What Kinds of Jobs Can English Majors Get on Campus?
With advanced writing and analytical abilities, English majors often get work on campus with publications and campus organizations. They help edit newsletters, create and maintain various web sites, assist other students with English skills and help professors develop publications. Work study students get first chance at most of the on-campus job opportunities.
Several English majors work as Writing Center tutors, helping students from across the university improve their skills and helping with the development of successful, effective papers for various classes.
English majors with advanced skills with technology sometimes serve as Media Arts Center tutors, teaching others how to use the computer publishing technology available in the Mac lab. Media Arts Center tutors create tutorials, give demonstrations and provide ongoing assistance to learners of all ages who come to the Mac lab for publication projects.
The Alumni Association publishes a large circulation magazine, the Millikin Quarterly, and often employs a few English majors with journalism skills to help write, layout and provide copy-editing for the magazine.
Sports writers have found opportunities to write for local newspapers and the sports information office at Millikin University, often as internships that evolve into paid positions.
Student-supported publications, such as the Decaturian, also provide on-campus employment opportunities for editors and leaders.
Are There Internships for English Majors?
A majority of our English majors have one or more internships related to professional goals and personal interests.
We have four types of internships in English at Millikin, but each follows the same procedures and academic outcomes.
1. Professional Writing Internship—working with a business or non-profit organization, helping with a variety of writing tasks including reports, publicity, newsletters, press releases, employee manuals, program plans, grants, flyers, brochures and plans.
2. Teaching Writing Internship—working with a Millikin English faculty member in a course on teaching writing, tutoring students in the course, helping to develop a lesson plan and to experience the teacher's perspective in a college level writing course.
3. Pre-professional Internship—English Education majors complete several internships in the schools as part of their education requirements, and they complete 3 credits of pre-professional development work, often in the form of individualized internships. These projects include developing resources for teaching English, working with faculty on education rationales and related work.
4. Technology Internship—working with a professor in the use of technology in the professor's discipline, which in English usually means technical writing and computer aided publishing technical support. Technology interns usually serve as tutors in the Media Arts Center, developing tutorials, user procedure manuals, and tutoring students in the Media Arts Center courses.
How do internships in English work?
Students express an interest in finding an internship and then the student and the English faculty internship adviser helps place the student in a quality internship site. Area employers and organizations often contact the English department looking for an intern, so we can help place students in an ideal site for both the student and the organization requesting an intern. However, students can seek and find possible sites for an internship on their own—especially during the summer when they may not be in the Decatur community.
Once the site is located, the student contacts the site manager and sets up an interview. If they are accepted for the internship, a learning contract is written.
The Internships Learning Contract must include:
• the site supervisor's name & title and contact information
• a description of the task goals for the internship (what the intern will do)
which is worked out in agreement with the site supervisor
• a description of learning goals or questions the student has
which is worked out in agreement with the faculty adviser
• a description of professionalism expectations (dress, phone, etc)
The intern, site supervisor and faculty adviser all must sign off on the Internship Learning Contract at the beginning of the internship.
During the internship, the intern keeps a log of activities and time spent. Forty log hours are required for each credit. The intern also keeps copies of writing and other products worked on during the internship which are included in the final internship portfolio. At the end of the internship, the supervisor writes a letter of evaluation based on the task goals and resulting performance of the intern. The intern writes a learning review based on the learning goals expressed in the Internship Learning Contract (adding unexpected surprises or unanticipated things learned as well).
Can an internship be paid?
Internships on campus are for credit only, but internships off campus may be paid. In either case, the learning contract, log of hours and review are required for academic credit.
Can I get internship credit after I complete an internship somewhere?
No. If you have not prepared your learning goals and task goals at the beginning of the internship, you may not get credit for the internship.
You must register before or at the very beginning of your internship in order to receive academic credit. You may not receive credit or sign up for the internship the semester after you do the internship.
Example of a Professional Writing Internship
Office of University Advancement
Contact Deb Kirchner, 424-6383
Term: Fall semester
Hours: 120 total hours: approx. 8 hours per week, flexible with class schedule as necessary. Pay: Academic credit only
Job Description: Assist with editorial content and production for Millikin Quarterly, the university’s alumni magazine. Includes interviewing and writing profiles and other articles for Quarterly, assisting with the layout, proofreading, research and fact-checking, plus other duties as assigned.
Skills Needed: Writing or communications major preferred. Should have skills in interviewing, writing and layout, as well as the ability to handle multiple tasks and meet deadlines working independently. Good interpersonal communication skills required. Experience with the following software would be beneficial: Microsoft Word; Adobe PageMaker, PhotoShop and Illustrator.