Category Archives: internship

Multiple People, One Voice

Emily Perez is a senior English major at Millersville University with a concentration in writing studies and a minor in theatre. She enjoys reading, writing, and anything pertaining to sports or outdoor activities. Read more about her recent summer internship below! 

From Left to Right: Sarah Crocker, Emily Perez, Gabrielle Resh, Karen Loftus, Tianna Smith, and Taylor Onkst

Walking into my internship the first day, I didn’t know what was going to be asked of me pertaining to the writing that my boss would want me to produce. Would she want me to write narrative pieces like the ones found on several different travel blogging websites or would she want me to conduct interviews? As a 20-year-old college student who has never traveled very far out of the United States, would I be able to deliver a writing style and voice that matched what a 50-year-old travel writer and expert was looking for? These were the questions that raced through my head when I sat down in front of her the first day of my internship.

After writing for my boss the first time, I found that we had different target audiences in mind which influenced the way I wrote and related to the audience through my tone and style. I had one idea of what the writing on her website should do, and she had a different one. Seeing her as my client, I realized that it didn’t matter if my voice was in it; for a company, the voice has to be unified even if it’s multiple people writing. Thus, I had to learn to be a writing chameleon. So, I learned to write as if I was a traveling expert, as if those that were already traveling were coming to me for fun and witty information. It was through this process that I learned how important it was to be able to adapt to a new writing style and voice.

Taking on the voice of my boss and her company taught me several important lessons throughout the process of my internship. First and foremost, I learned the importance of being a chameleon. In the professional writing industry, especially as a content writer, I would have to write for lots of different clients, each company having their own voice and presence. As a writer, I have to be able to adopt that voice easily and quickly to produce content that matches how that company sounds on a regular basis. This is important because when other people are viewing a company’s content, they can pick up on changes in the writing style which can, in some cases, create problems. For example, imagine each writing piece is a red apple. If one writing piece has a different feel to it, then it would be like a green apple in a line of red apples; it would stand out like sore thumb.

Another lesson learned from the process of taking on someone else’s writing style is that a client changing your writing or asking you to slightly change something is never personal and shouldn’t be taken that way. Again, the client simply wants a unified front for their content and asking for any changes is what they are trying to achieve. Hence, a writer should never take it personally, but should simply try to edit the writing to create the content that the client is looking for.

The last thing that I learned from this process, which goes along with the not taking change personally, is that as writers, we must be open to editing. Editing is a natural part of being a content writer or any type of writer. During the process, a piece can go through several edits and proofing rounds before a client approves it. So, never get upset when your writing is being edited to sound different. Again, this is so the client can achieve their voice and should be seen as a learning process and a chance to really embrace the new voice more fully.

In the end, I realized that through it all, being an English major helped me easily transition into a different type of writing style and voice. Taking tricks from my courses and learning the type of writing that different professors liked, allowed me to easily do that for my internship supervisor at Women’s Adventure Travels. After reading through my boss’s edits, I was able to find the little quirks and word usage that she tended to use in her writing that she was also looking for in the writing that I was producing for her. Overall, as writers and English majors, it is important for us to be able to transition our writing to match that of any company that we are writing for because their publication may be multiple writers, but it should be one voice.

– Emily Perez

(Title Image: John Simpson, Gabrielle Resh, Karen Loftus, Sarah Crocker, Tianna Smith, Taylor Onkst, Jacob Gould, and Emily Perez)


Made in Millersville Journal Opportunities

Need an internship? Want to get your work published? Check out the Made in Millersville Journal!

The Made in Millersville Journal is an online publication that works to publish student’s presentations from the annual Made in Millersville conference. This conference highlights student research projects and creative works from departments across campus. Students can present a paper, perform poetry, present an art sculpture, discuss a poster, play a musical performance, or anything that fits under the guidelines of the conference.

After noticing the wide variety of research and creativity demonstrated every year at the Made in Millersville Conference, Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol and Kerrie Farkas co-founded and co-created the Made in Millersville Journal, a conference proceedings journal for students and by students. Two pilot issues were published in 2015 and 2016 before the first full-fledged publication began in 2017. As of the 2019 edition, the Made in Millersville Journal has published 111 articles across all three colleges and 24 (of 26) departments, and has offered 24 internship positions.

There are two ways students can get involved with the Made in Millersville Journal: work on the editorial board as an intern or employee or publish in the journal as a presenter at the Made in Millersville conference.

Editors: Sara Lipski and Karen Layman (Shaakirah Tate and Daniel Dicker are not pictured) unveiling the current journal issue of the Journal during the 2019 Made in Millersville conference.

There are many reasons why students should intern for the Journal, some of which include gaining professional editing experience as well as building pathways to professional careers after college. Here’s the full list of reasons students should consider this internship opportunity:

  • Gain professional editorial and publishing experience
  • Improve their writing and editing
  • Gain hands-on experience working in a multidisciplinary, team environment
  • Work in a supportive environment that encourages interns to step out of their comfort zones
  • Build pathways between college and their future careers

The application deadline for the editorial board is October 1. Visit the employment/internship flyer for specific qualifications and directions to apply.

Not only can students join the editorial team, but they can publish their work in the Journal. In order to publish in the Journal, students must indicate on their conference application that they are interested in publishing. Here are some reasons student authors should publish in the Journal:

  • Impress future employers with a published writing sample​;
  • Improve their writing and experience a unique, authentic, and personalized publishing process by collaborating with a team of trained student editors; ​
  • Market their scholarly or creative work by being featured in the journal and on our social media platforms;
  • Translate their conference  presentation into an effective and accessible summary for a public audience; and ​
  • Build critical communication skills by working with an editorial team.

The application deadline for the Made in Millersville Conference will be in February.

If you have any questions about the Made in Millersville Journal or just want some more information, visit the FAQ page or email Kerrie Farkas or Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol.

Internship Profile: Digital Marketing

English major Kyle Steffish worked for Nxtbook Media in downtown Lancaster this semester as the digital marketing intern. Read more about his experiences below! 

As English majors, we have an opportunity to craft a strong and varied skill set. We build skills in writing, grammar, editing, analysis, critical thinking, rhetoric – the list could go on, but you get the point.

Many of us choose to earn an English degree in the hopes of becoming professional writers, editors, or educators. However, while those are career paths many English majors might pursue – and are certainly apt to fill – they are far from the only fields we might find ourselves in.

As an example, I’d like to share my experience as a digital marketing intern with you. Hopefully, if you’re unsure of what you’re going to do after you graduate, by sharing my experience you may end up with a few ideas of your own.

Since January, I’ve had the opportunity to work as a digital marketing intern for Nxtbook Media in downtown Lancaster. At Nxtbook, I’ve worked on a number of content, social media, and digital marketing projects. For example, I’ve written several case studies highlighting the work Nxtbook has done with some of their clients – one such case focused on their work with Norwegian Cruise Lines. I’ve also had the opportunity to write a series of blog articles showcasing innovative brands, like IKEA and Airbnb, and how they’ve used storytelling to really stand-out from their competitors.

Kyle Steffish wrote many case studies for Nxtbook Media as he worked as their digital marketing intern.

Along with these projects, I’ve had an opportunity to learn a lot about marketing strategy, SEO, and data analytics, among plenty of other things. Although I have a minor in management, I had zero formal marketing education or experience before the internship. I’ve done all of this with the nothing more than the skills I’ve built as an English major.

Whether your interests lie in literature, rhetoric, or composition, you’ve amassed similar skills that are applicable in fields and careers you might never have imagined working in. Marketing, for example, focuses primarily on the process of selling a product or service to a customer.

This might sound like it has little to nothing in common with studying English – especially when phrases like analytics and target market demographics are thrown around. Yet these are concepts English majors are already familiar with, only in other words.

As writers, rhetoricians, and critical thinkers, we do so much of this already. When you think about your audience and your purpose as you write an essay or an analysis, you’re likely asking yourself many of the same questions marketers consider when thinking of a new email or social media campaign.

Questions like: is my voice appropriate for the readers I’m addressing? Will my readers understand my language or my signaling? Am I being too formal? Too informal? Again, whether you’re analyzing Shakespeare, conducting a rhetorical analysis, writing a poem, or writing copy for a new email drip campaign, these are the questions you ask. And there are still more transferable skills you’ve learned.

When you toil over organization, structure, and paragraphing of a paper, you’re thinking in the same way a content marketer thinks about user experience, readability, and, in many ways, SEO. When you ask yourself, does this structure feel right for a research essay? Or, does my organization make sense for this type of argument? You’re asking yourself the same questions a copywriter or content marketer asks when considering the layout of a blog article or how to structure a white paper.

As I’ve gained experience at my internship, these were some of the ways I’ve applied my English education in a field, less than two years ago, I hadn’t given much thought. I share this with you now, because it’s easy to bottleneck an English education into only a few careers. The perception for some people is you’re an English major because you really like books or you want to be a teacher. Yet we know this is incredibly untrue.

An English degree provides students with a rich, versatile skill set that is right at home in a variety of careers, like, as I’ve discovered, in marketing and copywriting. So, if you’re not sure what you’d like to do, or of all the things you can do with an English education, I encourage you to try new things. Take an internship in marketing or copywriting. Try your hand at digital content creation. Take a leap and branch out into other creative fields and industries. Your education has prepared you for a multitude of paths to travel.

Kyle Steffish

Interning with University Communications and Marketing

Matthew Reichard, recent graduate from Millersville University, completed an internship during his last semester in Millersville University’s Communication and Marketing Department. Read more about his experiences below! 

Matthew Reichard

Fall of 2018 was my final semester at Millersville, and it provided me with the best experience I could have imagined. This experience came by way of an internship through the University’s Communications and Marketing department. Initially, I was very hesitant when looking into the internship requirement for my degree. The classroom allowed for a safer environment. I had been doing journalistic writing with the classroom from my start here at MU. The work allowed me to learn, but in a more controlled environment. I was allowed to pick the topics of my paper while in most classes, allowing me to be an expert on what I was writing by choice. The writings went directly from me to the professor, and that was it. I got a grade in the gradebook and moved on.

With my internship. I got to step out of what was comfortable and learn from it. The writing wasn’t always what I was passionate about, so I had to do more research. I had to focus on who would be reading the articles I wrote, so I had to focus on the language or formalities behind the writing. The writings I did would go out the world, for more than just the professor to see. It meant I was more vigilant of things. I read more. I researched more. I edited more. This was a blessing. The hard work I put in at my internship allowed me to see I stepped into the right career path. I loved writing about the things I was passionate about, and I got to do that some at my internship, but I also loved writing about everything else. Doing the research was a blast. I learned about folks in the university I would have never known about prior. I covered topics I would have never touched if I was left to pick my writings. It was wonderful to experience a work-like environment before I graduated.

Stepping out of what you already know can be scary. It was for me, and I’m sure it will be for you.  You won’t truly know if you love what you’re doing until you do it out of your comfort zone. My dream is to cover the video game industry, but I know that’s a hard job to find. I learned through my internship that I will be happy no matter what I am covering because I love the process of it all. I was always a little worried. This internship took that worry away. If you have an opportunity to do an internship, take it. You won’t regret it. Stepping outside the classroom was one of the best decisions I made here at MU. I had great professors that taught me and prepared me for the situation, but actually getting to the situation taught me even more.

By: Matthew Reichard

Internship Profile–Kaylee Herndon

Read about Kaylee Herndon’s Internship with the Reading Royals hockey team! For more information about the internship process, check out the MU Internships webpage. 

I am currently in the middle of spending the hockey season with the Reading Royals hockey team in Reading, PA. As one of their media interns for the season I am getting to use my Journalism and English experience in a career path that many people do not regularly consider when getting their degree.

Photo by Kaylee Herndon

Working in media relations for a sports team is extremely similar to working in a newsroom, except that you know what your writing will focus on each day that you go into work. There are daily deadlines, social media updates, live tweeting, and other aspects that go into promoting a team and covering their games.

I have been using social media, Photoshop, and Adobe Premiere in addition to traditional writing at this internship (see the above graphic made using Photoshop). Premiere is something that I thought I would never need to learn, but it turns out the journalism professors are right: you need to be able to take and edit your own photos and videos to make it out there.

Another skill I was surprised that I needed to use is my phone photography. It is the easiest and fastest way to get photos up on social media, i.e. an Instagram story. I found out that there are settings within the camera that makes capturing quick movement, like skaters or pucks, easier, but it is still a skill to be learned.

The most interesting concept of the job for me is that I went from being an athlete to covering the athlete. Having been on the opposite side of the job definitely provides me a different perspective. It creates some barriers when it comes to what I expect to be true and what reality is. This includes willingness of participation of athletes in team promotion activities and fan engagement and the accommodation (or non-accommodation) of the coaching staff. It also has helped me create some unique ideas, such as a player blog where a player gets to discuss their experiences in the local area and on the team. It was a large adjustment in terms of expectations when I found out that the media for a team does not regularly interact with its player-members of the team that they promote. While from the athletic view it makes sense, at least while in college, it would produce more interesting and engaging content if players were more actively involved with the media being put out about them.

Overall, this internship has been an incredible experience so far in terms of preparing me for my future career whether I go into sports or traditional journalism. Without the real-life experience, I feel like I would be under prepared for the fast-paced world of sports journalism.

-Kaylee Herndon

Internship Profile: Hadassah Stoltzfus

Hadassah Stoltzfus interned with Empower Hope, an organization that is breaking the cycle of poverty & creating a new path of purpose by training indigenous leaders to empower vulnerable children.

“So you’re going to teach?” As every English major knows, a ready response to this question is a necessity. While teaching is a worthwhile and impactful profession, I could not see myself at the head of a classroom, but my internship this past summer with Empower Hope was an encouragement that I have other options to use my English degree.

I first saw the posting for a “Content/Creative Writer Intern” on ELCM’s website. I was unfamiliar with Empower Hope, so I read extensively on their website, growing increasingly excited about the work they were doing in Kenya. With sustainability in mind, the organization, though still in the infancy stages, had designed a mentorship model to equip local leaders to train and educate the next generation.

Poverty tends to be cyclical. Those that are born into families living on one to two dollars per day rarely find the tools to start a new life, and so the pattern of barely subsisting continues. In response, Empower Hope provides education and business training using local leaders to implement the projects so that communities can be transformed from the inside out. Where foreign aid has failed to remedy the problem of poverty, Empower Hope sees an opportunity to fix the root of the issue, and it starts with seeing individuals for their inherent worth. Empower Hope calls it “giving a face to the invisible.”

During my internship, I wrote a variety of content, most of which was marketing related, such as radio ads, presentations, promo scripts, and letters requesting sponsorship. I got a window into the workings of a not-yet-established non-profit which had its challenges, namely a lack of structure. However, the longer I worked with Empower Hope, the more I understood their goals and how they spoke, which helped me to complete writing projects with limited supervision.

An upside of working in a short-staffed office was the chance to do meaningful work. The staff treated me as an expert in my field and took my opinion seriously despite my being only an intern, an experience that would probably have been different had I been at an established, fully-staffed organization.

Empower Hope excels in recognizing individuals’ strengths and putting them to use. A highlight was creating illustrations for a kids’ booklet on poverty that they were creating to hand out at events. Despite being hired to write, I got to change hats for a week to work in the artistic realm.

Overall, the experience was a good window into the daily life of non-profit work. My internship presented me with alternative avenues to use English, and it was exciting to know that I was indirectly contributing to the work of bringing hope to people in poverty.

-Hadassah Stoltzfus