Internships

English, Linguistics, and Writing Studies


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Students who major in a Writing Studies program benefit enormously from internships. In addition to valuable work experience, resume-building, and networking opportunities, students may earn credit for internships in Information Design and Professional Writing.

Eligibility for earning credit for internships

Generally, students engaged in an internship for credit must:

  • have completed 60 credits including two or more courses related to their field,
  • hold a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and
  • have contacted and filed materials with the Writing Studies Internship Coordinator, Chongwon Park (cpark2@d.umn.edu).

Eligibility differs somewhat for different types of internships. Under some circumstances the Writing Studies Program or a faculty member may waive one or more of the eligibility requirements. Keep in mind that the eligibility and completion requirements for internships apply only to those internships for which students earn credit; a student who chooses not to earn credit for an internship may still wish to list the experience on his or her resume.

Finding out about internships

Writing Studies faculty and administrators are regularly informed of businesses and organizations in this community and others that are looking for interns. When we receive new information about an internship, we often communicate that information through e-mail to all students enrolled in the department's majors and minors.

Students may learn of internship opportunities through their own connections and networking, especially when opportunities exist in other parts of Minnesota or across the U.S. No matter what the source of information about a potential internship, students must visit with the Internship Coordinator and create a file if they hope to earn credit.

Creating a file

Students seeking an internship for credit should visit briefly with the Internship Coordinator. Students who want to earn credit for an internship must file the following materials, either in hard copy or by creating an online portfolio to share:

  • Student's resume
  • Unofficial copy of student's transcript
  • A brief listing of learning objectives for the internship: What new skills do you hope to learn? How can this internship help you professionally? How could it help you personally?
  • Three academic or published writing samples

Applying for an internship

Once you have filed required materials with the Internship Coordinator, go ahead and contact the person specified in information about the internship. That person may ask to see writing samples ahead of time, or you may be able to schedule an interview immediately. Remember at all points in the process that this is no different from applying for a job, and all of the conventions apply:

  • Dress professionally: shirt and tie for men, professional outfit such as skirt or slacks and blouse for women.
  • Prepare for challenging questions: It's common now for interviewers to ask about "difficult assignments and how you handled them," or "how you work with difficult people." Having a small arsenal of responses to those kinds of questions can help you in the interview.
  • Smile, speak articulately, and make eye contact.
  • Don't derail your chances by non-professional behavior: Interview behaviors such as drinking from a liter bottle, looking distractedly out the window, chewing gum etc. can leave a big, and negative, impression on an employer.

Registering for credits for your internship

Once you have secured the internship, you will need to register for credits, just as you register for any other course at UMD. You should print a copy of the Placement Agreement and work with your supervisor at the internship site to fill it out. That's important because the Placement Agreement:

  • lists the dates and number of hours of the internship,
  • lists specific duties you will perform, and
  • will be signed by your supervisor, you, and the department head.

Once you and your employer have signed a Placement Agreement, take it to the Internship Coordinator, who will give you a number to register for credits, based on the following:

1 credit = 3 hours/week for 15 weeks OR 45 hours total 2 credits = 6 hours/week for 15 weeks, or 90 hours total 
3 credits = 9 hours/week for 15 weeks or 135 hours total 

You must be registered for the internship at the time you execute it. That is, you cannot decide that you would like to register for and earn credits for an internship after you have completed it. If your internship will not coincide with a regular academic term, discuss with the Internship Coordinator well in advance how registration should be handled.

During your internship

Halfway through your internship, ask your supervisor to fill out the Mid-term Evaluation, and see that it is forwarded to the Internship Coordinator.

Completing your internship

At the end of your internship, ask your supervisor to fill out the Final Evaluation, and see that it is forwarded to the Internship Coordinator.

In addition, before you earn a grade (Pass or Fail) for your internship, you will need to forward to the Internship Coordinator clips of your work (at least three), as well as an essay in which you reflect upon your internship. It should be 4-5 pages long, covering the following:

  • What you learned from the job, very specifically, including technical skills, leadership skills, and personal skills
  • The strengths and weaknesses you had when you started the internship, and when you finished the internship
  • How you contributed to the company or organization during your internship
  • What new ideas you have about your future career as a direct result of the internship
  • How you feel the company helps interns have a good experience, or how the company might have improved your learning experience

Once these materials have been reviewed, the Internship Coordinator will post your grade.

Eligibility for internships

To be eligible for an internship in Information Design, you must have:

  • completed 60 hours of course work
  • completed WRIT 1120 (College Writing) or equivalent
  • completed (or be in the process of completing) other courses specified by program faculty
  • earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • be recommended for an internship by the program head and Information Design faculty

To be eligible for an internship in Professional Writing, you must have:

  • completed 60 hours of course work
  • completed WRIT 1120 (College Writing) or equivalent
  • completed (or be in the process of completing) at least one 3000-level Advanced Writing class
  • earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the two WRIT classes