American Intern Abroad: Our conversation with English student, Mary Lindeman ’19

We recently had the opportunity to chat with Mary Lindeman, a senior majoring in English here at Edinboro. Mary just finished her second internship, and we wanted to know more about her experience so we recently sat down for a chat.

Tell us a little bit about yourself 

I’m an English writing major here at Edinboro with minors in creative writing, communications, and theatre. You can find me around campus working in the Writing Center, practicing with the Mock Trial team, and performing in musicals.

 You recently returned from London, England, where you completed an international internship. Can you tell us about your experience?

Of course! I had the opportunity to intern at the National Literacy Trust, which as you said, is in London. The National Literacy Trust is a charity organization that works to improve the literacy of people across the UK, especially children. It was an awesome experience. I worked in their Young Writers Program, and helped prepare poetry anthologies for publication. I also got to do some marketing research and writing for marketing purposes, which was something I had never done before. I definitely learned a lot and got to meet some great people from around the world.

 What was the hardest thing about going overseas for an internship experience?
Hmm, I’m not going to lie, there are a lot of challenging things about living abroad! I think for me the most difficult thing was dealing with city life for the first time, mostly because it was not something I expected to struggle with. Not only did I have to learn how to live in a new culture, but I had to learn how to do things like ride the bus and grocery shop without a car. I’ve always lived in relatively small towns, so I definitely dealt with some culture shock.

That does sound hard –  but it also sounds like you learned a lot! How about the fun stuff? What were some of the more exciting experiences?
My favorite internship memory was when I got to spend the day at Kensington Palace.  The National Literacy Trust has a program called Kensington Palace Writers, where school children are given a trip to the Palace. The students then walk in the footsteps of Queen Victoria, who lived in Kensington Palace, and use their experience to write a piece for publication. In all, the workshop helps improve students’ writing abilities by providing culturally enriching experiences.  It was amazing! Not only did I get to work with some awesome young writers and help them grow, but I got to spend the whole day at the Palace (for free!)

Outside of my internship, I loved getting to see professional musicals almost every week and traveling when I could. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, so I made sure to visit Platform 9 and ¾ in King Cross Station. I even got to see the “real” Edinburgh in Scotland. Our tour guide thought it was so cool that I came from a school with the same name!

How did you get this internship? What experiences led up to this amazing journey?
A lot of things led up to me going abroad. As an English Major, I know how important it is to get real world experience, and I knew that interning was the best way to do that. Before going abroad, I interned at Christian Faith Publishing in Meadville, PA. I learned about the opportunity through the Career Center. It took some persistence after applying – I actually followed up a few times – but eventually I landed an interview and got the internship. I got a lot of editing experience at Christian Faith Publishing and gained confidence. I decided that I really wanted to get experience abroad.

There are other ways to get an internship abroad, but I went through a company called CIS Abroad that other Edinboro students had used before me. In fact, on CIS Abroad’s page about London internships, there’s a quote from a past Edinboro student!

CIS was great. They sent out my resume and advocated for me while I was still in the States to find the perfect internship placement. Originally, I asked them to find me a publishing internship, since that was what I was familiar with, but they encouraged me to expand my search to writing positions, and I’m so glad they did. That’s what lead me to the National Literacy Trust!

 We understand that you are graduating in May – congratulations! Two final questions – first, if you could give your freshman-year self some advice, what would it be? Second, what are your plans for life after college?
Thanks! I can’t believe how fast my time at Edinboro has gone! Honestly, if I could tell my freshman-year self anything it would simply be you’re going to be okay! Starting college is such a huge, scary change, and it isn’t always easy. I think it’s important to understand that it’s okay to not be okay. Ask for help if you need it, whatever that means for you. And yes, you will be okay!

What am I doing about graduation? Well, that is the million-dollar question! I plan on pursuing a career in the non-profit sector or publishing. My overall goal, however, is to write young adult fantasy novels and be a successful writer. So if anyone reading this wants to publish my books, let me know!

We are so proud of Mary for pushing beyond her comfort zone and representing the Fighting Scot spirit #beyondtheboro! If you are interested in participating in an internship, you can find current listings with the Career Center on our Internship Page. Interested in global experiences? The Global Education Office at Edinboro has many resources and information about upcoming opportunities.

                                                                Mary hard at work at the National Literacy Trust in London, England

By Monica Clem
Monica Clem Executive Director, Career Development and Experiential Learning Monica Clem