Our internship course, ENG 495, provides English majors with excellent opportunities to work in the fields of publication, public relations, editing, and communication. Recently, Zachary Chan interned with Becker Communications, and they were so impressed by his work that they hired him! This is what Zachary has to say about the internship program:
ENG 495 provided an invaluable opportunity to gain real work experience. Interning at Becker Communications gave me insight into an industry I previously knew little about, and helped me decide whether it was a job I would like to pursue after graduating. Fortunately for me, it was!
ENG 495 is a three-credit elective that can count as one of your 300- or 400-level electives for the English major. English minors are also eligible to apply. This counts, then, as a course, despite that it does not demand getting together in a classroom with a professor but involves real-world work experience and a time commitment equivalent to a single upper division course.
Here’s a brief description of the requirements for ENG 495, followed by a list of possible host organizations.
ENG 495 gives students the opportunity to get hands-on 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 a semester assisting with writing and editing, research, public relations, organizing, and an array of 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 course requirements for the English major or minor.
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 produce a resume and a letter of application for a job, graduate program, or scholarship. They will also have the opportunity to develop an electronic portfolio of work if appropriate and desired.
Although we have a lot of different organizations to work with, space is limited in the internship program, so registration is application-based. 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 to be unsuitable for the position.
Send a message to Valerie Jun at email@example.com expressing interest, outlining your reasons for pursuing an internship, and indicating two or three host organizations that most interest you. (See the list below.)
Along with your message, send a sample of your best writing, four to six pages in length. A paper from one of your classes is fine, but if you have examples of workplace, nonfiction, or journalistic writing, that would be optimal. Do not send creative writing samples.
If your writing sample qualifies you for the program, you will be contacted for an interview with the professor in charge of the program, after which you will then arrange an interview with the host organization.
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 coming semester. Students may also propose their own internship hosts if they have a connection to a local organization or publication. Contact Candace Fujikane (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in pursuing one of these opportunities.
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.
Our 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.)
The Production Assistant for Generations Magazine assists the editor in copyediting and proofing copy. A major responsibility is proofreading and performing a quality check on final layout proofs approved by the editor, and meeting the printer’s deadline. This detailed work includes reading the full text for all copy errors: spelling, grammar, punctuation and line breaks.
Hawai‘i 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.
Hawai‘i 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.
Hawai‘i Children’s Literature Conference
The Biennial Conference on Literature and Hawaii’s Children is held every even summer, and the spring semester prior is a busy one that involves all the activities and details that go into running a successful public humanities conference. Interns will be expected to serve on the conference steering committee, develop public relation materials, engage in social media, among other myriad communication and production responsibilities.
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.
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.
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.
This project will result in products that will be used to enrich the visitor experience at one of Hawaii’s most significant historic attractions: Hawaii’s Plantation Village. The project presents a unique opportunity to make a significant contribution to preserve knowledge associated with one of our state’s multicultural treasures. Under the supervision of the English Department and faculty at the Center for Language & Technology (CLT), you will participate in the documentation of the knowledge and experiences of Village docents through research, interviews, transcription, and writing tasks. In the process, you will strengthen your skills in ethnographic documentation and historical curation.
Honolulu Magazine’s Web Editorial Intern program gives students an in-depth experience of magazine publishing with an emphasis on online publishing and social media. Applicants should be familiar with Microsoft Office tools and social media.
This publisher focuses largely on visitors to Hawaii, with publications like the Hawaii Drive Guides and Spotlight’s Hawaii Guides. The internshipinvolves writing, proofreading, editing, image editing, layout, and design.
Ka Ipu o Lono Native Hawaiian Digital Humanities Project
This UHM-based initiative offers hands-on experience in creating content building a Native Hawaiian digital encyclopedia of authors, texts, major themes and issues. Hawaiian language experience is not required. Includes planning, creating short, research-based essays, proofreading, editing, seeking permissions from publishers, gathering, creating visual and audio content. A secondary project inputting, researching, and proofreading songs and chants from the vast Pele and Hiʻiakaikapoliopele traditions published in the mid-19th century – early 20th century newspapers is also an option.
Working for the UHM campus newspaper gives you the opportunity to publish work quickly and to gain writing, copyediting, and interviewing experience.
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.
This print and online publication offers interns a chance to gain experience with writing, proofreading, and editing for a magazine with a focus on fashion, lifestyle, travel, and food.
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.
This non-profit organization 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.
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.
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.
Interns will help product a comprehensive history of the Hawaiʻi 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.
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 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.
Work-Hawaii 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.