English/CW Majors and Research Park

Sometimes (like today) our list of open internship opportunities has a LOT of links tagged “Research Park.” These job titles may seem bewildering, if you’re assuming that an English/CW major internship will involve editing or writing, probably for a cultural or educational organization (school, publisher, museum). “Strategic Resources”? Agriculture companies? Tech stuff?

You may also be confused about what Research Park is and how working there might fit into your life as a student. Read our FAQ to learn more.about Research Park internships for English majors. More than 100 companies have offices there, ranging from tiny startups to research centers for major multinational corporations. They employ a lot of U of Illinois students as paid interns.

You may be surprised at the range of businesses for which your skills are relevant. Here’s creative writing sophomore and Research Park intern Christel Thompson explaining what she does for Syngenta:

UIRP Intern: Christel Thompson of Syngtena Digital Lab

Check out this spotlight:Everyone has a story to tell and Christel Thompson tells Syngenta Digital Innovation Lab's. As a Creative Writing student in the University of Illinois Creative Writing Program, Christel enjoys the exciting work culture where her manager pushes everyone to "skip the boring." As the Creative Storyteller Intern, she helps facilitate the kind of symbiotic relationship between Syngenta's Digital Innovation Lab and the Research Park as a whole that helps Syngenta help Illinois farmers and feed the planet.

Posted by University of Illinois Research Park on Thursday, June 14, 2018

When you see those internship postings, go ahead and click on the links to read more. These employers may be looking for you — and you can use the experience you gain to write your own next chapter.

Current relevant Fall 2018 openings at Research Park:

Keep up to date on new openings by checking the Research Park Job Board regularly.

By the way, “strategic resources”? That’s the catch-all term State Farm uses for project-based internships that vary from semester to semester, depending on what the current projects are. Often these projects require people who are good at finding information and writing about it…like English majors.

“I Don’t Want a Desk Job”

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English and creative writing majors figuring out a career path often start with what they don’t want. “I don’t want to teach” is the first filter, often followed by “I don’t want a desk job.” Sometimes it’s more specifically, “I don’t want a corporate job.”

There are jobs that don’t involve desks, but they can encompass everything from freelance copywriting (and putting your laptop on whatever surface you choose) to being a transportation manager for Union Pacific (yes, the train company; yes, they employ English majors.)

There are jobs that don’t involve being employed by a corporation, but they can involve everything from being a case manager for an addiction treatment center to creating branding for a political campaign to running an afterschool program. Continue reading

Writing Your First Resume: The Illinois Template

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If you haven’t yet written a resume, it’s time. You may not have needed a resume up to now, but having one ready makes it easy to apply for opportunities that arise.

A resume should be provisional, not set in stone. A good resume is always being revised to reflect both new things you do and the needs of the different employers that you send it to.

There is no one right way to write a resume. Different employers and industries have different expectations, and a well-chosen format can highlight your strengths. You can find many online templates to guide you.

This template is used by many programs here at the University of Illinois. Many employers who recruit on campus are familiar with this format, and it will help you get started.

Continue reading