Internships & The English Major: ENGL 620
The English department highly recommends pursuing an internship experience while you are at UNH if you are able to fit it into your schedule. Internships are a great way to gain work experience in your field of interest before you graduate. Most employers now expect that prospective employees will have had at least one internship experience during their academic careers.
How Does an Internship Relate to an English Major?
Many internships are non-credited, non-academic experiences, intended to allow you to apply the knowledge you have gained during your academic experience. For example, your skills developed in a creative writing class will come in handy if you get an internship with a marketing, PR, advertising or online media company. All that text you see written online, in newspapers and magazines has to be written by someone – so why not an English major who is well versed in sentence structure, basic grammar, creative and analytical thought?
What Kind of Company Should I Work/Intern for?
An internship will not only help you sharpen your workplace skills, it will allow you to learn what kind of company you want to be a part of. Do you work better in big groups or are you more comfortable working alone on projects? Do you prefer to have a predictable daily schedule or are you more interested in working someplace where every day is different? Are you looking to work in a creative environment that doesn't always follow 9-to-5 workplace rules? Or would a company with more traditional values fit your lifestyle? These are the kinds of questions that an internship will allow you to explore. Every job is different, and doing an internship can help you find the right "fit" for your interests and your lifestyle. English majors are employed by some very creative companies – advertising, marketing, PR, writer/reporter (online or traditional print – books, magazines, etc), and so on. English majors are also uniquely suited to succeed in more traditional fields – publishing, lobbyist/government work, library science, grant and proposal writing/nonprofit organizations, law and, of course, education.
Future Career Opportunities
One of the best things about taking an internship – espeically one you end up really enjoying – is that it gives a potential future employer time to get to know you. Internships are one of the best "foot in the door" strategies out there. Unless you happen to be particularly well-connected on your own, you will need to learn how to find people in a field you like that can let you know when and where jobs may be opening. Internships help you find people who have been through the same thing you're experiencing and will help you strategize your exit from college. Sometimes if you are lucky enough to make a paticularly strong impression on your Internship host they may be willing to create a new job just for you – but this isn't something you should go in expecting. Go into your internship experience with an open mind and a willingness to pitch in and work on whatever needs doing, and you'll end up with great experience for your CV and any interviews you score in the future!
How do I Get Started?
If you are interested in pursuing an internship you can register for ENGL 620, English Major Internship. Signing up for ENGL 620 will allow you to receive academic credit for your internship. Follow these steps to get going:
- Identify an internship of interest to you through Career Services. UNH uses an online service, Wildcat Careers, to post internship opportunities. You can also visit the UNH Career and Professional Success in Hood House to speak with an advisor about internship opportunities best suited to your interests and skill set. Check your UNH email and our department Facebook Page (UNH English Majors) regularly too – if the main office receives word from a local employer that they are hiring interns we send out message to all of our majors with application information.
- Once you've identified an internship that you want to apply for, ask an English Department faculty member if he/she will be your faculty sponsor. Your sponsor will work with you to develop an academic component to your internship. This typically includes reading and writing assignments, including a final project, and regular meetings.
- Stop by the English Department main office or download an ENGL 620 Internship Proposal Form. Meet with your faculty sponsor and discuss the components of your internship, then draft a written proposal that describes what you'll be doing and how it relates to your English Major studies. ENGL 620 is a credit/fail course worth 1-4 credits and does NOT count as one of the English major requirements. Registration for the course follows normal Registrar’s Office deadlines.
Still Not Convinced that an Internship is Right for You?
Read through this final internship report produced by English Major Emma Kantola, '17. She had a summer internship at Cider Mill Press Book Publishers that gave her confidence in her English Major skills, provided insights into the sort of career path she wants to follow, and helped her learn more about the type and size of company she wants to work for in the future.
If you have questions about ENGL 620 please see Carla Cannizzaro in Conant Hall, room 113.
Internships for Journalism Majors – ENGL 720
English 620 is not to be confused with English 720, the required internship for all English/Journalism majors. If you have questions, you may contact Professor Lisa Miller, (603) 862-0251.