Many English majors and PPW Certificate students find internships a profitable way to combine their academic work with practical job experience. An internship develops important contacts that may lead to jobs or at least to decisions about your post-graduation career, gives you a look at the workplace in a communication/writing-related field, and expands your college experience.
Almost all internships are for academic credit, though occasionally one will offer some pay in the form of a stipend as well. Writing, PPW, and Literature majors and PPW certificate students are encouraged to do more than one internship, but they may not do more than two internships for credit, and only one in a given term. Film Studies students can only count one internship (up to 3 credits) as an elective for the major.
Selecting and Registering for an Internship
If you have general questions about internships, contact English and Film Advising. To inquire about internship opportunities or to discuss an internship for which you plan to apply or have already secured, contact the appropriate person:
Literature, Writing, and Public & Professional Writing students: Brenda Whitney
Film Studies majors: Mark Best
Non-Writing Intensive Internships: Lori Campbell
Select an internship site through your own research or consult the internship guide below, download and carefully read the internship requirements and the learning agreement, make sure that all sections of the learning agreement are complete, and return it to the advising office to register for your internship.
In addition to getting in touch with English Advising or the Department Internship Coordinator, majors in English Literature, Writing, and Film Studies who are thinking about doing an internship are encouraged to seek additional information, and attend workshops and events presented by the Pitt Career Services Internship Office: Internship Events and Internship Prep Program.
Finding an Internship
Many currently available internships can be found on Handshake. Additionally, to browse internship for:
Literature Majors and Writing Majors, visit this list of sites.
Public and Professional Writing Students, see our internship page on the PPW site.
Film and Media Studies Majors, browse a list of appropriate internships on the interdisciplinary Film and Media Studies site.
Study Abroad Programs with Internship Opportunities
Pitt in London during the regular semester, during summer session 1, or during summer session 2
Pitt in Sydney during the regular semester or during summer term
International Internship Program: Berlin, Dublin, Paris, or Madrid.
The English Department Internship Course and Faculty-Sponsored Internships
Internships for which you earn college credits must have an academic component. Your best option is to take the internship course: ENGWRT 1900 (for Writing and/or Literature majors), ENGCMP 1900 (for PPW students), or ENGFLM 1930 (for Film majors); or you may satisfy the academic part of the internship by asking a faculty member to take responsibility for meeting with you and assigning and evaluating work appropriate to your internship. For either option, you will be expected to do work beyond what you will do on site. Typically, this includes regular journal entries and a final paper/project. You and the faculty sponsor must fill out the Learning Agreement and return it to English and Film Studies Advising, where you will receive a registration number with which to enroll. Just as with a class, you must complete work for the term grading deadlines and the instructor will then submit the grade for credit.
Financial Assistance for Internships
The Department of English and Film Studies Program are grateful for the continued support of our sponsoring partners, which provide grants for Pitt undergraduates pursuing media, public relations, and film internships:
Daniel I. Booker Fund
Daniel I. Booker is a 1968 graduate of the School of Liberal Arts. He went on to the Law School of the University of Chicago and then to an active law practice with the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the global law firm Reed Smith. From 1991 through 2001, he was the Managing Partner, or CEO, of Reed Smith. He has been recognized as a leading counselor and trial lawyer to businesses throughout the U.S. and is a leader of multiple community, civic, and professional organizations. While an undergraduate at Pitt, Mr. Booker’s principal extracurricular activity was working as a reporter, news editor, and managing editor at The Pitt News. He also worked part time while at Pitt writing for local professional media. He attributes a great deal of his success to his experience collecting, writing, and editing news. He created the Booker intern program to help develop professional-quality journalism talent at Pitt and in Western Pennsylvania.
Flora R. Rathburn Endowed Internship Fund
The Flora R. Rathburn Endowed Internship Fund was established in January 2017 through a gift from Karen P. Rathburn and the Rathburn Family Foundation to support nonfiction majors completing internships with newspapers, journals, and magazines who have financial needs related to unpaid internships or living expenses.
Rotharmel Memorial Fund
The Rotharmel Memorial Fund was established in December 2012 through an estate gift from Sue Adele Rotharmel of Washington, D.C., to the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. The purpose of the fund is to support students with unpaid professional internships related to nonfiction writing in the publishing and media industry, with preference for experiences in major publishing centers (e.g. New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C.) and internships at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The funds provide grants for unpaid internships and support for living expenses for out-of-town internships. Awards are given on a competitive basis. For more information on grant opportunities, contact Internship Coordinator, Brenda Whitney. You can also download a grant application here.
Examples of Internships Reported by Our Majors
Our students have done internships for the Colbert Report, major political campaigns, small and large nonprofits, local and state government agencies, and small, medium, and large business. One of our students, an English Writing (Nonfiction) and Political Science double major, got a summer internship with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the principal daily newspaper in the region, and published several front-page stories. This is an invaluable entry for anyone’s resume whether you’re planning to go into journalism or some other career. Other students have turned their internships into full-time jobs after graduation: for example, a Pitt English major who interned for The New Republic was hired to work full time for that magazine. One Film Studies student won a prestigious summer internship for CBS Television in New York City and started his career based on their recommendation.