What I Did on My Summer Vacation: A Gale Intern’s Story

by Luiza Lodder

As an English major from Penn State University, I was pleased to work as a content development intern for Gale this summer, managing academic and educational online resources and databases. My goal was to explore publishing and apply my skills and interests. Although I was placed in the Boston office, my supervisor and team were located in Michigan. Yet in spite of working remotely, I felt fully engaged with the work and the team.

Part of my responsibilities included updating Gale literature databases and maintaining content. For example, I input author birthdates and death dates, recent prizes won, and recent developments such as book publications or adaptations. One of Gale’s long-term goals is to make classic works available online to customers; I helped by identifying which works were already public domain and which were still protected by publication rights. Being an international student from Brazil, I enjoyed a bonus experience that was fun for me and uniquely useful to Gale: translating an interview of Brazilian users recorded by Gale market researchers.

I also worked directly with the members of the general content development team working on the In Context databases, which are encyclopedia-style online resources for middle school and high school audiences. I selected relevant articles and primary sources for a new topic page, reviewed and contributed information to a page about Brazil, and provided feedback on the databases’ coverage of controversial topics.

Finally, for each of the 100 most researched authors and literary works, I wrote 40-word blurbs, highlighting the author’s or work’s significance and the movement or time period with which they were associated. This project allowed me to use my writing skills while also honing the ability to do research and write concisely.

My internship was highly enriching, with an opportunity to become familiar with the demands of working in an office environment, learn about corporate hierarchies and business strategies, and receive more training with commonly used Microsoft programs, such as Access, Excel, and Outlook. Most importantly, I learned that my studies in English literature provide me with marketable skills that may lead to rewarding job opportunities.

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