Opinion: Promote internships for humanities students

Courtesy of Tribune News Service

Internships are an integral part of practically every major. They allow for you to get hands-on experience in a real-world environment, giving you the essential tools to prepare to be a part of the workforce before you fully get there. 

The courses we take in college are important in teaching you the information that will make you a true professional and great at your job, but they do not give you the experience of working at an internship and being in real situations where you most likely will have to problem solve.

While a lot of majors will have classes that require you to find an internship, there are those of us in the College of Arts and Sciences that fall under a humanities major that does not require an internship. As an English student, my original intention was to become a high school teacher, but I realized teaching was not for me, though I still enjoyed my major.

In my mind, I visualized working in publication, research, soft journalism or even in marketing. Unfortunately, I have struggled to find help in getting an internship, and they are important for any student. It was only when I added my mass communications minor that I started getting suggestions from professors for opportunities on campus or internships. Not once has this happened to me in one of my English courses.

Many humanities students think the only option they have after they graduate is to teach. This is not true, as a lot of the most “sought-after job skills by employers for 2019 found the three most-wanted 'soft skills' were creativity, persuasion and collaboration,” and “few courses of study are quite as heavy on reading, writing, speaking and critical thinking as the liberal arts," according to BBC Worklife.

Unfortunately, though, a lot of employers still want to see that you have worked with a company or an organization as a co-op or intern. The options for humanities students, especially English students, are a lot larger than many think and there needs to be more encouragement and help for them to reach their desired goals.

A place to start would be using Handshake, which you can find on the Career Center’s website. This website is good for giving you an idea of what you can look for as a humanities student, and you will find that a lot more companies are looking for English students than you might have originally believed.

The other option for taking matters into your own hands is to directly get in contact with your adviser or talk to one of your professors. It seems, as humanities students, we must find these opportunities on our own while others get a lot more support in their job search — but that does not mean your chances are lower than others'.

There needs to be more encouragement in relation to the humanities and the future of these students in the work world. There are many internship opportunities awaiting us, and I hope they will be more discussed among professors, students and advisers in the future..

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