Internships in English
Completing an internship gives you an opportunity to hone the analytical and writing skills you’ve developed in your English classes in a professional setting. Besides earning course credit, you gain real-world experience that helps you stand out when you apply for a job, start a career or apply to a graduate or professional school. The contacts you make are often invaluable and many students find their internships are just plain fun.
Students are generally responsible for finding internships, but once you land one, you work with the English Department’s Internship Director in order to define the professional and academic requirements that, once completed, earn unit credit.
The Department recommends a three-step process when planning for an internship:
- Consider your interests and investigate possible careers
- Explore internship opportunities and pick one that seems interesting to you
- Work with the Director of Internships to document and get credit for your internship
Consider Your Interests
Santa Clara University’s Career Services Center offers many resources for students interested in completing an internship. The English Department recommends that you explore some of these resources as a first step. They may help save you time but, more importantly, they may also lead you to great opportunities that you might not have otherwise considered.
- The Career Services Find Your Fit page has a variety of resources that may be helpful as you explore your interests and the variety of careers open to you
- You can take the iStart Strong Assessment to learn more about your particular interests and how they might help you with career planning
- You can explore the LinkedIn Alumni Tool and view the Career Services’ Library of Webinars with great pre-recorded sessions on a variety of industries and topics
Once you have a better sense of the kinds of career fields that make sense for you, it is time to take action. Your search for an internship will involve two different tracks. You will need to search for appropriate internships, and you will need to develop the documents and interview skills that will help you land that internship once you find it. Career Services offers resources to help you on both fronts, a number of ways to turn your interests into a more focused search for a great internship.
- You can investigate the resources in their Job Prep Toolkit that may be helpful as you look to connect with alumni or others for informational interviews
- You can consider one of the Personal & Professional Development Labs which sometimes include a Resume Lab and a LinkedIn Lab
- You can explore their Build Skills & Experience page that highlights important skills and competencies that employers seek as well as find out about a variety of ways to get that experience
- You can access their LinkedIn & Networking page, which features an Alumni Tool Tutorial, Sample Messages for alumni outreach, and Sample Questions for informational interviews
- You can also check Campus Opportunities for an internship right here
You can also check in with the English Department’s Director of Internships for helpful advice. The English Department also offers Practical Business Rhetoric, which focuses on building effective documents and self-presentation skills for landing internships and jobs.
Students who seek such referrals should expect to document their qualifications (through, for example, cover letters, writing samples, resumes, references and interviews). You will likely need to spend significant time preparing your application materials.
Work with the Director of Internships
Once you land an internship, you’ll want to enroll in English 198a, Writing Internship, to get academic credit for your internship:
Work-study program for students of superior writing ability who gain course credit by supervised writing on newspapers, magazines, or for government or private agencies. Enrollment is by permission of invitation of the instructor and department chair. May be repeated once for credit. Students are graded P/NP only. (1-5 units)
Once enrolled, you’ll work with the Director of Internships to create a plan to document your internship experience for academic credit. Such a plan often includes:
- An informal planning memo in which you will establish some clear goals for the internship. Typically, these goals will focus on developing specific professional writing skills, but they may include developing other work-related skills as well. Your plan will often enumerate your writing tasks and a tentative schedule of projects as well as any anticipated problems, concerns, or special needs
- A progress report describing and assessing your internship at mid-quarter and establishing goals for the second half of the term
- An internship portfolio including a resume, an evaluation letter from the site supervisor, and copies of professional work completed during the placement
- A final internship report/reflection describing and assessing your internship experience.
As soon as you know that you have been hired as an intern, and no later than the first week of the quarter(s) during which you will work in that capacity, you’ll need to:
- Fill out the English Department's internship application/independent study form, securing signatures from the department internship director and the department chair
- Take your paperwork to the Drahmann Center, for a signature of approval
- Deliver a copy of your completed paperwork to the English Department's internship director
- Deliver your completed paperwork to Student Records, who will forward it for final approval and registration
Questions or concerns? Contact Don Riccomini, Director of Internships, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 408-551-1923 (email preferred).