Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Summer Internships

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

"What can you do with an English major?" 

No doubt you've heard this question -- whether it's from your friends, your family, or even a random person in a coffee shop who just asked you what you were majoring in. The truth is that Penn English majors do just about everything: some become famous writers (like Jennifer Egan) or musicians (like John Legend) or journalists (like Andrea Mitchell). But many, many others find their ways into careers that you might not immediately associate with literature and writing. The skills these English majors learned at Penn, they report, help them in all these varied professions. Whether it's running a non-profit organization, managing political campaigns, starting a new business, litigating cases, caring for patients, or designing an ad campaign, our alums tell us that they value the skills they honed in Fisher-Bennett Hall: critical thinking, careful analytical reading, persuasive rhetoric, in-depth research. 

We want to help our current majors explore the myriad possibilities for life after the Penn English major, and we've launched internships in organizations run by alumni and friends of Penn English in the community. 

How to Apply:

English majors are eligible to apply. Each internship usually involves 20 hours a week for 8 weeks, and the student will receive an award from the English Department of $2500.

In order to apply, please email the following documents to Loretta Witham Turner and the undergraduate chair of English (Jean-Christophe Cloutier) by noon on April 17, 2023:

  1. a brief statement of why you are interested in the position (300 words maximum)
  2. an unofficial transcript
  3. your resume
  4. the name of a faculty member who knows you well and is willing to provide a brief recommendation (300 words)


Summer 2023 Internship opportunity with Penn Libraries


DEIA Juvenile Literature Collections Intern


The Penn Libraries seeks a creative and proactive undergraduate to help enhance, describe, broaden awareness of, and support use of its DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility) Juvenile Literature Collection. The experience is project based: there are no standard working hours, but, with assistance from a Penn Libraries mentor, the intern is expected to navigate a complex academic library and work with communications, technology and content experts throughout Van Pelt Library in meeting mutually determined objectives that highlight the Juvenile Literature Collection.



Possible projects include: 


  • Survey stakeholders around campus, including faculty, students and staff, to explain why the Libraries' DEIA juvenile literature collection is important for pedagogy, research, representation and general interest. 
  • Applying scholarly and practical criteria, recommend ways in which the collection can be grown to meant institutional priorities. 
  • Work with the Libraries' Communications department to write a series of blog posts about the collection and your experiences interacting with it. 
  • Curate an online exhibit featuring the Libraries' collection. 
  • Write descriptions of holdings in the Special Collections library. 
  • Create pedagogical tools such as rigorously analyzed lists of books about specific tropes, themes or genres.  

Please direct any question you may have about this internship to the undergraduate chair.




Previous Summer Alumni Mentorships & Student Interns