Ultimately, the person graduating with a degree in English will comprehend language both as a tool and an art, having explored the felicitous tension between creative impulse and traditional form. Such a comprehension enables graduates to succeed in teaching, law, professional writing, creative writing and academia.
Samantha Hilyer: Journalism Intern
Internship: Journalism Intern, The Catholic Accent
Date: Fall 2019 - Present
Class of 2022
Saint Vincent’s English program provided me with the necessary tools to delve into and exploratory career in journalism; through their personal style of teaching and detailed feedback of my work, the English department staff has helped me to grow so much as a writer over the past three years and I thank them for the opportunities I have been able to receive because of their rigorous work and unfailing dedication to their students. I am always challenged on and off campus to keep expanding my writing horizon. My freshman year of college, I joined The Review—the campus newspaper—and one of my articles was reprinted in The Latrobe Bulletin. My sophomore year, I began my internship with The Catholic Accent where I wrote articles for the paper and magazine and this past summer, thanks to my advisor, I even had the chance to produce a historical piece about local suffragist and Equal Rights Amendment champion, Emma Guffey Miller, with the Westmoreland History magazine. The English program at Saint Vincent offers skillsets that are expertly passed down to English majors and minors by proficient professors of excellent quality who take the time to know each student individually and yearn for their students success as much, if not more than, the students.
Danny Whirlow: Journalism Intern
Internship: Journalism Intern, Swimming World Magazine
Date: Summer 2019
Class of 2021
For a long time, my athletic pursuits as a swimmer and my creative pursuits as a writer were set on distinctive paths. Rarely did they intersect. However, these paths would meet towards the end of my sophomore year, while I was searching for summer internships. My coach shared with me an advertisement for a journalism internship with Swimming World Magazine, so I applied as finals loomed. Admittedly, I was nervous. I could write a thoughtful literary analysis or shimmering poem, but I had no journalism experience to speak of.
I got the internship, joining a group of other swimmer-writers from across the nation. While I pictured stepping into an office building alongside other aspiring sports journalists, I learned that it was in fact a remote internship. Direct contact with our supervisor was confined to text messages and I’d never meet any of my fellow interns in person. I was on my own after we received some training documents and signed some forms. The Magazine gave us total creative freedom, besides some off-limits topics.
My nervousness peaked; could I write about eight distinct topics in three months? But I soon realized that I wasn’t as helpless as I thought. The writing ability I had refined over the last two years in workshops made up significantly for my lack of journalism experience. What’s more, the skills I learned from Dr. Snyder, Professor Gil-Montero, and Dr. McDaniel gave me the confidence to approach subjects from fresh angles and to seek stories out wherever they may be hiding.
I did not just survive my internship; I thrived. Of the eight stories, the one I’m most proud of today focuses on the lessons of Fred Rogers and how they can help teach children to swim. And at the end of the summer, I walked away feeling validated as both a writer and a student, eager for whatever challenge was next.
Mallory Truckenmiller: Editorial Intern
Internship: Editorial Intern, Asymptote Book Club
Date: Summer 2018
Class of 2019
During my internship for Asymptote Book Club, I worked with an international team of editors and translators from various backgrounds while experiencing the complex, demanding, and overlapping responsibilities of managing a literary service. My responsibilities included promoting the book club through social media and literary communities, collaborating with the marketing team to devise strategies for incorporating the book club into educational environments, and recruiting potential book club members; however, my favorite experience from this internship was reading unpublished translation manuscripts and writing reader’s reports for the team as part of the book club selection process. This experience also led to a wonderful interview with renowned translator Emma Ramadan and a published book review.
From this internship, I learned how to communicate quickly and efficiently with an editorial team in order to ensure a smooth and successful operation within a fast-paced and ever-changing publishing environment. I also learned how to navigate the multiple platforms of literary promotion that make up the worlds of social media and academia. Furthermore, I learned how to tailor my writing skill to different editorial environments such as literary blogs and professional communication.
My experience was a rewarding one! I found myself networking with experienced editors, writers, and translators while exploring a translation community that fought for the visibility and recognition of alternative canons and marginalized communities. This internship reshaped my career path and shifted my attention to new literatures and languages.
Kathryn Ordiway: Editorial Intern
Internship: Editorial Intern, St. Lynn’s Press/Pittsburgh
Date: Summer 2015
Class of 2016
There’s never a dull day in a publishing company, especially if you’re an intern at a small press. This summer, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to intern at St. Lynn’s Press in Pittsburgh. Somehow, there seems to be this common consensus that interns spend most of their time picking up the mail and getting coffee for their boss; my experience was the complete opposite.
From day one, I was part of every part of the publishing process, from beginning to end. My big project for the summer was to pitch book ideas at the query meetings we had every week. I wrote copy for newsletters and blogs, worked on tipsheets, attended all the staff meetings and participated in phone meetings, communicated with authors and agents, and, of course, edited. I saw books at every stage of the editing process. I also spent a lot of time on the copyright office’s website registering books.
My time with St. Lynn’s wasn’t just about professional experience. I had amazing life experiences as well. We visited a St. Lynn’s author who lives off the grid, took a field trip to the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, went to the Three Rivers Arts Festival, and took the occasional walk along the Monongahela River.
It was an amazing summer on the South Side and I was sad to see it end. I left St. Lynn’s with a fuller appreciation for the editing process and a new understanding of what it means to edit someone else’s work.
Zach Tackett: Editorial Intern
Internship: Sampsonia Way Magazine & City of Asylum/Pittsburgh
Date: Summer 2012
Class of 2013
As an editorial intern for Sampsonia Way Magazine, I was given the opportunity to gain real life experience in journalism and civil rights activism. After a few short weeks during the summer between my junior and senior years, I conducted interviews with several prominent figures, including a Guatemalan journalist who was forced to flee her home after speaking out against an unjust vigilante law enforcement group, as well as City of Asylum/Pittsburgh's then-current writer-in-residence, Israel Centeno, about his first U.S. publication.
I learned to write in not only classic-journalistic styles, but also through more multimedia-driven styles, such as photojournalism and blurb "roundup" styles. Before leaving, I also had the opportunity to volunteer for City of Asylum/Pittsburgh's annual Cave Canem reading where such fine poets as Nikky Finney, Nikki Giovanni, Angela Jackson, and Thomas Sayers Ellis read their award-winning work. (I also aided in the video interview of Thomas Sayers Ellis.)
It was a busy and fun experience, and I walked away from my internship with a stronger understanding and appreciation of the editorial process, more experimental styles of journalism, and web-based content, and on a more personal note, with more patience for taking the time necessary to truly edit something.
Bethany Biesinger: Professional Writing Intern
Internship: Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau
Date: Spring 2011
Class of 2014
Being an intern with the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau was an excellent experience. That was in the spring of 2011 at their office in Ligonier. The first portion of my internship was writing summaries of the grants that had received funding from the Visitors Bureau. This was both for their records and in preparation for the program for their presentation of the grants. It involved researching the groups and choosing pertinent information for the summaries. After writing the summaries, I also proofed them. I was permitted to make my own schedule, and usually worked 10 to 15 hours a week. They then asked me to stay on once this project was finished.
My new job was to manage their client and member database from events and shows the Bureau would host or have a display at. It involved working with the database they had purchased for this purpose, organizing it, and entering new information. This internship absolutely came in handy because I have done both of these things in my current graduate student researcher job with the Learning Research and Development Center. My GSR position requires 20 hours of work a week and completely pays for grad school, healthcare, and gives me a monthly stipend. Part of my GSR position involves proofing documents and units. I have also worked on their membership database and have created programs similar to the ones at the Visitors Bureau. The internship undoubtedly helped me to get my GSR position and my GSR position has been worth thousands for me.