This summer I interned for Dr. Jana Giles, Managing Editor of the academic journal Conradiana. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English I took the opportunity to beef up my work experience before returning in the fall to my alma mater, the University of Louisiana, Monroe, to begin working on my graduate degree. Solid experience in the field is essential in order to become a more appealing job candidate; however, I always had pictured myself as a college professor. I previously worked as an English tutor on campus at my university, but an editing job would be different, and the Conradiana internship would not only give me first-hand experience in the editing world, but it also would allow me to try out a potential career path.
Over the course of the internship, I had many responsibilities: proofreading journal articles and reviews, entering edits made by Dr. Giles, ensuring the citations and footnotes within articles were correctly formatted and cited, and creating query sheets for the authors of the articles when we had questions for them. I learned that most journals and publishing houses have their own specific style guides and rules for how articles published by them should look and read; for instance, Conradiana preferred open-style punctuation and required its citations to conform to the MLA Handbook 8th Edition. The first few weeks were difficult; terrified I would make some irreparable mistake, I turned to Dr. Giles every few minutes with a question. Even with rules I was sure of, such as where a comma needed to be placed within a citation, I found myself double-checking the rules in the MLA Handbook.
However, after a few weeks, as I began to feel comfortable within my position, I started to really enjoy the work. It was slow, methodical, and precise, and I enjoyed learning new rules and reading the articles as I edited. The work calmed me, and I realized abruptly as the summer came to a close that I was beginning to consider looking for a career in editing. My love of analyzing literature is still unparalleled, but for years I hadn’t even considered there could be another job option I might enjoy. This internship opened a door I had never considered opening, and I gained months of real-life, hands-on experience in the field.
The Sigma Tau Delta Summer Internship Stipend enabled me to truly put all of my time and effort into this summer internship. I was able to use the stipend to buy the manuals and style guides required for the internship, buy food and supplies during my time spent at the internship’s office, and pay for gas to commute to the internship. This was an invaluable opportunity, and I’m so incredibly grateful I was able to participate in it; it will truly shape my career and future for years to come. I hope that, in reading this blog post, other members of Sigma Tau Delta will reach out and seize similar opportunities, even if (and, honestly, especially if) they seem challenging or ask you to do something you’ve never done before. You’ll learn a new skill, gain experience, and, who knows, maybe you’ll even find a new hobby or career path you truly love.
Sigma Tau Delta Summer Internship Stipend
Sigma Tau Delta offers funding for current undergraduate and graduate student members accepting non- or low-paying summer internships. The Summer Internship Stipend is a competitive program providing a limited number of stipends of up to $1,500 each.
The internship must involve working for an “organization” while being directed by a supervisor/mentor within that organization, and the internship’s duties must be consistent with the applicant’s level of education, area of study, and career goals. Financial need will be taken into consideration in addition to internship length. Applicants are responsible for obtaining and providing verification of the internship. Please review the application guidelines for additional information.
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