Majoring in literature is a great opportunity to broaden your perspectives about literature, culture and academia. But if you’re a literature major, you may be wondering how you can apply that knowledge in the real world, especially when it comes to finding a job that’s right for you. This is where an internship can help. Giving you hands-on experience of a particular type of role, internships help you fine-tune your marketable skills and prepare you for applying those skills and knowledge in the real world.
Some of the most common internships for literature majors are:
Whether you’re working for an independent publisher or a big publishing house, a publishing internship helps you get a sense of everything involved in putting out a book or putting together a peer-reviewed journal. From researching author biographies to fact-checking information, writing press releases, arranging book signings and assisting with the operations of your particular department, you’ll get great exposure to what the publishing field is all about.
Literary agency intern
As a literary agency intern, you’ll assist the staff of a literary agency as they negotiate contracts and prepare manuscripts for publication. You’ll also assist with updating the website and social media accounts, reading and evaluating manuscripts and handling email correspondence with authors. Depending on the type of literary agency you work for, you may also be asked to prepare contracts and participate in meetings and workshops. This type of internship is great exposure to another side of the publishing industry.
Literary magazine intern
Interning for a literary magazine is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about poetry and short fiction while still gaining some insights into the world of publishing. As an intern, you’ll assist the editorial staff with tracking submissions, evaluating manuscripts and transcribing interviews. You may also coordinate schedules, manage social media accounts, write press releases and sit in on editorial meetings. It’s fast-paced environment but also one that lets you wear many hats.
If you’re a literature major looking to branch out into journalism, an internship with a digital media company, radio or television network is the way to go. Along with researching and fact-checking articles, your responsibilities may include attending media events and updating social media accounts. Depending on the type of publication you work for, you might even get an opportunity to conduct interviews or write articles. A journalism internship will give you the hands-on experience you need to get your foot in the door for a career in journalism.
Public relations intern
If you have a strong interest in media and public relations, a public relations internship could be another great option. Based either at a PR agency or on an in-house team, this type of internship will give you a firsthand feel for what it takes to create and maintain a public presence for a brand. You’ll also learn how to write press releases, communicate with clients and pitch article ideas to media outlets.
For literature majors who are considering going into the nonprofit sector, an internship at a nonprofit could be a good fit. From assisting with grant writing to managing social media accounts, you’ll get to put your communication skills to use while also learning more about how nonprofits operate.
From knowing how to research a news story to coordinating the different processes involved in publishing a literary magazine, an internship is a wonderful way for literature majors to explore their options, learn new skills and reinvent themselves.
Next, learn more about this college major such as What Types of Skills Are Best for a Literature Major? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 6 Things to Do in Your First Week at a New Job.