L498 9103 STERRENBURG
Internship in English

4:00p-5:15p TR (70) 3 cr.

SECTION RESERVED FOR COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES JUNIOR AND SENIOR ENGLISH MAJORS ONLY. MAJORS MUST HAVE COMPLETED 12 CREDITS OF ENGLISH AT THE 200-LEVEL OR ABOVE INCLUDING L202.

(FORMERLY L373 SECTION 1973)

TOPIC: CAREERS IN ENGLISH.

The new “Careers in English” course responds to the expressed desire of our current English majors for a course in professional development. Unlike disciplines that are geared toward a specific profession, such as Journalism, Education, and Business, the English major prepares students for a range of tasks in a variety of professions. By the same token, the connection between the English major and the world of work is not always apparent, especially since many of our students have entered the major out of a love for literature. In this section of L498, students will have the opportunity not only to articulate the skills they have developed in English but also to connect with the world of work in a more practice-centered way.

The core texts for the course are a series of “Career Profiles” case studies, which have been compiled from extensive interviews with over two-hundred graduates of the IU Bloomington English Department who are now employed in various professions. These case studies include technical writer, acquisitions editor, marketing/public relations/media relations, journalism, information technology, and law. Each case history has tasks, investigations, and explorations to go along with it. Students will explore some of the complexity, problems and satisfactions, analytical and communication skills, and routines and job emphases or changes that emerge from the case studies. Another text for the course will be Blythe Camenson, Careers in Writing.

The course will begin with a unit in which students seek to identify their own potential career interests. We will then turn to the case studies and begin analyzing them and doing some of the applied and exploratory tasks that go along with them. We plan to have presentations on interviewing. Each student may possibly conduct a phone interview with one of the former English Department graduates who contributed to the “Career Profiles.” Students will be asked to become more self-conscious about articulating how the analytical and communication skills they have learned while reading, studying, discussing, and writing about literature can transfer over into possible career paths. A unit toward the end of the course will focus on getting a job in which the aforementioned skills are used.

Student work in the course will include a sustained piece of writing that analyzes one of the case studies, briefer reports, exercises, synopses, interview summaries, and applied tasks in and beyond the case studies. There may be some dossier development work. The course will be graded pass/fail. Students will be expected to attend regularly and to complete all the varied tasks for the course. This course offers an important opportunity to encounter and explore the stunning and exciting variety of professions that former IUB English majors have managed to forge with their “literary” skills. The course offers present students a chance to rethink what they are learning and to ask where that array of skills may lead them in their various futures.