Internships | Doctorate in English (PhD) | Graduate Programs | English Department



Selected doctoral internships

Jordan Clapper: Game Design

Here’s an example of a particularly creative internship: Jordan Clapper studied game design. Conceived during the first Covid year, this internship allowed Jordan to immerse himself in learning programming languages ​​and development platforms with a focus on Unity and Twine 2.0. “One of the things I want to do for my thesis is to include a playable auto-ethnography to give the reader the opportunity to experience the challenges of designing a game on their own.” Being immersed in rules, processes, and coding made Jordan think more about games and literature — and activism. As part of the internship, Jordan joined the University at Buffalo’s Palah Light Lab, “a creative and critical space that fosters poetry, participation, and pedagogy through technology and equity.” Consistent with his collaboration with the lab, Jordan offers this advice to other interns: “Trying to do everything on your own is not advised.”

Yi He: Wide Press

Yi He interned at Broadside Press. There she learned how to run a non-profit literary association, gained experience in editing, and developed skills with WordPress, web editing, and project management. Since Yi is interested in the field of education, she found learning Broadside’s teaching materials especially valuable. She can imagine turning the knowledge gained from this internship into working with organizations that focus specifically on creating digital educational materials.

As for advice to future interns, Yi suggests clarifying your goals and interests so you can get involved with the organization in the opportunities that interest you most. Also, for those doing internships in editing, “I know it seems closely related to what we do as English PhD students, but editing a lot of material in certain styles publishing is a slightly different kind of task.”

Ryan HitchcockRyan HitchcockBolli

Ryan Hitchcock did his internship with BOLLI: Brandeis University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. This suited well, since Ryan plans to teach at community colleges or at the high school level. The internship allowed her to design and teach literature courses and deepen her knowledge of curriculum development. It has expanded its program portfolio by five courses! And he gained practice teaching to non-academic audiences. Ryan offers William James’s advice: “Prepare yourself so well in the subject that it will always be relevant: so in class, trust your spontaneity and dismiss all other worries.”

Nayoung KimNayoung Kim: Wide Press

For her internship, Nayoung Kim served as an editorial assistant at Broadside Press. Her responsibilities included assisting with book reviews, reviewing and editing the website. She was able to help with the production of the anthology, Broadside Press: Fifteen years of poetic and artistic collaboration, and even created a promotional trailer for the book. Nayoung plans to work in the publishing industry; the editorial decision-making and project management she participated in during the internship developed the technical skills she will need on the job. She also learned a lot about the soft skill of communicating effectively with authors, reviewers and publishers. “I think it gave me valuable insight into the internal ecology of professional communication.”

Nayoung advises others to view internships as a place to try out new skills without fear of failure.

Sarah PerkinsSarah Perkins: docuseries

For her internship, Sarah Perkins worked on a docuseries. Sarah already has experience in this industry, and this internship allowed her to increase her technical skills with Adobe Premiere, Photoshop and After Effects. Additionally, she “spent a lot of time researching public domain or licensed images and materials, learning more about copyright laws and fair use.” She also had the opportunity to learn about film sales, including contract negotiation and the distribution process.

Sarah advises that when other students set up internships, they find small ways to mark progress, stay upbeat, and occasionally take time off from the project to recharge. After completing her doctorate, Sarah plans to pursue a career in film. This internship supported her goal by increasing her technical skills and creating a network of contacts.

Carissa WilbanksCarissa Wilbanks: BEJI

Carissa Wilbanks has completed an internship with the Brandeis Education Justice Initiative (BEJI), as a volunteer with the partner program Emerson Prison Initiative (EPI) and with the Partakers Empowerment Program (PEP). At PPE, Carissa helped incarcerated students write assignments, “an invaluable experience of working with non-traditional higher education students in a non-traditional setting.” At PEP, she collaborated in an education workshop, which allowed her to develop skills in creating educational materials and applying for grants. These two projects have helped her build a network of contacts in the field, which she would like to join at the end of her doctorate.

Carissa’s internship took place during the first year of Covid, so some of her curricular plans got derailed. “My number one tip for an internship student: be prepared to be flexible.”


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