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The Department of English offers an internship program for junior and senior level English majors, and our program emphasizes service-learning opportunities with organizations in the DFW community. Our interns have partnered with several organizations.
Students have opportunities to gain professional, real world experience in using the skills they develop in the classroom. Students who successfully apply for internships with other organizations can also use ENGL 4390 (Internship in English) for course credit.
Current and Ongoing Internship Partners
Arlington Public Library
Computers in Composition Digital Press
Fort Worth Weekly
International Museum of Cultures
Literacy House of Arlington
Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County
UTA College of Liberal Arts
Internships are courses in which students earn course credit in ENGL 4390 (Internship in English) while working with a professional organization. As such, these courses are practicums rather than lecture courses: students practice their skills within a professional context and environment. We try to frame internships so that they require as much time every week as you would in studying, reading, and attending a traditional 3-hour lecture course: on average, 10-12 hours, but the precise hours may vary from internship to internship. In general, you will work with the organization in question rather than attending a traditional class, and you will work on various projects and duties relating to your internship with that organization.
For example, the Volunteer Recruitment Internship Nicole Turner had involved her communicating with Meals On Wheels (MOW) personnel while working in the community on ways to recruit volunteers to help MOW with their mission of providing food and needed services to home-bound persons in Tarrant County. Turner made presentations to and met with several groups in the community while receiving feedback and lessons on how to use her training in writing and rhetoric in a professional context.
For another example, the Project Coordinator Internship Sarah Matthew had involved her working as a liaison between Dr. Worlow (and his Technical Writing classes) and MOW as Dr. Worlow’s students worked on service learning projects for MOW. Matthew worked as a developmental editor on a massive project for MOW—their Operating Procedures Manual. Mattew planned and organized several elements of that document’s revision process. She would meet with her colleagues and with MOW personnel to determine how best to go about revising that document (over 300 pages) into a reader-friendly text.
For our internships, students also must communicate with the coordinator of the internship program, submitting regular time logs and reflection pieces. In addition, we ask for periodic evaluations of intern performance from the organization the intern works with.
Some internships in ENGL 4390 can count for the new Technical Writing and Professional Communication Certificate: whether it can do so depends on what kind of internship you take.
Students must have successfully completed ENGL 2350 and 2384 and be a junior or senior English Major before enrolling in ENGL 4390. Talk with your advisors to determine if you’re ready for an internship. Students require approval to enroll in ENGL 4390, given by the coordinator of internship program, Dr. Worlow.
Internships help distinguish job seekers from competition by giving them actual work experience in their fields before they graduate. Internships can help you distinguish your resume and cover letters and give students great experiences to talk about during job interviews.
At the same time, internships can help you transition from an academic, university mindset to a professional one. You can learn about working with companies and professional organizations and about using your skills in those contexts rather than just for papers and school projects.
Madelyn Edwards from Arlington, Texas
I wrote news stories based in Fort Worth, Texas. I brainstormed ideas, outlined stories, asked questions of people involved, researched, wrote, revised, and was edited.
I liked seeing my work published professionally. The feeling of working diligently on a story for days then stepping back to feel proud of the finished product is absolutely priceless.
Practically, I learned how to take good pictures to compliment my writing. Critically, my editor confirmed for me that consistently showing up to work and being curious is crucial to journalism.
My editor pointed out many weaknesses I have in my writing ability. I had problems that I was completely unaware of. I still have to remind myself to write in short active sentences using colorful verbs. Extra clauses tend to confuse readers. That’s the secret to good writing – clearly communicating to the audience in ways that people of all educational levels can understand. Having a few stressful editing sessions let me know what I was doing wrong. Making outlines helped as well as keeping an open mind during editing.
My reporting and research skills shined over the course of this internship. All those English research papers must have paid off! Finding the right information for my stories online and abroad was absolutely necessary for this job.
Nicole Turner from Houston, Texas
Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County (MOW) (Volunteer Recruitment Intern)
I learned a lot about volunteer recruiting and communicating to potential volunteers. I worked to get the Meals On Wheels name out to the UTA community as much as possible and contacting several organizations and individuals about volunteer opportunities throughout the semester. I also raised awareness for the summer volunteer programs at MOW.
Running the volunteer social media pages.
How to market an organization to appeal to specific audiences.
The greatest challenge was getting people to register to volunteer after they showed initial interest in MOW. I overcame this by continuing to follow up with potential volunteers and sending them more information about the different opportunities at MOW.
I used many of the persuasive and rhetorical writing skills gained from my English classes when writing to potential volunteers.
Sarah Matthew from Fort Worth, Texas
Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County (MOW) (Project Coordinator Intern)
On my internship, I worked as a developmental editor on MOW’s Operating Procedures Manual (OPM), reviewing it for inconsistencies and reorganizing the information when necessary. I consulted with the internship advisor, Meals on Wheels’ (MOW) Coordinator of Volunteer Recruitment, VP of Facilities, Equipment, & Technology, and the other interns to improve the content and organization of the OPM. I was responsible for keeping track of the hours I put into the internship, and also developed spreadsheets to catalog other students’ hours on their service learning projects as they worked on MOW's OPM and other projects.
I liked communicating with the people involved. The employees of MOW were very informative during my visits, and I learned a lot about how organizations operate, MOW’s daily processes, and their work culture. Collaborating with the other interns helped so we could critique our ideas and make decisions together on the document.
My cooperation with students, interns, and employees of MOW in-person and electronically will help me in my future career when I will communicate with people at different levels within an organization in the globalized working world. In consulting also with the internship coordinator, I also learned a lot about document design, organization, and technical writing.
The greatest challenge during my internship was limited contact with many persons because of their busy months moving to a new facility. I overcame this by developing a plan moving forward through the semester to organize the OPM in a hybrid structure that merged our arrangement for the document with MOW’s. Because of the periodic nature of communication with MOW, I first discussed my ideas for the document with the coordinator and my fellow intern. Then when possible, we talked to MOW about the document and the values they wanted to include in it. Finally, we combined these philosophies to create the current organization of the OPM.
I used the writing knowledge I gained as an English Major when creating documents such as the introduction to the OPM. Even more so, I applied my skills in organizing information and editing several drafts of documents while simultaneously learning more about editing during the internship.
Meagan Solomon from Arlington, Texas
Literacy House & Arlington Public Library (Teaching Intern)
I engaged in one-on-one tutoring sessions with an ESOL student to help improve his writing and communication skills. I also co-taught a Language Arts GED class at the South Arlington Police Station, where I helped facilitate lessons over reading comprehension, textual analysis, and mechanics.
The best part of my internship was forming connections with each student in an environment where I was learning from them just as much as they were learning from me.
Learning how to effectively lesson-plan and actively engage students in the classroom will benefit me greatly as I make the transition into graduate school to pursue my career as an English professor.
Since every student learns differently in a classroom setting, there is a challenge in trying to accommodate specific needs while still maintaining a universal pace and style. To work through this, I made sure to always ask questions, engage each student directly and equally, and try to find a good rhythm that worked with the entire class.
In both my one-on-one sessions and GED class, it was essential that I drew on the skills and knowledge I have learned as an English major in order to ensure I presented material accurately and efficiently.
Julian Diego Ramirez from Fort Worth, Texas
Department of English (Academic Advising Intern)
I represented the English department at various events on campus (major days, transfer days, etc). I gave presentations to classes about the English department. I conducted a study of the English department and gave a presentation about how we could make our department better.
Working with our advisors. They are such amazing people to learn from and work with.
I learned a lot about presentation skills. Whether I was at a Maverick Experience day talking to incoming freshman or giving my final research presentation, my overall presentation skills strengthened over the course of the internship.
When I went to give the…information presentations, I was extremely nervous about presenting in front of my peers. I learned that with any presentation [that] it’s a matter of knowing more about the subject matter than the people you are presenting to. So I prepared [as much as I could] and was fairly confident giving them in the end.
My communication skills were key. Recruitment and advising are all about communication and English has definitely strengthened those skills.
We have worked to secure several internship opportunities for our students. Look at our most recent informational booklet.
In addition, students can find outside internship opportunities within the community, and the informational document outlines several of them. However, these outside opportunities require students to apply to the organization in question, and the organization makes the decision whether to offer you an internship. If you do receive such an internship, please contact Dr. Worlow (firstname.lastname@example.org) and your English advisors to find out how to enroll in ENGL 4390.