Internship Series

Internship Series: Five Steps to Ace an Interview with Confidence

This post is a part of a four part blog series covering the interns at Duke University Press. Today’s post provides information on preparing for an interview. There are a variety of of interview styles companies use for interviewing potential interns and employees. Duke University Press conducts behavioral interviews to understand how you have handled situations in previous positions and how you will handle potential situations at The Press. These interviews can occur on the phone, in traditional locations including in in the office, or an auditorium at Duke University for a speed dating formatted interview. We asked interns to share their list of interview dos and don’ts after successfully securing their current positions at Duke University Press.

Business people greeting and handshakeBe early. Being early is the most common tip the current Duke University Press interns have to offer future interns. They suggested a range of times between 5 and 30 minutes early. Giving yourself enough time to arrive is very important, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the location where you are interviewing.

Be yourself and don’t downplay your accomplishments. One the best things you can do during an interview is to be yourself. If an interviewee does falsify their personality or qualifications and are hired, the intern runs the risk of losing their position for fabricated information. Display confidence when describing previous experience because your experiences are valuable to you as a person and potentially to the company you’re applying for. The interview is the chance to impress the interviewer and the company with the skills you already have to offer and explain how their company can help you grow professionally.

Dress appropriately and professionally and don’t bring your phone. To do this you must find the balance between being professional without being too under- or too overdressed. It’s important to dress within their dress code. While Duke University Press has a relaxed dress code, it’s still important to follow business casual dress code for interviews. Leave phones and other distracting devices in the car, your bag, or just turn them off. Devote your full attention in the interview and don’t let your phone get in the way of the interview.


Prepare what you’d like to say so you don’t show your nerves. Speaking the first phrase that comes to your mind may not be the best answer for the question you’re asked. It’s more beneficial to gather your thoughts before saying them. This could be the difference of showing a person is well prepared or not. Know the questions you would like to be answered to help you obtain a better understanding of what the position will be. The questions you ask can show the interviewer the research you have already done on the company and will allow them to see your investment in the internship and organization. To defeat the negative effects of nervousness, remain confident in your skills and participate in mock interviews with a mentor, professor, or a campus career center employee to practice interview skills.

Bring a folder and pen. The folder you bring to an interview should contain enough copies of your resume for the interviewers, yourself and an extra, just in case. Include paper and your prepared questions. This will ensure all of the questions you may have are answered. Write any important information the interviewer gives you and to write any questions that come to mind during the interview.

Internship Series: Letters to the Press

We have created a four part blog series covering interns at Duke University Press. Today’s post delves into the most important parts of the internship application process — cover letters and resumes. If a cover letter or resume does not reflect a candidate well, the candidate will most likely not be interviewed or considered for the job. Interns at Duke University Press confirmed that their personalized cover letters helped them secure their internship positions. 

A cover letter creates a first impression of a candidate for the organization to which they are applying. One of the main purposes of a cover letter is to allow the employer to understand who the candidates are beyond the bullet points of resumes. This is the perfect opportunity to explain how you as a candidate are the right person for the position open. You are able to go into detail about parts of your resume and describe how you are qualified because of other areas of experience.


When writing a cover letter and resume, your experience listed and discussed should directly relate to the job you’reapplying for. All submitted material should be unique to each company. A canned cover letter and resume could reflect poorly on you because it’s not personalized. Many of the interns at Duke University Press credit their unique cover letters that accompanied their resumes for securing their internship position at the press.

If applying for a job you are under-qualified for, the cover letter allows you to express what experience you have had without reaching the amount of years required or lacking a certain skill. You’re able to explain how you excel at the more important skills for the job and are willing to learn the skills the employer is looking for.

To gain more experience for a future position without having much prior experience, the Duke University Press interns emphasized the importance of volunteering. “Volunteering is number one. Being in the work environment, although you’re not getting paid, you’re still doing work. This makes your time more valuable and your ideas more valuable,” Charlecia Walton, a front desk intern, said. Sharing volunteer experience represents a passion for the work  you are doing to a hiring manager. Volunteer experience is sometimes easier to earn than paid positions. If you are having a hard time getting an internship or job, you might want to consider volunteering your time for experience that you can feature on your resume or cover letter.

Internship Series: Finding the Perfect Internship 101

This post is a part of a four part blog series covering interning at Duke University Press. Today’s post offers tips on searching for and deciding on an internship that is perfect for you.


The Press advertises internship positions at all colleges and universities in the Triangle. Three current interns found the internship listings using their universities’ career websites created for students to search jobs and internships within their fields. Many others said they’ve found their university’s career website helpful for internship searches. Other suggested sites to find internship opportunities include,, and

To easily compare internships you would potentially enjoy, you should research all the ways the job could potentially benefit you and make note of your needs and wants from an internship. This will help the process of researching the company with a direct goal of discovering how you would fit into the position you’re applying for. For students, it would be beneficial to search for internships that would be relevant to your coursework and future success. You can use the information found to your advantage in your resume, cover letter, and interview. Many interns said they appreciate their internships at Duke University Press because they experience being student workers while being treated as equal employees and are able to learn from the rewarding work they are given. Social Medicine Reader Intern, Emily Chilton, shared that the learning opportunities and professional experiences she’s had at Duke University Press will help her future career in academic publishing.

-how to be a full-stack developer- (1)It is possible that you may find an internship you are very interested in, but your experience may not meet all of the requirements listed in the job posting. Several interns emphasized the importance of applying even if a person does not meet all of the requirements. According to Forbes writer Nancy F. Clark, men are confident in applying for positions if they meet 60% of the qualifications in a job description, while women only apply if they meet 100% of the qualifications. In a later article, Forbes Magazine described the benefits to hiring under-qualified employees. These benefits include: less established employees have more room for growth, they don’t have bad habits to break, only good habits to learn, they have the right attitude, and you can build lifelong relationships. Both men and women should apply for jobs they may not think they’re qualified because it’s difficult to know exactly where the employer places emphasis on experience. Though someone may meet all the requirements, they may not have as much experience as another person in a particular area that the employer wants.

Journals Marketing Manager Jocelyn Dawson confirmed that experience is not everything when being considered for an internship position at the Press. “We’ve found that our best interns are not necessarily those with prior experience in publishing, or even in marketing,” said Dawson. “We expect that interns will learn about those things from us, and are instead prioritizing qualities like enthusiasm for learning and for our mission, attention to detail, a proactive approach, and, because not all intern tasks are glamorous, a positive attitude.”

Internships are learning experiences. If you’re serious about the position, inform the interviewer or hiring manager how the company can benefit from the experience you do have and how they will help you grow professionally with everything you can learn from the internship position.

Internship Series: Meet the Duke University Press Interns

This post is a part of a four part blog series covering interning at Duke University Press. Today’s post highlights the summer student workers, their positions, and their fields of study. 

Emily Chilton

Emily Chilton is the Social Medicine Reader intern at Duke University Press. She is a senior at Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is majoring in English and history. She is considering graduate school to study English and plans to have a career in academic publishing.

Zachary Farmer started as a front desk intern at Duke University Press in May of 2017. He is studying sports management at Winston Salem University in Winston Salem, NC and will graduate in 2020.

Joshua Gay is a senior at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC, studying English with a minor of mass communication. After he graduates, he plans to be a writer. Currently Josh is the Books Acquisitions intern at Duke University Press.

Sarah George-Waterfield is currently earning her doctorate degree in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sarah earned her bachelor’s degree at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee.


O’landra Goodwin

O’landra Goodwin is graduating in December with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with a concentration of Public Relations and Broadcast Media from North Carolina Central University. She is the DUP communications intern.


Tiffani Jones

Tiffani Jones is studying accounting at North Carolina Central University and is expected to graduate in December of 2018. At Duke University Press, Tiffani is the accounting intern. After she graduates, she plans to start a small accounting firm.

Ithiopia Lemons recently graduated from North Carolina Central University with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication. She will be attending NCCU in the fall for graduate school where she will study educational technology. Ithiopia is a communications intern at DUP. Ithiopia plans to teach and eventually own a public relations firm.


Rachel Mosher

Rachel Mosher is a graduate student at North Carolina State University studying English literature. She is currently a front desk intern at Duke University Press. She holds undergraduate degrees in history and German studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Henry Nooney is a senior at Elon University studying creative writing and literature. He plans to attend grad school after earning his bachelor’s degree before going into the publishing field. Henry is the Digital Strategy & Systems intern.


Alex Sanchez-Bressler

Alex Sanchez-Bressler is a Duke University senior studying gender, sexuality and feminist studies. Alex is the Books Editorial intern at the Press.

Charlescia Walton is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, studying international business. She plans to help businesses with their productivity abroad. She started interning at the front desk of DUP in May and completed her internship program in July.

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Sarah Watson

Sarah Watson is beginning her junior year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has a double major of journalism and political science and a minor in education. She has been working at the Press as the Library Relations intern since September of 2016. After graduation, Sarah plans to work as an in house advertising employee for a large company.

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Camille Wright

Camille Wright has been at Duke University Press as the Journals Marketing intern since May. She will be graduating from North Carolina Central University in December with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with a concentration of public relations. Camille plans to attend graduate school to study strategic public relations.