FAQ: Research Park and Humanities Majors.

“What is Research Park?”

From their website: The Research Park at the University of Illinois provides an environment where technology-based businesses can work with faculty and students to take advantage of opportunities for collaborative research and easy access to University labs, equipment and services.”

“How far away is it?”

It’s right next to the State Farm Center. 1 S/N Yellow Hopper buses go there from right outside the English Building.

“But I’m a humanities major! Shouldn’t I be looking for internships that involve editing or museums or teaching or language skills? Some of these don’t seem to have anything to do with my major.”

The Research Park openings we post for you generally require excellent communication skills and will help you grow professionally in ways that you can apply to any line of work you want to go into. Every industry, including tech and pharmaceuticals, needs employees who can solve problems creatively, communicating to multiple audiences effectively, and work both independently and as part of a team. These are skills you hone in a humanities major.

“Do I need to be enrolled in an internship class to get an internship?”

No: get the internship first, then figure out if you need a class. Most of these internships are paid, so getting academic credit for them through a class isn’t required. LAS 199 (Professional Development Seminar) is an online class that will help you connect the work you do in your internship to the overall professional profile that you are building.

“Do I really have a shot at any of these internships? They don’t say they’re looking for my major.”

Yes. Employers are less interested in what you’re majoring in than what you can do, and when a job involves communication skills, your humanities major is ALWAYS a “related field.”  And humanities majors do get hired! Agrible, State Farm, Syngenta, and EnterpriseWorks are among the companies that have a history of hiring humanities majors.

“I have some of the qualifications they’re looking for but not all. Should I apply anyway?”

YES. The ideal candidate that employers are looking for rarely exists. If you have most of the desired qualifications, you may well be the close approximation they’ll end up hiring.