Leah Hoffman, a sophomore Spanish and writing studies major, completed an internship with Millersville’s Office of International Programs and Services. Read more about her experiences below!
I have had the opportunity to intern for Millersville’s Office of International Programs and Services (IPS), which has been a wonderful experience in joining together my academic interests. As a double major in Spanish and English, I was uniquely prepared for this internship: I was able to bring writing styles and strategies honed throughout my Writing Studies concentration as well as cultural awareness and sensitivity developed through learning another language.
My language abilities gave me an empathy and appreciation for learning a new language. These characteristics enhanced my skills as an English major as I could use my heightened awareness of cultural nuances to cater specifically to my intended audience of students. Practices such as adding plenty of visuals and carefully choosing words have tailored my publications specifically to the International students.
The main project that I focused on for the duration of my internship was the weekly International Student Newsletter. This was a weekly update on office events as well as upcoming deadlines and requirements specific to international students studying in the United States. I was able to use theories of web writing and content strategy to boost interaction with the newsletter and make it more engaging to students, and therefore more useful to the office. We know that the more engagement students have with the newsletter, the more participation we see in our events, and we are therefore hoping to maximize student interaction with updates from our office.
This was an interesting audience to interact with because of their diverse backgrounds. The IPS has been working for a long time to keep pace with the ever-changing demographics that come not only with each progressing year of students, but also with the atmosphere surrounding the mix of cultures and language proficiencies. I found myself tasked with finding the most effective means for communicating with this group of students. My ultimate goal is to find a strategy that can be extrapolated to incoming students in the years to come, but overall I have learned that creativity and flexibility are the keys to continued engagement.