Internship Program and Career Resources
   

          The English Department Internship Program began in 1998 as a way to provide English majors with valuable experience in a variety of different careers. Approximately 30 students per year take advantage of this program which places freshmen through seniors in many different positions in the Harrisonburg area, across the country, and even internationally.

          While the English major provides skills that are quite marketable (e.g., critical reading, analysis, and writing), the myth that teaching is the only viable career option for students in the major persists. In fact, while the major does not necessarily lead directly to a defined career, English majors have many career options. This means that English majors must learn to think of their skills as transferable to many different occupations and determine where they most want to use these skills. The Internship Program was developed to address this need. Its goal is to assist majors in selecting a career path (which may or may not include graduate school) and in acquiring experience in a field of interest by completing internships. For more information, contact Dr. Mark Rankin, Director of Internships.

Exampes of Previous Internships

Internships Held by JMU English Majors Since 1998: available in HTML or MSWord
International internship examples
Local internship examples
Observations from previous interns
Types of available internships

Components of the Program

  1. English 294: Internship in English offers credit to students who complete internships approved by the Director of Internships.

  2. English 293: Exploring Careers in English, a two-credit course taught by Dr. Dabney Bankert, is designed to assist English majors with research into various careers and with practical guidance in locating and applying for jobs and graduate programs. This course is currently offered once a year.

Director of Internships

          Dr. Mark Rankin
          Department of English
          James Madison University
          MSC 1801
          Harrisonburg, VA 22807
          Phone: 540-568-3754
          Fax: 540-568-2983
          E-mail: rankinmc@jmu.edu

Internship Qualifications

          The English Department encourages its majors and minors to consider participating in internships. The working world experience of an internship offers a contrast with and application of what the student has learned in an academic setting; a clarification or reshaping of the student's career goals; and the acquisition of career-relevant experiences and networks.

          To earn credit for an internship in Eng 294 a student must have permission from the English Department’s Director of Internships.

          To register for internship credit a student must submit an Internship Application to the Director of Internships. The Director of Internships will obtain the approval of the English Department Head and will provide the student with a permission number for enrollment in Eng 294: Internship in English. Students are responsible for initiating this process and for registering on E-campus. The student is not automatically registered.

Suggestions for Finding an Internship

          The Director of Internships maintains contact information and details associated with numerous local, regional, national, and international internships. Please contact the Director of Internships to discuss strategies for locating an internship and to discuss previous internships held by JMU English majors.

Internship Credit in Eng 294

1-3 credits may be earned in Eng 294 as follows:

  • 1 credit – requires 45 hours combined internship and academic hours.
  • 2 credits – requires 90 hours combined internship and academic hours.
  • 3 credits – requires 150 combined internship and academic hours.

          During a 15-week semester, an intern must typically work 3 hours per week for 1 credit, 6 hours per week for 2 credits, and 10 hours per week for 3 credits. "Work" means both time spent on the internship and time spent preparing the Academic Requirements of the internship. These are minimum hours. Students should be aware that the internship provider might require that the student work more hours than the numbers listed here, particularly during a summer internship.

          Students wishing to complete Eng 294 during the summer may register for internship credit in the fall semester following the internship or the summer semester in which the internship is taken. Please note that the summer term concludes in July, and academic work for Eng 294 must be submitted prior to this date to avoid a grade of "Incomplete" (I). For this reason, it may be advantageous to the student to enroll in Eng 294 during fall semester following a summer internship. A student should not attempt to carry more than 16 credit hours while doing an internship.

Academic Requirements for ENG 294

          The following written work is required of all students who complete ENG 294: Internships in English. The student’s course grade will be based on this work and on successful completion of the internship, as determined by a favorable written evaluation supplied by the internship provider on this form. All work must be typed and submitted in a folder labeled with the completed cover sheet attached. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure the Provider’s evaluation arrives in time.

One-Credit Internships

  1. Work schedule—journal of hours worked and tasks performed
              Keep a record of the days and hours worked and tasks performed over the course of the internship. You may simply list these or you can keep a calendar and photocopy the calendar pages.

  2. Internship Report (4-5 pages plus evaluation)
              The report should be written carefully since it tells the Director of Internships, who will grade the paper, not only what you have done in the internship but also what you gained from the experience. The report should be approximately four pages in length and typed. Attach the student's evaluation of the internship to this report.

              Your internship report should not be simply a description of your on-the-job activities; rather, it should report the details of your work situation and then proceed to analyze your experience both in professional and personal terms. Attach appendices of any studies, reports, or projects which you have prepared or helped to prepare. The first paragraph should summarize the internship itself—the organization, your specific job within the organization, and details of your duties.

    Following are some ideas and questions which may help to generate ideas for the report:

    1. Describe a particular day in detail.
    2. What have you learned in college and in the English major (e.g., writing, reading, communications, logic, group work) that has prepared you for this job?
    3. What skills have you had to learn on the job? What do you still need to learn? (skills, information, etc.)
    4. What did you like/dislike about the job, and what was the most surprising realization you had? How was the experience valuable to you? How could it have been made more valuable?
    5. Are there specific events in which you participated or were there particular problems that you observed from which lessons can be learned?
    6. What were the group dynamics? How did social interactions affect the work that is done?
    7. From your observations of the organization, can you think of any measures which would improve the organization's effectiveness?
    8. Was your perspective on this particular career altered as a result of your experience? How has this experience affected what you plan to do in your future work life?

  3. Updated résumé (including the internship)

  4. Provider’s Evaluation
    The internship provider must complete the evaluation form provided or write a letter evaluating your performance. This should be mailed directly to Director of Internships. Providers may also email, phone, or fax their evaluation. Students are responsible for seeing that the evaluation arrives by the last day of classes.

Two-Credit Internships

  1. Work schedule—journal of hours worked and tasks performed
              Keep a record of the days and hours worked and tasks performed over the course of the internship. You may simply list these or you can keep a calendar and photocopy the calendar pages.

  2. Internship Report (4-5 pages plus evaluation)
              The report should be written carefully since it tells the Director of Internships, who will grade the paper, not only what you have done in the internship but also what you gained from the experience. The report should be approximately four pages in length and typed. Attach the student's evaluation of the internship to this report.

              Your internship report should not be simply a description of your on-the-job activities; rather, it should report the details of your work situation and then proceed to analyze your experience both in professional and personal terms. Attach appendices of any studies, reports, or projects which you have prepared or helped to prepare. The first paragraph should summarize the internship itself—the organization, your specific job within the organization, and details of your duties.

    Following are some ideas and questions which may help to generate ideas for the report:

    1. Describe a particular day in detail.
    2. What have you learned in college and in the English major (e.g., writing, reading, communications, logic, group work) that has prepared you for this job?
    3. What skills have you had to learn on the job? What do you still need to learn? (skills, information, etc.)
    4. What did you like/dislike about the job, and what was the most surprising realization you had? How was the experience valuable to you? How could it have been made more valuable?
    5. Are there specific events in which you participated or were there particular problems that you observed from which lessons can be learned?
    6. What were the group dynamics? How did social interactions affect the work that is done?
    7. From your observations of the organization, can you think of any measures which would improve the organization's effectiveness?
    8. Was your perspective on this particular career altered as a result of your experience? How has this experience affected what you plan to do in your future work life?

  3. Informational Interview Report
              The intern should request an informational interview with his or her supervisor or a member of the organization with which the student is interning. Alternatively, the student may arrange an informational interview with another individual engaged in the same kind of work. The goal is to select someone who is experienced, knowledgeable, and willing to provide detailed and helpful information about the particular career the student is considering. The interview may be supplemented by internet or library research on the career if desired.

              Prepare for the interview by requesting a specific appointment, either in person, by phone, or by email. Prepare a list of questions in advance. During the interview, request permission to take notes or to tape the interview. Listen carefully and ask follow-up questions that seem helpful. Following the interview, write a thank-you note and send it to the interviewee.

  4. Updated résumé (including the internship)

  5. Provider’s Evaluation
    The internship provider must complete the evaluation form provided or write a letter evaluating your performance. This should be mailed directly to Director of Internships. Providers may also email, phone, or fax their evaluation. Students are responsible for seeing that the evaluation arrives by the last day of classes.

Three-Credit Internships

  1. Work schedule—journal of hours worked and tasks performed
              Keep a record of the days and hours worked and tasks performed over the course of the internship. You may simply list these or you can keep a calendar and photocopy the calendar pages.

  2. Internship Report (4-5 pages plus evaluation)
              The report should be written carefully since it tells the Director of Internships, who will grade the paper, not only what you have done in the internship but also what you gained from the experience. The report should be approximately four pages in length and typed. Attach the student's evaluation of the internship to this report.

              Your internship report should not be simply a description of your on-the-job activities; rather, it should report the details of your work situation and then proceed to analyze your experience both in professional and personal terms. Attach appendices of any studies, reports, or projects which you have prepared or helped to prepare. The first paragraph should summarize the internship itself—the organization, your specific job within the organization, and details of your duties.

    Following are some ideas and questions which may help to generate ideas for the report:

    1. Describe a particular day in detail.
    2. What have you learned in college and in the English major (e.g., writing, reading, communications, logic, group work) that has prepared you for this job?
    3. What skills have you had to learn on the job? What do you still need to learn? (skills, information, etc.)
    4. What did you like/dislike about the job, and what was the most surprising realization you had? How was the experience valuable to you? How could it have been made more valuable?
    5. Are there specific events in which you participated or were there particular problems that you observed from which lessons can be learned?
    6. What were the group dynamics? How did social interactions affect the work that is done?
    7. From your observations of the organization, can you think of any measures which would improve the organization's effectiveness?
    8. Was your perspective on this particular career altered as a result of your experience? How has this experience affected what you plan to do in your future work life?

  3. Career Report (8 pages)
              A major component of the student's internship will be a detailed report on the career the student is considering pursuing and in which the internship provides experience. Information for the report may be gathered by interviewing fellow employees, the internship supervisor, or other individuals who are pursuing this career; by conducting library or internet research; or by using the library at JMU’s Career and Academic Planning.

              The report should generally cover the following areas and include a bibliography of sources used (in MLA format). Keep in mind that the goal of this report is to help the student acquire detailed information about a career of interest; thus, the report should focus on information of most use to the student as he or she prepares for a future career.

    1. Overview of the field: How is it defined?
    2. What kinds of work do people in the field do? What are some of the job titles? What specific areas of responsibility exist?
    3. What qualifications are needed to enter this field? To progress in it? Do qualifications vary or increase with different kinds of positions? You might divide qualifications into such categories as Personal, Professional, Educational, Technological, etc.
    4. What is the future of this field and its various areas?
    5. What are the salary ranges and promotion opportunities? Typical benefits package?
    6. What seem to be the most exciting aspects of this career? What drawbacks are there?
    7. If possible, do an informational interview with someone in the field and discuss what you learned from that interview.
    8. In what ways does this career field fit your particular experience, skills, and interests? In what ways does it not seem a good fit? Or, perhaps, what might some of your concerns be?
    9. Include an annotated bibliography of resources you used to compile the report and resources of use to those who are interested in the field, including web sites, professional journals, and books on the subject—biographies of people in the field, research in the field, exposés, press coverage, novels, etc.

  4. Updated résumé (including the internship)

  5. Provider’s Evaluation
    The internship provider must complete the evaluation form provided or write a letter evaluating your performance. This should be mailed directly to Director of Internships. Providers may also email, phone, or fax their evaluation. Students are responsible for seeing that the evaluation arrives by the last day of classes.

Final Grade in Eng 294

          Your final grade in Eng 294, determined by the Director of Internships, is based on the timely and acceptable completion of the Academic Requirements and a favorable evaluation of performance by the Internship Provider.

          Near the end of the semester/summer session in which you have enrolled in the course, you must begin to concentrate on completing the Academic Requirements for the course. In order to avoid a grade of incomplete (I) for the internship, you must submit the academic work required for the internship course no later than the second day of final exam week. You must also arrange for the provider's evaluation, which must be received by the last day of the session. These materials should be delivered to the Director of Internships.

Forms for Eng 294

Cover Sheet for Academic Requirements
Employer's Evaluation
Eng 294: Application for Credit
Student's Evaluation

Career Resources

          The following internship and job links are provided for informational purposes only.  It is important to check the credentials of any site.

Brain Track Career Guide
CareerBuilder.com
Career Planning
Inside Career Info
JobApplications.com (Armed Forces / military jobs)
JobHunt.org Careers
Job Hunters Bible
JMU Academic Advising & Career Development
Monster.com

Occupational Choices

          The occupations listed below provide a sample of career options one may choose with an English academic background. Keep in mind, however, that some fields will require graduate study or further schooling of some kind. Many more occupations exist and are worth investigating.

Admissions Counselor
Advertising Account Executive
Advertising Copywriter
Advocate
Archivist
Assistant Coach
Attorney
Bank Officer
Business Administrator
Business Consultant
Community Services Director
Computer Consultant
Corporate Recruiter
Creative Director
Critic
Editor
English Teacher
Foreign Correspondent
Free Lance Writer
Government Officer
Journalist
Librarian
Literacy Instructor
Literary Agent
Lobbyist
Magazine Publisher
Management Analyst
Marketing Representative
Media Planner
Multimedia Designer
Newspaper Editor
Paralegal
Personnel Administrator
Poet
Political Aid
Production Coordinator
Program Developer
Proofreader
Proposal/Grant Writer
Public Affairs Officer
Public Relations Specialist
Publications Editor
Research Director
Researcher
Sales Representative
Screen/Script Writer
Speech Writer
Stockbroker
Systems Analyst
Technical Editor
Technical Writer
Travel Agent
Underwriter

 

 
 
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