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Why should I do an internship?

ENG 294: Internships in English offers English majors a supplemental educational opportunity to explore career options, develop skills related to the English major or minor in a work-related setting, connect classroom theory to work-based experience, and build up their career-related experience and networks. The requirements of the course are designed to help students refine their job application materials and interview skills in order to ready themselves for their prospective career paths after graduation.

An internship is an opportunity for you to take the skills you've been developing in the classroom and try them out in the professional arena. Here are some reasons why they might be worth the time and effort for you:

  • One recent study revealed that prospective employers value internships in new college graduates very highly, especially employers working in Media and Communications. 
  • Another survey not only revealed that liberal arts majors are among the most sought-after prospective employees, but that employers are especially interested in liberal arts majors who have had one or more internships in the past.
  • Research shows that more than 70% of new college graduates securing career-track jobs have completed one or more internships. Sometimes, the internship turns into a paid job, but more often it serves as a resume builder, a way to gain and speak about professional skills, an avenue for networking, and a source of job recommendations.

Student voices
“As an English major, I haven’t been trained in a specific field or vocation; I have learned how to think, communicate, and adapt. My courses have instilled in me knowledge of the significance of creativity, presentation, and audience.”

“The ability to think analytically—to recognize problems in an area and suggest concrete steps to rectify the problems—is a skill developed in my English classes where professors constantly encouraged me to think critically.”

“I have not been trained in particular skills such as computer programming or accounting. Instead, I have been given knowledge. I know people. I know that the symbols we choose to vocalize our wants, needs, and desires reflect our standpoints and thought processes.”

“My superior asked me how, at such a young age and with so little experience, I has learned to ‘write so well,’ ‘synthesize the mass of information,’ and ‘create such great recommendations for the program.’”

“My ability to write effectively and well afforded me more recognition and responsibility than I could ever have imagined.”

“I can honestly say that the skills I have obtained through my studies, such as the ability to be a critical reader and thinker, to identify and relate to an audience, to think and perform creatively, and to communicate and present my work effectively, have given me the confidence to enter the ‘real world.’”

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