Internships have proved to be extremely valuable for me in defining all the things I don’t want to be and all the industries I don’t want to go into.
I had two major internships over my college years, both in Technical Writing. It’s not exactly a sexy job, but it’s surprisingly reliable. I always wanted to be a “pragmatic” English major – indulge in my actual interests at a university then settle down and be a real adult with a technical writing career. Film and film criticism always lingered in the back of my mind as a fantasy.
I enjoyed a brief stint over the summer at the Sprint headquarters and received a first-hand look at a mega-corporation: a few friendly people here or there but you mostly become an overactive cog in a machine that doesn’t really help anyone. A few months after that gig was up, I moved to a technical writing job at CivicPlus, a (smaller than Sprint) business located in Manhattan.
CivicPlus has shown me a great culture – ambitious and hard-working people, a wonderful and always encouraging management, and an ever-changing work day and responsibilities. I love working there, but my second experience with technical writing made me realize that settling for nose-to-the-grindstone pragmatism wasn’t my bag. I have certainly learned the requisite things you get from jobs – time management, project management, how to use the break room coffee machine – but my internships overall helped create a well-defined outline that is just waiting to be filled with an artful life in film criticism, which I will be studying at graduate school.
– Jackson Wright (BA ’19)