Internships and English Majors

Here's a look at some of the internships Dickinson English majors have taken up as they research and prepare for their future. 

James Riley, Class of 2011 (Internship at Late Night with David Letterman)

James Riley, English intern

James Riley ' 11, English intern

In the spring of 2010, I interned for the Late Show with David Letterman. While interviewing the internship, I heard possibly the most reassuring sentence I could have hoped for: “Oh, awesome, you’re an English major.” I had originally applied because I was interested in the writing internship but I interviewed for multiple positions. I ended up with an internship with the research department, in no small part due to the research skills I developed in the English department. I also think that I fit the department very well. I got along well with my bosses, who joked around with me during my interview and ranted about how embarrassing having a hotmail account was. I, luckily, had a gmail account and was praised for it.

The office environment was relaxed and fun and part of what helped me get the job, and do well with it, was my ability to be affable but serious. Interns with the Late Show have become indispensable in the work that they do, work that is not extremely specialized but nevertheless is essential to the show, so hard work was a must. My research duties included reading all kinds of media and looking for interesting stories that might be good to talk about on air. Again, I credit my ability to digest a large volume of information and pick out a few salient moments to skills taken directly from the classroom. I was thrilled to see the few things that I found make it on air. They made the day’s worth of dead ends seem somehow more satisfying. I am lucky to have had such an experience and I would advise anyone interested in any internship to apply. Someone needs to get it, it might as well be you.

Julia Ferrar, Class of 2012 (Internships at Swedenborg Library and Friends Journal)

Julia Ferrar, English intern

Julia Ferrar '12, English intern

Swedenborg Library:
When I began to think about my plans for the summer of 2011 I knew that I wanted to do something involving libraries. I was very interested in pursuing a career in library science so I hoped to gain a better understanding of the profession and to develop my skills. I contacted the Swedenborg Library in Bryn Athyn, PA, a small academic library where I had volunteered previously, and asked if I could set up an internship. With the guidance of the library director I arranged a schedule that would allow me to experience as many different areas of the library as possible. During my time at the Swedenborg Library I worked with librarians in technical services, circulation, archives, systems, reference, and management. For most of the summer I worked on independent projects and my supervisors gave me freedom to decide how to best organize information and complete tasks. For example, I completed a project to organize and add items to a small reference area connected to the library. Now that my internship is over I feel more confident and excited about planning for a future in library science. 

Friends Journal: During the summer of 2010 I interned at Friends Journal, a small Quaker magazine in Philadelphia. When I began searching for internships during the previous winter, I hoped to find a position that would give me direction in preparing for a career—one that would allow me to test my interests in publishing and editing through actual experience. I found my internship at Friends Journal through a posting on campusphilly.org. Their editorial internship stood out to me for its promise of flexibility and interest in each intern’s learning process. Although the internship was unpaid, I was able to fund my transportation through the Career Center grant. Throughout my 10 weeks at Friends Journal, I enjoyed participating in many different stages of the magazine's production. I commented on submissions, copy-edited articles, selected poems, proofread, and attended layout meetings. At Friends Journal I witnessed the incredible amount of thought and effort that goes into creating each issue, gained insight into Quaker thought and life, and always felt that my contributions mattered.

Kelsie McNett '12 (Internship at United States Military Academy)

Kelsie McNett, English intern

Kelsie McNett '12, English intern

The Internship:
While an intern, Kelsie created a website for Margaret Corbin Forum, researched and coordinated some of the events for the coming academic year, and did a study on the training for the freshmen and sophomore classes. She also observed a court martial. When reflecting on the experience, Kelsie says, “my favorite part, by far, was putting together the website. I really enjoyed researching the ways that women have become integrated in the military and how they have met success. It was very inspiring to research all the courageous women who serve in the military, especially those who were trail blazers and made it possible for other women to follow in their footsteps.”

The Preparation: “I think that my liberal arts focus helped me a lot, as well as my experiences in ROTC. I was able to apply feminist theory and knowledge to my research, while having an understanding of military etiquette and policies from military science.”

The Future: “The biggest impression that the internship left on me was simply being surrounded by all of the successful and intelligent women who work for and with the military. It was inspiring and motivating to see these women and all they have done in their careers, while still striving to create a better environment for the integration of women into the military. Oftentimes, women in the military are stereotyped in negative, one-dimensional ways. The women that I worked with provided role models that I can work to shape my style of leadership off of. They also helped me further solidify and understand my goals in the military, and how to be successful and happy even if I don’t get the branch, post, or position that is my first choice.”

Tips from Kelsie: “I would recommend finding something where you are given the opportunity to hone your interests and aspirations so you have a clearer picture of what you want in your career.”

To find out more about how to get an internship, make an appointment with a career counselor. Call the Career Center at 717-245-1740 or stop by Biddle House.