All English majors are strongly encouraged to do at least one internship. Two or three is even better. Why? Internships let you try out different career options on a short-term basis. They also help you build the skills, confidence, and professional network that will lead to better job offers after graduation. Some studies have suggested that students with internship experience also enjoy higher starting salaries.
How can I find an internship?
A great place to look for internships is through Handshake, which functions like a job board, but feels like a social media platform. You can also find internships on company websites, via LinkedIn, or on other job search platforms.
Not sure where to begin? If you want talk through your ideas or need some help getting started, you can set up a meeting with your faculty advisor or with Lisa Blacher, the Assistant Director of Internships for HFA:
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What types of internships can I pursue?
The skills in writing and critical thinking that you learn as an English major are in demand across many fields and industries, and there are a wide range of internships available to you. UMass English majors have interned with the UMass Press, UMass Magazine, the UMass Writing Center, The Massachusetts Review, The Daily Collegian, The Daily Hampshire Gazette, and The Valley Advocate. English interns have also worked for the Children's Hospital in Boston, Axiom Insurance, Executive Forum Magazine, athenahealth, Oracle, Representative Niki Tsongas, Tufts University of Medicine, Walden Media LLC and WSHM-TV Springfield.
Recurring, on-campus internships that English majors often pursue:
- Digital communications intern for the English Department
- Digital communications intern for the Western Massachusetts Writing Project
- University of Massachusetts Press intern
- Juniper Institute - Administrative Assistant for summer creative writing conferences. Must have workstudy. Applications period begins in September. Contact Betsy Wheeler.
My experience at MassLive this summer truly exceeded all expectations. … In two months, I published 22 stories which received over 1.7 million online views. — Tess Halpern, English major
Last summer, I interned at a law firm. It was a writing-intensive internship where I drafted case summaries, Memorandum and Articles of Association, affidavits, and other legal documents. Being an English major came in handy at this internship where I had to be meticulous in my writing. — Yashika Issrani, English major
When should I do an internship?
As soon as you can! UMass requires that you have earned at least 45 credit hours (and a 2.0 GPA) before doing an internship for course credits, so many students pursue internships during their sophomore and junior years. This experience helps make them more competitive for paid, higher profile internships.
How will I find time for an internship?
Did you know that you can earn up to 18 credits by doing internships? For-credit internships can be a great way to prepare for your career while making progress toward your degree. Some internships opportunities, such as publishing internships at the UMass Press or Digital Communications Internships in the English department are available on or near campus, making them easier to fit in around your course schedule.
Summer internships, which are usually done for pay rather than credit, are another great option. HFA has an Internship Assistance Fund to help support students who pursue internship opportunities.
How do I arrange an internship for course credit?
First, make sure that you are eligible. There are two types of internships available: Engl 298 (ungraded credits) or UMass 298Y (ungraded credits).
To enroll for Engl 298, you must have junior or first-semester senior standing at the time of the internship, with most required courses in English completed and a GPA of 2.5 or better.
To enroll for UMass 298Y you must have earned at least 45 credits by the time you do your internship and have a GPA of 2.0 or higher. NOTE: UMass 298Y: Practicum must be graded as a Pass/Fail and will not fulfill any English Departmental requirements, but may count towards general elective credits.
See what internships are available and learn about the process for registering. You would complete an Internship Experience Contract in Handshake. If you have additional questions, contact the Central Careet Services Field Experience Program in 511 Goodell, email email@example.com, or call 413-545-2224.
Find a faculty sponsor—perhaps your personal advisor in the department—who will agree to work with you. You and your sponsor should agree to the terms of an internship contract, which outlines the amount of work and the kind of project you will do for the internship and the number of credits you will receive.
What is a Co-op?
A co-op is a paid, non-credit position that gives you the opportunity to work with professionals in a field of interest. You will experience that workplace first-hand, develop new skills, and explore professional goals. You need to have earned at least 45 credits and have a 2.0 GPA overall to do a co-op placement. Placements must be completed prior to graduation, so if you are in your fourth year and still have no job experience you may change your graduation date in SPIRE in order to participate in a Co-op. The process of registering for a co-op is similar to that for an internship: check in with the English Undergraduate Advising Office or a Central Career Services Field Experience Program Office for details.