Opera Quarterly, Oxford University Press at University of Chicago
- I always thought that I’d like to try editing as a possible career choice, so an editing internship was a great way for me to get some of that experience.
- My internship was largely self-directed, so I learned how to be disciplined and accomplish a lot in a less structured environment.
- It taught me how to be a more productive self-starter—to not only look for something to do and do it, but to do something that helps accomplish the overarching goals of the company.
- I gained copyediting skills, operational writing skills, business email skills, and more. I never realized how vital it is to write concise, clear, well-written business emails.
- Editing and academic publishing is interesting, but it’s not a field I would like a career in—which was really valuable to experience and learn firsthand.
- I put in a lot of extra time at the beginning of the internship to figure out my duties and the company, so I could be more effective in the long run, and that was an invaluable experience, even if the learning curve was quite steep.
Advice for students?
- Don’t be afraid to try for an internship in a field you think is interesting, whether or not you feel you’re experienced or qualified.
- Pay attention to details—not just in what your supervisor tells you, but more importantly, in what they don’t tell you. Interns can notice how things are run, how things are done, and imitate it.
- If you can’t get to a task right away, write it down so you don’t forget about it.
- Ask informed, smart questions. If you can, be creative and come up with a solution yourself.
- Take extra time at the beginning of the internship to learn how to do the job right, and you’ll be a better employee and have a better experience.
- Catch the vision of the company, and look for ways to help further it.
- I think everyone should do at least one internship before graduating—more than one, if possible! Be creative in how you see and find internship opportunities.
Social Media Intern
Smithsonian National Museum of American History
- The National Museum of American History was great because I was able to use the critical thinking, writing, and research skills I already have while gaining more specific,
- marketable skills (in my case, social media skills).
- My internship was an investment. I plan to apply the social media skills I gained to my current on-campus work, along with social media related jobs in the future.
- The idea of getting a "real job" and working in a professional environment is much less intimidating now that I've been there.
- I gained social media skills. I am now familiar with TypePad, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and other social media platforms, along with social media strategy and how organizations
- can harness these tools to reach their goals.
- In the "real world," your work is meaningful. In school if I don't complete my assignments, I only hurt myself—but in a professional environment, failing to meet
- deadlines can have real consequences for co-workers or even the whole organization.
- I learned that museum studies is not a career path I'd like to pursue. But just because I may not work in a field directly related to my internship does not mean my experience was a waste.
Advice for students?
- For students who are unsure about what career they want to pursue, an internship can help confirm an interest or cross a field off the list.
- Internships help you gain important skills that are applicable in many fields, and will help you narrow your career choices.
- Internships are an investment, so it is important for students to seriously consider their interests and goals before choosing one.
- The skills you gain as an English major ARE important and marketable in the professional world. Nothing can replace the ability to think critically and communicate clearly, but these basic skills are not enough!
- Opportunities like internships, or minors in computing, business, editing, education, etc. are so important, especially for humanities students.
- I think an internship can be beneficial for every student.
Technical Writing Intern
- I want to end up in magazine publishing , but I chose to do this internship to develop additional writing skills and get real work experience.
- Not only have I gained real workplace experience, but I have seen how to capitalize on skills I already possess.
- I was hired mainly to write, but I offered my editing expertise on several occasions in different ways, enabling me to do her job well and come up with other projects to help the company.
- The company loves my work and values that I can take initiative and produce something better than what was originally asked for.
- The company even offered me a regular position after my internship is finished.
Advice for students?
- Seize every opportunity for experience that comes your way—even if it’s not in exactly the area you think you want
- In the real world, you can't wait for opportunity to find you—you have to find it.
- It’s amazing how much you can get just by asking for it.
- Contact a company you want to work for, ask them if positions are available, and tell them what your skills are.
- I think every student should do an internship, any internship, before graduation.