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Building an Internship from Scratch, The Process [AND] Creation of a Dream Internship

| Johanas Wyckoff


English internships come in a variety of subjects and backgrounds. For some it’s a way to earn experience, for others it is a valuable way to flesh out their resumes. I myself have had several internships where I was an observer, watching real experts of their craft- in my case, business and communication. But, I had rarely seen anyone who created an internship out of thin air based on the foundation of their own interest in the organization of their choosing. This was the case for Erin Skarivoda, a junior at UWEC who interned for EyeHeartWorld as a social media intern and continues as a part of the staff in social media and communications. The organization itself, based in Green Bay, targets human trafficking through its three step program: Aftercare, Prevention, and Awareness.

We agreed to meet at The Cabin for a quick interview, a simple four question process with who knows how many follow up questions. As soon as we met at a table just near the window overlooking the nursing building, we started our talk. Her eyes shined with focus as I asked about what she did, referring back to her internship experience. When I asked her about her formal ‘start’, she sighed, a chuckle backing it.

“I didn’t know what or how to do it…I wanted to work outside of the box.” she admitted, “I actually talked to Dr. Jennifer Shaddock about the internship and asked if there was an opportunity to do an internship with EyeHeartWorld.”

While the English Department offers numerous opportunities for internships in every shape and form, from the Chippewa Valley Writer’s Guild to the Office of Undergraduate Studies, it was her own interest that constructed her own personal internship with the organization. It took two months to organize the structure of the internship, and by mid-December, Erin became EyeHeartWorld’s social media intern. I asked about what she had learned during the few months she had for the internship, and what drew her into creating it in the first place.

“I was drawn to EyeHeartWorld because of its message; it was through their three step program to help victims of human trafficking that inspired me. Even though I wasn’t involved in the actual hands on approach, I was more than happy to spread the message and show support for them.”

Before we adjourned, I asked her, “If there was one major take away from the internship, in your own words, what was it? What did you learn from being a part of EyeHeartWorld?”

“Because of the Internship program,” She said, “I don’t need to be afraid as an English major, because if I take chances, I would able to have opportunities like these and be able to do them well. I’m more optimistic about the future.”

Erin is definitely pushing forward in her life, with EyeHeartWorld giving her the motivation to pursue her goal. What it is, she doesn’t know yet, but it will be in the same spirit of the organization that helped her find her passion and land a position after graduation at EyeHeartWorld.

Erin Skarivoda is a junior at UWEC and a Creative Writing Major with minors in Spanish/Spanish Liberal Arts, [and] Multimedia Communications. She is also an employee at EyeHeartWorld for Social Media and Communications.