Archive for the ‘Internships/Work Experience’ Category
English majors aren’t given a lot of promise for their careers. Between snide comments about your future waitressing job, pressure from professors to turn to teaching, and the myriad “useless majors” lists English finds itself on in a tech-savvy job market, it’s a rough world for an aspiring writer. So when a friend told me she knew someone, who knew someone, who was looking for an editorial intern, I immediately submitted my resume and writing samples. My friend put in a good word for me, and days later, I had the job! It was a good mix of networking and my own hard work.
The business at which I interned, Campus Calm, was a company dedicated to helping college students with perfectionism. The founder, Maria Pascucci, was only eight years older than me, and this became an important aspect to our relationship.
After months of proofreading and blog writing, we began working on a book: The College Student’s 10-Step Blueprint to Stop Stressing & Create a Happy, Purposeful Life. My job was to proofread, expound on an article I had written a few months before, and create a couple of fun quizzes at the end of each chapter. I was writing everyday, and it felt great! When the work was done, Maria and I met for sushi, and she handed me three copies of the finished book. The feeling I got when I saw my name in print was unreal! I was published at 21 years old! The experience proved invaluable as such an noteworthy accomplishment helped me stand out among my peers.
Upon graduation, the professional relationship I had with Maria became something more of a friendship. I would drive to her house in the city, and over lunch outside, we would spend the afternoon brainstorming ideas for her next big project. She would clue me in on the ins, outs, and struggles she faced as a business owner, (which became very useful to me) and I would confide in her about my woes as a recent college grad. (What recent college grad doesn’t have a few woes?) I knew I wanted to write, but I wasn’t sure how to go about making it my career.
Then one afternoon, as we sat on the floor of her bright blue and orange office, it occurred to me that I wanted a job like hers. I wanted to own my own business. After telling her of my plan, she immediately got to work helping me pick a name, design a web site, and file for a DBA. Within a month, my freelance writing business was launched!
Having had my business, 100 Pink Pens, for nearly a year now, Maria and I remain good friends both professionally and personally. She is always willing to provide me with advice when I need it, and I continue to help her in any way that I can. After all, she’s the reason I got my start! I was able to follow my dream of owning my own business and making a living as a writer all because of my college internship!
Don’t abandon your passion just because you’re unsure whether you can make a living doing it. Start with finding the right college to help cultivate your talent, work hard, and always be ready to say “yes” to an opportunity. You never know which one might just make your career.
When it comes to today’s competitive job market, having any kind of upper hand is essential. Hundreds of applications and resumes are being pushed onto employers, with only a dozen or so given the opportunity for an interview, and only one or two of those given a position. You’re going to need something that really makes you stand out! That’s why so many college students are turning to internships these days. In fact, some colleges have decided to make it a mandatory part of their curriculum necessary for graduation! Check out these tips on what scoring an internship during college, or even after college, can do for your career.
Get Real World Experience
The most obvious benefit from getting an internship in a field related to your career is that you will be given on the job, real-world experience. While your fellow classmates will graduate with knowledge in their area of expertise, having an internship on your resume means in addition to all of that knowledge, you have experienced first-hand how that information is applied in the workforce. While your classmates have all of the ingredients to bake a cake, you’ve actually baked the cake! That may not seem like much difference to you now, but to the individual who will train you in your first entry-level job, it’s a big difference!
Get Real World Connections
An equally important benefit to getting an internship in college is that you’ll be put in connection with many other people in your field who already have what you want- a job! This is a huge opportunity for you to network. By getting on good terms with those you work with, and by making an impression on the higher ups, you will be opening doors to your future. In another year, or two, or three, they might just want to pay you to come work for them! If they don’t have openings, they are likely to have connections with other businesses that could use you. Regardless of what they can do for you, they can point you in some kind of direction, hopefully with a flattering letter of recommendation.
Get a Real World Reality Check
While an internship is a great way to get a jump start on your career, it’s also a great way to make sure you’re heading toward the right one! Too often, students find themselves in their senior year of college, or in their first entry-level job, with the realization that what they had worked for over the last four years isn’t actually what they want to do for a living. Sometimes the difference between learning about a subject, and having a job related to that subject, are dramatically different. Having an internship early on in college is the best way to make sure that situation doesn’t happen to you.
It’s no secret that balancing school work with just about anything is tough, especially if it’s a job. College itself is like a full time job! Many students find themselves in a nearly impossible balancing act as they work part time to help pay for their education. If this resonates with you, have no fear! It can be done. You can do it. Here is how.
Leave your work at work.
An important thing to remember is that you are a student first. When you’re in class or studying, you do not want to be thinking about work. Find a job that allows you to maintain focus on schoolwork when you are not working. Servers in restaurants or retail store employees are good examples of jobs that require little to no commitment outside the workplace.
Find flexible hours.
You should be able to build your work schedule around your school schedule, especially since your classes will change every semester. Finding a job that acknowledges your need for some flexibility is ideal. In addition, a job where you can work weekend daytime hours is a smart choice; you’ll still have time to hang out in the evenings with friends and weekdays will be free for classes.
Make your bosses aware of your status as a student. More than likely they not only understand your situation, but they may have employed students in the past and found a system that worked well. If you are having trouble with homework, talk with your teachers and let them know you also have a job. They may not give you a break, but knowing where you’re coming from will help them talk to you about tips for managing the coursework.
Set some boundaries.
Decide before you apply for or accept a job how many hours you would ideally like to work. Set a few rules for yourself when it comes to socializing – instead of going out every Saturday night, you may have to alternate every other. Basically, set guidelines so when you feel a moment of weakness, you’ll be able to refer to them to keep yourself focused.
Remind yourself what is at stake.
Why are you working? To pay for school. What happens if you don’t work? You can’t pay for school. In the long run, it is worth it and you’ll be proud of yourself when it’s over. In the short run, it may feel like you’re missing out on something. At the end of the day, work hard so you can play hard and live well.
Joining the military can be a great, respectable option for students who don’t want to go to college, students who wish to postpone college for a few years, or students who are looking to enter the work force after high school. The military offers a unique experience to give back to your country, and many people are attracted to the prestige and benefits the military has to offer.
You may be thinking about the military as part of your future plans, but before you make a definite decision, it is important to ask yourself what your real motivation for enlisting is. The military is not for everyone, and once you enlist, you’re required to serve out your term even if it doesn’t turn out to be the experience you anticipated. Serving can be a very rewarding experience both personally and professionally and allow you to have a very enriching few years. Consider the following potential motives:
• Are you looking for a job?
• Do you not know what else to do?
• Do you want to serve your country?
• Are you looking for a career with the military, or do you just want to serve a term or two?
• Are you interested in the educational benefits and money for college?
• Do you want to see the world?
• Are you looking for a way to mature?
• Does serving in the military run in your family?
• Do you need money for college?
• Are other personal motivations driving you?
Once you determine that—and why—the military is the right choice for you, you will need to determine which branch you’d like to join. The best way to gain a real perspective about what military life will be like in each of the services is to meet with recruiters and ask all the questions you have about enlisting, including how to get started, specific details about deployment and active duty, what job opportunities are available to a new recruit, and whether there are options available primarily in the United States or overseas. There are six main services that make up the military: Marines, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, and National Guard/Reserves. Once you research each of these branches and narrow down your decision, speaking to your guidance counselor or looking on the internet will help you find recruiters and recruiting offices in your area.
The summer after your sophomore year is a great time to gain real-world training and insight into your field of study with a summer internship. Companies all over the country look for student interns to help out during the busy summer months, giving you a hands-on, short-term experience in the industry and an early glimpse at the career options available to you after graduation. An internship is a great way to start building your resume, gain personal business contacts, and form a relationship with a company in your field. There are many tools available to students looking for internships, and finding them is easy!
Utilize Your University
Universities like to help students find employment and be successful in the working world, both in internships while still enrolled and at the full-time level after graduation. There are many resources—some that you may not have even been aware of—available to students that you should take full advantage of.
1. The Career Center: Somewhere on campus, there is a Career Center or Employment Office filled with counselors who are eager to use their resources to help you find an internship. Making an appointment will allow you to meet a counselor face-to-face and explore the options that are available to you. Your counselor may also know personal contacts looking for interns, and if you fit their criteria, can recommend you for an interview.
2. Your University’s Career Website: Many university websites feature a forum for employers to create job postings targeted at students of the school. Because these companies are seeking students like you, it can be a great way to find an internship where you will learn a lot and be successful. Review the internship listings on your schools website, and you’re likely to find exciting opportunities for the summer.
3. The Job Fair: Roughly twice a year, universities put on job fairs to give students the chance to meet potential employers and help employers recruit students for open positions. Job fairs are a great resource when looking for an internship, and will allow you to meet members of Human Resources teams who are responsible for interviewing and hiring.
Internet Job Boards
On the internet, there are many search engines solely for students looking for internships. These websites allow you to create a profile, upload your academic and previous work information, and browse internships across different cities, industries, pay levels, and time frames. Some of these websites even allow recruiters to view your profile and contact you—rather than waiting for you to apply—if they are interested in hiring you. Try internships.com, internmatch.com, internweb.com, internsearch.com, or idealist.org to get started today!
Visit Cappex for more ways to find an internship!
You try to like everybody you work with, but sometimes you just can’t. There’s the guy who spends more time flirting with girls than doing his job, and the girl who comes in late and complains about her hours while you’re the one picking up the slack! Ignoring problems with a coworker may be an okay solution for a little while, but eventually, you’re going to get sick of staying late because of someone else, or getting blamed for something you didn’t do. When it’s time to solve your conflict with a coworker, check out these tips!
Talk it Out
Believe it or not, most conflicts end just by talking about them. Sometimes all it takes for your coworker to stop doing something that’s bothering you is to let them know it’s bothers you! When you and your coworker are alone, bring up the issue respectfully to ensure your coworker does not feel as if they’re being attacked or accused of anything. Ask to have a discussion about the issue, and listen to what they have to say. Take their thoughts as seriously as you take yours.
If you’re unsure how to start a conversation about a conflict with a coworker: check out these starting lines:
“I have noticed that….”
“I was wondering if….”
“Would it be okay if…”
“Would you mind if…”
More Tips on Having a Discussion with a Coworker About a Conflict
Don’t interrupt. Even if you think what they’re saying is completely wrong, let them finish speaking before you say anything.
Avoid using negative language and name calling, as you may come off accusatory or hostile.
When possible, use “we” instead of “you” to imply you’re working as a team as opposed to against one another.
Give them your full attention and ask that they give you theirs. This means no texting, digging through your wallet, etc.
Keep your voice calm and even in tone.
Give them space. You don’t want to threaten them by getting too close and in their face.
Watch your body language. Try to avoid making fists with your hands and rolling your eyes.
Avoid using terms like “right” and “wrong.” Instead, place an emphasis on how your coworker’s actions make you feel.
Propose solutions. If you have a problem with something your coworker is doing, they may be more receptive to correcting it if there are solutions on the table. If they give a solution you don’t like, be prepared to offer another solution as opposed to simply rejecting theirs.
Keep the conversation between the two of you.
When Talking Isn’t Enough
While most conflicts can be handled just by talking about them, that’s not always the case. Should you attempt to talk out your problems and fail, check out these other tips:
Ask the scheduling manager if you can be put on separate shifts.
Limit your interactions with this coworker.
Speak to the manager about your problem, especially if your coworker is doing something illegal, or something that could potentially get you or another coworker into trouble.
It’s another summer at your mom’s office, or serving coffee, or assisting with a summer school program. Your paychecks have been spent on anything from data plans to the Chinese buffet. In high school and college, you’re in the fantastic position of being able to make money, sometimes with a full-time job, without having to put that money toward rent, utility bills, credit card payments, or student loans. You might even have more money now to spend on whatever you want than you will when you graduate college! When you’re handed your paycheck this Friday, consider these tips on what you could do with that money!
Join a Professional Organization
Some jobs require you to be a member of a professional organization, but even if your future job isn’t like that, you may want to consider doing the research on one that could potentially benefit you anyway. Professional organizations are not only impressive on the resume, there are advantages that come with it. You may get discounts on products or classes. You may become eligible for a scholarship. You may be invited to conferences. You may be put in touch with your future boss. The cost of professional organization memberships are usually a once-a-year fee for anywhere between $50-$200.
Buy an External Hard Drive
At some point, you’re going to run out of space on your laptop. You’re going to be in the middle of a huge paper and your computer will suddenly resign itself from being your best friend all throughout college and become an expensive paper weight. There’s a chance that while moving out of your dorm room, your roommate will bump into your desk, knocking a bottle of water onto your key board and frying everything inside of it. In order to keep everything you’ve done on your computer safe, you need to invest time in backing it all up on a regular basis. An external hard drive with enough space to save all the papers you’ve written and your favorite TV shows can be found for under $100.
As you advance in your college career, you’ll find there are more occasions in which you’re required to dress up. Maybe you’re student teaching this year. Maybe you’d like to get a part-time job in your field as you finish up your senior year. You may be required to give formal presentations as you would for your future business. Spend a little money on making sure you have a suit coat that still fits, a dress that’s not too revealing, and a pair of shoes that you feel comfortable in.
You can’t spend all of your money responsibly! Even if you’re the kind of person who started their savings account in elementary school, everyone needs to have a little money set aside for some fun. Check out this summer’s movies, take a trip to an amusement park, or throw a BBQ for a few of your closest friends. It’s summer, after all!
Need help paying for those last semesters of college? Cappex can help you apply for scholarships!
If you’ve completed an internship, you’re going to be asked about it at a job interview. But talking about it in a short amount of time may not be so easy. On the one hand, you want to be able to indicate you worked hard and achieved a lot, but on the other hand, you don’t want to ramble, or forget to mention something really great. The following is a list of tips to prepare you to discuss your internship at a job interview.
Prepare for Different Questions
Before going to an interview, consider the different questions you may be asked about your internship. Possible questions might be:
What responsibilities did you have during your internship?
What did you learn during your internship?
What did you like/dislike about your internship?
Describe a typical day at your internship.
How does this internship give you an advantage in the job market?
Why did you choose to do your internship there?
What was your greatest achievement during your internship?
How does your internship prepare you for this job?
How does this internship prepare you for your career?
Why did you decide to do an internship?
What was most challenging about your internship?
How did you handle (insert situation) during your internship?
What is the most important thing you learned at your internship?
Describe how you used leadership at your internship.
Describe how you worked with others at your internship.
Don’t try to memorize exact answers for these questions. Instead, think of a few important points you would want to cover for each. If you can remember the important points during an interview, your responses will sound fresh, but you’re still talking about what’s really important.
It’s important that when discussing your time at an internship, you speak well of the company and the people who work there. For one, businesses tend to work with other businesses. People tend to switch companies. You never know what the relationship is between your interviewer and the place you did your internship. Secondly, it doesn’t typically look good when you’re bad-mouthing a former work situation. When asked to discuss any dislikes about the internship, do it in a professional light.
If possible, have something that can demonstrate the work you’ve done at an internship. This could be a section in your portfolio, or a separate piece. You may want to consider bringing a letter of recommendation from your internship supervisor. Never give an interviewer the only copy of your work, or the original because you may not get it back.
Control Open-Ended Questions
You may just be asked to discuss your internship without being asked a specific question. In this case, you’ll want to mention your role as well as cover what you’ve learned, and how it’s prepared you for the position in which you’re applying. Have a few key points in mind for when this question is asked. Don’t try to cover everything. Your interviewer can ask follow up questions to get more information.
Cappex has lots of resources for college grads and post-graduate students.
The days of sending your resume to a posting in the paper and hoping for the best, are over. In fact, you probably never knew those days at all!
Today’s job market is cut-throat for any field, at any level. Even finding a part-time or summer job can be hard. With fewer jobs and more qualified candidates, applying for a job is a lot more work than it used to be, but it can be done!
Here’s a great list of tips that will increase your chances of getting a job right now!
Finding Places to Apply
Because employers today hire mostly by asking around, most open jobs are never posted on a job board or in the classifieds. Don’t waste too much time on Craigslist, Monster, or other job sites.
Look for businesses and companies you’d want to work for, and figure out who you’d need to speak to about open positions.
Once you’ve found a few places you’d be interested in, find the connection to someone who works there. Talk to teachers, your parents’ friends, etc. Make an account on LinkedIn. Let people know you’re looking for a job. Ask around. Tweet your skills. The more people who know what you’re looking for, the better chance someone can put you in touch with someone else.
Talk to your professors. They might have a few ideas on who might be hiring.
Your Resume and Cover Letter
Don’t follow online templates. If you’re unsure on how to write a resume and cover letter, attend a workshop, online course, or visit your college’s career development office/web site.
Focus on the results of your accomplishments and experiences, as opposed to “what you did.”
Personalize it up. Don’t send a resume to a PR firm with an objective being about journalism. Every time you apply for a job, review your resume. Are there things you could add that’s relevant for this job but wasn’t for the last one? Your resumes should be slightly different every time you apply.
If you’re emailing a potential employer, make sure your email address is professional, and that the file name for your resume is specific to that job. “My Resume” is generic and unspecific. Have the file name include your last name and the company’s name.
Make sure your references are up to date as well as relevant to the position.
Check for accuracy, spellng–and grammar mistakes.
Your Online Presence
Google your name.
View your Facebook account as a public viewer. This will show you what potential employers are seeing when they Facebook you. (They will Facebook you.)
Make sure you don’t have any online footprints that could shed negative light on your hireability.
Design a website in which you can show your work and your skills. Put the link in your resume and cover letter. Voila!
Follow up with a business after you’ve submitted your resume and after you’ve had an interview.
Send a card thanking your interviewer.
Make sure calling your cell phone is a professional experience. What is your ringback tone? What does your voicemail say? Answer your phone in a quiet location.
Make sure all emails you send to an employer are formal in nature and are free of grammatical errors.
Do not Facebook friend the person who interviewed you after the interview. Do not.
Want to search for scholarships or find your perfect college fit? Make your profile today on Cappex!
You’re a junior in college and you are done with drive thru and retail. You are going to do something that can contribute to your resume and future career! Maybe you’re an education major and applied to be a teacher’s aid for summer school, or an acting major who happened to see that the local theater is looking for someone to direct a Shakespeare production! You held your breath as you clicked the submit button on the application, and to your delight, one week later, you have an interview! Suddenly, your delight turns to nervousness. This isn’t an interview for a waitressing job. This is what you want to do! To be sure you score your highest on the interview, check out these tips that will show your future employer you’re a hard-working, passionate individual perfect for this position!
Knowing what to wear to an interview can be tricky. On the one hand, you want to look professional, but on the other hand, you don’t want to dress like your grandparents. When choosing what to wear for an interview, you may want to consider what the people who work there wear. You may also consider wearing what you would be wearing if you were to get the position. Lastly, consider any tattoos and piercings. Are you comfortable covering them up? For some, covering them up is worth any position, but for others, not so much. If you’re not willing to cover up your piercings and tattoos on a daily basis, then don’t cover them up for the interview. It’s important that you be yourself, and if being yourself doesn’t work for your employer, then this position wouldn’t be a good fit for either of you.
Bring Something With You:
Employers are much more likely to take you seriously if you come into the interview with a notepad and pen, a folder with copies of your resume, or a list of your references. This demonstrates you’re prepared and interested in obtaining the position, as opposed to the number of people also being interviewed who will undoubtedly wander in with nothing in their hands.
Answer Questions With Examples:
When answering questions about your attendance, work ethic, leadership skills, weaknesses and strengths, and other inquiries about who you are as an employee, try to paint your employer a detailed picture by giving lots of examples to back up your claims.
Thank Your Interviewer:
Not only should you thank the individual who interviewed you at the end of your interview, you should send a card. A card will demonstrate your appreciation for their time, as well as leave a hard copy of you around for them to remember. This will increase your chances of getting the position you interviewed for, as well as future positions that may come to rise.
If you haven’t heard back about your interview within a week, or within the time in which you were told you’d receive a call, follow up. Some employers actually wait for you to make this step to offer you the job!
Don’t Be Discouraged:
If you didn’t get the job you applied for, don’t take it personally. Interviewers are looking for who’s the best fit in a position, and a lot is being taken into account besides your skills. The distance between your house and your job will be evaluated. How your personality will clique with the rest of the staff will be evaluated. Not getting the job does not necessarily mean you lack the skills and achievements- you just may not have been the best match.
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