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Majors & Degrees

Sproul’s internship journey

November 3, 2014

As every college graduate can tell you, getting experience in your field while still in college is a great resume builder and also prepares you for the nerve wracking job search after college. As Sarah Sproul, a senior from Harrisburg, S.D., discovered while pursuing her English for New Media major from Dakota State University, a high-scale research project or an internship is required to complete her degree. Knowing that she did not have any experience in the field, she chose the internship route.

“I knew I would need related experience to get my foot in the door and to start my career. I also wanted to solidify that editing was what I wanted to go into after graduation,” explained Sproul.

Sproul’s previous work experience consisted of working for her parents on the farm, in the fields, and at her family owned corn maze. She asked herself how she would ever get the internship required for graduation if the only experience she had was working for her parents.

Her internship journey started out with applying to 20 different businesses. “The amount of rejection emails I received dampened my spirits and made me feel worthless. But then something told me to just Google ‘Sioux Falls magazines’."

This is where her internship journey took a step in the right direction.

She landed an interview with Hood Magazine, a Sioux Falls company that has published parenting magazines nine times a year since 2010. The interview was a success, and she was offered the job on the spot. Knowing the internship position she applied for was right up her alley, she accepted.  

During the course of her internship, she wrote four articles and one cover story. She completed other projects like writing copy for ads and marketing materials, proofing and editing magazine issues, making sales pitches to prospective advertisers, organizing and filing, brainstorming, and working events.  “Editing is definitely one of my passions. Unlike many people who find the process agonizing, I enjoy it and even do it for fun. There is always room for improvement, and that is what I love to explore when editing,” stated Sproul. “I have an obsession with all forms of technology, media, writing, editing and improving works to the best of my abilities.”

Sproul learned a lot during her internship, including the steps involved in publishing a magazine and the most effective ways to do so. She gained the experience and perspective to assure herself that this field was the right fit after graduation.

Not only did she learn the basics of magazine production, she also learned the ropes of how to succeed in a collaborative environment. “I learned many big picture things such as the fact that teamwork is important and nothing will ever be 100 percent the way you want it to be. Brainstorming helps tremendously and butting heads does not always have to be a negative thing.”

Sproul believes her education at DSU prepared her for this internship experience. Her English for New Media major focuses on English and technology, and she believes her classes in creative writing and applied grammar prepared her for the writing and editing that the internship challenged her with every day.

As with every other program at DSU, the technology-infusion in the English for New Media major is more than any other school could offer, which put her ahead in the technological game.

For example, her Desktop Publishing course familiarized her with Adobe InDesign software, the same design software Hood uses to create each magazine issue, and Foundations English New Media prepared her for the media side of the business. “However, out of all of the courses I have taken, I believe ENGL 375 Publishing for New Media with Dr. John Nelson pushed me to be more creative than any other class. It taught me how to run a professional social media account and write social media advertising, how to print and publish, and how to most effectively reach out to clients. Most of what I learned from that class was put to use during this internship. There was not a time or place where I felt inadequately prepared. So, my degree and major requirements are mostly on mark for where I needed to be for this internship,” stated Sproul.

View Sproul’s articles at:
-Print articles
  1. Taking Her Life Back: Mommy Gets Fit Challenge Winner Charie Jackson   http://issuu.com/thehoodmagazine/docs/sept_2014final/22?fb_action_ids=740933215999415&fb_action_types=og.shares
  2. Keeping Fit from Pregnancy On   http://issuu.com/thehoodmagazine/docs/sept_2014final/10?fb_action_ids=740932705999466&fb_action_types=og.shares
  3. Community Options for Safe Sharps Disposal   http://issuu.com/thehoodmagazine/docs/oct_2014hood-final/40?fb_action_ids=740930839332986&fb_action_types=og.shares

-Online content
  1. Taking Her Life Back: Tips and Advice   http://www.thehoodmagazine.com/2014/08/24/45660/taking-her-life-back-mommy-gets-fit-challenge
  2. Autumn Play http://www.thehoodmagazine.com/2014/08/20/45536/autumn-play