ENG 495 gives students the opportunity to get hands-on professional experience in a field related to English studies. The Department of English matches a student intern with an appropriate host organization, and depending on the host’s needs, the intern spends the semester assisting with writing, editing, copyediting, research, public relations, and other communications-oriented tasks.

Interns commit to working 8-12 hours each week for their host organizations. These are unpaid internships; students in the program earn three academic credits, and the internship experience counts as one of the 400-level electives for the English major. Students who qualify for the internship program are usually in the final semesters of their degree programs at the university.

In addition to working with their host organizations, interns in ENG 495 submit weekly reports reflecting on their experience, a mid-term report, a final report, and a formal letter of application and resume. Responses to a few short reading assignments about internships, the job market, and professional conduct are the focus of some of the weekly reports.

If you are interested in pursuing an internship, write to Professor Darin Payne at to set up a short interview, and attach a four- to six-page sample of your strongest writing. Academic writing you have done for a class is fine if it’s your best work, but non-fiction such as journalism or technical writing is optimal. Do not submit examples of creative writing. You will need an override to enroll in ENG 495, so you need to go through this approval process before registering for the class.

The host organization plays a direct supervisory role with the intern, assigning work and giving feedback as necessary. The UHM-based supervisor of the internship program remains in contact with the students throughout the semester and is always available if questions or concerns arise. Interns send the supervisor weekly reports on their activities, and they write a mid-semester and final report on their experience. They also compile a portfolio of work they have completed during their time with the host organization.

Sponsoring an intern requires hosts to devote time to orienting and supervising a temporary staff member, so we strive to place only the strongest students with our community partners. Students must first interview with the UHM-based supervisor and submit a sample of their writing. The host organization will then interview the prospective intern, and may decline to take on students who appear unsuitable for the position.

Internships offer invaluable experience with the day-to-day operations of the kind of publications, businesses, and organizations in which English majors and minors typically seek employment. An internship on your resume and a strong letter of recommendation from your host will give you an advantage when you’re applying for jobs.

In addition to the hosts listed below, you may organize your own internship with an organization you identify yourself. All internship arrangements must be approved by the UHM supervisors of the internship program.

Current Host Organizations for UHM English Department Interns

The organizations listed below have either hosted interns from the UHM English Department in the past or have expressed an interest in hosting an intern this semester. Please note that an organization’s inclusion on this list does not guarantee that an internship will be available with that organization in a given semester.

Becker Communications, Inc. is a full-service public relations agency with experience and expertise in event planning, marketing, corporate communications, government affairs, issue management, crisis communication and community relations.

The firm is currently looking for students wishing to gain hands-on experience at one of Hawaii’s premier public relations agencies. According to their skill set and interests, interns at Becker Communications, Inc. will have the opportunity to gain experience in the following areas:

  • Proficiency in writing and proofreading written communications (i.e. news releases, media pitches, drafting newsletter articles, etc.)
  • Research and gathering relevant information pertaining to client projects
  • Crafting client messaging for various social media platforms (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, etc.)
  • Evaluating print, broadcast and electronic media
  • Understanding and maintaining a media database
  • Assisting with planning and execution of special events (i.e. grand opening events, media events, etc.)


College of Languages, Linguistics, & Literature, UHM
The College of LLL at UHM is seeking an intern to assist with public outreach, social-media content creation and management, and event planning.

Hawaiʽi Book and Music Festival (spring semesters only)
The Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival employs two UHM interns to help plan this large-scale event, which takes place in May. Interns write biographies of participants, contribute copy to the festival program and Web site, maintain the festival’s presence on social media, and help in other ways with promotion for the event.

Hawaiʽi Business Magazine
The premier publication on everything pertaining to business in Hawaiʽi, this magazine offers interns an opportunity to learn about the operations of a monthly magazine, including writing and copyediting. Students with an interest in business are especially encouraged to apply. Note: this internship requires travel to downtown Honolulu.

Hawaiʽi Home + Remodeling
This magazine devoted to remodeling, architecture, and landscaping in Hawai‘i has been an excellent host for several UHM interns, who get hands-on experience in magazine publishing and writing. Each intern has been assigned articles that have appeared in the publication, so this internship is a great way to start building a portfolio.

Hawaiʽi Literacy
This organization promotes literacy among adults and children throughout the community through various programs, a book mobile, and libraries located in public housing projects in Honolulu. Interns assist with event planning, publicity, grant writing, and the operations of the libraries.

Hawai‘i Language Roadmap Initiative
A partnership between UHM and the Governor’s office, the Hawai‘i Language Roadmap Initiative seeks to promote language education and advocacy to build the state’s multilingual workforce. Students conduct interviews with community stakeholders, write articles, and contribute to the initiative’s social media campaign.

Hawaiʽi Magazine
Aimed primarily at readers outside Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Magazine covers a range of topics connected with the state. The internship involves writing, proofreading, editing, image editing, layout, and design. Note: this internship requires travel to downtown Honolulu.

Honolulu Magazine
Honolulu’s premier arts, culture, and travel magazine, Honolulu Magazine offers editorial and web editorial internships that involve students in many aspects of the magazine’s production, including editing and social-media content creation. Note: this internship requires travel to downtown Honolulu.

Honolulu Publishing Company
This publisher focuses largely on visitors to Hawai i, with publications like the Hawaiʽi Drive Guides and Spotlight’s Hawaiʽi Guides. The internship involves writing, proofreading, editing, image editing, layout, and design. Interns apply in spring for fall semester.

Ka Leo
Working for the UHM campus newspaper gives you the opportunity to publish work quickly and to gain writing, copyediting, and interviewing experience.

Mānoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing
Published by UH Press, this journal publishes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction from throughout the world. Interns gain hands-on experience with the proofreading, editing, planning, and production processes that go into producing a high-quality literary periodical. Please note that Mānoa requires a proofreading exam as part of the interview process.

Nella Media Group/FLUX Magazine
Nella Media Group publishes the lifestyle magazine FLUX along with Innov8, the Go! Mokulele in-flight magazine, the Chinatown Newspaper, and Lei. Interns with NMG get access to all the dimensions of magazine publishing and are assigned articles that appear in NMG publications.

Oahu Workforce Development Board, Department of Budget and Fiscal Services, City and County of Honolulu

Are you curious about what it’s like to work in local government? Adapt your research, writing, and critical thinking skills for a rewarding internship with the Oahu Workforce Development Board (OWDB) at the City and County of Honolulu.

You will learn about government law and processes required to convene and document Board-level meetings, including filing agendas, recording and editing meeting minutes for accuracy, and keeping records of previous meetings. You will attend at least one committee meeting and one full Board meeting as a guest, and will assist an OWDB staff member with reviewing and editing at least two sets of minutes or handouts before these items are circulated to Board and committee members.

You will also learn about the Board’s federally-mandated work to oversee the American Job Center Hawaii (AJCH) located at Dillingham Shopping Plaza, and will attend a full tour of the AJCH. You will review and edit one set of success stories to be included with the AJCH’s quarterly report at the OWDB full meeting.


WorkHawaii Division, Department of Community Services, City and County of Honolulu

Are you interested in previewing careers that provide assistance directly to members of your community? Apply your tutoring, writing, and interpersonal communication skills toward an exciting internship with WorkHawaii Division at the City and County of Honolulu.

You will become familiar with the many employment services offered to the general public through WorkHawaii Division specifically at the American Job Center Hawaii (AJCH) at Dillingham Shopping Plaza, and will develop an understanding of the multiple community programs and entities located on-site at the AJCH.

You will learn about the mission, duties, and responsibilities of the AJCH to sensitively meet the diverse employment needs of Oahu’s job seekers. You will have a chance to observe some of the day-to-day tasks of AJCH staff members as they provide assistance to adults, youth, and dislocated workers to secure a new job or obtain a degree or certificate necessary for a career change.

For this internship, you may be asked to review and edit selected clients’ resumes or cover letters, attend and take notes at an AJCH meeting involving its multiple community programs, or assist with a similar on-site project that utilizes your writing and interpersonal communication skills.

Pacific New Media
This program runs workshops on Web design, photography, social media, and other media-intensive topics. Interns work on event planning, social media writing, video production, and other support activities. The staff at PNM is supportive and dynamic, and the internship will put you in touch with media and technology leaders here in Hawai‘i and throughout the US.

Read to Me International
An organization devoted to encouraging adults to read aloud to children run by former Hawai‘i First Lady Lynn Waihee, Read to Me is a new internship partner for us. Tasks would include writing, editing, event planning, and public relations. For example, Haku Mo`olelo (Write Stories) is a project designed for female inmates at WCCC Prison. The Inmates write their own children’s story that is published for them to read aloud (on a tape recorder) to their child. The book and CD are mailed home to their child.

The Smithsonian
This semester-long academic internship at the world renowned Smithsonian Institution located in Washington, D.C. is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Enjoy world-class exhibits and offerings of the museums and galleries that comprise the Smithsonian Institution, while also making a valuable professional contribution to one of its programs. To top it off, you will be living in the heart of our nation’s capital with other interns. Interns apply in Spring 2019 for the Fall 2019 semester. (Please keep in mind that you can only take ENG 495 for credit in the major once; if you pursue an internship for Spring 2019 and the Smithsonian internship for Fall 2019, the second ENG 495 course would only count as elective credit.)

The Smithsonian Institution interns will be provided round trip airfare from Honolulu to D.C., housing, and a monthly stipend. In addition, the interns have the support of members of the National Capital Region Chapter of the University of Hawaiʽi Alumni Association who take pride in assisting and guiding the interns as needed and desired.

Sof Ma`arav History Project
Interns will help product a comprehensive history of the Hawai`i Jewish Congregation of Sof Ma`arav. Tasks involve assisting with the organization, recording, and transcription of oral histories; conducting archival research; compiling demographic, organizational, membership, and leadership information; and providing technical assistance to the project.

Surfrider Foundation
Working closely with O‘ahu chapter coordinator Stuart Coleman, interns at the Surfrider Foundation help support the ocean-focused public education and advocacy work of the Surfrider foundation. Stuart is a successful writer with years of experience in publishing and freelancing.

Tinfish Press
This press publishes books of experimental poetry, often focused on the Pacific region, broadly defined. Interns help with copyediting, proofreading, production, and event planning and gain valuable experience with the world of small presses.

This magazine is devoted to the history and culture of surfing around the world. Interns research and write articles, transcribe interviews, and are involved in the copyediting and design of the publication. Students with Hawaiian language skills are especially encouraged to apply, as some of the research involves Hawaiian-language materials.

Hawaii Athletics Media Relations

The UH Athletics Department is seeking a communications intern for a semester-long opportunity conveniently located on lower campus. This position will provide foundational experience for students interested in sports communication and journalism. Interns will tell stories through written mediums and learn how to effectively communicate through digital and social media