Saturday, June 1, 2013

Life as an Editorial Intern: Week 2 (Or How I Got My Internship)

So some of you may be wondering how I got my position as an editorial intern.

This is a pretty easy question to answer. A family friend mentioned to my mom that she thought there was a publishing company based in New Orleans. Since we live just over an hour from New Orleans, I figured that would be a perfect place to intern, so I looked them up. Pelican's website was straightforward, with a spot on the sidebar that read, "Intern Guidelines". I applied.

The not-so-easy part of getting this internship came with the application process. First, I had to submit a resume, cover letter, information regarding a start date and completion date, a note from my parents stating their awareness of the company's location, and a two page writing sample. Once I was in contact with the editor-in-chief, she requested that I take a timed, proctored proofreading test. Then I was at their mercy. Luckily, they were in contact with me quickly and the news was good. :)

When it came to my application, what worried me the most was my writing sample. Someone telling you they want a two page writing sample is very vague, and it's especially hard to know when you're applying for an editorial internship, when the most complicated original writing you're doing is probably a manuscript evaluation. Since I am an undergraduate student, I figured (and Google agreed) that a sample from a paper I'd written for a class would be fine. (The one I used was from an honors American Lit class on Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark.") I picked out what I considered to be the best paper I'd written in college and took the strongest section of it. I included my thesis and what I'd written the paper for, as well. This is definitely not the way to go for all writing samples, but I think most people will understand if you're an undergraduate student applying for a first internship. They just want to be sure you're writing is up to par.

If you're actively looking for internships, I recommend you check out the aptly named They're list is easily the best I've been able to find online. They've got a great list of companies actively seeking interns. Some of the listings are old and the dates are wrong, but, from what I've seen, they're looking for interns. (They've also got regular jobs, but I'm just talking about internships.)

I hope this has been at least vaguely helpful! If you have any questions (or suggestions for me, honestly) let me know in the comments! :) Happy Saturday--also, Happy June!

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