Don’t Be Overwhelmed, Simplfy Your Internship Search

Don’t Be Overwhelmed, Simplfy Your Internship Search

In the midst of midterms, clubs and organizations, projects, sports, upcoming breaks and oh yeah–class, even the thought of looking for an internship can be overwhelming. I’m going to help you simplify your internship search.

I definately understand that you have a lot going on – which might even include your fall internship. The reality of the matter is that the summer 2019 internship search season is already underway. Seeing as how it is only October, you are not behind, but I’m trying to keep you from falling behind.

So how do we make the internships search process a little less daunting? Here are a four things you can do to ease your stress.

1. Get Your Resume Ready Before You Start

Before you dive head first into looking for an internship, you need to pause and make sure you have a good resume. You don’t want to find a position you want, only to have to then stop and write a resume. If you don’t know how to write a resume, then it is time to learn how to create this vital piece of your package. Career services is your first stop. 

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A few quick tips about your resume:

  1.  It should only be one-page.
  2.  Ditch the objective in favor of a summary statement. 
  3. Your bullet points should have quantitative results.
  4. Do not include your GPA if it is under 3.0.
  5. Do not use pronouns.

I’ve put together a free resume template to simplify the process for you. The template walks you through the best information to include, and what you can leave out. Download it now and just start to fill in the information.

2. Get Organized for Your Search

Getting and staying organized is a game-changer when it comes to the internship search process. You will likely apply to many internships before you get your dream internship. So, staying organized is important when you consider that your resume could be floating around to multiple openings. You don’t want to get mixed up, get called for an interview and have the wrong information.

My Internship Manual Toolkit  gives you some organizational tools to keep you on track. The Internship Action Sheet and a detailed Internship Search Timeline will help you chart your path and track your progress. By using these worksheets you will be able to easily organize the internships you are applying for. 

 

3. Grow Your Confidence

As you start to apply, you will hopefully start to get calls for interviews. Don’t wait until the call comes, be proactive and start practicing.  Whether by phone, Skype or in person, you need to be interview ready if you are going to land an internship.

Doing mock interviews on campus is a great way to get feedback on what you do well, and what you need to work on. Participating in interviews, practicing answers on your own, researching common interview questions will all begin to boost your confidence as an interviewee.

Read: Phone Interview Success in Five Steps

4. Be Open to Opportunity

I think one of the best things about internships is that they present the opportunity to explore career options before making a long term committment. The value of the eight internships I did in college was not just the work experience added to my resume, but learning how to build relationships, working in various settings and figuring out what skills I needed to develop.

As a public relations major I did internships in marketing, sales and the non-profit sector. Remaining open to opportunities allowed me to see different departments and learn things I wasn’t learning in my communications and public relations classes. So, as you start this process, don’t be afraid to push yourself to explore beyond the box of you major. If you are casting a wide net, it is less stressful because it will be easier to find internships to apply for.

Your next step is to download The Internship Manual Toolkit and Resume Template now! Happy searching!

 

 

End Your Summer Internship With a Bang

End Your Summer Internship With a Bang

Don’t just show up for the last day cake and cookies, end your summer internship with a bang. No matter if you are going out to join the working world, or back to school, ending your internship strongly can help you land more internships or a job when you graduate.

How does ending with a bang help you get a future job? Doing the few simple actions outlined below can show your manager that you know how to finish strong. Even if you started off shaky, finishing strong is a way to demonstrate professional maturity, gratitude for the internship and a desire to work for the company.

1. Secure Contact Information

Before your internship is over, start the process of transfering email addresses and phone numbers to your personal email account. You will likely lose access to your employer provided email a few days after your intenrship is over. If all of the contacts that you want are stuck in that email, you will have lost them. Make sure your personal email address is a simple one that allows people to easily identify you. You may need to get a reference or recommendation from one of them in the future.

2. Set up a LinkedIn Profile

Another way to keep in contact is through LinkedIn. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, make one before your internship is over. Once you have your profile, start asking your colleagues if you can connect with them on Linkedin. For many profesionals, LinkedIn is the preferred method of staying connected. Many companies turn to LinkedIn to post internships, jobs and review resumes.

3. Update Your Resume and Portfolio

While the projects are still fresh in your mind, start updating your resume. When your internship is over, you can add more info to your resume. This is also your chance to make sure you secure any physical or electronic copies of projects that you worked on. Make sure that if there is any sensative information that you worked on that you receive the proper authorization. While you are updating your resume, update your LinkedIn profile to match. If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready when opportunity arises.

4. Send Handwritten Thank-You Notes

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Buy a box of thank-you cards and write handwritten notes to your co-workers and supervisors. Sending an email, a tweet or text is not how you leave a lasting impression. Not likley that the other interns will make the same effort.Who doesn’t like getting handwritten notes?

5. Ask About Upcoming Opportunities

If you are graduating, let your manager know that you are interested in any full-time openings they have. They may not have any openings, but things change all the time. If your manager knows that you are interested in working for the company, when something comes up you may get the call. In the event you are returning to school, you can ask about continuning your internship through the fall, even remotely depending on the job.

Between ungrad and grad school I did eight internships. Each internship left me with a unique experience and perspective. Reflect on your internship not just in regards to the projects for your portfolio, but how you grew as a person. What did you learn about yourself? What did you learn about what you value in a future employer? Did you hate being in an office all day? The internship experience is a unique peak into life after college. Take advantage of the opportunity and learn from it.

 

Why Recent College Grads Should Consider Post Grad Internships

Why Recent College Grads Should Consider Post Grad Internships

Updated Dec 5, 2020

There are a number of reasons why recent college grads should consider post grad internships. In a perfect world, you bang out your final exams, graduate, maybe move to a new city, set up your new apartment and start your career at a well-paying job the week after graduation. Well, that idea has been thrown out the window – thanks COVID! For a lot people, post grad internships while we recover from COVID-19 might be the best short-term solution.

An 8-12 week post graduation internship might be a better alternative to taking any unfulfilling full-time job. The best scenario is a paid internship of course, however, if you find a flexible full-time job, you could still intern for 15-20 hours per week at the same time. Overall, the additional internship experience buys you time while you build your resume, look for a job and wait for the economy to bounce back. Doing an internship after college does not mean you’ve given up!

“75 percent of employers report that the primary focus of their internship program was to recruit college graduates for full-time, entry-level positions.” 

1. Employers like to hire previous interns

According to a recent National Assocation of  Colleges and Employers Survey, 75 percent of employers report that the primary focus of their internship program was to recruit college graduates for full-time, entry-level positions. For employers, the opportunity to work with an intern for a few months is the best way to observe if that person will be a good fit with the company long-term.

For you, internships let you determine if you want to work for the company or in that field. Getting invovled, working on projects and contributing to an employer through an intership is your best chance at showing them why they need to hire you.  Be the exceptional intern and you could go from intern to employee before the internship is over.



2. Post grad internships can give you work experience

Post grad internships give you additional work experience. Work experience is the #1 thing employers look for in a new hires. Maybe you’ve heard people say, “how am I supposed to get experience if no one will hire me“, the answer is internships. Employers like to see internship experience because it shows that you have had a chance to apply your classroom knowledge in a real world setting. The classroom, your grade point average and the college you attended can only take you so far. You need to be able to show that you can contribute on the job and learn quickly. Use your internship to gain or improve new hard and soft skills which will make you more marketable.

Consider that in this post COVID-19 world, there are industries that have flondered and others that have flourished.  A post grad internship could be the way to enter a different industry that you hadn’t thought of.

3. You’re not excited about your major

When you started your college career you may have been all gung-ho about your major. Somewhere along the way you just lost the excitement you once had. An internship in the field could confirm that you really don’t like it or remind you of why you were excited before. The good/bad thing about an internship is that it is for a set period of time. At the end of 8-12 weeks, if you find that you actually do hate the field, your co-workers or the company, you can leave with no strings attached.

I did eight internships in college. As a public relations major I did internships in business, sales, marketing, public affairs and public relations, in different sectors for companies and organizations of varying sizes. What I learned about myself, the workplace, and the skills I needed for each profession was invaluable! Getting beyond your major could be an eye opening experience for you.

4. Build Your Network

post grad internsNetworking is a major component to finding a job. Some surveys say that up to 85% of people find their jobs though networking. Your network might be bigger than you think when you stop to consider friends, family, fraternity or sorority connections, the university alumni network, religious affiliations and professional organizations. However large or small your network, spending time at an internship provides the opportunity to expand your network.

I recommend doing multiple informational interviews while at your internship to learn about different positions as well as the people in those roles. Networking opportunities can also lead to you meeting and connecting with mentors. Mentors are an incredible resource and you should make an effort to establish a relationships with someone who can be a mentor. The guidance of a mentor could help you clarify where you want to work and what you want to do.

5. Graduate school is expensive

I took two years off between my undergradate and graduate degrees. I thought I knew what I wanted. As graduation grew closer, I only seemed to get more confused about location, law school, grad school, b-school or going straight into the workforce. I returned home to Rochester, NY and landed my first full-time job in college admissions. That two years of work experience helped me gain clarity on my professional and academic goals, pay down some student loan debt and save money for moving to Maryland for graduate school.

In turn, the work experience I gained made getting a graduate assistantship (GA) an easier path for me. I was a GA in the Office of Student Affairs. As a graduate Assistant, my tuition was 100% covered the university in exchange for 15-20 hours of work per week.  In addition to my tuition being covered, I was paid $12,000 per year. My graduate assistantship (similar to an internship) allowed me to continue to build my resume, get involved on campus and helped clarify my professional goals. It also saved me about  $25,000.




6. Where to find post grad internships

So if you’ve established that a post grad internship might be a good idea, what’s next. There are some companies that have been doing post grad internships for years.

Those are just a few companies offering post grad internships. Check sites like LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster and other job search engines. Also, subscribe to my Diversity Internship Directory, a comprehensive listing of companies looking for diverse interns and new hires. Depending in the industry,  it migh be easier post COVID-19 to find an internship over a full-time job.

7. You can perfect your job searching skills

If you can master the internship search process, you will be better at searching for a job. For either purpose, job or internship, you need to put together a well-crafted resume and cover letter. Putting together a superstar level LinkedIn profile is also a necessity in todays competitive work environment. If you have never been on a professional job interview, interviewing for internships can help you gain confidence in your interviewing skills.

Deciding to do an internship post-grad doesn’t mean you just apply for everything you see and hope for the best. Develop a strategy and understand what type of internship you are looking for. What skills do you want to enhance or learn? Is there a particular industry or company you want to work for? Just like your job search, your internship should be focused too. My free Internship and Job Tracker walks you through the steps of getting your internship game plan together.

The key to success is to be proactive. Get your resume together, apply, network, learn new skills, practice interviewing and do an internship. Evaluate what you want and see if it is in line with the skills you bring to the table. It may not happen overnight, but you will breakthrough.

If an internship is not your choice, then jump into your first post graduation job, make a few dollars and understand that it is only the beginning!

How Parents Help and Hurt the Internship Search

How Parents Help and Hurt the Internship Search

In today’s competitive marketplace, internships are no longer optional for graduates who want to successfully transition from student to working professional. A pivotal role, parents can help and hurt in the internship search process.

Even the most well meaning parents can get too involved, while others might feel they don’t have anything to contribute. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

Internships: The Great Equalizer

I spent five years managing a national internship program that placed students from across the country in paid internships with major media companies. From major television networks, to Hollywood studios, professional sports leagues, telecom companies and other facets of the media world, these internships were all paid and highly competitive.

No matter what school they attended, at the start of every summer my students were all equally set to spend the summer at an awesome major media company internship.  Internships can be the great equalizer when it comes to the job search. The students in my program came from different colleges, with different price tags and prestige levels… but all earned top notch internship opportunities.



How parents can hurt the internship search

Do not take over

Resist the urge to do the leg work. It is not your internship search. This is the practice run before the job search happens after graduation. Parents can be a resource, pass on information and make introductions. They might make mistakes, not follow up in the appropriate time frame or some other error, but they will learn. Be there to offer suggestions, but do not take over the search process. 

Depending on when you last searched for a job, the tools and the landscape may have changed. Companies regularly use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to look for interns and new employees. LinkedIn is the top networking site for professionals to connect and resumes no longer include objectives or references. Parents could unknowinlgy be providing outdated advice.

Do not write their resume

Unless you happen to be a career coach or work in human resources, send them to career services at school to get help crafting a professional resume. You pay tuition, use career services! Resume formats may have very well changed a lot since the last time you wrote a resume. Resume and cover letter writing are skills that students should master in college. 

Do not do their follow up for them

If your child applies for an internship, DO NOT call the company to inquire about the application. If your child fails to follow up, take it as a lesson learned. Nothing shows an employer that the prospect is not ready for a professional internship like having “mommy” call to check on things. 

Do not go on the interview.

Just don’t. Drop them off and keep it moving.

How parents can help in the search process

Do start the conversation

Start a conversation about when and where they are planning to start looking for their dream internship opportunity. The beauty in this process is that you can start searching for internships at anytime. Most students and parents fail to realize that many of the best summer internship deadlines happen in the fall. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the New York Times Newsroom, Google, Facebook are just a few internships with fall deadlines for the following summer.

While working at a big name company is a get for anyone’s resume, the goal is any quality internship. In my Internship Manual Toolkit, I provide a complete timeline to help with the internship search process, no matter the time of year.

Do establish expectations

Even if it is not required for graduation, make doing internships a requirement for your support. 

Discuss when they plan on doing them and periodically check on their progress. Require that they visit the career services office to have their resume reviewed and that they participate in a mock interview – all before senior year.

Set the expectation with them for how many internships they will aim to complete before graduation, and hold them responsible for execution of the plan.

Do help them dress professionally

Most colleges have a fall and/or spring job fair on campus. These events are usually free and bring hundreds of employers right to the campus. Ask your student when this event is being held at their school.

The dress code at a job fair is usually professional dress. Send your child off to college with a few professional wardrobe items. For young men, a suit would be great but a shirt, tie and khakis or dress pants and shoes are a start. Young ladies, a suit would be nice, however, a classic white shirt and properly fitting dark colored dress pants or skirt, with a blazer is a start.

Do Not show up at the college fair.

Do let them experience rejection

In the event the internship search results in a rejection from a dream internship, Do NOT call the company and ask what happened. You can encourage them to make the call, but if they don’t, let it go. The same will hold true when they don’t get that first dream job. Rejection is a part of life and it is no longer your job to try and fix it. If that company was having second thoughts and you called, you might have ruined their chances. No one wants to hire an intern… and their parents.

Do encourage exploration

My philosophy is that students should engage in multiple internships so that they can stretch their wings. So often students, and parents, can be laser focused on one major and career choice, often to only find they don’t like it. Job hoping too quick after graduation can be frowned upon, but trying multiple internships is acceptable behavior.

Between freshman year and graduate school I completed eight internships. Internships in non-profit management, marketing, public relations, publishing, journalism, sales and business. My B.A is in Public Relations and my MS in Professional Writing.

In addition to hands on experience, internships are also about learning about work environments, office politics, dealing with politics at work and many other adult issues that might be uncomfortable. The more exposure, the more prepared anyone can be when the real work world comes knocking on the door.

Internships are becoming the currency to employment after graduation. Landing a desirable job with little-to-no experience can be a difficult task. However, students who participate in one or more internships have starting salaries that are on average $15,000 more than their classmates who did not.

Don’t let internships be optional. Take these steps to support and encourage your student to find and complete as many internships as possible.