Why English and Creative Writing Majors Should Be in DC this Fall

  1. The deadline for the fall illinois in dc capitolsemester Illinois in Washington program is April 1, and you don’t need to have your internship lined up in advance. In fact, many employers don’t even start advertising internships until May, so you’ll have plenty of time over the summer to find the right internship for you.
  2. Once you express interest in the program by emailing Prof. Susan Dimock, you dimockwill start getting announcements of internship openings. You’ll get even more once you officially apply.
  3. Prof. Dimock, who lives in DC and has been running this program for years, knows everything there is to know about getting a job in Washington.  She will help you craft a first-rate resume and cover letter to get the internship you want. (She’s also really nice and approachable!
  4. There are a LOT more opportunities in DC in the fall than there are in the summer.  Most are unpaid, but everyone has a better shot at the available paid internships simply because there is less competition.
  5. The cost is similar to spending a semester living in the dorms, particularly if you budget to account for the higher cost of living in DC.
  6. You don’t have to find your own housing and social life comes ready-made. You’ll share a studio apartment with a fellow student in a building housing student interns from all over the country.
  7. You’ll take 12 credits, 3 of which can be an online course of your choosing.
  8. Contrary to popular belief, government agencies and non-profits in DC aren’t looking for political science majors, econ majors, or hard-core politics junkies. They want people who can communicate well. They like the sound of “English major”–that sounds like a person who can write. They want that and don’t see enough of it. 
  9. International students can’t get internships in the federal government, and paid internships can be complicated, but they ARE eligible for jobs in congressional offices, think-tanks, not-for-profit organizations, and the embassies/consulates of their home countries.  Organizations that have an international focus are particularly open to hiring international students, regardless of home country.



Yes, English/CW Majors Can Find Jobs or Internships at Career Fairs

Career Fair season is upon us.early-job-fair

If you’ve been anywhere near the English department, you’ve seen signs for the Arts and Culture Career Fair in Chicago on Feb. 5, but that is by no means the only one!

* more information available on I-Link

How do you find “more information…on I-Link”?  Log onto I-Link and then click on the blue “Events” tab at the top of the page.  Click “Career Fairs” on the pull-down menu, then click on the particular fair that interests you.  You’ll find information on who is coming and what kinds of positions they are seeking to fill.  Use this information!  Advance preparation is the difference between a good career fair experience and a bad one.

There are LOTS of ways to start getting ready for a career fair, particularly the Business Career Fair, which is coming up quickly.

English, Creative Writing, and ToE majors should plan to attend How to Sell Your English/CW Degree at a Career Fair on Wed., Jan. 27, 5 – 6pm in EB 104.  Learn how to find a job or internship at the Business Career Fair (Feb. 3 and 4) and the Arts and Culture Career Fair (Feb. 5) at this event. Hear from students who’ve been there and get advice on what to wear, what to bring, how to prepare, how to “pitch,” and how to hold your own as an English or CW major at these events.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is also holding two sessions (same content, different times), “How to Sell Your LAS Degree at the Business Career Fair and Engineering Career Fair”: Tues., Jan. 26, 12:30-1:30 p.m., 1002 Lincoln Hall
or  Mon., Feb. 1, 4-5 p.m., 1002 Lincoln Hall.

Can’t attend any of these sessions?  Read up on what to expect!  We have advice on attending the Business Career Fair and advice on what to expect at the Arts and Culture Career Fair.

Don’t have an interview suit?   Doesn’t mean you can’t go (and in fact, if you have your sights on the Arts and Culture Career Fair, you’re probably better off without a suit).  The Career Closet at The Career Center offers gently used clothes for students; it’s open Thurs., Jan. 28, noon – 3pm and Fri., Jan. 29, noon – 2pm, The Career Center’s Interview Suite, 616 E Green St, Champaign, Room 213. (Enter the Kaplan door by McDonald’s.)

If you’d like to review your resume, practice your pitch, discuss the pros and cons of attending, or practice parsing job descriptions, make an appointment with Kirstin Wilcox by emailing kwilcox@illinois.edu.


How to Make Your Major an Asset

cat in the hatNo one cares what you majored in; employers care about what you can do.  The best way to make a persuasive case for yourself when talking to employers is to be able to talk knowledgeably about how you’ve used the skills they’re looking for.

A new semester offers a number of ways to gain that experience:

Do you want to be able to explain how you used your excellent communication skills to help a not-for-profit organization?  The new partnership between the Department of English and the Community Learning Lab in the School of Social Work will give you practice writing to solve real-world problems.  Email ssw-cll@illinois.edu to get information about the available service projects.

Do you want to be able to talk about the internship that taught you the teamwork, editing, social media, communications, or writing skills that employers are looking for? Apply for one! (Deadline for many spring semester internships is Jan. 22).

Do you want to be able to discuss the inner workings of a daily publication?  Do you want to be able to demonstrate your ability to write for a deadline?  The Daily Illini is looking for writers and editors and to that end is holding Info Nights on Wednesday, Jan. 27 and Thursday, Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. in Gregory Hall (810 S. Wright St., Urbana, IL 61801), Room 112

Do you want to demonstrate your commitment to the arts and your understanding of the many behind-the-scenes activities that go into making cultural events, performances, exhibits available?  Register for the Arts and Culture Career Fair taking place in Chicago on February 5, noon to 2pm and find a summer internship that will help you explore those career paths.

Do you want to talk about your leadership skills?  Learn about opportunities to get involved with registered student organizations at the RSO Involvement Fair on Wed., January 27 in the Illini Union.

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