The Intern Diaries: Oxford, you say?

The Intern Diaries is a meme created here at Lili's Reflections to share my thoughts, opinions, experiences, and what I have learned as an industry intern with my readers and those also interested in interning one day. Do not hesitate to comment with any questions! They will often get answered in posts if I am allowed to do so. Some things do have to remain private, you know?


Last Tuesday I started my new internship at Oxford, hereby referred to as OUP. It's kind of crazy awesome. I didn't realize just how competitive it was until we had our intern orientation with HR and they gave us some numbers that were simultaneously shocking and exhilarating and made me super proud of myself as an intern and someone wanting to enter the industry one day.

Guys. I am working for Oxford English Dictionaries!!!!! 

How do I wrap my head around that?! Answer: I probably never really will.

My official title is the Editorial Intern for the Dictionaries Department, focusing on their digital databases. This means I am working more with the ODO (Oxford dictionaries online) instead of the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) because, well, you have to be a dictionary editor with a huge knowledge of linguistics and etymology to do that. And while I find etymology to be super interesting, I am nowhere near the proper level to ever even touch a new entry into the dictionary. Instead I can just go into the OED databases and watch while new words are added and new definitions are updated to be changed with the times, and the entire process of hunting down such information is super interesting in itself.

This Summer is going to be very different from anything else I have ever experienced because I have made the transition to scholarly publishing for the next 10 weeks. Some of my long term projects include helping to set up a spelling bee, working on the Word of the Year campaign, creating content for the official ODO blog (which is so much fun! I will definitely be noting when my articles go live!), researching word lists for various reasons, and restructuring and fixing up the grammar guides on the ODO website.

In other words, I am in one of OUP's few paid positions, and I am getting paid to blog and to explore words and tinker on their website while I get to discover fun words like "gerrymander" and the fact that "doorjamb" is not properly in the dictionary just yet. And though it is very different from anything else I've ever done, I am having a blast while I gain a new respect for words and new knowledge about a very different side of the industry.

And, as always, I can't wait to share certain aspects of my experiences with all of you.

Bonus: My bosses are the sweetest, and prove that this movie is insane.
What aspects of this internship experience would you be curious about? Do you think this internship sounds interesting? What is your favorite word?


  1. My favorite word is discombobulation, which means confusion.

    1. I am a fan of that word as well! I also like the word squiggle