Heidi Siegrist

Biography Paragraphs
Heidi Siegrist profile

Heidi is a fifth-year English PhD student in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Her dissertation focuses on the idea of “the South” in contemporary American literature, and where understandings of the South intersect with queerness in interesting and surprising ways. Her interest in the role the South plays in our national imagination is longstanding; before her time at UVA, she received her MFA from the University of the South (Sewanee).

Heidi was a PhD Plus intern at the Virginia Quarterly Review (VQR) from summer 2020 to May 2021, under the mentorship of Allison Wright and Paul Reyes.

Q. What are your career aspirations?

I'm interested in work where I can put my writing and editing skills to use. I’m grateful that my graduate education and my work at VQR have given me practice and mentorship in articulating and sharpening engaging arguments and stories.

Q.Why did you apply for the PhD Plus internship? What project did you contribute to? Any mentoring experience or highlights you'd like to share?

I applied to the PhD Plus internship because I wanted to put more time into my work as an assistant editor at the Virginia Quarterly Review. With that additional time, I was able to take on more projects as an editorial lead; dig into larger fact-checking projects; and help build VQR's social media presence.

Q.What professional skills did you develop during this internship?

I developed my leadership and communication skills. Taking the lead on editing essays and stories meant learning how to communicate clearly about workflow with my team (especially when working remotely), and about expectations for revisions and deadlines with contributors.

Q.How has this internship assisted in your career development and planning?

It has facilitated my doing the work I enjoy. I also appreciate the practice in identifying, naming, and communicating strengths and skills in the context of a CV or job interview.

Q.What advice would you give your peers on utilizing PhD Plus internships for career development?

I'd say it's certainly worth developing your interests and skillsets outside academia since you can't count on a tenure-track job.  An internship can give you a sense of what you might most enjoy doing professionally, and how your experience in academia can help you contribute to your chosen field.

Sub Category