Tag Archives: internships

Student Profile: Trevor Stauffer

Trevor Stauffer is in his last semester at Millersville University and has recently completed an internship at Merit Marketing. If you are a student looking for internships, visit this page to find more information. 

I put off my internship for a while. I always had excuses. I worried that I wouldn’t have enough time, that the pay wouldn’t be as good as my part-time job, and that my grades would suffer. Part of me even thought that I wouldn’t benefit from an internship. After all, school was going well, and the business world couldn’t be that different.

I was wrong. I’m a little over halfway through my copy-writing internship with Merit Marketing, and the experience is transforming my ability to write and edit in ways that formal classes never did (at least for me). In no way do I mean that traditional courses are less valuable; they are two totally different ways of learning.

F76A8222 (3)The internship atmosphere is different. In a college course, you are among peers. If you’re one of the more studious kids in the room, you may know a bit more about some topics, or pick up on lecture material faster. But no matter how much you stand out in the classroom, in an internship you know much less, and have much less experience, than anyone around you. In my opinion, this is a fantastic opportunity. You can ask for advice, learn from criticism, and foster connections with professionals. Be a humble sponge, soaking up the insights, methods, habits, and years of real-world wisdom around you.

An internship is also much more demanding than most college courses. There is both a much heavier workload and greater expectations on the quality of work. In an essay about Shakespeare, for example, you can probably get away with some awkwardly constructed, uninteresting sentences. And you’d probably be given at least a few weeks to write it. My copy-writing internship has been a great way to learn to write cleaner, leaner, more direct prose on a tight deadline. Professors are generally nice people, and don’t want to tear your heartfelt essay to shreds. But the real world is cruel. It doesn’t care how much introspective finesse you put into crafting that paragraph. Shorten it! Add more SEO keywords! Get to the point! While my mentors at Merit could not have been more polite or helpful, I did end up revising a lot. And that’s good: better to learn in an internship under friendly guidance than be called into a manager’s office at a real job.

F76A6164 (2)As different as my internship has been from previous classes, I know that without those classes, I would have been worse off. In particular, I think my journalism courses were especially good preparation. Because journalism stresses facts, readability, and topics that appeal to the public, I was able to use a lot of the skills I learned in journalism courses while writing blog posts for Merit.

My English degree has had less direct application, but it’s still been important. Pursuing an English degree has led me to care about language and literature. I’ve read many challenging works, become interested in different genres, and been absorbed in the power of history’s greatest authors. So while I’m far from a great writer, I’m a far better writer than I would have been without pursuing an English degree.

Another aspect of my internship I’ve really enjoyed has been writing blog posts from home. It’s been a lot more work than I expected, but that’s not a bad thing. Each week, I’ve been researching and writing one blog post for Merit’s website from the comfort of my own room. I’ve been able to cover a wide range of topics I previously knew nothing about, so it’s been a great way to expand my general knowledge of the business world. This from-home work has added extra credits to my internship and flexibility to my schedule: it could not have worked out better.

If you’re an English major on the fence, trying to decide if an internship is worth the extra work, I’d say go for it. You can earn credits, get paid, and, if your experience is anything like mine, you’ll meet great people and improve your writing dramatically.

—Trevor Stauffer

Student Profile: Gabrielle Redcay, Digital Journalism

Gabby Redcay
Gabby Redcay

Gabrielle Redcay, a Digital Journalism Major, will be graduating this spring with a resume full of different, interesting internship opportunities she experienced over the past four years at Millersville University. From interning at a newspaper to blogging about food, Gabrielle has seen the positive impacts internships have on narrowing down a career path or building necessary work-place skills.

Starting as a content strategist, Gabrielle was a content writer for the digital marketing company Income Store where she performed search engine optimization research. She worked with teams to discuss content and plans for improving return on investment.

Since then, Gabrielle has been working for Millersville in the Communications Department as a Communications Assistant. In this job, she creates press releases for the community, runs social media accounts, and conducts interviews with the faculty, staff, and students of Millersville for articles in University publications. It was through this job that Gabrielle had the opportunity to intern with La Vos Lancaster over a summer.

La Vos Lancaster, Lancaster County’s only publication focused on the local Hispanic community, gave Gabrielle the opportunity to witness all aspects of running a print publication. Pushed out of the classroom and out of her comfort zone, she was forced to stretch herself and meet real people while interviewing for current event, profile, and feature stories. This internship was especially satisfying because the skills she learned at the paper mirrored her classes the next semester; it was easy to see how her classwork was applicable to the real world. Even while on the job Gabrielle was always networking for new opportunities; it was by interviewing for the paper that she met her next internship opportunity through Jim Chaney.

Gabrielle Redcay

All it took was one email and Gabrielle found herself interning for Jim Chaney, a traveling blogger from Uncovering PA. The Millersville Internship Office is very willing to work with students to help them find the best internships, and Gabrielle found it easy to collaborate with them in establishing this internship. Gabrielle always joked that she would love to become a food blogger someday–and Jim Chaney helped her realize that her dreams could easily become a reality. Internships, especially ones with companies or people you are less familiar with, can open the world up for different employment opportunities.

Internships, while great resume builders, also offer necessary skills and experiences for the real-world job-market after graduation. Gabrielle would like to tell Millersville University students to enter the search for internships and to be open to new experiences. Millersville is very connected to the real world and it is important to take advantage of that – learn from everything!