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Navigating the Internship Journey: Lessons Learned and Skills Gained

Updated: May 16

By Braxton Stewart, SP'24, Manchester University

Time in your internship will fly by. Regardless if you're in the student teaching program, social work program, or the internship program, you will blink and it will be the last month of your time here. Internships are a great way to network and to get to know people. You get to do what you love to do, whether that is teach, write, help others, or code websites. The time you spend here will be valuable do not take for granted.

Over the course of my time as an intern, I have learned and refined a plethora of valuable skills. Throughout my program, I joked that my editor, Kara Wilson, has made me fiercely focused when it comes to the looking at documents. No matter the document I saw or wrote on the font had to be a serif font (preferably Garamond) rather than a sans serif font. Margins are to be set to .75 on all sides with a .3 first line indent. Lines are also to be set to justified with mirror margins. No double spacing. Section breaks are also a must especially when moving on to the next chapter in a book that is being written. The use of headings is also mandatory. Learning how to format and edit books has probably become the most useful tool for my future as an author. Some of the work I’ve done on the chapters my editor provided I breezed through easily. Others I struggled, which is okay. It is okay to struggle with different parts of your internship, all that matters is that you try. I may not have been super acquainted with the topics I was provided such as the history of the Catholic church in Texas through two chapters of the book Faith and Preserve and a chapter of a middle-grade book called The Canning Cellar Secret. I am not as acquainted to middle-grade now as I was back in grade school. Something I would have never reached for is a history book to read during my free time. However, becoming familiar with these types of works is useful as it gives me a sense of the type of editor I am.

Over the course of the program, I have become more acquainted with aspects of copy editing and writing more academic materials. With copy editing I hope to transfer those skills into a career in publishing and other aspects of writing.

During my time with Rainbow PUSH/PUSH Excel, I used more of an academic writing style as the type of writing required a more academically focused style. I used articles on banned books and other controversies in different school systems such as Florida and Texas. As a former education major, I was able to navigate an op-ed easily. My first project required attention to different school systems in different countries, where I was able to use my background and compare some of the foreign school systems. I was also able to find some areas that the United States struggles with which includes the struggle of student emotions and how not all teachers choose to connect with student before they correct the student’s behavior. Instructor Nancy Freisen mentioned in a phone call that connection before correction is a great way to go in understanding a student’s needs. If a student misbehaves and is immediately sent to the office the student can either “choose to not take it seriously or perhaps seek revenge” This helped me with that portion of the research.

Overall, as I have reflected, I know I have evolved in both my journalistic and novelistic writing skills. If I did not learn how to use some of essential functions on Microsoft Word, I would not be in head space that I am in now when I write in word. The hidden character function showed that baby Braxton just hit enter a bunch of times to get to the next chapter which made the whole document look like a hot mess. Pages spawned quicker pushing down the text I have previously written in some spots when I did not know the use of the functions in previous years. Both aspects of writing have become essential in what I do. Though I prefer to not go into journalism as a future career as I loathe AP style it will still stick to me like Chicago manual style and APA now stick with me more than ever before. Becoming familiar with different manuals of style has helped me become a better writer and citer I used to rely on the citation machine back in my early years. Furthermore, when I got my placements I was able to thrive in both.

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