Noelle Kriegel: Fantastic internships and where to find them
This summer I experienced something that many college students can relate to: work. The defining experience was the internship I took a part of, which allowed me to receive credits as well as fulfill my independent study requirement.
It gave me the opportunity to experience a new form of writing and publication that I would not have received otherwise. I partnered with a professor at USC Aiken to learn the editing process of literary criticism, through which we analyzed the style, punctuation and arguments of selected student essays.
The internship functioned differently than what one might normally envision. I did not have to come in every day, nor were there specific hours. It was, however, reliant on communication between my professor and me in order to track my progress with my research and on my readings of student essays.
I enjoyed this experience in particular because I got to practice in a field that I am passionate about, which benefited me academically and professionally. I was also able to stay in the same research and study mindset that tends to drift over the summer break.
Throughout the process of editing, I realized that there are different approaches when it comes to reading. It was really hard to engage a critical eye when I have been reading academic papers with the intent to analyze an argument versus looking for subtle mistakes.
Little deviances in spellings and punctuation mattered, an extra space between words and punctuation distracted the eye and the length of a sentence played a crucial role in audience understanding. It was the little things that tended to be subjective too.
A paragraph may flow smoothly to one reader but be confusing to the other and it is up to the editors to decide how they want to approach the issue.
I truly enjoyed the editing experience, though it was frustrating at times. It also made me feel more confident in how I wrote, which was the next step.
Near the end of the summer, I began my research paper. It is on a topic of my choice and I will try to submit it into the next edition of a journal. This task will continue until this December.
Going into the research process was a bit different than what I have experienced for other classes. I have read a total of seven scholarly articles and two books, both of which are from the 1840s. On top of rigorous research, I did have to balance my other job’s requirements and schedule along with due dates for this internship. More than once I spent my breaks at my other job reading and writing for my internship.