388P Pre-Professional

Pre-Professional Internship

Professor: Karen Lewis

Our most flexible program, the Pre-Professional program sponsors and supervises interns in a placement of their choice, provided the intern spends one-third of his or her time in writing-related activities.

Download the ENGL388P Application

1. What is the Pre-professional Internship Program?
2. What do interns do?
3. How do interns find placements?
4. What are the requirements for doing a writing skills internship?
5. What is required from an intern?
6. How will I be graded in this internship?
7. Why should I do the pre-professional writing skills internship?
8. What should I do to apply?

1. What is the Pre-professional Internship Program?

Our most flexible program, the Pre-professional Program, sponsors and supervises interns in a placement of their choice, provided the intern spends one-half of his or her time in writing-related activities.  The program is designed to:

  • Be flexible in order to accommodate individual students' needs, interests, and schedules
  • Teach English majors how to explore career opportunities
  • Provide opportunities for English majors to develop professionally
  • Provide English majors with an opportunity to show their abilities
  • Provide English majors with opportunities for networking and being mentored
  • Teach English majors how to design a portfolio
  • Provide a link between the university and the community

2. What do interns do?

  • Intern tasks vary with the placement. In the past, we have had placements in all kinds of media, in publishing, in law offices, in government and nonprofit agencies and associations, in hospitals, in businesses, and in the arts.
  • In media placements, interns often do background research, check facts, and write articles. In law offices interns usually do research or conduct interviews. In public relations work, interns do a variety of tasks that can include correspondence, research, writing and editing newsletters, and sometimes creating and maintaining web sites. Occasionally interns also find administrative placements.

3. How do interns find placements?

  • Students need to do some research to find out what they are interested in doing and what kind of organization they want to work for. The department's internship coordinator can help facilitate this process, and the Undergraduate English Office houses a book of solicitations for interns that shows the types of placements that have been targeted to or held by English majors in the past.
  • Once students have a general idea of the kind of internship they are interested in, they can look for current openings through a variety of job search websites. The UM Career Center has its own job and internship database, Careers4Terps, which can be accessed through the Career Center's Web site. Other examples of internet search engines that post current internship openings in a variety of locations and fields are http://www.idealist.org, http://internshipprograms.com, and http://www.monstertrak.monster.com. Oftentimes the best way to find an available internship is through the employment opportunities page on the website of a particular company or organization.
  • Students should apply for internships that interest them, just like they would apply for jobs, following the application directions on the internship listing. Then, they can come by our office to pick up an application form for earning academic credit for their internship.

4. What are the requirements for doing a writing skills internship?

  • Except for the summer, this internship is open only to English majors. In the summer all majors can apply who have a 2.5 GPA and have completed their Professional Writing requirement. It is preferred English major applicants have a 2.5 GPA and have successfully completed the Professional Writing requirement.

5. What is required from an intern?

  • Interns must work at least 45 hours over the course of the semester per credit hour for which they register. The class may be taken for 1-6 credits and is repeatable for up to 12 credits.
  • Interns usually complete the following assignments over the course of the semester to earn internship credits: an application with an essay and recommendations, time and activity logs, a worksheet of learning objectives, two reflection papers, and a final portfolio of completed work.

6. How will I be graded for this internship?

  • You are graded on your field supervisor's evaluations, on your professionalism in meeting deadlines and communicating with your academic supervisor, and on the presentation and quality of the contents of your assignments.

7. Why should I do the Pre-Professional Internship?

  • Allows you to earn academic credits
  • Builds your confidence
  • Helps you explore a career
  • Provides an opportunity to network
  • Improves your communication skills
  • Provides you with both a professional and an academic mentor
  • Adds to your resume
  • Can usually fit into your academic schedule

8. How do I apply?

  • Download the application or find one in 1128 Tawes Hall.
  • Complete the application form and required essay, attach a writing sample, and return to 1128 Tawes Hall.  Completed applications must be submitted by the last day of the schedule adjustment period for the semester.  Direct questions to Karen Lewis, lewiske@umd.edu.

388P Students' Advice for Future Interns

  • "Try to go at least one full day per week-you'll get a much better idea about how the office really functions."
  • "Be organized and always maintain good rapport with your supervisors and coworkers. Talk to them."
  • "Keep copies of all your work for future reference."
  • "Detailed note-taking is very important when taking instructions. It's not good when someone has to be told what to do more than once."
  • "Be prepared for downtime when you have to find work to do."
  • "Realize that your employer will appreciate if you are self-motivated. Always, always, always ask questions. You're there to learn. The knowledge you gain is your payment, so take advantage. I would say I hesitated a lot. Don't hesitate."
  • "If you feel like you have a handle on things, don't be afraid to ask for more responsibility."
  • "Dive into projects as much as you can. Even though you will only be there a relatively short time, approach the job as if it really were your career."
  • "Research. Know where you are going, know your boss and other employees you will be working with. Know what you are expected to do. Be honest with your employer and accept constructive criticism. It will be a positive experience if you make it one."
  • "Ask for feedback."