Graduate Internship


While many graduate students are aiming for academic careers, USF English offers opportunities to explore a world of career possibilities outside of the university. Our robust internship program places graduate students in large corporations, small companies, and an array of non-profits within the Tampa Bay region. Remote internship opportunities are also available.

The goal of a graduate  internship is to learn how to translate academic skills academia to non-academic careers. During a semester, students work 10 hours per week for an employer/mentor who introduces them to the many tasks, skills, and expectations associated with a particular position or career field. By participating in the day-to-day activities of the internship, students gain valuable insight, practical knowledge, and key resources to help them understand the array of career options after they graduate from USF.

In addition, graduate internship students take a concurrent course with the graduate director in which they reflects on the work they are doing, conduct informational interviews with other potential employers, and create an assortment of documents (resume/job letters) to prepare for their future careers.

Arrange an Internship

MA and MFA students are introduced to internship possibilities in the Introduction to Graduate Studies course and PhD students are encouraged to apply anytime during their program. With the help of the Graduate Director, students are encouraged to find their own internships (although numerous opportunities are also routinely offered); students, therefore, should speak with the Graduate Director one semester prior to the potential start of the internship to discuss possibilities.

Intern Experiences

 Headshot of Graduate Student Nicholas Brown

Nicholas Brown

Sweet: A Literary Confection’s Outreach Division

This spring I interned with Sweet: A Literary Confection’s Outreach Division to create a unique creative writing program that targeted at risk middle school students in an online format. Before the MFA program, I worked as a middle school Language Arts teacher and saw first-hand the integral importance of literacy, story, and creativity in closing the education gap, but also the devaluation of these fundamental skills in the current education climate. The result of this test-taking era is a generation that too often loathes reading and writing, seeing it as an obstacle to be overcome rather than skills that create freedom and community. Skills such as critical thinking, literacy in increasingly different contexts, and creative problem solving. These skills that are becoming more important in the future. I reached out to an afterschool program in Georgia to create an online creative writing curriculum through an official online learning platform. I also found that my passion to impart my love of creativity on a new generation of writers was also felt by others in my MFA cohort. I worked in concert with Sweet Lit and education personnel to create, fund, and maintain a structure and methodology for an online course that allowed other MFA students to add their unique knowledge of their specialty within a student-friendly curriculum. Through this, the students had access to courses on photography, comics, poetry, micro-fiction, and micro memoir. The students were exposed to ideas and concepts of craft within the context of creating unique work along the theme of risk, using critical pedagogically relevant methods and models and well as personal feedback from current MFA students.

 Image shows headshot of Meghan Huton

Meghan Hutton

Ghostwriting Internship

This Spring, I had the opportunity do an internship with the ghostwriter Jodi Lipper. Through this internship, I got to see the other side of the book writing process and played a role in the collaborative efforts it takes for a book to reach publication. Ghostwriting makes it possible for many people who may not have been able to, for various reasons, get their stories told. Because of the nature of this career, the work done in this internship is dependent on what stage of the writing process each book project is on. Throughout the course of the semester, I had the opportunity to work on four different projects, all at different stages. From the earliest stages of research to final edits, this internship gave me the opportunity to learn more about ghostwriting and the world of publishing. 

 Image shows headshot of Brigét Horne

Brigét Horne

Beyond the Professoriate

This fall, I had the opportunity to do a paid internship with Jennifer Polk and L. Maren Wood, Co-Founders of Beyond the Professoriate. First, Jennifer Polk and L. Maren Wood are absolutely a pleasure to work and converse with. As fellow PhDs, both of them understand the challenges graduates and PhDs face as they move beyond the classroom. Through the network of PhDs they have built at Beyond the Professoriate, Jen and Maren bring career education and professional development resources to transitioning graduates. As their SEO Content Blogger, I enjoyed researching how to incorporate SEO strategies, which I later used to write 27 blogs. The blogs accompany a series of professional development webinars that range from developing a resume, to networking on LinkedIn, to negotiating in the work place. In writing the blogs, I learned so much more about how employers approach hiring and the strategies PhDs can use to leverage their academic degrees in academic and non-academic settings.

The coolest part about my experience is that I have access to a network of like-minded and established PhDs who are so enthusiastic about helping other graduates climb the professional ladder. Jennifer and Maren themselves have extended my work with them as a resume coach and researcher. I enjoy doing both of these things, and I have two wonderful mentors that understand the value of exposure and exploration in the work place :)! In fact, they both took 2 hours just to chat with me about their visions and what goes on “behind the scenes” at Beyond Prof. I really appreciated this opportunity because I am an entrepreneur myself. During our chats, I learned about some like-minded African-American educators and two really cool, inexpensive websites I can use to host my own upcoming personal training panels. There are so many things I learned that I am leaving out here, but I would definitely and strongly recommend checking out their content or reaching out to them if you want to be empowered and wield your PhD like a pro!


Image shows graduate student Adam Carter smiling at the camera, standing in front of trees

Adam Carter, 

Zephyrhills Correctional Facility

For my summer internship project, I designed and implemented a creative writing program with a group of incarcerated persons at the Zephyrhills Correctional Facility. The course itself consisted of two and one-half hours of instruction on Wednesday evenings, and turned out to be some of the most fulfilling engagement with writers I have ever had. Teaching at the college level is certainly worthwhile, but teaching a group of writers who have no reason to be in the classroom other than their pure desire to learn more about the craft is a truly gratifying experience.

It turned out that the classroom instruction was only a minor aspect of the internship. The real lessons to be learned were found in the time and energy dedicated to establish such a program, to continue to comply with both university and institution requirements during the project, and to determine how such a program could best progress forward. The latter of this has turned into a project of its own, as I am now working with various university entities in an attempt to turn this one-time volunteer internship into a sustainable program.


Image shows Cat Modlin-Jackson in outside in Oman, smiling at the camera. Behind her is a sandy landscape with trees growing, some growing diagonally, leaning to the left.

Cat Modlin-Jackson

Refinery 29

As an intern at the digital media publication Refinery29, I put academic research skills to use by assisting in content development for the podcast Strong Opinions Loosely Held. My primary responsibility was finding scholarship relevant to episode topics and condensing that information into plain-language reports that the podcast production team could use to write scripts. On occasion I also helped create videos for the Refinery29 Facebook page and website. Not only did the internship give me an opportunity to apply academia in the non-academic world, it gave me insight into what it takes to get a job in digital media. Moreover, by the end of the internship I came away with a better sense of how to create content that appeals to a wide audience. Now I draw on the experience I gained from the Refinery29 internship in my work as a digital journalist.