Editing Internship | ENC 4942 & ENC 5945
The Editing Internship makes it possible for students to earn academic credit while gaining practical experience in editing, professional writing, and new media. Students may intern at a variety of venues, including (but not limited to)
• Magazines and newspapers
• Publishing houses
• Television and radio stations
• State and local government offices
• Marketing and public relations firms
• University departments and offices
• Law firms
• Non-profit organizations
• Private businesses and companies
Students have opportunities to further develop knowledge and skills obtained through their course work in English; acquire real-world experience with professional writing, editing, and design; “test drive” a prospective career field, and build a professional ePortfolio showcasing their work. ENC 4942 is designated as a Formative Experience. It meets FSU’s Liberal Studies Formative Experience requirement and develops your ability to develop and use knowledge by engaging in a hands-on experience outside of the classroom.
Resources for finding an internship
Many organizations post their opportunities several months ahead of time, and students should begin searching and applying accordingly, anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks or more in advance of their semester of enrollment. The following resources are helpful:
• The FSU Career Center regularly offers workshops and provides online resources to aid students with the process of securing an internship.
• Organizations that have regularly provided opportunities for English students are included in this list of potential internship sites (Google Sheet).
• Large databases such as Indeed.com also list internship opportunities.
• The Editing Internship Program’s social media channels highlight opportunities along with alumni and employer profiles
Typical projects and duties
Students may satisfy the writing/editing requirements for ENC 4942/5945 through a variety of professional tasks. The following are just some examples of typical projects and duties:
• Writing public service announcements
• Drafting fundraising and marketing materials
• Managing social media accounts
• Creating newsletters
• Writing newspaper and magazine articles
• Designing brochures
• Serving as copy editors
• Conducting writing/research projects
• Designing or updating websites
• Creating content for blog, vlogs, and podcasts
The Editing Internship is designed to allow students to pursue professional experiences in the fields and career paths they are most interested in.
Preparing for an internship
The Editing Internship course is effectively an experiential capstone in which students apply and expand their academic knowledge through practical, professional experience. Students should begin preparing early, at least one semester prior to when they plan to enroll in the internship course. Students can prepare for internships in several ways:
• Taking a course in advanced writing and editing is highly recommended.
• Before applying for internships, students should review Career Center resources and consult with a Career Liaison or other staff member to get feedback on their cover letters and resumes (and any other materials).
• Students can participate in a mock interview to practice prior to an actual interview.
Meaningful internships provide students with many benefits, including opportunities to do the following:
• Apply and expand knowledge and skills learned in academic course work
• Obtain practical experience in a field
• Explore and define personal and professional goals, values, and ideas of success
• Reflect on and enhance writing and editing practices in professional environments
• Receive mentorship and professional guidance from an experienced practitioner
• Develop a professional network and feel situated in a community
Course registration and requirements
To register for ENC 4942, students must complete this application. Applications may be submitted at any time before and during the regular registration window.
• Students MAY apply to register before securing an internship and while in the process of completing their core course requirements.
• Students MUST apply to register by the end of the regular registration window for the semester of course enrollment. Registration windows are included in the academic calendar for each term.
• ENC 4942 is restricted to English majors only.
• Students must have completed the core course requirements for their major in order to enroll.
• Graduate students and post-baccalaureate non-degree-seeking students may register for ENC 5945 during the regular registration windows.
• Internships may be completed in any semester; ENC 4942 and 5945 are offered each term.
• Students must enroll in the course during the semester when they are actually completing their internship (i.e., under normal circumstances, students may not receive retroactive credit for an internship completed in a previous semester).
• Because students receive degree hours for the Editing Internship, tuition and fees are assessed as with any other course.
Credits and requirements
• Students may earn variable credit (from 1 to 6 semester hours) for an internship.
• Students may register for course credit over multiple semesters.
• Only three hours count toward the requirements for English majors, regardless of the concentration. Any additional hours count as general elective credit.
• Both ENC 4942 and ENC 5945 are graded S/U.
• Graduate students should determine how and whether an S/U graded course will count toward their degree requirements before registering for ENC 4942.
• For each 1 credit sought, ENC 4942 and 5945 students must
• Work 4 hours per week
• Write 2000 words or edit 3000 words
• Submit all written and edited work, along with a reflective essay, a word count/work hours log, an updated résumé, and a letter of evaluation, in a thoughtfully composed ePortfolio
Through this capstone project, students apply what they have learned not just through their internships, but through their coursework as English majors. Students are encouraged to think creatively, critically, and rhetorically as they design a website showcasing their professional work. Students produce a polished site that may be linked in a student’s résumé and on social media platforms such as LinkedIn.
ePortfolios may be built in a variety of platforms: Wix, Weebly, Wordpress, Adobe Portfolio, and FSU Career Center’s Career Portfolio are all good options. Interns are encouraged to visit FSU’s Digital Studio for thoughtful guidance and feedback, as well as instruction in how to use various platforms, as they work on their ePortfolios. Specific ePortfolio guidelines are provided and a workshop conducted each term for enrolled students.
Internship information for employers
Internships are often valuable both to student interns and to the organizations that provide these learning experiences. Students in Florida State University’s English Department develop writing, communication, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills that prepare them to excel in internships in a wide range of professional environments. Students are trained in writing and editing for diverse audiences and situations in a variety of media and platforms. The real-world experience gained through internships plays a vital role in students’ professional development.
EWM Internships for Academic Credit: Employer Responsibilities
Employers have some basic responsibilities when offering internships for academic credit:
• The employer must complete and sign their portion of the Internship Contract. Students will provide employers with this form.
• The employer must ensure the student receives appropriate guidance throughout the internship, and that the student is completing writing and editing work in order to meet the course requirements as well as the learning objectives defined in the internship contract.
• The student’s internship should be focused on editing or writing (or both). Additional duties should be kept to a minimum.
• The employer must provide a formal letter of evaluation of the student's performance at the end of the semester. Students are responsible for communicating with employers regarding semester deadlines.
Employers should also be aware of the following policies:
• Students may not complete internships under the supervision of current undergraduate students.
• Students may not complete internships under the supervision of immediate family members.
Paid Internships, FLSA, and Additional Resources
The English Department strongly endorses paid internships. Students may be paid while earning academic credit.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides specific guidelines regarding internships for “for-profit” employers. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act defines the seven criteria comprising the “primary beneficiary test,” which helps determine whether an intern or student is an employee under the FLSA (and should, therefore, be compensated).
FSU Career Center’s Employer Guide provides additional employer information, responsibilities, and resources.
Advertising an Internship Opportunity
There are several ways to connect with FSU students:
• Submit opportunities through this Editing Internship Opportunity form.
• Through Hire a Nole, FSU’s Career Center provides numerous recruiting services, events, and resources.
• Advertise your internship to the wider FSU student community by posting your position on Nole Network, FSU’s online jobs database.
Dr. Molly Hand
Editing Internship Program Director
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1580