Internships

Course Description

The English Department offers a variety of internship opportunities that allow students to explore writing and language within the workplace. Through the semester-long partnership with a community agency, students will practice writing across diverse contexts, develop strong professional communication skills, learn new technologies, gather workplace writing experience, and extend their professional network. In collaboration with the internship coordinator, students can design internships to suit their academic / artistic ambitions, or students can choose from a list of internship sites already established with the English Department. We work with local nonprofits, publishers, and businesses to provide internships in acquisitions, copyediting, content writing, event planning, and social media management, among other options. It is most appropriate to take an internship course in the junior or senior year of your academic career, and students of any major can take a LIT or LANG 340 internship course. Current internship coordinator: Amanda Wray (awray1@unca.edu), KH 213.

Syllabus

LIT 340: Internships

Expectations

Students are required to complete two to three hours of work per week for each course credit hour earned.

1 – 3 hours of work per week = 1 credit hour
4 – 6 hours of work per week = 2 credit hours
7+ hours of work per week = 3 credit hours

  • Interns meet with the internship coordinator three times during the semester to reflect on the student’s internship activities.
  • Interns email weekly work logs with short (1 paragraph or so) reflections.
  • Interns submit a “final exam” reflective memo (1-2 pages).
  • Most interns will also have a collection of “deliverables” written for the internship site throughout the semester, or a final “project” that could include curating an exhibit at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial.

Interested in Internships?

Register during advising.  Email Dr. Amanda Wray (awray1@unca.edu) with questions.

For more information, please refer to Current LANG LIT Internships.

Recent Interns

Ethan Risinger, Talking Book Intern

“My experiences at Talking Book have absolutely prepared me to use my English degree after I graduate from UNCA. Having experience in the publishing industry is an opportunity not often extended to undergraduates, and we have an especially small demographic for publication/publishing within the Asheville area. Learning the intricacies of editing, editorial assisting, curating a website, recording audiobooks, prose, poetry, interviews, learning how to interview, how to record, and beginning to network both within the literary community and the publishing community is something unbelievably valuable for a future in the field. I now know every level of producing a literary publication and an audio publication, which is the beauty of Talking Book’s niche. Talking Book had me developing professional relationships with writers, learning the soft skills necessary in interviews and general production, and I was learning to be myself and express my opinions in a professional setting. Understanding these production processes, and the difficulties that come alongside them have also proven to be great experience for my future at both a graduate school and job level. I have learned the tools of the trade for most publication formats. I’ve learned to curate websites/blogs/podcasts to certain aesthetics, and to pick and organize submissions for publications that fit the same parameters as those aesthetics while still challenging our readers and our writers. Within one semester I have had the lucky ability to learn how to be an Editor, aRecording Assistant, a Social Media Producer, a Blog Writer, and a Production Assistant. Thanks to Talking Book I have learned far more than what one intern might have, instead I have been offered opportunities to learn, grow, and develop within the literary field- all from the perspective of a non-profit focused on producing experimental and new young writers, writers like myself. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.”

Shelby Beard, UNC Asheville Special Collections

“During my time at Special Collections, I primarily worked on three projects. The first project involved the John Martin’s Book collection in the archives. This is a collection of children’s magazines that were published in the United States in the early twentieth century. I showed my interest in these volumes while being shown around Special Collections on my first day, and Gene decided it would be a good project for me. No one had really worked with these magazines since they had been donated to UNCA’s archives. I have an interest in children’s literature, so I was a good fit for the project. I read through a few of the volumes and did research on who John Martin was and where the magazines came from. This research ultimately culminated in a blog post on the archives’ blog. Additionally, I created an exhibit for this project, which is sitting in the window display of Special Collections. This project helped me develop my skills in research and writing, as well as archival procedure on how to work with such old and damaged magazines”

Sarah Fairman, Gold Leaf Literary

“Working with Gold Leaf also led me to my own connections. A few weeks ago, Gold Leaf put me in contact with an author who had been a former client of theirs. He was looking for an assistant to help him during his book tour, and thought Gold Leaf might know somebody. They gave him my information and after a new emails and an interview, I was hired. Now I will be able to explore another side of the book industry, this time with an author! I would never have gotten this opportunity without Gold Leaf Literary. I have gained and developed many great skills working with Gold Leaf Literary. I have honed organization and time management skills, as well as communication skills. I have been introduced to wonderful people working in the same field I would like to work in and have gained knowledge that has helped me figure out a career path. Gold Leaf Literary is a fantastic company and would be great for any student looking to work in the literary field.”

Renee Ambroso, UNCA Special Collections: Finding aid for Thomas Rain Crowe Regional Publications Collection

“As an English major, I was really excited to do my internship in Special Collections because it allowed me to gain actual experience in an area of my field and see what it is like to work in their department. As an English major, I think that most students (myself included) would think that there are not that many options other than teaching or writing with a literature degree. However, my internship helped me explore another option. In addition, by working on the Thomas Rain Crowe Regional Publications Collection, I really enjoyed being able to work independently on a project that allowed me to learn a lot about a regional author and at the end of my work getting to meet and interview him was very rewarding!”

Alex Peoples, UNCA Marketing and Public Relations: Social media, story research, story writing

“I mostly focused on writing pieces about what was happening on campus this semester, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t witness to the excellence in writing, reporting, photography, graphic design, advertising, and marketing that took place in the office this semester. Just being around these people made me work harder and try my best to improve my skillset. . . Every article and feature I wrote this semester was to promote what’s great about this university. Seeing my work pop up on UNCA’s homepage was a thrill and an honor. I was able to promote UNCA faculty with articles on Virginia Derryberry and my former professor Erica Abrams Locklear. And I was able to promote UNCA students with pieces on the drama department’s performance of “The Winter’s Tale” as well as features on UNCA athletes like the women’s swim team, men’s tennis team, men’s baseball team, and both men’s and women’s basketball teams.”

Kayla Black, U.S. Forest Service: Social media, press releases, internal newsletters, professional writing

“Since I am a Literature major and an Environmental Studies minor, my internship with the Forest Service allowed me to combine both of my areas of study. Literature is oftentimes speculated as a major in terms of its post-grad possibilities for employment; however, my internship made it clear that there are plenty of professional positions that will allow me to utilize my close reading and writing skills, as well as my interest in the environment and its preservation.”

Carolyn Schweitz, Asheville Lyric Opera: Historical research, document design, and copywriting

“I have loved this internship and the work I have gotten to do for it. It has matched my strengths and career goals, while also still presenting a challenge for me. Thank you for all of your help with this project.”

Allana Ansbro, U.S. Forest Service: Revising map language, writing press releases and internal newsletters, document design

“Although I had fewer projects than I thought I would have for this internship, I have come to see just how much research, time, and editing each of these projects has involved. During my months at this internship, I have learned a significant amount of knowledge about the National Forests and how they are divided and run. I was able to get a lot of firsthand experience in learning about this system that I would never have been able to get just reading from a textbook. I think that this internship has given me some good professional experience in working for the Forest Service and helping them in educating and informing the public. As I worked on each of the projects, Cathy explained to me what some of the topics were that the Forest Service had a hard time in communicating to the public. Some of these included smaller issues like visitors not taking proper care of campsites, while others had more to do with a lack of knowledge about the NC forests, especially in regards to wildfires. I definitely found that wildfires are a big issue that much of the public doesn’t know much about. Looking through the statistics of the fall 2016 wildfires gave me a new perspective and awareness of just how serious these fires can be and that, unfortunately, almost all of them are human caused.”

Zachary Beck, Quality Information Publishers: Archives, social media, and closed captioning

“As a creative writer, whose thesis was the start of a historical fiction novel, it is valuable to hear the language used in these videos. Picking up speech patterns of people, and dialogue from film containing slang apropos of the time period, is helpful for creating a realistic and authentic portrait of a people in a given time period. Before taking this internship, I only had social media experience with Facebook and Tumblr. However, the marketing aspect of this job required me to become familiar with Twitter. My task had been to write 140 character messages with an “On this Day in History” fact, and link it to a video from QIP’s catalogue, with all the hashtags appropriately crammed in. Not only had I learned and refined my skill in successfully getting a marketable message across a social media platform, but I also had to deal with Excel spreadsheets, which I have not had much experience with either. Every Thursday night, I would browse an Excel spreadsheet containing records of historical births, deaths, holidays and events –the source of “On this Day” facts. With more and more companies getting their products and messages across via social media, experience writing professional tweets could be an invaluable skill, as is my new-found experience with Excel for any future career I may have. As a side note, the format of my work logs is helpful, as memo writing and brief, concise emails seem to be the communication standard for businesses.”