BFA Internships: FAQs
When should I apply for an internship?
Look for spring internships in October - deadlines are often in November - and fall internships in early summer, even spring. Deadlines will vary. If you see an opportunity that appeals to you, and the deadline is months away, mark it on your calendar. And to avoid stress, don't wait until the last semester of senior year to apply for an internship.
How much of my time will an internship take?
You'll intern for 120 hours in a semester, 8-10 hours or 2-3 days a week. An internship takes the place of one course in your schedule. Most employers will be fairly flexible about your scheduling needs. You can do an internship over J-Term if you do 80 hours of the internship during the term itself, and the remaining 40 hours before or after it.
I'm not sure I have the skills they want.
You might be surprised. You can get a marketing internship even if you've never taken a business class, and you're qualified for an internship anywhere that also finds English majors desirable. Your studies in creative writing have helped you develop skills that you can transfer from a previous experience to a new one; transferrable skills are valuable to employers. It's likely that you have strong verbal, writing, and organizational skills; ability to work independently and in teams; ability to evaluate the quality of a manuscript in a slush pile; research skills (to look for promising new writers online or fact-check a manuscript); computer literacy; ability to be detail-oriented; strong understanding of English mechanics and usage (to proofread); and some knowledge of contemporary literature.
So tell them so. Not sure what you did to develop these skills? Consider projects you've worked on, classes you've taken, and volunteer or extracurricular activities.
How can I maximize my chances of getting in?
Apply to 6-8 places at a time. Choose recommenders who really know you and can be glowing and specific. Be concrete and specific about your accomplishments and goals in your cover letter. Polish any pieces of writing you send to represent you. Don't brag. Don't act as if the more mundane aspects of intern work are beneath you. Spell people's names correctly. Prove you care enough to do your homework: if you're applying to a press, read some of their books; if you're applying to The Loft, study their website and know what they do. Be ready for interview questions about what you like to read, what websites you read regularly, and what your goals are. Send a thank-you note after your interview.
The bigger and more venerable an organization, the more selective the process will be. And at publishing companies, editorial internships are the most competitive. Be open to applying for marketing and development internships at such places - you'll still learn valuable skills and make connections that could prove useful later.
The Career Development Center can help. Contact Lauren Kavan, Drew Science 113, 523-2054.
Where do I look?
The Young Writers Workshop internships
The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline internships
Hamline's Office of Marketing and Communications internships
Check the Career Development Center website.
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits member list
A place you like doesn't have an internship?
Talk to the organization about creating one.
Hope to do an internship in another city?
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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