Virginia Children’s Book Festival Internship

TLC pic2 (2)My name is Jessica Groff and I am a senior English major with a concentration in Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and a minor in Children’s Literature. I will be graduating this spring, May 2016. I am very lucky and grateful to have done my internship with Dr. Miskec and the Virginia Children’s Book Festival Committee in the Fall of 2015.

What did I do?

For my internship I worked with Children’s Literature professor Dr. Miskec and the Virginia Children’s Book Festival (VCBF) planning committee to plan the festival. We met and coordinated volunteers and helped to choose authors and the events that would go on during the festival. Aside from planning I was in charge of creating the documents that the volunteers would get in order to navigate and fulfill their duty for the festival. In addition to the documents in the volunteer folders, I helped to draft emails that were sent out to volunteers as well as creating a chart to organize each volunteer and their time slots. I was also responsible for researching and knowing about each author and illustrator along with their works in order to make sure their experience at the festival was awesome.

Some tasks that I completed during the course of my internship are:

  • Drafting professional emails for volunteers
  • Creating easy to navigate documents with the volunteers in mind
  • Creating administrative documents for Dr. Miskec’s organizational use
  • Attending meetings and giving input on how to best assist volunteers, attendees, and authors at the event
  • Organized, coordinated and assisted volunteers the day of the event
  • Edited and proofread documents for Dr. Miskec

What did I learn?

I learned to apply the concepts that we learned in professional writing and rhetoric courses to make a document that is easy for the reader to navigate. In drafting the emails I used my professional writing skills to write them in a way that was uniform and professional while still being personal for each volunteer. I used communication skills to correspond with the volunteers and the committee as well with Dr. Miskec. I learned to collaborate with others and put forth my own opinions while still taking others’ opinions into account. I was able to use time management skills to get my document drafts and edited documents into Dr. Miskec by the deadline that was assigned to me. General English skills were used to read the books and do research on each of the authors so I was able to use my rhetoric skills to appeal to the specific authors and their needs. I was also able to communicate these needs to the volunteers that were assisting these authors. Overall, the best skill I learned would have to be learning to draft documents that contain instructions in a clearer way so that a wide audience could understand.

How did I find it?

After realizing that I would like to pursue some type of career that pertains to children’s literature I reached out to Dr. Miskec. After talking to her she explained to me the different ways this internship would help me to learn more about children’s literature and apply my rhetoric and professional writing skills. After this I went to Dr. Lettner-Rust and we discussed the benefits of the internship and I went on to take the internship in assisting Dr. Miskec as well as the VCBF committee. I am so happy to have found this internship because it has helped me expand my rhetoric and professional writing skills that I already had as well as discover more about children’s literature.

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