Students can pursue an English major through the Professional Writing program. 34 credits in professional writing, creative writing, and literature are required for the major. A Professional Writing minor and collateral also are offered.
Where do professional writers find employment?
Graduates of FMU’s Professional Writing program find positions in any number of fields including:
- Law and Health Sciences
- Marketing and Public Relations
- Technical Writing
- Information Design
- Usability Testing
- Publishing and Editing
- Project Management
- Corporate Communication
Does FMU’s Professional Writing program offer on-the-job training?
Majors must complete a semester-long internship, English 498. Internships provide practical experience and enable students to develop useful professional relationships. In fact, some internships have led to excellent job opportunities. Participants in the Professional Writing program have competed internships at a diverse array of organizations:
- ACS Technologies*
- Belle Baruch Foundation
- Florence Chamber of Commerce
- First Reliance Bank*
- FMU Career Services*
- FMU Office of Communications
- Jebaily Law Firm*
- Lipe & Associates Accounting Firm
- McLeod Health Marketing and Public Relations*
- National Estuary Research Reserve
- Pee Dee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Assault*
- Pee Dee Land Trust
- South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
- Sumter Police Department*
- Zenta Mortgaging Processes
* These organizations have offered full-time employment to students who completed internships.
What other hands-on opportunities are offered?
The Professional Writing Program at FMU augments classroom study with experiential learning, allowing students to serve real clients in the workplace. A number of classroom projects, as well as individual internships, have involved traveling to client sites, locally, nationally, and internationally. Recent clients have included the Florence County Museum, Hobcaw Barony in Georgetown, SC, the Iditarod Education Department (IED) in Anchorage, Alaska, and the Wildsumaco Biological Station in Ecuador. Blending practical applications with academic rigor offers Professional Writing students a life-changing learning opportunity.
Here’s an example: Since 2004, Dr. Lynn Hanson, Director of the FMU Professional Writing program, has sent interns to Anchorage to promote the Iditarod Experiential Learning Program (IELP). Through the internship, students not only acquire on-the-job training; they also gain experience by living, studying, and practicing other people’s culture–important life lessons that can be used anywhere. Discover more about this unique opportunity by reading an Alaska Internship brochure (folio format) created by FMU Professional Writing majors for distribution by the Francis Marion University Foundation.
For more information, contact Dr. Lynn Hanson, Director of the Professional Writing program, at l h a n s o n [at] f m a r i o n [dot] e d u.
Note: Parts of this document were adapted from a brochure created by students in Dr. Hanson’s English 405 class (Spring semester, 2010).