Interning at Linguist List: An intern’s perspective

Thinking about applying for the LINGUIST internship?

When I was approaching my final year of undergraduate studies, I started thinking about my future in linguistics and the path I wanted to take. Years earlier, as a high school student, I had discovered linguistics and eventually stumbled across The LINGUIST List in my search for information. Now, approaching a critical time in my academic career, I once again turned to The LINGUIST List to look for information on programs and resources. When I discovered they were searching for interns for that summer, I didn’t think twice before applying.

Over the next three months, I not only deepened my existing understanding of linguistics, but I learned so much about the field that I didn’t know existed. One of the first things I realized was that many of the current graduate assistants/staff were once interns themselves, and others spend time working as volunteers or undergraduate students, so everyone goes through a similar experience and is always ready to show you the ropes.

The best part about being an intern is being encouraged to participate in various projects and learn as much as possible, while being encouraged to ask questions along the way. A typical morning started with reviewing the latest “Ask a Linguist” and “Ask an Expert” submissions from readers, who were curious about everything from child language acquisition to the origin of different accents. I then turned my attention to the GOLD project, where the tasks could range from discussing different ontological properties in a meeting, or working in the EMU library to locate sources with my new coworkers. On another day, I might spend a few hours learning about XML in order to contribute to the LEGO project. The intern program at LINGUIST allows you to explore and develop your interests, and find ones you never knew you had.

Editor’s note: Danniella returned to EMU/LINGUIST List for graduate study after completing her internship and undergraduate studies. 

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