Archive for July, 2009
Ladies and gentlemen, I have an internship announcement to make. FALL INTERNSHIPS ARE HERE AND THE TIME TO APPLY IS NOW !
EVENT: Fall Internship
WHEN: End of August/Beginning of September —-Mid-December
WHERE: Your Fall 2009 location (wherever that might be)
WHY: See Below
INTERN QUEEN EXPERIENCE: I took a Fall Internship at a small production company in Orlando, Florida while I attended University of Central Florida. I really wanted to head out to Los Angeles that summer and land a great production/entertainment internship. I had previous internships but none in the production/entertainment field. I knew that I needed a smaller company on my resume in order to land a big company opportunity for that summer. Sure enough, I was offered over 5 internships that summer at CBS, FOX, MTV, NBC, etc.
**I encourage all students to challenge themselves and participate in Fall and Spring internships for the 2009 – 2010 school year. It’s NOT necessary to intern every semester but I do suggest interning at least twice during either Spring or Fall over the course of your college years.
Reasons To Become A Fall Intern
The Internship Experience.
Just like a summer internship, your Fall internship will involve a chance to observe, listen, learn, and really get a hands-on experience in a workplace environment. You will have the opportunity to network and meet people that can really impact your future.
This might be your last chance to put yourself right in front of a potential employer and great network of people who know people who know people (you get it).
Focus on Your Future.
College is your time to try out many different career paths and meet as many people as you can. Spend your college years doing more than just partying in your spare time. Grab an internship a few days a week to get a taste of the realworld, try out a new career, and really get you thinking about your future.
Employers tend to be much less “needy” of student’s time during the school year. Most Fall internships only require students to be in the office 10 – 15 hours per week. Employers are more willing to work around the students work and school schedule because they understand the students needs at that time. They are also happy to receive the help over the school year. I encourage students to be very clear during their interviews about their other commitments (IE job, schoolwork, sorority/fraternity ).
We all know those college students who sit around all day watching television. Don’t be one of them! Learn to multi-task and become an organized intern! Once you get into the real world you will have to handle several tasks in one day and perform them in an organized fashion. Start with your internship. Always be prepared and ready to perform at school, work, and your internship.
At the end of the day, we all want to feel productive with our time and like we are doing something meaningful for our lives. With the constant “economy” conversation, it’s easy to feel unprepared for the workplace. Interning is something PROACTIVE that you can do to help yourself and your career. Do it for you. Each day you can leave your internship with a smile that you are doing something to really accelerate your career.
Take your Fall semester to intern at a local company that interests you. Use this opportunity as a building block for a bigger experience over the Spring or Summer. Normally, well-known employers check your resume before hiring you to make sure you’ve had internship experience. Let this be your experience.
I asked my friends on Twitter About The Importance of Fall Internships:
jennie_02@InternQueen A great learning experience.
smt504@InternQueen Fall internships give you a lot more time to gain experience since it is a 4-6 month term and it teaches you time management!
hji07@InternQueen I wish I would have done an internship, prior to me graduating. It helps so much to have worked in your major before graduating.
ACrimaldi@InternQueen I would love a fall internship but I wish I went to school in the city! I’m in Columbia,MO. I’ll have to check your site.
MattWilsontv@InternQueen Working 4 someone gives u the opp. to find out what u r passionate about. Get as many experiences as possible! via @annevision.
zakmo@InternQueen because you should have at least 2, semester-long (or longer) internships on your resume.
jjaime@InternQueen more experience! Plus working on work-study balance that will help if you want a Masters Degree while working.
Other Fall Internship Resources
Penny Loretto’s Column on Fall Internships: http://internships.about.com/b/2009/05/07/fall-internships-2.htm
Heather Huhman’s Column on Fall Internships: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-828-Entry-Level-Careers-Examiner~y2009m6d29-Land-your-fall-internship-right-now
As “The Intern Queen” I certainly had my share of BORING internships. You know, the internships where you can barely keep your eyes open and have to keep slapping yourself across the face to stay awake. The internships where looking at the computer makes you want to take a long nap and sleep forever. The internships where you are told to “hang around” which means sit down and do absolutely nothing so you start texting everyone you know and saving random contacts in your phone.
TURN A BORING INTERNSHIP INTO A GREAT ONE
1.STOP DOING NOTHING. START DOING SOMETHING. Internship coordinators don’t always realize that their interns are just sitting around. Usually the person put in charge of internships is an entry-mid level executive. They have tons of responsibilities on top of being in charge of the interns and they often forget that the interns have been left to do nothing. It’s your job to be an appropriate reminder. If you find yourself sitting around, go up to your internship coordinator and ask if he/she needs any help. If they don’t need any help ask if you can go around and offer to help other executives in the office. This way you are exposed to more tasks and more important, more people!
2. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR RESOURCES. Yes, sitting around for long periods of time completely sucks. However, think of that time as your personal time to advance your career. Your company probably has dozens of resources for your field of interest that you don’t normally have at your finger tips. For example, at the television networks and movie studios they most likely have daily subscriptions to the trade publications. Most industries do have trade publications and different professional associations that put out tons of reading material each year. Ask your internship coordinator if you can review these materials. You will find the names of people you should know, your industry news, and articles to make note of. Use this time to really educate yourself on your chosen field.
Here’s what the Twitterverse had to say:
smt504@InternQueen: ask for more responsibilities or ask to visit other departments in the office to learn what they do.
LaurNi86@InternQueen pitch some new and creative ways of doing things or possible projects, they will appreciate the fresh approach.
ClaudiaU120@InternQueen Ask for more responsibilities, be assertive while not over stepping your boundries.
lindsayglatz@InternQueen take initiative, bring projects you are interested in to the table with a strong plan for implementation. In short, Contribute!
saramckinniss@InternQueen If your workload isn’t too much, suggest taking on interesting tasks. Using social media to connect w/ customers… etc…
brycedonovan@InternQueen Set a desk on fire?
ysnjen@InternQueen come work at YSN!
ImGeraLd@InternQueen get a new internship
I recently read an astonishing statistic provided by NACE (National Association for Colleges and Employers),
“As of April 2009, 59 percent of graduating college seniors, had NOT started applying for jobs .”
WHAT ? Even in a “good” economic climate this demonstrates a lack of preparation. Student’s should be applying for jobs towards the BEGINNING of each semester. The job search process can be a very LONG one and it’s key to get started as early as possible.
- Students graduating December 2009 should start their job search process mid-September.
- Students graduating May/June 2010 should start their job search mid -January.
Prepare For the Job Search
1. Keep a Calendar. This your time to really get organized. While you hang around and have summer “lazy days” or fun time on the weekend, take a moment to create a calendar. Use your IPhone, Blackberry, Microsoft OutLook, Google Calendar, or even a planner to choose days that you will accomplish certain tasks. You’ve been through the back-to-school a few times by now and should know what you will have to do. I suggest marking down the following days on your calendar:
- 2 days where you can sit down and start applying for Fall internships.
- 1 day where you can take a last look at your Fall 2009 classes and make sure you are meeting all of your requirements.
- 1 day to write Thank You Notes and log contacts from your current internship and any career-related events you may have attended.
- 3 days (after your semester starts) to start researching job possibilities in your location of interest.
- 1 day to compile your job application materials and put together any sort of portfolio, letters of reference that you might need.
- 1 day to set up informational interviews with any of your contacts that are already in place.
- 2 days to start your job reachout and start sending in application materials (clearly stating your graduation date) and requesting interviews for October (ish).
2. Organize Your Contacts. If I had to go back in time, I would have starting organizing my contacts much earlier. Go through your piles of business cards and random papers and start really keeping track of the people you meet. If your email system provides a great way to store contacts, go for it. Do you need to save everyone’s number in your cell phone ? No. I like to use Excel documents that are always saved on my computer and that I can import into other programs to organize when necessary. Organize your contacts list with the following columns so that you can view the document in many different formats on an ‘as needed’ basis.
- Contact First and Last Name (Make sure to spell it correctly).
- Contact Direct Number and Office Line (You want to have the office line just in case the person leaves their position).
- Contact Email Address
- Company Address (If you don’t feel like typing in the entire address, just write the city and state the person is located in for time zone reasons and if you are ever in that city you can contact them).
- Status/Notes (This column is for you to keep track of how and where you met this person and when you last spoke to them. If you put in a call or email to them, track it).
- Category (Try to categorize your contacts by field or industry so that if you want to search all of your contacts in a specific field – you can).
Dinner at the Mirage with the CollegeRecruiter Gang
I did attend NACE 2009 (http://www.naceweb.org) and I never wrote a blog post about it. This was my first official conference as “The Intern Queen” and it was great to see fellow bloggers and career coaches/authors at the event. Some of my favorite run-ins were with @heatherhuhman, @gradspotguru, @ysnjen, and Rich Bottner (http://www.internbridge.com). All people who do great work in the internship space. I want to thank the great gang at http://www.collegerecruiter.com (@stevenrothberg) who I attended the event with.
Here are some of my thoughts from NACE 2009. I do have some great videos that I share with http://www.collegerecruiter.com that will be made available at a later date.
1. The recruitment world actually does know how to have a good time in Vegas.
2. You can still sense the barriers between career counselors and career coaches. You can call it a “territory battle” or just a “new mindset” but I still feel a slight uncomfort coming from a majority of career counselors when they speak with career coaches such as myself or other vendors at the event. Many career coaches are using social media to reach students. Career Centers are just starting to break into that area. I think once the Career Centers put themselves where the Career Coaches are (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) the gap will slowly close.
3. The pace of this conference was moderate. The crowds weren’t huge and apparently the turnout was down from last year. This was rumored to be due to school budget cuts and restraints. However, if a school is going to make budget cuts, should the career center be where these cuts are being made ? Shouldn’t the career center, in a terrible economy, an economy where over 63 percent of college seniors are worried about the job market (NACE), be putting funding towards the career center instead of taking it away ?
4. There are jobs. News alert ! Jobs are available. I spoke to every vendor at the NACE conference and tons of employers who attended the event. Guess what ? I found that almost every employer I spoke with had job openings and were currently recruiting college students. There is an on-going conversation among parents and students that there are “no jobs”. Perhaps we just aren’t looking in front of us ?
5. College Credit was a hot topic among the few internship sessions I attended. There was major confusion from both employers and schools on the best way to get paperwork filled out, reviews done, and the proper coordination for internship credit. Employers seem frustrated because they deal with so many different schools who all have different policies. Schools seem frustrated with employers who don’t have an organized internship program and system in place. If only there was a way for all of the schools in each state to abide by the same internship guidelines and use the same internship paperwork…..
6. There is no doubt that NACE does a wonderful job of putting on a valuable conference for both career counselors, vendors, and employers. However, the unfortunate news is that there is still quite a gap between student and career service office. For some reason, students still aren’t properly utilizing their career centers. The representatives from the career office come to these conferences and find out about great opportunities. If only the students would frequent the career offices to FIND OUT about these opportunities. This raises the question of what creative things can career centers do to reach more students ? How can we get students to take their career more seriously and fully take advantage of the resources in front of them ? Many career centers have put on speaking events, joined Twitter and Facebook, and constantly have workshops to help reach their students but what else can they do ?
It’s officially internship season ! Wahoo ! Get excited everyone. An more important, get ready to make the most of your experience. This week, I will list 5 internship secrets – stay tuned !
START REQUESTING MEETINGS.
You have been at your internship for about 2-3 weeks or so by now. It’s time to request meetings with the execs and high-ups. Make a list of anyone you admire within the company. Think big – any department works. Approach your internship coordinator and ask if you can request general meetings with those people somewhere from now until the end of your internship.
Send short, to-the-point meeting requests to the person or their assistant (ask what the proper protocall is). In your email, state that you are a student, your school, year in school, the department where you are interning, and what your request is. See below:
I’m a student at University of Arizona and currently interning in your drama development department with Rob Gold. I’d love to request a brief meeting with you at some point over the next 8 weeks. I’m here until August 8th and very interested in pursuing a career after graduation with your company. I’d love to here how you got started and introduce myself.
Direct: 787 888 8888
WHAT TO SAY.
Some executives won’t give you the time of day – BUT others will. I’ve sat down with at least half of the people that I requested meetings with as an intern. Remember, keep your meeting short and sweet. The goal is to introduce yourself, make a great impression, have a firm handshake, clearly state your career goals, have questions prepared, and thank them for their time.
A FEW QUESTIONS TO ASK.
1. How did you get started ?
2. What was your first position at this company ?
3. If you could do it all over again, is there anything you would do differently ?
4. What do you suggest I do to best prepare myself to enter this field ?
5. What newspapers, websites, blogs do you suggest I read to keep up on the industry ?
REMEMBER TO SAY….“Do you have a card so that I can stay in touch?”