internships Archives - Kendall College of Arts and Sciences


Rising writer hones her craft with multifaceted journalism internship

young woman with dark hair, smiling and wearing a pink sweater while holding a copy of TulsaPeople magazineWhen Julianne Tran, a political science major, signed on for a spring 2022 internship with TulsaPeople magazine, all she knew was that she wanted to write. Mostly about food, perhaps about people.

“I knew I was interested in food and culture, but I didn’t have much experience writing shorter, third-person articles,” Tran remarked. “I also just tended toward topics that I personally found interesting and didn’t do too much writing outside those interests.”

Before starting the internship, Tran had already spent a couple of years developing her writing skills at The Collegian, The University of Tulsa’s student newspaper, where she currently serves as variety editor and contributes stories. For The Collegian, Tran writes first-person pieces about baking, movies and other topics. These experiences, she believes, helped her discover her love for writing and prepare her for working at TulsaPeople.

Writing beyond the kitchen

Once her internship began in January, this ambitious senior was tasked with crafting more than just food pieces. Being assigned to cover myriad topics, including philanthropy events, FC Tulsa, cycling clubs and nonprofits, Tran quickly learned to be adaptable and versatile.

“In the first week, I was bombarded with emails from all directions: writing assignments, fact-checking, email replies. I was overwhelmed and thought, ‘How do adults handle all this?’” Tran laughed. She eventually discovered her groove and learned to cut out all the extra words and better manage her time.

Sample Tran’s versatile and engaging voice in these recent TulsaPeople articles:

“Call for celebration” – About the gala Uncorking the Cure for MS fundraiser

“A menu for all seasons” – On chef Justin Thompson and his restaurant Juniper

Tran’s internship supervisor at TulsaPeople was Morgan Phillips, the magazine’s senior editor. “Julianne is a skilled communicator who has impressed me with her writing talent and professionalism while interning with us,” said Phillips. “She is a high-capacity individual who works quickly and effectively. I was particularly impressed when Julianne pitched a wonderful story idea on international grocery stores to our editorial team and then seamlessly executed the idea as a multi-page feature.”

Author and cover model

After two months of interning, Tran not only found herself curious about all kinds of writing assignments she had never anticipated, she even found herself on the cover of some of them.

At the end of February, Phillips emailed Tran to ask whether she would be a stand-in for the March cover shoot at a local all-women’s coworking space. Never one to say no to new opportunities, Tran quickly agreed. “I thought I was just going to be a back of the head in the bottom left corner,” she said. Things turned out rather differently.

Arriving at the co-working space the next day, Tran walked in to find four other women looking much more prepared for a cover shoot. Following the photographer’s instructions, she moved around the space for different shots: a mug in her hand, looking intently at a laptop, taking a few steps for a walking picture.

“I really enjoyed being part of the photoshoot process,” Tran said. “I just never thought I’d be on that end of photoshooting!”

Tran, with a short stack of copies in hand, commented, “As proud as I am to be on the cover, I am most excited to see my writing in print.” She joked: “I guess I can add cover modeling to my resume, right under my favorite: author!”

While Julianne Tran took the initiative and organized the TulsaPeople internship on her own, all TU students and alumni are invited to get in touch with the experts at CaneCareers for help finding relevant internships and employment.

Political science major succeeds on all fronts

Entrepreneur, leader, creator — at only 20 years old, political science senior Kaela Lewis’s accomplishments are nothing short of impressive. Over the last few years, Lewis has worked her way up the ranks of several organizations, proving her value to professors and peers alike.

Woman standing with arms crossed outside on a brick pathway
Kaela Lewis

As senior manager for The University of Tulsa’s Women’s basketball team and residential assistant for 24 women in her dorm, Lewis has more than proven her ability to lead. From being a self-made nail technician to serving as vice president of the Association of Black Collegians (ABC) to landing an internship and career with Synchrony Financial, this energetic individual is making great strides toward a bright future. In fact, she plans to graduate a year early and has a great job waiting for her.

Lewis’s drive has not gone unnoticed. Applied Instructor in Spanish Marta Chommoro, for instance, recalls the lasting impression Lewis made on her. “Kaela was never a timid freshman,” said Chommoro, “but a confident student who, from day one, shone as a leader among her peers. I am very thankful for her as a student whom I loved to have in class. In every class she demonstrated a cheerful attitude, eagerness to learn and made wonderful contributions to group discussions. She had a huge positive impact on classmates by raising the bar on expectations and inspiring others to follow. ¡GRACIAS, Kaela!”

A high-quality internship

While she has had many outstanding experiences during her time at The University of Tulsa, Lewis’s internship with Synchrony Financial from May to July stands out. As an intern, Lewis was placed in the Sales and Merchant experience track, where she worked closely with mentors and managed her own projects. Her most notable project was the creation of a quality assurance virtual newsletter. This 20-page template is still being used today.

Due to COVID-19, Lewis’s internship was entirely remote. Despite this, Lewis felt deeply involved. “Synchrony is an extremely inclusive company and went out of their way to make the experience feel as normal as possible despite the virtual environment,” Lewis said. Some of the ways Synchrony did this was by sending DoorDash gift cards and company swag to interns as well as hosting online events that allowed interns to engage with one another.

Lewis’s contributions also left a lasting impression on Synchrony Business Leadership Internship Program Director Vincent Bond. Lewis’s “dedication, commitment, and overall curiosity to her work and the company were apparent,” remarked Bond, who also described the impact Lewis had on her team and intern cohort, stating that “her hard work and diligence made it clear that she would be a great fit for our Full-Time Business Leadership Program. We are lucky to have her rejoin us after graduation.”

Lewis attributes much of her internship success to her time at TU and, in particular, her political science and sociology courses: “Those courses provided me with the experience I needed to communicate and work with diverse groups of people with a wide range of viewpoints during my internship.”

A degree, a career and then some

Outside of finishing her bachelor of arts degree and setting the stage for a rewarding job with Synchrony Financial, Lewis would like eventually to earn a juris doctor and work with high-profile clients as an entertainment lawyer. Indeed, she one day aspires to have her own firm that consists of lawyers who are all women of color. “I am a big proponent of the advancement of colored people and, especially women of color,” Lewis commented. “Therefore, I want to create a law firm that fosters an environment where women of color can flourish and work cohesively to make influential change.”

Along with her scholarly and business pursuits, Lewis is also an entrepreneurial nail artist. A self-taught nail technician, Lewis’s business The Glam Essential offers quality nail designs and services accessible to students on campus. In addition to earning money, Lewis uses this work as an outlet to be creative by “applying art and unique features” to her nail designs.

Balance is key

young woman in a black sweater smiling and walking up a brick path towards the cameraLewis is clearly driven to succeed in her studies and career. But she also understands that balancing work and play is crucial.

When she’s not creating a fresh set of nails for a client, sharpening her Spanish skills, or managing TU’s women’s basketball team, Lewis often finds herself going on long walks, exercising at the gym, or watching her favorite movies, including Legally Blond, The Devil Wears Prada and Confessions of a Shopaholic. She has also found that journaling and meditation have been two key ingredients in her life, helping her to manage the stress that comes with being so active. When she needs a break from school, Kaela also enjoys spending time with her mother, whom she calls her “biggest supporter and strongest confidante.”

Out of all of Lewis’s strong suits, perhaps it is her ability to be both glamorous and serious – to balance play, academia, and business — that allows her to find success in all her pursuits. A real-life Elle Woods so to speak, Kaela’s commitment to herself and her high standards makes her the ultimate go-getter. While she will study her way to the top, she will not do so without having a little bit of fun along the way.

Does the prospect of having job security after graduation interest you? Check out Cane Career’s Job Placement Guarantee!

Exploring women’s literature: Past and present, local and global

Founded in 1982, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature (TSWL) is a scholarly journal dedicated to publishing and studying women’s literature from every historical period, nation and genre. In fact, it was the very first academic journal solely devoted to women’s writing.

cover of an issue of Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature depicting three white flowersHoused in The University of Tulsa’s Kendall College of Arts and Sciences, TSWL publishes two issues of leading-edge literary scholarship each year. Content ranges from critical articles and archive descriptions to information on innovative research tools and discussions on current issues faced by women in academia.

“Our society all too often considers women’s writings lesser, too emotional, insufficiently funny, out of touch with mainstream audiences. TWSL is dedicated to promoting women’s voices,” said Jennifer L. Airey, the journal’s editor and an associate professor of English.

Along with Airey, the journal is directed by Karen Dutoi, the managing editor. Each semester, a group of undergraduate and graduate interns aid in the editing and publication process. “Women are, and always have been, important contributors to literary and artistic culture,” remarked Dutoi. “Our journal is dedicated to the belief that women’s voices and stories matter.”

Global content and reach

A primary goal of TSWL is to spread scholarship to international audiences. Airey and Dutoi further this aim by including the work of international scholars in the journal and publishing their content on online databases.

two women in an office while wearing face masks
Intern Ciara Graham (PhD student, English) and Managing Editor Karen Dutoi

Archives of TSWL‘s past issues can be found on academic databases, such as Project MUSE and JSTORE. “The high volume of traffic our articles receive in full-text databases is representative of our reputation as a journal,” Dutoi noted.

For example, TSWL has been accessed over 140,000 times on Project MUSE at 2210 institutions in 68 countries. On JSTOR, the numbers are even greater: accessed over 1.4 million times at 6477 institutions in 138 countries. The journal’s top-10 most viewed articles on JSTORE have been cited a total of 470 times, and the journal’s website has logged over 19,000 visitors from 139 countries in the past three years.

Special issues

Scholars from diverse institutions around the world frequently contact Airey and Dutoi about specific topics related to women’s literature. These inquiries sometimes lead to the development of special issues of TSWL, with the interested scholars as guest editors. “Special issues give us the opportunity to delve more deeply into a narrow topic in a way that the journal usually does not allow,” Dutoi explained. “They enable scholars to highlight areas of inquiry that do not receive enough attention and draw connections between diverse perspectives on the given topic.”

infographic stating 33 special issues and forums published

TSWL has two special issues forthcoming this year. The first one is a two-issue volume (40.1 and 40.2) focused on “Women and Archives.” The authors included in these publications examine archival research and what it can reveal about well-known and understudied women writers. For Airey, one of the most exciting aspects of this volume is that several of the contributors “also dive into the archive process itself and explore how it can reinforce social inequities and engender counternarratives.”

infographic stating 2016 Voyager AwardIn fall 2022, Airey and Dutoi plan to publish a special issue on “Contemporary Black British Women’s Writing.” This issue will consider the literary innovations of British women of African and African-Caribbean descent since the 1990s. It will highlight the centrality of aesthetic creativity in writing by Black British women in order to acknowledge the investments and innovations they made that have challenged literary tradition.

Internship opportunities

Undergraduate and graduate students interested in women’s literature and academic publishing can apply for internships with TSWL. Graduate students can intern as part of their assistantships while undergraduates can intern as an independent study. Interns gain experience in the editorial process, expand their research skills and learn about project flow and management, all while corresponding professionally with authors, reviewers, vendors and other journals.

two women wearing face masks at a desk gazing at a computer monitor
Intern Danielle Calhoun (MA student, English) and Editor Jennifer Airey

“An added benefit,” Airey observed, “is that our interns learn from the humanistic content of the journal itself.” This close-up involvement with world-class scholarship “gives our interns a unique understanding of the discourses and debates involved with women’s literature.”

“Being the publicity manager at TSWL has been a great experience,” said Ciara Graham, a current graduate intern who is completing a doctorate in English. “I have learned how to use programs like Photoshop, which I never thought I would be able to get to grips with, and I have gained great insight into the academic journal publishing world. I hope to publish my own articles in the future and this internship experience is helping prepare me for that.”

Learn more about TSWL and the stimulating graduate programs available with TU’s Department of English Language and Literature.