Internships offer opportunities to English majors

The English Department Internship Program has been extended to all English Majors, with the goal of providing students with opportunities for workplace experience and professional development. To be eligible, a students must have at least sophomore standing and a 3.0 GPA.

According to the official document from the JBU English department, “These internships extend students’ classroom experience by giving them chances not only to apply their academic knowledge, but also to learn new workplace skills.”

Students can arrange internships on and off campus, locally and internationally, with non-profits, businesses and ministires that offer writing projects to students.

Alumna Jamie Odom, who is currently studying for a degree in Irish literature at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland, took part in an internship after her second year of school.

Odom said she sees English as an important major.

“The tools it teaches you, critical thinking, clear and effective communication, are invaluable. Internships help you tune into what specific areas you as an individual are more drawn to,” Odom said.

According to the English department’s document on internship information, there is a strong focus on figuring out what the skills of an English major look like when students do not end up in a teaching workplace or in graduate school.

Odom did her internship at Tate Publishing in Mustang, Okla., in the editorial department. There, she learned valuable skills in publishing, from the initial vetting process to the final clean-up and send out.

She explained that publishing is more than reading a good book and that it can involve editing things you are not interested in.

“It prepared me by stripping the glamour off publishing and helping me see my degree realistically,” Odom said. “What am I suited for? What sort of work environment is a good fit? It equipped me with a lot of practical knowledge about working with others on a professional team. And, if I ever do decide to publish a book, I know the process now.”

The students taking part in the internship are required to keep up with an internship journal in order to keep track of what all they learn during the internship as well.

Odom is thankful for her opportunity to take part in an internship, and sees her undergraduate degree as a valuable tool that has taught her more than just basic skills and has helped play into her pursuit for a graduate degree in Irish literature.

“My classes in the English department taught me to embrace the challenge of being bold in my assertions and taking creative steps to fully uphold my arguments,” Odom said. “The professors made me learn to use my own mind instead of regurgitating something that could get me an easy A.”