My internship this semester as the Staff Writer and Social Media Coordinator for the UTC English Department has given me a new appreciation for the work that goes into every little update on social media, something that most of us (myself included) may not think about as much as we should in our digital age.
My duties mostly centered around maintaining the Facebook and Twitter profiles for the department. This sometimes involved finding articles from other sources about writing advice, study tips, and any other topics that might interest an English major. However, perhaps the most immediately important goal in working on the social media profiles was keeping people informed about upcoming events; if the deadline for writing submissions was coming up, or a professor was planning on participating in a local reading, I needed to make sure that people knew about it.
This isn’t to imply that my only responsibility was to report on the activities of others, of course. Throughout the semester I was given plenty of opportunities to contribute original work of my own. I published two longer articles on the Connections blog during my internship. The first, Internship Ins & Outs: Part II, was a series of interviews with current and former members of the UTC English internship program, highlighting their thoughts on the program and how benefecial it could be for their futures. The second, The Power of an English Degree, recapped a Sigma Tau Delta panel of English alumni discussing the career options available to English graduates who decide not to attend grad school. I was also responsible for producing a short series of alumni profiles to add to the English Department website.
As a result of these projects, a lot of my time working as an intern was spent interviewing others. This was a great opportunity for me to meet with other English majors and graduates who had plenty of important advice for me. I greatly appreciated this because as a graduating senior, I definitely had some concerns about what my post-university life might entail. By conducting so many interviews (online and in person), I simultaneously made connections with successful English majors and broadcast their success to others in need of inspiration.
I’d like to emphasize that I’ve loved every single English professor I’ve studied under as a UTC student. They each have wonderfully memorable personalities and I’m very fortunate to have met them. The two that have perhaps most influenced my direction as a student have been Dr. Jones, whose course on rhetoric will be very important for me in my career, and Dr. Hunter, whose Writing Beyond the Academy course initially inspired me to consider how writing in our postmodern age has blended with technology to create new and exciting rhetorical situations. I feel that spending my time as an intern working with Dr. Hunter has been precisely the experience I needed to solidify this skill set.