ENG 498A: Internship in English
The English Department’s undergraduate internships program allows students to apply their coursework to a professional setting, to learn from mentors, and to gain valuable, resume-building experience.
Usually taken toward the end of their degree, students will work with the Internships Coordinator to find an internship that best fits their skills and interests to advance their academic and career goals. By the end of the semester, students will have logged a minimum of 135 contact hours (roughly 8-9 hours per week) and have generated a professional portfolio.
According to a 2021 employer survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, having an internship was the most influential factor in hiring decisions, even more than a graduate’s grade-point average. Further, a 2014 study published in the Atlantic suggested that the most important experiences that counted in hiring decisions were: internships, employment during college, the student’s major, volunteer experience and extracurricular activities.
Who should enroll in an internship?
All English majors can satisfy their CO 14 with an internship for course credit by enrolling in ENG 498A. All English majors and minors are highly encouraged to complete at least one internship their senior year, and students on professional or creative writing tracks are especially encouraged to participate in an internship before graduating.
What kinds of internships are out there?
Our students have interned with local businesses, non-profit organizations, and government institutions that provide educational and professional experiences in communication, writing, and research. For instance, students might produce work in copyediting, grant writing, marketing, PR, content creation, or social media management.
Students have found internships with a variety of industries and public-service groups in publishing, environmental sustainability, education, and broadcast media among others. Interns in the English Department have recently worked with organizations such as the following:
- Black Rock Press
- Baobab Press
- Desert Research Institute
- Nevada Today
- PBS Reno (KNPB)
- The Eddy House
- University of Nevada Press
Registering for 498A
Registering for 498A is relatively easy. However, students should begin seriously thinking about the kind of internship they are interested in during their junior year.
To register, students must
- be a declared English major or minor
- have already taken ENG 303 and
- have senior standing during the semester they enroll in ENG 498A.
First step: Contact the internships coordinator
In the final semester of junior year, students should reach out to the Internships Coordinator to make a plan for acquiring an internship. If interested, please contact:
- Dr. Adam Padgett, Teaching Assistant Professor and Internships Coordinator
- Email: email@example.com
- Office: Frandsen Humanities 220
In your email, please include information about you and your career interests.
Second step: Find and apply for an internship
While the student is ultimately responsible for finding and applying for an internship, the Internships Coordinator will supply you with helpful resources and is happy to answer any questions you may have.
Deadlines for internships are often posted up to three months before the semester begins, so it’s best to look early and often. Some resources/strategies for students include:
- Browsing Handshake for internship postings
- Paying attention to your university email for announcements of possible internship opportunities
- Skimming through the list of already-approved community partners (a list organizations UNR students across the university have interned with previously)
- Meeting and corresponding with the Internships Coordinator for other opportunities
Third step: Complete registration forms
After an internship has been secured, the student will need to complete the following as soon as possible:
- fill out the Internship Application Form and email it to the Internships Coordinator.
- have the site supervisor confirm with the Internships Coordinator via email that (a) the internship will take place during the semester in question (b) the hours and schedule the student has agreed to work, and (c) the type of work the student will perform.
- submit the student agreement, indemnification waiver, and COVID waiver.
- complete the sexual harassment and prevention training.
The organization sponsoring the internship must be fully approved by the University at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester.
What to expect in ENG 498A
During the 16-week semester, students will complete at least 135 contact hours (roughly, 8-9 hours per week).
Throughout the semester, students will compose three short reflection essays and schedule three check-in meetings with the Internships Coordinator. Internship supervisors will email midterm and final student evaluation forms to the Internships Coordinator.
Students will submit a final report with a portfolio of work produced for the organization during the internship.
Careers for English majors
Contrary to popular belief, there are many practical jobs for English majors. Completing an internship can prepare you for a variety of career paths:
- Technical Writer
- Copy Editor
- Public Relations
- Social Media Manager
- Content Creator
- Grant Writer
- Communications Director
- Digital Content Strategist
- Creative Strategist
- Video Game Narrative Writer
- Community Organizer
What is the timeline for registering for an internship?
Some internship application deadlines are as early as three months before the internship starts. So, look for an internship early and often. All internships must be fully approved at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester.
Are internships paid?
Sadly, most internships are not paid. However, students can apply through the Pack Internship Grant Program, which connects students with local start-up businesses, non-profits and public/government agencies. Being an intern through the Pack Internship Grant Program provides wages at $16/hour for 120 hours of work.
Resources for students
- Nevada Career Studio: helps with internship searches and application materials.
- Pack Internship Grant Program: connects students with local start-up businesses, non-profits and public/government agencies, pays $16/hour for 120 hours of work.
- List of Already-Approved Community Partners: a list of pre-approved organizations/companies University students across the university have interned with previously.
- Handshake: off-campus job and internship opportunities.
- Workday: on-campus job and internship opportunities.
- Micro-Internships: non-academic credit, short paid project-based internship opportunities. Students must create a profile, and can apply directly to the position.