When searching for an internship, our program requires job duties to focus on writing and communication. Consider your commute to the position too. You must stick to your commitment for the entire semester—don't take on more than you can handle. Each of our interns leaves a lasting impression of CSUN with the host organization, so spread the Matador pride!
When seeking guidance on job application materials, interviewing, and general professional conduct—you will receive conflicting advice. Confer with professionals in your chosen field and stay aware of the most recent norms.
CSUN Career Center's SUNlink (create a new account—CSUN username and password will not work)
Los Angeles County Arts Commission
The Getty Foundation
Center Theatre Group
Red Hen Press
The Anonymous Production Assistant (scroll to the bottom of the page for internship postings)
Teamwork Online (sports careers)
Federal Jobs Database (use "student trainee" as well as "intern" to search)
Artistic/Literary Possibilities (click links to search the organizations’ sites for internships)
Résumé and CV:
Résumé Checklist (PDF)
Basic Résumé Guide from AfterCollege
Detailed Résumé Guide from Virginia Tech
Writing the CV from Purdue OWL
CV Tips and Samples (PDF) from Illinois University
Sample Résumés – Fictional or Names and Contact Information Removed
Sample Student Résumé #1 (PDF)
Sample Student Résumé #2 (PDF)
Sample Student Résumé #3 (PDF)
Sample Professional Résumé (PDF)
Cover Letter Checklist (PDF)
How to Write a Cover Letter People Will Actually Read from The New York Times
Cover Letters in the Age of Email from Forbes
Sample Cover Letter with Formal Address Heading for Print or Email Attachment (PDF)
Sample Cover Letter in the Body of an Email (PDF)
Sample Cover Email—Use When Attaching a Formal Cover Letter to an Email (PDF)
Basic Interview Guide from WayUp
Detailed Interview Guide from Virginia Tech
How to Ace a Phone Interview from Forbes
Advice for Group Interviews from Work It Daily
Interview Attire from Virginia Tech
How to Build Instant Rapport in an Interview from The Wall Street Journal
Other Essential Readings:
The Wall Street Journal Career Guide
How to Request a Letter of Recommendation from Northeastern University
The 4 habits that derail you from being a great listener from LinkedIn
What Employers Want from Inside Higher Ed
How to Dress Like an Adult from The New York Times
Read This Story Without Distraction (Can You?) from The New York Times
8 Things Smart People Never Reveal About Themselves at Work from LinkedIn
11 Horrible Body-language Habits from Business Insider
An Introvert’s Guide to Networking from The New York Times
Top Employers Say Millennials Need These 4 Skills in 2017 from Forbes
Figure 1: Job offer rates and starting salary offers, by type of internship/co-op experience
MEDIAN STARTING SALARY OFFERS
Private, for-profit company
State or local government agency
Federal government agency
Private, for-profit company
State or local government agency
Federal government agency
No internship or co-op
Source: Class of 2015 Student Survey, National Association of Colleges and Employers
Figure 2: Attributes employers seek on a candidate’s resume
PERCENTAGE OF RESPONDENTS
Ability to work in a team
Communication skills (written)
Strong work ethic
Communication skills (verbal)
Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)
Strategic planning skills
Fluency in a foreign language
Source: Job Outlook 2017, National Association of Colleges and Employers
Is the internship program a class?
Yes. English 494 and 494IP are the courses you enroll in to join the program. The two classes, combined, are worth three units of college credit. The class meets for three weeks at the beginning of the semester. Students also attend two individual conferences with the internship class instructor—one before the start of the semester to identify internship opportunities and a second conference at mid-term. At the end of the semester, students submit a final portfolio.
Are there any prerequisites?
No. However, it is highly recommended that students who lack professional writing experience take either English 205, English 306, or English 407. The writing done in these classes exposes students to professional writing genres and conventions.
Can I take another class that meets at the same time as English 494IP?
Probably not. Even though we do not meet regularly as a class after the first three weeks, experience has shown that students have trouble fulfilling their obligations when enrolled in two classes meeting concurrently. If you think you may qualify for an exception, please complete the Time Conflict Enrollment Petition.
Is the class portion mandatory to earn course credit for an internship?
Yes. The class is an important part of what qualifies your internship as an educational experience, allowing you to earn college credit at an accredited institution.
Do I have to be an English major?
No. We welcome students from all disciplines.
Does the internship count toward a degree in English?
Yes. If you are taking the English internship class, but are majoring in another field of study, consider completing a minor in English. English 494/IP is a core requirement for our Writing and Rhetoric option.
If I’m not an English major, can I take English 494/IP instead of the required internship class in my major?
Maybe. Ask the advisor from your department if they will allow English 494/IP to substitute for their internship requirement. If your academic department grants a substitution or waiver, they will need to submit it to Undergraduate Degree Services.
Can I double count the internship hours I am doing for my credential?
No. According to CSUN’s Academic Internship Policy, internship hours cannot include supervised student teaching, required work in credential pathways, or clinical experiences. However, you might be able to do all of your hours at the same host site. Contact your internship instructor to find out more.
Am I guaranteed an internship?
No. Students search, with instructor input, for an appropriate position. Everyone is encouraged to apply for multiple positions to increase chances of securing an internship by the class drop date, which is usually the third week of class.
Is there anyone who will help me find an internship?
Yes. The internship class instructor can direct you toward internship host sites. We have ongoing relationships with organizations on and off campus and are always discovering new opportunities. Be sure to also take advantage of the resources posted to the internship program website as well as the CSUN Career Center.
Can I find my own internship?
Yes. Before applying, discuss the position with your instructor. If it will work with our program, and you are hired, we will need to make sure the organization is on CSUN’s list of approved campus partners.
Can I work at an internship that is not an approved campus partner?
No. However, if you start the process early enough, your instructor can help the organization where you want work contract with CSUN. Please keep in mind that not all organizations meet university standards for approved campus partners.
Is there a minimum number of hours required?
Yes. Students must work at least 100 hours in an internship during the semester. We encourage students to average 8 – 10 hours a week to maximize the internship learning experience while balancing other school responsibilities. Students set a mutually agreeable schedule with their internship supervisors.
Can I work remotely?
Sometimes. Internships that are 100% remote will not qualify for our program and most internships will require you to remain onsite. Our program requires students to have regular interaction with professionals in the organization and enough work to keep you busy. However, our program does not require interns to be supervised constantly. If you and your internship supervisor agree that some of your intern duties can be performed offsite, those arrangements may be acceptable. Check with your instructor.
Can I intern on campus?
Yes. Many students in our program intern on campus. Positions are available in grant writing, fundraising, editing, human resources, journalism, social media management, public relations, marketing and more.
Will I be doing “real” work?
Yes. The bulk of the duties you perform should be college level, incorporating communication in some way. Of course, most interns and employees are expected to wear many hats—so other responsibilities can be part of the internship, especially if it helps you gain a better understanding of the profession. You should not be asked to spend most of your time filing, answering phones, making copies, or other simple tasks.
Will I get paid?
Maybe. Paid internships are very competitive. Most students in the internship program work for course credit only. Regardless of pay, the benefits of the internship are the experience and skills gained, professional contacts and mentoring, and (ideally) a portfolio of writing samples. Some interns even receive job offers—from both paid and unpaid internships. Federal laws regulate pay for internships in the for-profit sector.
Can I intern over the summer?
No—at least not with our program. English 494/494IP is offered only during the fall and spring semesters.
Can I take the class more than once?
Yes. English 494/IP can be taken up to two times for credit. Please check with your academic advisor to understand how this class will fit into your graduation plan.
Can I take the class if I am a graduate student?
Yes. Graduate students are welcome to enroll in the internship program, but you'll have to fill out a 400 level class consent form to earn credit toward graduation.
Can undocumented students benefit from enrolling in English 494/IP?
Yes. We encourage all CSUN students interested in writing focused internships to enroll. Our program will use campus resources to provide safe options for DACA and Non-DACA students alike to gain professional experience. CSUN’s EOP Dream Center offers additional resources for undocumented students.
Can International Students benefit from enrolling in English 494/IP?
Yes. Our program works with international students to find internships both on and off campus. If you are an international student applying for paid internships, please contact the International and Exchange Student Center to learn more about the required process.