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Dispatches from the Field


Internships can be amazing experiences and can provide real life knowledge and skills to students. Four English department students recalled their adventures during their internships in the fall semester.  

Austin Jean Dehnke

“This internship has made me push my boundaries and go beyond what I previously thought I was capable of.”

Austin Jean Dehnke interned for WEAU in Fall of 2016. In her words, the internship gave her “great experience in reporting, producing, and communication.”

A Creative Writing major, Dehnke used the skills she has learned in class to “be creative and strategic when writing stories” in the field.

Through her work she has improved upon her communication skills in particular, stating, “I am able to be assertive and accomplish goals that I previously struggled with.”

In writing to future interns Dehnke said, “Internships provide you with the opportunity to experience new things, create lasting relationships, enhance your skills, and grow as an individual.”

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Alanna Lynn Witter

“Go above and beyond so that you set yourself apart from any of your peers.”

Alanna Lynn Witter interned for Western Dairyland in Fall of 2016. In her words, the internship helped her, “future as a writer in that it gives me experience with writing press releases and working with clients.”

Emphasizing in technical writing, grant writing, and editing, Witter has always “felt prepared to take on any task throughout (her) internship experience.”

Her interpersonal skills have improved over the course of their internship, stating that her skills have developed more fully throughout the internship.

In writing for future interns Alanna said, “work hard and always try to go above and beyond so that you set yourself apart from any of your peers.”

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Alison Rose Campbell

“As someone who would rather be outside in nature than anywhere else at pretty much any time, this is absolutely incredible.”

Alison Rose Campbell interned for Beaver Creek Reserve in Fall of 2016. In her words, the internship gave them, “I am required to figure a lot more of my work out on my own, instead of relying on someone else to walk me through every step. This is valuable experience because it will help me adjust a lot to a future workplace.”

Campbell has, “use(d) the knowledge of critical theory… to bring new ideas to the table,” a skill she uses in tandem with the writing and editing skills developed from her Rhetoric of Science Technology and Culture major

By becoming more accustomed to an office setting she has become a more independent worker stating, “I am becoming increasingly more capable of solving problems that I run into at work without needing to ask for assistance every step of the way.”

In writing for future interns Alison said, “be open to several different types of internships. When I was applying to internships last spring, I was focused on only doing technical writing or editing internships. Although I do a fair amount of editing now in my internship at Beaver Creek, I am doing more creative writing for the blog and Woodprints, the quarterly newsletter.”

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Naomi Esther Hobbs

“This internship has been pivotal to my future career. I got to find out what working in a technological field felt like on a day-to-day basis.”

Naomi Esther Hobbs interned for Silicon Graphics in Fall of 2016. In her work she has learned much about her future career path as a technical writer, saying, “. I got to find out what working in a technological field felt like on a day-to-day basis: the independent work, collaboration with other tech writers, and learning from and interpreting the complex messages that programmers, engineers, and field technicians want to communicate.”

A Technical Writing major, Hobbs has leaned a variety of skills that have proven useful in her internship. The skills of “simplifying my writing, detailed critical thinking, and problem solving, helped a lot more than I thought they would.”

Though she initially had challenges working with the professional software systems she was able to acquire a new skill she would not have learned in school, stating, “believe it will be a huge boost for my future career.”

In writing for future interns Naomi said, “For anyone interested in an internship, I suggest going for it! Apply, brush up on the areas that are important to the employer, do your research about them to learn what they value, and sell them on you! Apply to multiple places, multiple times, if needed. You won’t regret it.”

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If you would like an Internship this spring, there are still open positions!  Specifically, your very own English department is looking for interns for this spring semester, and Learning Technology Documentation Services has a paid internship open immediately for someone who is able to work for a minimum of 1 1/2 years. 

And remember, not only does an internship give you essential job experience, but by enrolling in ENGL 498: Internship in Writing you can get 1-3 credits for an internship, and it fulfills your entire service learning requirement.  Contact Dr. Jenny Shaddock (shaddoj@uwec.edu) for more information. 


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