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Intern at Forbes Media
My internship at Forbes Media over the summer of 2017 was a fantastic opportunity for personal and professional growth. I was able to take the skills I learned in classes like English 425 with Jeremy Chamberlin and craft succinct narratives covering the media and entertainment industry. I had the opportunity to do research and write biographies for the Forbes Celebrity 100 List and then wrote weekly stories. Every day at Forbes was an adventure — I interviewed people like Jared Leto, French Montana, Samantha Bee and Malcolm Gladwell. I’ve stayed on at Forbes as a contributor during my senior year and I’m so grateful to the University of Michigan English program for preparing me to be a productive and thoughtful member of the media.
Intern at Farrar, Straus and Giroux
I moved to New York in September 2016 for an internship at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, the publishing
house I grew up idolizing. The internship was pretty straight forward--lots of mailing books, scanning documents, and reading submissions. I would read three or four submissions per week, writing reports on why we (usually) shouldn't publish them as books. Close reading, passage analysis, identifying qualities of voice, style, and character development--I wouldn't have been able to do any of this without my English degree. I had to learn a new way of reading--assessing a piece of work for trade publication is different than reading for fun, or for school--yet my love for books, and the skills I picked up at Michigan, allowed me to learn on the fly. I was hired by FSG at the end of November 2016 as an editorial assistant to two editors, and I've been in the job since. I love it, and I recently acquired my first book as an editor! Ifyou have questions about publishing in NYC, feel free to get in touch
Intern at the Unviersity of Michigan Library
I spent this summer interning with the Communications and Marketing department of the University of Michigan Library. My role included posting on the Library’s social media accounts, organizing and publicizing event information, and writing stories. I’m a senior this year; I’m majoring in English and minoring in Business and in Writing. I was very grateful to my experiences in the English department as I got settled into this position at the start of the summer.
Writing for social media is harder than you might expect — Twitter character limits make it tricky to include the most pertinent information while maintaining a voice. Luckily, writing and revising essays over the past few years helped me practice writing concisely. Though I still go through a few rounds of editing when writing for social media, I’m sure that it would’ve been much more overwhelming to approach this style of writing without the experience of paring down language in my academic writing.
A few semesters ago, I had four upper-level English classes in my schedule. This meant doing quite a bit of reading. It was overwhelming at first, but having to juggle a number of reading assignments taught me how to read for the most important information. This experience helped me a lot while I was writing stories for the Library. All of my stories required me to reach out to people for quotes, and I had to interview a number of individuals and groups to get background information. Whether I was looking through my interview notes or through information sent to me, I had to decide what information was most relevant for the story I was writing. This task, though initially daunting, was made much more manageable by my background in English.
Intern at Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
Last summer I interned at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. This experience was not only an excellent way to determine what I want to do in the future, but also a place where I utilized the skills I learned in my English classes at the University of Michigan. My daily tasks included writing detailed memos, interviewing witnesses, and reading case files. I thank my English professors for teaching me to clearly synthesize large amounts of information and condense it into pieces that my attorneys could quickly read and understand. I believe that much of my success in Washington, D.C. was due to my teachers here in Ann Arbor. While many of my classes are difficult, they push me to think outside the box, expand my own worldview, and test the limits of my own writing. I can't wait to see where my English degree takes me in the future!
Intern at The Ann
At The Ann, I was able to implement many of the skills I'd developed over the course of my English classes to a real-world context. I had to balance that with shouldering the responsibility of meeting deadlines so that all the articles in the magazine would be ready to go out at a set date. Furthermore, I was able to learn the importance of teamwork in a work environment because in order to make sure the magazine met its deadline, everyone had to work together to get their articles in. Because everyone was also reading and revising each others' articles, the internship became a very collaborative experience that, even combined with a very deadline driven environment, ensured that I grew a lot as a writer, editor, and team player during my time at The Ann. My communication skills also came into play since I had to contact different groups of people for interviews and quotes while writing my articles.
Intern at the Metro Times
In the Fall 2018 term, I interned at the Metro Times, Detroit's alternative news source for the politics, culture and happenings in the city for over thirty years. At Metro Times, I was given responsibilities atypical of many internships. I communicated directly with the editor-in-chief, regularly pitched new story ideas, and wrote thirty articles, including the cover story for the December 5th edition. The English Department has been instrumental in building up the writing and analytical skills that allowed me to hit the ground running at Metro Times.
Intern at The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival
During the course of my undergraduate career, I had several internships, all of which the English Major helped me solidify and excel in. One that stands out is my internship at the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. Over the course of 6 weeks, I worked alongside professional staff to provide mentorship to teens and children who were interested in theater and Shakespeare. This ranged from explaining iambic pentameter, to teaching students how to compose sonnets. I was even given the opportunity to assistant direct a children’s production! I also learned about the field of dramaturgy (providing context to plays and written works that help influence how they are performed), and did a lot of research about the history of Shakespearean performance. My English major allowed me to thrive in my internship by giving me the ability to merge creativity with research and writing skills. My undergraduate degree in English has set me up for success and helped me get where I am today!
Intern at the State Appellate Defender's Office (SADO)
This past summer, through using Michigan English Internship resources, I interned at SADO, the State Appellate Defender's Office in Detroit. Right now they are working on something called J-WOP, which stands for Juvenile Without Parole. As sentencing a juvenile to life without parole was deemed unconstitutional in 2012, currently around 360 incarcerated men and women in the state of Michigan are eligible for an appeal. Because SADO also functions as the public defender's office in Detroit, about 120 of these cases were assigned to them.
And as I learned this summer, pulling together a case for someone who has been in prison for sometimes thirty years is a ton of work; there are immense amounts of long documents that need to be gone through. As the summer went on, though, and the more familiar I became with this process, I eventually realized that forming an appeal for a man or women who has been incarcerated since they were a child is essentially forming a narrative of their life; it is telling the story of how they became who they were, and what they have done to better themselves since. Forming this narrative is something English classes at UofM helped me with immensely, as at its basic level the job of lawyers within this unit is simply argumentative story-telling.
Most of my days this summer were spent sifting through medical documents or Michigan Department of Correction records, forming the identity of the main character in the story. On some days I was able to actually go to the courthouse, though, and watch lawyers who I had been working with communicate this story, and try to sympathetically explain who the main character is.
I learned a ton about our legal system, about the work that goes into forming an appeal, and about Juvenile Lifer's this summer. More than anything else, though, this job taught me the importance of a little grace, and a second chance.