The Writing Internship (WRI 390) is a full- or part-time pre-professional position that is related to your professional goals. The ideal internship will provide you with practical experience to supplement the academic learning you’ve been doing as a student. In other words, you’ll be able to build upon the skills you’ve honed in the classroom and get experience that you can list on your resume. And sometimes, you can earn money for it! Additionally, an internship can be your first introduction to the professional workplace. The contacts you make and the professional writing that you do as an intern will be critical components of your job search portfolio. So choose your site wisely, and do your best work!
The Professional Writing Program’s strong Internship component requires at least one pre-professional experience and helps students identify and pursue professional positions. Students may take as many as two internships for a maximum of nine credits.
Informational meetings regarding the Internship are held twice each semester and are open not only to Professional Writing seniors about to embark on their professional semester, but to all Professional Writing majors who are interested in learning about Writing Internship (WRI 390). Professional Writing seniors must attend two internship meetings before their internship begins.
Professional Writing students at Kutztown University must earn a minimum of 3 Internship credits and can earn as many as 9 internship credits that count as part of the 120 minimum credits required for graduation. These can be earned in the following manner:
- One Internship for three, six, or nine credits
- Two Internships totaling six or nine credits
- You may not take three WRI Internships.
You could, for example, complete one 3-credit and one 6-credit Internship, or you could complete two 3-credit Internships. Another option is to complete one 3-credit or 6-credit Internship. If you find an organization that can provide you with full-time work, then you can complete a 9-credit Internship. For every three credits you earn, you must work a minimum of 150 hours on site.
- To earn three credits, document a minimum of 150 hours.
- To earn six credits, document a minimum of 300 hours.
- To earn nine credits, document a minimum of 450 hours.
Unless other arrangements have been approved by your Professional Writing faculty supervisor, all Internships continue for the full semester or summer session(s), even if minimum hours have been completed.
Expectations for Internships
You must enroll in Professional Seminar (WRI 380) concurrent with at least the first three hours of Professional Writing Internship (WRI 390).
You work with two supervisors on your internship. Your Professional Writing faculty supervisor—whom you select based upon the persons with whom you have established good working relationships—determines your eligibility for the Internship (including core completion and minimum QPA), the appropriateness of the site and work expectations, the suitable number of credits for the work, and the manner and amount of contact that will exist between you. You must keep your Professional Writing faculty supervisor aware of all significant events—good and bad—during your internship, including absences, changes in work expectations, etc.
Your site supervisor agrees to monitor your work and help you complete your internship requirements in a timely manner as well as to communicate regularly with your faculty supervisor.
You must keep a log of dates and hours worked and a journal of what you accomplished during that time. The log and journal must be e-mailed to your faculty supervisor on a weekly basis. Despite the popularity of e-mail emoticons and vernacular, Professional Writing faculty members expect you to consider even the e-mail itself as an assignment that reflects your best writing, including proofreading. Refer to the “Yellow Book” for more information on the logs and journals.
At least three weeks before your Internship ends, provide the site supervisor with a copy of the “Site Supervisor’s Report” included in the Internship packet and a stamped envelope addressed to your PW faculty supervisor. The site supervisor will evaluate you on attitude, job performance, and personal characteristics; compare your performance with that of other employees on similar jobs; highlight your strengths and/or weaknesses; and rate your overall “prospects for success” in the field as excellent, good, fair, or poor. The report must be mailed directly to your Professional Writing faculty supervisor (unless other arrangements are made) by the site supervisor; his or her signature must be written across the envelope’s seal.
Everything counts! Your site supervisor’s rating is only one factor in establishing your final grade. In addition, your Professional Writing faculty supervisor considers the degree to which you met all expectations—including deadlines while planning for the Internship—as well as the quality of your journals and portfolio as factors in determining your internship grade.
The Internship Portfolio
Keep all of the work you develop as an intern for the portfolio you will compile. Both the cover and the spine of the portfolio must identify you, the semester and year, number of internship credits, the internship site, address and telephone number. In the portfolio, include a title page with your photograph and internship site information, a table of contents, a résumé, your log and journal, and a section of work that includes the written assignment or your description of the assignment from your site supervisor with all phases of the production of the piece. Save all drafts and final copies. Arrange to photocopy all camera-ready work, especially if your internship site receives “bluelines” or proof copies from a printer and will not have a final product completed before your internship ends.
The portfolio must be well organized and attractively presented. Establish a due date with your Professional Writing faculty supervisor.
Note: Do not confuse the WRI 390 (Internship) portfolio with the WRI 380 (Professional Seminar) portfolio—contents and due dates will differ. Speak to your Internship faculty supervisor for further information about the Internship portfolio and to your Professional Seminar professor for further information about the writing portfolio.
Additional information about the Internship component of the Professional Writing major can be found in The Professional Writing Major’s Guide to the PW Program, Internships, and Senior Year (a.k.a. “The Yellow Book”).