UIntern | The Career Center

UInternSummer internships with local not-for-profit organizations are available through UIntern at the U of I Career Center.

Learn more at one of the following information sessions:

  • Monday, Feb. 22 at 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23 at Noon

Both information sessions will be held at the TCC Interview Suite 213, 616 E. Green St. (Enter Kaplan building between McDonald’s and Subway.)

Further details about the application process will be shared at the Information Sessions. If you have any questions, please e-mail TCC-UIntern@illinois.edu or click the source link below.

What is UIntern?UIntern aims to organize summer internships at local nonprofit organizations for students interested in helping their community while also developing useful career skills. Students benefit professionally by expanding their education through internships that are relevant to their field and receiving the invaluable experience of using their talents and skills to help others. On the other hand, local organizations are able to introduce students to their valuable missions and goals while benefiting from students’ unique skills and perspectives. The program is comprised of two complimentary parts: a workshop series and an internship.

Source: UIntern | The Career Center

The Literature-History-Art Geek’s Guide to Wasting Time Online Before Spring Semester Starts.

[Just added!] A blogger who makes composite police sketches based on descriptions of literary characters.

Plan a 1947 roadtrip organized around the dining and lodging options available to African-American travellers.

Find the JMW Turner painting that precisely depicts your current mood.

Visit a school in Afghanistan.

Let your inner steampunk loose in the digital archives.

Design an eighteenth-century wig (N.B. this one got a lot of social media love recently and when I checked just now the link seemed to be broken; if it doesn’t work, try it later.)

Explore Pelagie’s house.

Think you know your Bible? Read the book of Isaiah as you’ve never read it before.  

Dig to the center of the earth.

Measure the universe.

Use your mad cursor-arrow gaming skillz to explore an early 20th century NYC mansion.

Eight Steps toward a Summer Internship

interns-voted-these-are-their-20-favorite-advertising-internships-in-the-usNow is a good time to start thinking about summer internships.

You can find a hand-picked selection of offerings from I-Link on the Internships webpage, but this list is far from exhaustive.  Even if you see a few things there you want to apply for, looking on your own will make it more likely that you find an internship that will advance your career goals.

Not sure what your career goals are?  Not clear on exactly how an internship fits into your plans?  Some advice:

  1.  Create a need/want list.  Brainstorm all the things you would like an internship to include, taking into account salary, location, opportunities to learn relevant skills, time to do the other things you need to do in the summer, mentoring, opportunities to network, exposure to particular fields or industries, and the like. Then separate the list into things that you would like versus things that an internship HAS to include in order to be helpful to you.
  2. Think carefully about whether an internship is the only or best way to move forward on your career path. Knowing what you want to gain from an internship will help you evaluate whether a particular opportunity will be beneficial or exploitative. Depending on your goals, a paid job, some job-shadowing and informational interviewing, or a volunteer position could give you similar experience without.the time commitment of an internship. Particularly if you’re only applying for a few highly competitive internships, having a good backup plan in mind will help keep your focus where it belongs–on the big picture, rather than on any one opportunity.
  3. Start looking.
    • I-Link is a great place for Illinois students to start, but it’s not the only source.
    • Steer clear of opportunities that charge fees or that won’t offer meaningful supervision.
    • Check out the websites of companies or organizations that interest you; a “careers” or “opportunities” or “volunteer” tab will often take you to information about any internships they offer.
    • Search the idealist.org for openings with nonprofit organizations.
    • Search indeed.com because it’s one of the largest and most popular job-search websites.
    • Search usajobs.gov for positions with the US government.
  4. Get your application materials together:
    • gather all the relevant information for your resume and start putting it together in a graceful and clear format.  You’ll need to customize your resume for each internship that asks for one, but it’s helpful to get feedback on an all-purpose version of the document from as many people as possible (including the English Department’s own Director of Internships, who is happy to guide you in writing an effective resume)
    • talk to people you might need as references–make sure they’re willing to be called on your behalf and that you have up-to-date contact information to give potential internship employers.
    • if you are applying for positions that require writing samples, decide which of your academic papers or extracurricular writing would best serve the purpose.
    • Sometimes marketing or communications positions give you a specific writing prompt or encourage you to be “creative” in your application. If so, think of your application as a writing audition: you’re demonstrating the very communication skills that your employer will draw on if you’re selected.  Read as much of the organization’s own material as you can and try to match their style and sense of humor.
  5. Keep track of what you apply to and when.
  6. Keep searching for new opportunities, even after you start submitting applications.
  7. Have a meaningful backup plan in mind: if you don’t get any of the internships you’re applying to, what combination of paid employment, volunteer work, and independent activity will help you gain relevant experience over the summer?
  8. Keep the English Advising Office in the loop!  We want to know about your successes, and we’re also hear to help you tweak your application materials and regroup if things don’t work out.

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More Alternative Paths to the Classroom

Ipic-circlesn October, we had a post on Alternative Paths to the Classroom giving information and deadlines on programs like Teach for America and City Year.  Another program, Bard MAT Los Angeles, is advertising directly on I-Link with an early action deadline of January 15 (they will continue accepting applications until March 15).  According to the website,

The Bard MAT in Los Angeles is a community-based credentialing and degree program offering advanced study in pedagogy and academic disciplines, close faculty mentoring, and support for new or early career educators who accept employment or service opportunities in California schools or community organizations. This two-year program includes a 14-month pathway that awards a credential in Social Studies, English, Science, or Math prior to the start of the second year.

For people who have decided late in their college career that they want to go into teaching, or who decided to delay getting a teaching credential until after graduation, programs like this provide a path to a career in education.

For those who are ONLY considering programs like this because they don’t have any better ideas, it’s an arduous and soul-draining path to a paycheck. Come talk to me about possible alternatives when you get back to campus: kwilcox@illinois.edu.