The internship application process includes a rigorous review of your writing portfolio and an interview with the coordinator of the Minor in Professional Writing, Dr. Lindsay Martin. After you have obtained approval from the coordinator, we work with you to find an internship placement that matches your professional goals with the needs of our workplace partners. During your internship, you work with writing professionals for eight hours per week for the 14 weeks of the semester. We work closely with the workplace partners to ensure that your internship experience includes mentoring, direction and substantial professionalization of your writing. You also attend the classroom component of English 4189: Capstone Internship, where you will get support for your activities in the workplace.
Summer 2018 internships: Friday, January 26, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.
Autumn 2018 internships: Monday, January 29, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.
Portfolio Prep Workshop: Wednesday, January 24, 5-6:30 p.m. in Denney 311
Preparing to apply
1. Am I eligible?
You are eligible to apply for the capstone internship if you:
- have completed 2367, second-year writing
- have completed one elective each from both groups A and B (a total of 6 credit hours). If you have completed one of these electives and want to do the second one after applying and while you do the internship, talk to the coordinator about these plans.
- are currently enrolled in or have completed English 4150: Cultures of Professional Writing
The application process ensures that you have developed professional-level writing skills. Once approved, you are ready to use them in a workplace to do meaningful work for a sponsoring organization.
2. What will I have to prepare?
- Best works portfolio: Three of your best writing samples that demonstrate exceptional writing and editing skills
- Cover letter that indicates your purpose in applying and discusses how the writing samples display particular writing skills
- Resume that covers your education, skills and experience—specifically highlighting your writing-related achievements
3. How will my application be evaluated? We will be looking for:
- a thorough understanding of context, audience, purpose and genre. These should be apparent in all documents but especially in the different writing samples
- clear, coherent prose with grammar, tone and word choice that are suited to professional workplace environments
- an ability to edit your own work and pay close attention to detail in order to construct error-free writing
4. How do I prepare my writing samples, cover letter, and resume?
- Read below for advice on choosing good samples for your best works portfolio
- Read our guidelines on how to write your cover letter and resume to apply for the Minor in Professional Writing capstone internship
- Once you have finalized your five documents, save each one as a pdf and be prepared to upload them after you submit the application form online
- Save each of your five files as a pdf. For instructions on how to save a Word document as a pdf on a PC, go here. For instructions on how to save a Word document as a pdf on a Mac, go here.
- Use these file naming conventions: "Lastname Firstname ITEM" (Cover Letter / Resume / Sample 1 / Sample 2 / Sample 3)
- If you would like to preview the questions on the application form before you enter the online system, download a paper version of the online application form (for reference online--do not submit a paper application).
- Submit your application form. After you submit, you will be prompted to upload your five files.
Three writing samples
Your three writing samples comprise a best works portfolio. This means you choose three of your best pieces of writing, but then you edit, edit, edit to make them perfect. The pieces are not meant to represent who you were when you first wrote them, so review and revise them now to make sure they showcase impeccable writing skills.
Possible Writing Samples
You may have writing samples from past internships, jobs or extracurriculars. Remember that professional writing is more than published pieces. Your sample could be an internal memo, a professional letter or email to an organization, or an internal training manual. If you don’t have samples from prior work experience, you have plenty of material from coursework, especially any course in communications or if you took English 3304: Business and Professional Writing or English 3305: Technical Writing. Your three pieces should demonstrate variety: variety of genres, variety of styles, variety of contexts and variety of purposes. They should also demonstrate the kinds of skills you want to contribute to a workplace during your internship. Here are some possible different genres to choose:
- press release
- feature news article
- business letter
- blog post
- marketing web copy
- social media campaign plan (complete with posting schedule, sample posts and explanation of the reasons for particular choices of platform, word choices and timelines)
- other marketing materials
- brief course paper (consider choosing a section of no more than approximately three pages); avoid papers about poetry, as they tell employers little about your ability to do workplace writing
Still have questions? Come to the Portfolio Prep Workshop!
Have everything ready? Submit your application!