with, bring your résumé and be ready to discuss your professional interests and aspirations. In this meeting, you’ll also determine who will supervise your internship.
- Schedule a visit to Career Services to get oriented on RAMTRACK, the database for internships (and jobs!). Again, bring your résumé and be ready to discuss your professional interests and aspirations.
- Search for internships and draft your cover letters. Be sure to ask for advice from your internship supervisor and Career Services.
- Second and third month of the planning semester (October and November for spring internships; March and April for summer and fall internships):
ENGL 494 Practicum in Journalism
A supervised field experience in an approved professional setting such as a newspaper office or radio or television station. A written report on the experience is required. This course is open only to students with a QPA of at least 3.00 in their previous journalism courses. Registration is contingent upon the student finding an instructor able to supervise the practicum.
Prerequisite: ENGL 225 Introduction to Journalism, and two of the following: ENGL 331 News Writing, ENGL 335 Feature Writing, ENGL 481 Editorial Workshop in Journalism.
ENGL 495 Practicum in English
A supervised practical experience related to the student's background and interests, with a written report required as part of the work of the course. Open only to students majoring in English, usually in the senior year, who have a QPA of at least 3.00 in their previous English courses and to students minoring in professional writing who have a QPA of at least 3.00 in the other courses required for that minor. Does not fulfill requirements for English major. Arrangements must be made during the semester before the beginning of the practicum and approved by the Chair of the English Department.