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PWE Undergraduate Internship Student Experiences

Pamela Nestor

Internship: ASPIRE Office and Pre-Health Professional Development Office

Pamela Nestor interned for the ASPIRE and Pre-Health Professional Development Offices, which serve students applying for nationally competitive scholarships, graduate schools, or health professional schools. She maintained a blog, sent out a bimonthly newsletter to pre-health students, and maintained various social media accounts for both offices. Pamela wrote directions for students to use while navigating the Pre-Health Office’s GPA Calculator and edited scholarship information online for ASPIRE. Throughout the semester, she also used her experience at the Eberly Writing Studio to meet with students and provide feedback on their personal statements and essays.

The internship taught Pamela the importance of audience, as she consistently wrote for two groups; she also learned that the writing process follows the same basic steps regardless of discipline.

Emily Scopel

Internship: WVU Extension Service

Emily Scopel interned at WVU Extension Service, which is responsible for communicating safe, reliable, and timely information to all West Virginians. During her time at Extension, she wrote in a variety of genres: press releases, media advisories, and county news pieces. She worked directly with Extension Service specialists to ensure the information was current and accurate. Through her supervisor’s mentorship, she learned to write these communications in a way that was succinct, concise, and aware of her audience. She also edited many types of informational documents that required minor copyediting, comprehensive editing, or sometimes both.

Emily’s internship ultimately gave her a greater appreciation for how Extension Service makes information accessible to everyone as well the value that professional writers and editors bring to the creation and publication of any given document.

Jordan Miller

Internship: WVU Office of the Provost

Jordan Miller’s internship with the Office of the Provost taught her the value of making the old new again in WVU’s 150th year. Interning under Assistant Vice President for Strategic & Academic Communication Ann Claycomb, she wrote press releases for annual faculty and staff awards, which presented the challenge of making each recipient feel special and new, even though the releases had been recycled.

Throughout the semester, she also wrote and compiled content for several different types of mail-out materials for faculty, staff, students, and the broader WVU community. She assisted in planning many Provost-sponsored events as well as worked on meeting briefings, remarks, and correspondence for the Provost herself. With the high volume of materials coming in and out of the office each day, she also had the chance to do extensive copyediting on all types of professional documents and compile research on faculty awards and peer-institutions.

Through all these projects, she learned the importance of nuance in writing, as well as adjusting both form and content to fit audience, purpose, and context.

Matt Jarrett

Internship: Digital Publishing Institute

Matt Jarrett gained editorial experience while working for Dr. Cheryl Ball at the Digital Publishing Institute (DPI) as a digital publishing intern. The DPI is a recently-created institute working through WVU Libraries to publish open-access scholarship. As publishing intern, he assisted in proofing and editing texts, querying authors, and spreading promotional materials. Matt worked with a team of other interns and assistants who reported their work in meetings on a bi-weekly basis and were responsible for the completion of assigned tasks daily. This demanding environment taught him to work with greater autonomy. Matt hopes to work as a freelance writer and editor, and he found the experience to be informing and valuable to the style of work freelancers engage in.

In addition to his position as a publishing intern, Matt learned managerial skills working as managing editor overseeing students in Ball’s editing course. As manager of new editors, Matt helped relate editing skills to students and made sure the quality of work they completed met high standards. Students in the course worked with texts in all stages of editing, from production up to final publication in the journal Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, where they received credit as editors.

Dakota Adkins

Internship: Morgantown Early Learning Facility

Dakota Adkins interned at a local non-profit, parent-owned, educational program known as Morgantown Early Learning Facility (ELF). As a PWE intern, he edited important documents for the company, such as its policies and the Employee and Parent Handbooks. He was responsible for all stages of editing, creating content, brainstorming, and collaborating with supervisors. An aspiring freelance editor, Dakota learned a lot through his internship since he did the majority of work from home—collaborating through e-mails and phone calls with occasional meetings on-site.

This internship was not without its challenges, as Dakota learned to apply documents to their respective audiences and to relay information clearly; he also learned to work remotely with regards to time management, project management, communication, and handling responsibility. Overall, Dakota completed his rewarding internship experience knowing that future Morgantown ELF employees and customers will learn everything they need to know about ELF by reading and understanding the updated information that he edited for them.

Shana Burleson

Internship: Fitness Information Technology

During Shana’s time as an intern with FiT Publishing, an international publisher in the sport sciences that operates under WVU’s College of Physical Activities and Sport Sciences, she grew in many ways as a professional writer and editor. She completed numerous projects at FiT, such as editing textbooks, press releases, and presentations; writing promotional materials; organizing internal files; and searching for photos to use in books. She cites the valuable skills learned on the job as collaboration/teamwork, written communication, time/project management, initiative, and critical thinking.

While most of her projects at FiT Publishing were focused on some form of editing, Shana was assigned several writing projects as well. In these projects, Shana learned more than how to identify comma errors, check references, and insert formatting into documents—she also learned the important skill of critical thinking. Some of the most important skills Shana developed during her internship came from working for a highly collaborative organization. She observed and followed both official and unofficial protocol to determine the balance between being a team player and taking initiative. She also learned to write in a style other than her own, which she found excellent practice for any writing or editing positions she might hold in the future.

Alyssa Lazar

Internship: WVU Office of Accessibility Services

Alyssa Lazar’s internship with the WVU Office of Accessibility Services offered her an opportunity to play multiple writing and editing roles. She edited documents ranging from minor copy-edits to comprehensive editing and assisted with developing different and writing the “Otherwise Qualified” protocol in a style accessible to WVU students. She also gained experience in written internal communication as she communicated extensively with the Director of the Office and other staff members through memorandums and emails. She even got to develop her own project ideas: looking at other universities’ accessibility offices, she discovered what WVU’s OAS was missing and developed forms or ideas where WVU could benefit.