We’re sure you know all about The Broken Plate and Digital Literature Review, the English Department’s two ongoing immersive learning courses. Well, we’re here to tell you about a new immersive learning opportunity launching this Fall: Jacket Copy Creative!
Jacket Copy Creative will be a team of students from English and other areas working to manage the public communications of two real-world organizations: Whitely Community Council and the Ball State English Department.
If you follow @bsuenglish/#bsuenglish on social media—or even if you regularly roam the hallways of Robert Bell—you will have seen all the hard work that students have put into creating a community and making all the great things happening in the department visible to everyone. That work is now becoming a part of Jacket Copy Creative, and you can be a part of that!
If you become a part of Jacket Copy Creative, you’ll work with your peers to produce promotional materials, manage social media, maintain websites, edit blogs, conduct focus groups, and much more. This is an incredible opportunity to gain valuable professional experience in a variety of fields, including editing/publishing, content marketing, public relations, graphic design, web development, strategic communications, and social media management.
Jacket Copy Creative will be listed as ENG 400 Section 2, and credit can count toward your major. While most students will earn 3 hours for ENG 400, course credits are negotiable, and, if you are accepted into the course, we will work with you to fit the class into your program of study.
It’s not often that you find yourself in a situation where you can create/contribute to something in a real-world context and also educate yourself simultaneously, but this internship is exactly that. During my time working for the English department’s PR team, I’ve been able to expand my knowledge of how marketing strategies are applied, how to brand a department, how social media impacts that brand, and how to work effectively and efficiently in a team setting. I’ve been able to accomplish these things while also being in a safe environment, an environment where learning is a priority and (while this is never what we strive for) mistakes become educational opportunities.
In this internship, I’ve worked with people just as excited about the marketing world as I am. I’ve learned to accept delegated work and to also delegate the work myself. I’ve learned how to write copy, design promotional materials, maintain an online presence, and update a blog regularly with information that is fresh and enticing. Even more importantly, I’ve learned how seriously these things affect our intended audience, and how every tiny thing I do contributes to a larger goal that will make a serious and lasting impact on the community I love so much.
This internship took me outside the classroom and allowed me to apply all that I’ve learned in my time as an English student to a real-world context. It’s been a perfect (and much-needed) step between the classroom and the professional world—an internship that gave me the real-world experience while emphasizing my learning in a supportive community. I am a Creative Writing major and a Professional Writing minor, and though this is branded as a professional writing opportunity, I use the skills learned in my major just as much as my minor because writing, even in a professional context, will always require creative facets.
I can’t stress this enough. In my time here I’ve managed social media by writing tweets, Facebook posts, and blogs; I’ve coordinated digital campaigns, and promoted events for a department I’m passionate about. It’s evident how much this experience has shaped me as a professional individually, but it has also been great to see us improve and become efficient as a team. We have fun and we make each other better. I really do love this department, and working to market it, brand it, and promote it to both its students and the public has been rewarding, and has given me skills I am confident I will use in a career in the future.
P.S. If you’re interested in writing blog posts like this one, take this class!
Nothing has better prepared me for a career than interning with the English department. Classes are great for learning the mechanics of professional writing, but they rarely offer anything in the way of practical experience. And as an English major aiming for the marketing/PR world, experience is something I need dearly. I’ve learned so much during my time with the English department—not just skills in social media editing, or design, or branding, but project management and communication skills that have to be learned through practice and sometimes awkward emails.
English classes already teach how to write for different audiences, but as an intern I can see the relationship between writing and audience more clearly, often immediately, thanks to social media. But the best part of my job, by far, is that on top of all the experience with copyediting, brand promotion, and professional writing, I get to interact with the English community and all the lovely people therein every single day.
It would be extremely difficult for me to start my job search without having this internship under my belt; being a part of the English PR team has allowed me to apply and improve my communications skills in a professional setting. As a designer, I was able to take the skills I had been learning in my classes, from typography to rhetoric, and apply them to the projects we would take on as a team. As a social media coordinator, my organizational and task management skills were greatly refined, since being a voice for a community requires you to be actively engaging with the events and people that are a part of that community. This includes larger scale things like speaking events, as well as smaller scale things like a single Tweet from an English student.
After two semesters on the PR team, I’ve learned that managing a community like #bsuenglish is hard work, but uniquely rewarding. It’s a rare and significant opportunity to bring your love of English to a position that encourages and even requires that kind of love. As someone who has struggled with finding the right course of study, this internship has solidified my proud position as an English student.