NUCL, the regional undergraduate conference we organize and host annually, doesn’t happen till spring (this year, April 5), but the planning begins in fall. Three interns work on the conference alongside the faculty co-chairs (Professors Weiger and Brassard, this year), taking on work such as: managing email communication and the database; updating marketing materials; working closely with representatives from Marketing and Communications and Campus Events; and reading and evaluating student entries. Here’s former senior English major Cerice Keller, writing to tell us about her experience as a NUCL intern. If it sounds like something you’d like to sign on for, email Professor Brassard by Friday, Oct. 4th to find out how to apply.
For any English major looking to get involved with the department and learn professional skills, the NUCL internship is a supportive way to do so! What I mean is, don’t feel intimidated by the prospect that, for instance, it may require a lot of work, you’ll have responsibilities, and you’ll be working directly with the professors. This may all be true, but NUCL interns and professors work as a team, and this opportunity for students is meant to be a learning experience. The willingness and dedication to taking on this internship is well worth your time, and I’ll tell you why.
I interned with NUCL both my freshman and junior year. The first year, my main jobs (I had other smaller ones) were to organize the food for the day, handle payments, and create NUCL memorabilia, such as t-shirts and bags. In essence, I was required to develop, as a freshman, meticulous time management skills. Last year, I had a different role: I handled the NUCL email account and took care of printing and organizing papers, certificates, and other documents for the conference. Not only did those time management skills come into play once more, but I also mastered the art of professional emailing, organization, and just generally juggling tasks for months without end. So when you find yourself easily checking people in the day of the conference or indulging in the Bon Appetit food for lunch, there is this distinct sense of accomplishment that blankets you—you helped do this, and it’s going smoothly.
But the highlight of my experiences both times was, to be entirely honest, the long “reading parties” we have as interns and faculty. As an intern, you read paper submissions along with doing your normal tasks. Then, you come together for one night with faculty to discuss the submissions. Considering everyone’s reflections alongside my own made me feel like a professional. I mean, we share some laughs and good food during this meeting, but it becomes one grand discussion of English related topics, in which you, as an intern, can offer your opinion.
If I could do the NUCL internship again, I would! If you have even an inkling, take the plunge and apply for the internship. You’ll be surprised at how much you personally and you as part of a team accomplish.