Finding an Internship
Finding a rewarding internship is a matter of doing your homework.
- The recommendation of a student who has recently interned at a particular site is a great way to find a high quality internship, but how do you find out who has interned, where they were and what they thought about it? To help facilitate that kind of exchange on campus, we have started an on-line file of student evaluations of the Rhet 495 internships undertaken in recent summers. If you are within the BU system, click here to access the pages which provide sponsor contact information and the student's evaluation of their experience.
- Check out the Career Development Center. The CDC now has job and internship offerings available on line at their e-recruiting site.
- Research a company you're interested in on the Web and then, if that information is not already included on their site, call human resources to ask about the availability of internships and the process of application.
- Check the Rhetoric Bulletin Board across from the English office and keep an eye on the Majors Listserv for announcements of possible internships.
- Interested in a New York City (or other metropolitan area) internship but you don't live there? Don't presume it's impossible. For instance, check out housing at a metropolitan university or college; many downtown campuses offer safe, low-cost summer housing. (No implied endorsement is intended in providing these links so be sure to undertake your own investigation but here are a couple of links to get you started on this type of search: Educational Housing Services, a nonprofit organization that partners with NYC colleges and NYU's own summer housing program.) It will make for a busy summer, but many students work part time to pay the rent and then intern in the field they're really interested in, building up valuable experience and contacts. Don't forget the number of credits you sign up for is not fixed. Set your goals and then be creative about reaching those goals.
- Search the Internet. Here are some helpful links to get you started:
http://www.monster.com/ and type "internships" into the "job title" box.
- Be creative and persistent!
Students sometimes search the site trying to find listings of available internships. We do sometimes have sponsors contact us and we post specific listings on the English Majors Listserv (If you are a declared major you should be receiving those posts. If you are not, contact the Undergraduate Secretary in the English Department to get signed up.) but more typically we work from a combination of the student's stated interests and a pool of known sites. It has happened that the Program Director has sought out new placements when there has not been a good fit among the known sites.
Often students are hoping to find a listing of offerings mostly because they cannot themselves imagine what they might be interested to do with their degree. They are hoping that reading through a list of internship opportunities, something might jump out and speak to them. For those purposes, here's a listing of current or recent placements:
Placements like education, law, advertising and journalism (both print and broadcast) seem to evoke enough of a sense of what you would be doing there as not to require further explanation. Public relations, communications, and marketing are broader terms that students more often have trouble visualizing. The fields are inter-related and various. In these kinds of jobs, the task is generally that of providing information and molding an image, whether it is the image of a sports team (we have have students placed with both the Binghamton Senators Hockey Team and the Binghamton Mets Baseball Team, as well as the BU Athletic Department) of a hospital, a university, utilities company, nonprofit, shopping mall, etc. Each of these is a pr/marketing/communications type of position but the feel will be different according to the organization. Do you see yourself as being happiest in a commercial, nonprofit, or academic setting? For most of these placements strong writing skills are essential; for many computer skills (both web design and /or social media sites) or talent with graphics is a real plus. Versatility is also a good trait for many of these jobs; sometimes the same person writes press releases, updates the web, plans events, and interfaces with the public. English majors are English majors because they enjoy reading so publishing is another field that students find attractive. Journalism and publishing are two fields that new media is revolutionizing. Those fields are in transition and at the moment, publishing opportunities in Binghamton are quite limited. We do however have a number of good placements with the literary journal Harpur Palate for those with an interest in literary publishing.