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    English 494 & 494IP

  • Internship Mind Map - mentor, skills, goals, experience, network

Internship Program

COVID-19 Information for English Internship Students

The English Intern Program is returning for the Spring 2023 semester!  There are options for students to complete the course (and internship) either face-to-face or completely online.  This class is open to all majors and minors.

The English department’s internship program offers students opportunities to gain professional experience in a variety of fields, including, but not limited to

  • publishing
  • copywriting
  • marketing
  • public relations
  • human resources
  • community outreach
  • fundraising
  • grant writing
  • education
  • journalism
  • law
  • politics
  • entertainment
  • communications

In addition, we offer internships in which students interested in graduate school can build skills in research, teaching, and service.


Research shows that internships improve a student’s chance of full-time work after graduation and often lead to higher salaries. Interns produce writing samples and build strong résumés.  Do a great job and boost your GPA—our internship class earns a letter grade. 

Let us help you transfer the skills you’ve gained through education to experiences that will boost success in the workplace. 

How to Start Your Internship

  1. Register for English 494 and 494IP.  If the class is full, email the instructor to discuss whether you might still be able to enroll.
  2. Over Winter Break, you'll receive an email from Professor Schumacher with instructions and support for finding an internship, should you choose to find one over break.  You also have the option of finding an internship during the first few weeks of the semester.
  3. If you have questions, schedule a conference with the English department's Internship Coordinator, Heidi Schumacherheidi.schumacher@csun.edu
  4. Search for an internship.  Look at our lists of featured on and off campus host sites, explore CSUN's CareerLink, and browse other websites posted under our resources link.
  5. Customize your resume and cover letter for the positions you want. Apply guidelines from the materials on our resources page and take advantage of services at the CSUN Career Center.
  6. Apply to positions and prepare for your interviews—research the professional field, the organization, make sure you have the appropriate attire (check out Matty's Closet), map out your route to the interview to make sure you arrive a few minutes early, and gather anything you’ll need to bring (e.g. extra copies of your résumé, writing samples, and references). 
  7. Follow up with the person who interviewed you—send a thank you note!

Featured Internships

Our program has relationships with internship host sites both on and off the CSUN campus.  This list does not limit your internship options—consider it a resource at your disposal.  Please click the links to learn more about the internship opportunities listed here. If the link does not lead to instructions for applying, email the Internship Coordinator, Heidi Schumacher at heidi.schumacher@csun.edu, for the internship posting.

On Campus Internships:

Off Campus Internships:

Resources: Search Sites, Résumés, Cover Letters, Interviews, and Other Essential Guides

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. 

Internship Search:

Résumé and CV:

Cover Letters:


Other Essential Readings:

Examples of Interns' Work

Here are some examples of the awesome work the interns have accomplished in our program! Click the links to view their projects.

Internship and Employment Data

Figure 1: Attributes Employers Seek on a Candidates Resume

Problem-solving skills82.9%
Ability to work in a team82.9%
Communication skills (written)80.3%
Strong work ethic68.4%
Analytical/quantitative skills67.5%
Communication skills (verbal)67.5%
Technical skills59.8%
Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)54.7%
Computer skills48.7%
Organizational ability48.7%
Strategic planning skills39.3%
Friendly/outgoing personality27.4%
Entrepreneurial skills/risk-taker19.7%
Fluency in a foreign language4.3%

Source: Job Outlook 2018, National Association of Colleges and Employers

Figure 2: Influence of Attributes

Has completed an internship 
with your organization
Has internship experience 
in your industry
Has held a leadership position3.73.93.9
Has general work experience3.7N/AN/A
Has no work experience3.4N/AN/A
High GPA (3.0 or above)
Has been involved in extracurricular activities (clubs, sports, student government, etc.)
School attended2.82.92.9
Has done volunteer work2.72.62.8
Is fluent in a foreign language2.22.12.2
Has studied abroad2.22.02.0

Source: Job Outlook 2018, National Association of Colleges and Employers. *5-point scale where 1=No influence at all; 2=Not much influence; 3=Somewhat of an influence; 4=Very much influence; 5=Extreme influence.

About the Job Outlook 2018 survey: Data for the Job Outlook 2018 survey were collected from NACE’s employer members from August 9, 2017, through October 2, 2017. A total of 201 surveys were returned—a 20.5 percent response rate. Of those responding, 14.4 percent of respondents were from the West, 25.9 percent were from the Northeast, 23.9 percent were from the Southeast, and 35.8 percent were from the Midwest. The Job Outlook 2018 report is available for purchase at www.naceweb.org/store/2017/job-outlook-2018/.

About NACE: Since 1956, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has been the leading source of information about the employment of college graduates. For more information, visit www.naceweb.org. NACE maintains a virtual press room for the media at www.naceweb.org/about-us/press/.   

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the internship program continue with the COVID-19 Safer at Home Order? 

Sites hosting internship students during the Spring 2020 semester accommodated social distancing requirements either on-site or by allowing remote work, allowing students already enrolled in the program to complete their hours.  The English Internship Program will be on hiatus for the 2020 - 2021 academic year. We look forward to resuming the course in the future.  

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 and once at the end 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 and do a brief presentation.

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 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.

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?

Maybe. Check with your instructor. Internships that allow students to work remotely are permitted if all program requirements are met—including instructor approval, a regular schedule that incorporates consistent mentoring for internship learning objectives and duties, and adherence to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Can I intern on campus?

Yes. Students in our program often intern on campus. CSUN is a large, multi-faceted organization with internship opportunities in grant writing, advancement, 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 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.