Advice For International Students Seeking Internships in the United States

30 03 2009

I’m constantly amazed by the amount of International students that find my site and are applying for my internships on http://www.quarterlife.com/intern. Students in France, London, Ireland, Austria, Japan, Canada and Germany are some of the most frequent visitors to my webpages. I read tons and tons of cover letters and resumes displaying ambition and desire to come to the United States and work in the Journalism, Fashion, Publicity, and Entertainment industries. It is interesting that in a time like this we have such strong interest from students abroad to come to the United States and intern – but the numbers are there and increasing daily.

I held 15 internships when I was in college and through all of those internships, I only knew one student (a close friend) that had come from another country, Canada, to intern in New York City. Alyson Campbell (@alyamp3) and I met at NYU where we were both staying for internships during the summer of 2003. Aly was interning at Arista Records at the time (a hard-to-get internship in the music industry). Aly did tell me about the challenge of getting a VISA and coming to the US to intern – but she had a “go getter/can-do” attitude about it and she got it done. Aly loved New York so much that she ended up moving back after graduating college. She now runs a super successful start-up PR Firm called, AMP3 (http://amp3pr.com/). We continue to be close friends. If Aly can do it – you can all do it. So get out there and do what you need to do to come to the United States and intern. I asked Aly to explain what she went through and to get her advice for other students:

As a Canadian, interning in the United States was a valuable and life-changing experience for me, because of the industry I was pursuing (music/entertainment business). Finding an internship was no easy feat, though.  I applied to numerous opportunities, but ran into many situations where it required that I was working for college credit (at a US-based college only) or several organizations that simply weren’t willing to go through the time and effort of the due-diligence involved in hiring an international student under the proper regulations.  A word to the wise, if you’re a Canadian student looking to intern in the U.S., you’ll need either a B-1 Visa or a J-1 Visa (both of which can be attained as long as you have a legitimate job offer and you apply at least 6-8 weeks in advance).  The J-1 “trainee” visa is also a great option for recent grads who are open to taking on an internship (verses an entry-level position), as it is a relatively easy work visa to secure, as long as you are within 18 months of when you graduated.  My first internship was between my 3rd and 4th year of university, and looking back, I wish I had been doing internships all along like my girl, The Intern Queen!  My first internship at Arista Records in New York City was truly a life-changing and career-changing opportunity that I will never forget!” 

 

 

TIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS SEEKING INTERNSHIPS IN THE US

 

 

 

1.       GET THE INTERNSHIP. Companies will look at your resume even though you live out of the country. Send your materials in like any other student and be sure to include when you plan on coming to the US in your Cover Letter. Find out if your school can provide you with any type of internship credit or recognition. Many companies will wave their “credit only” policy if they see that you are an International student. Apply for as many internships as you can. I normally suggest that US students apply for 10-15 opportunities each semester. As an International Student, I would double that number. Make sure you are aware of the VISA process and what you will need to do to get to the US before getting on the phone with an internship coordinator for an interview. You want to be knowledgeable about the process you have ahead of you. Most internship coordinators will NOT know how to help you get to the United States. You will have to take the lead on this one.

2.       FIGURE OUT WHAT TYPE OF VISA YOU NEED. The number one problem I hear about from International students is getting the proper VISA to visit the United States. The best resource I found for this was on the US DEPARTMENT OF STATE Website, http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html. You can search by your specific country and find out what type of VISA you need. Each country has different specifications.

3.       GET YOUR PASSPORT ASAP. Students will definitely need Passports to travel internationally. This is something that can be done quickly but keep in mind it does take 2-4 weeks to get your Passport back. Do this as soon as you decide you will be traveling abroad.

4.       START THE PROCESS EARLY. Getting an International student VISA is a headache in itself. There are so many different forms to fill out and all kinds of documents that need to be prepared. Make a checklist of all of these documents to make the process run as smooth and organized as possible. Examples of documents you may need include: school transcript, any standardized testing scores, bank statements from your parents (proving that they can cover your expenses while in the US), etc. Each student will also need to contact  the local Embassy about setting up an interview. Everyone must set an interview before their VISA can be fully processed.

5.       120 DAY NOTIFICATION. International student VISAS will not be approved or denied until 120 days (or less) before your internship start date. This does cause a bit of a time crunch. Be prepared  for this and make sure to determine when that 120 day mark will be.

6.       KEEP YOUR TIMEFRAME ORGANIZED. The National Homeland Security allows International students to come into the United States only 30 days (or less) prior to the start date of the internship. When you make your travel plans keep this timeframe in mind. If this is a problem, there are several additional “special” permits students can apply for on the US Department of State Website.

7.       HAVE PATIENCE. We all know that this can be a long and drawn out process. Be as patient as you can, use your checklist, and stay calm. Be as respectful as possible to everyone you speak with at the Embassy. Speak with your professors and make sure you are doing everything in your power to help execute the process.

8.       BE FRANK WITH YOUR INTERNSHIP COORDINATOR. Make sure that your internship coordinator understands where you are traveling from and the entire process. You want to come across organized and make sure you sound confident in the process. You want your internship coordinator to feel like they can totally rely on you to be present at your start date. If they feel that you aren’t confident, they might start to feel the same way and get someone else to replace you. Stay in communication with them and let them know that you have everything under control.

9.       MINIMIZE THE LANGUAGE AND CULTURE GAP. There are going to be many challenges when interning in the US. You are dealing with a new language (sometimes), new ways of doing business, and new ways of communicating. Practice your English as frequently as possible and try to read newspaper articles, web articles, magazines, trade publications about the industry you are interning within. It’s important to try and understand the nature of the field you are going into. Conducting research will also help you identify commonly used terms in that field. You want to make the language/culture barrier as minimal as possible.

10.   BE CONFIDENT. Students come to the US everyday to Intern. This can be done. Know that it will work out, know that you will get the paperwork done, and know that you are the ULTIMATE INTERN and that any US company would be LUCKY to have you. A few obstacles never hurt anyone J Good luck !

 

I asked my friends on Twitter what they thought about International Internships:

Why have the number of International students coming to the US to intern increased ?

jjaime@InternQueen It gives a broader experience, a look at new industries and finally the contacts they make.

hanztarore@InternQueen Cause US is a high standard that they use to increase bargain pwr :) Many still want to work there despite current crisis there.

DisneyEC@InternQueen Because the US is the LAND of OPPORTUNITY and people all over the world realize it, even when we forget at times.

AlyAMP3@InternQueen to answer your other Q about why international students come to the U.S., “It’s all about the American Dream”

katrynad@InternQueen The opportunities in film industry. There is just not the same amount of opportunity here, there never has been.

Kissandtell@InternQueen for me it offered greater opportunities.

internSHARE@InternQueen from what I’ve heard with internSHARE it has a lot to with opening the door for future employment and eventually moving there.

ericleebow@InternQueen it’s because they are not offered the same exact opportunities, and it gives them a reason to travel to the US. Why not?

nateerickson@InternQueen No clue. Do they want Americans overseas or would they rather hire their own?

rosettathurman@InternQueen well, according to all the political pundits, the whole world is having an Obama lovefest, so that may be a factor.

Jmal18@InternQueen awesome esl programs

rjjago@InternQueen The US govn’t. is opening up new internship programs like the W.E.S.T. program for Koreans.

What do you think about International Internships ?

juezou@InternQueen I want to know the answer too since I’m an international student here.

USCherie@InternQueen visa issues aside, why not? Esp for companies interested in global business and the interns have what it takes.

jaime@InternQueen Being international it’s been difficult looking for internships, even if you’re studying in the US.

ambranykol@InternQueen as a former Campus Recruiter I’d say that Int’l students will have better bets going after internships at software companies.

Helpful Links/Resources:

US Dept. of State: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1268.html#apply

University of Dreams Programs: http://www.summerinternships.com

InternationalStudent.com: http://www.internationalstudent.com/study_usa/

USA-Internships.com: http://www.usa-internships.com/

Macquil.com : http://www.macquil.com/articles/internships.php

Experience.com: http://www.experience.com/alumnus/article?channel_id=internships&source_page=additional_articles&article_id=article_1126286322658

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





Start An Internship Program For Your Company

24 03 2009

Attention Employers  ! This blog is written just for you. I get hundreds of employers contacting me each week and asking if they can start an internship program. The answer is, YES ! I put together a few tips for companies trying to launch internship programs.

How to Launch An Internship Program

  • PICK AN INTERNSHIP COORDINATOR. If your company is big or small you should have one person that is in charge of your internship program. I would suggest giving this responsibility to some sort of assistant or junior level position. If your receptionist or office secretary is a high turn-over job, give this responsibility to someone more permanent. This person will be in charge of collecting resumes, promoting the position, sorting resumes, coordinating interviews, and providing work and space for the interns.

 

  • OUTLINE YOUR PROGRAM. Ask yourself and other employees  what you want to accomplish by starting an internship program. Create a mission statement. An example could be “The Intern Queen Internship Program provides students with a hands-on experience. I show them how a start-up is run, the daily tasks that go into managing a business, and have them help out with brainstorming, necessary organizational and administrative tasks, social media, press releases, and marketing campaigns while taking their future interests into consideration and providing each student with a personal mentor and guide throughout the duration of their internship.”

 

  • MAKE EACH TASK BENEFICIAL FOR BOTH PARTIES. I suggest each company make a list of the types of tasks that interns should be asked. Before making this list, think about the “double-sided benefit” of each task. Each task delegated to an intern should serve two purposes: 1. The task should be of assistance/benefit to the employer. 2. The tasks should be of benefit for the intern to learn how to do.    They should be able to find this useful in some manner for their future.

 

  • ACCEPTABLE TASKS. Employers must assume that most interns come into the workplace with little to no prior experience. Therefore, any filing, copying, phone answering, database sorting, cold calling, pitching, sitting in on meetings, faxing, typing up reports are all acceptable tasks for intern. Internships have a bad reputation of being all about making coffee and running personal errands. Every once in a while, a personal errand or a coffee is necessary to make something in the company run smoothly. For the sake of your companies internship program and for the sake of the intern, try to keep the personal errands and coffee runs to a minimum. Interns are definitely a convenience in the office but try to assign them to tasks that are mutually beneficial. Having an outlined list of company “acceptable intern tasks” will help make sure that all employees understand what  they can and cannot ask of their interns.

 

  • OFFER SCHOOL CREDIT.Many internships are unpaid and that is the nature of the word. Unpaid internships are fine as long as College Credit is offered. The big misconception about college credit is that the company needs to do something about it. College Credit actually lies in the  hands of the student and their specific career center. Before interviewing a student, ask them via email if they can receive some sort of college credit or transcript recognition for their internship. The student will have to ok it with their career center at school and then will provide you with an answer. I encourage to you make sure student’s can get some sort of credit/recognition before you interview them. Once the school tells the student that they are able to receive college credit for the internship, the student will bring in papers for the company to sign. Depending on the school, the papers might consists of a company summary, biweekly evaluations for the employer or student to fill out, and usually some sort of “end of internship” evaluation for the employer to sign. This is the school’s way of keeping track of the student and making sure they are attending their internship. Companies should advertise that they are providing college credit for students interning at the company.

 

  • KNOW YOUR INTERN’S GOALS AND STRENGTHS.During the interview process, make sure your internship coordinator asks the student’s if they have any work-related knowledge of the internet, programs, social media networks, etc. Many students have already incorporated different social media sites into their lives. They can easily bring this knowledge and use it as an asset to your company. Many companies rely on interns to run their social media campaigns and profiles. It’s also important to know where your interns want to go. If they are really interested in PR, put them in your press department. If a student tells me they want fashion, I give them all fashion related clients and projects to work on.

 

  • SELECT YOUR DATES – BE SPECIFIC.To keep your company organized, and your internship program in control, set some company internship dates. I always have the internship coordinators I work with set up 3 folders in their inbox: Fall Resumes (to be looked at July 15th), Spring Resumes (to be looked at October 15th), and Summer Resumes (to be looked at March 1st – 15th). They can properly file each resume into the corresponding folder until those dates. This is so they don’t get caught up looking at resumes all day long. I suggest running Fall Internships from September 15th – December 1st, Spring Internships from January 15th – April 1st, and Summer Internships from June 1st – August 1st. These are approximations of course. I suggest always bringing interns in on a Tuesday or Wednesday for the first time, never a Monday. Things in the office tend to get crazy and the interns get ignored on Mondays.

 

  • BLOCK SCHEDULE YOUR INTERVIEWS. Have your internship coordinator block out 2 hours in one day to schedule a few different internship phone interviews. I always encourage people to do phone interviews first. For the summer, phone interviews are often times the only interview because many students are traveling to the locations for the summer. Phone interviews can tell you if you can really communicate with the intern. If they cannot hold a phone conversation, that is not a good sign – don’t waste your time bringing them in for as in-person interview.

 

I’ll be sure to write some more notes on these sorts of topics in the future. I know I get requests for information all of the time. If companies want to post internships on my site, http://www.quarterlife.com/intern simply email me internqueen@quarterlife.com and put POST AN INTERNSHIP in the subject line. I’ll email you back with the forms to fill out. It costs $35.00 to post with me. You can add/change/remove/edit your listing whenever you’d like.

I asked my friends on Twitter for ideas on Starting An Internship Program:

Jmal18@InternQueenthey def. need to accessible through the website and have an actual contact person instead having to track ppl down for info. (http://jmal18.blogspot.com/)

LotusEvangelist@InternQueen define it before you hire for it. (http://lotustech.blogspot.com/)

nateerickson@InternQueen get on twitter and let people know. i guarantee they’ll have no trouble finding lots of interest. (http://www.linkedin.com/in/nateerickson).

NancyVanLeuven@InternQueen My 2: Come up with meaningful intern work, somebody commits to supervising folks, make it worthwhile for all. (

Helpful Links on Starting an Internship Program

UCR Career Center Blog: http://careers.ucr.edu/employers/startinternships.htm

Washcoll on Starting and Maintaining an Internship Program: http://internships.washcoll.edu/pdf/academicinternships_startingprogram.pdf

InternWeb on Designing an Internship Program: http://www.internweb.com/empres.asp





Summer Internship Timeline

24 02 2009

SUMMER INTERNSHIP TIMELINE

The big question at this time of year is always, “When is the best time to apply for Summer Internships and is it too late ?” Have no fear, the Intern Queen is here and I have a timeline of my own that students can follow.  Follow my timeline below and you will get everything out just in time ! Keep in mind that my timeline does not apply to large companies or any company with a formal internship program. Most formal internship programs (NY Times, ATAS, WSJ, WashPost, Citigroup, etc) do have early application deadlines that can be found on their individual company websites. These deadlines are protocall for most of the media/entertainment/pr/marketing internships on my site. Good luck !

 

SUMMER INTERNSHIP TIMELINE

 

Friday, February 26, 2008Complete all of your internship materials. If you haven’t finished by Friday, finish up over the weekend. You should have the following materials prepared: Resume, Cover Letter, 3 Letters of Rec ( One academic reference, one professional reference, one character reference). Make copies of  these materials on a thick quality paper. I suggest using a cream colored paper (these should be avail at a Kinkos or any all-in-one shop). Make about 20 copies of each document. Try to use your school’s copy machine as those usually have cheaper rates. Copying can get pricey ! Get some clear paper protectors to slide one master copy of each document into (The clear plastic things). This is to make sure you always have your masters avail if you need more copies. You will also take these documents and a few copies of each with you to in-person interviews.

 

Monday, March 2nd 2008 – Pick Your Internships ! This is your week to research and find all of the internships you’d like to apply for. Make a Dream List of all the top companies you’d like to intern at over the summer. Do your research and make sure they offer internships in the destination you’d like to go. Next to your top ten companies, make a list of 5-10 companies that aren’t your dream company but  are similar to the companies listed. For example: If your dream magazine internship is at Us Weekly or Seventeen Magazine – your 2nd list might read “ Marie Claire Magazine or DailyCandy.com.” I encourage every student to apply for between 10-20 companies for the summer. Internships are more competitive than ever before so the more you apply to, the better chance you have of nailing down these opportunities. Also, the more competitive the internship, the more opportunities you should be applying for – keep that in mind.

 

Thursday, March 5th 2008Time to Research. Use Thursday and Friday to go through your list of companies that you are applying for and do some research. The goal here is to send your resume to an actual person and not a random website or info@blah.com. First, check my Quarterlife.com/intern site and enter the company name into the Searchbar. The company name will appear if I have contacts at that company. If I do, simply email your resume to me at internqueen@quarterlife.com and include the semester and the company name in the subject line. If I don’t work with the company than check out their website. If you don’t see a name for the Internship Coordinator (you usually will not) than call the company. Ask to speak with the internship coordinator. Get their name and email address and let them know you are applying for an internship. If  they give you a generic email, ask who you can address the email to. You want to do anything in your power to get an actual name.

Keep an Excel document to store all of your information. Make columns for Company, Contact Name, Email, Status, Follow Up.

 

Monday, March 9th 2008 –  Send your apps !  Put a good chunk of time aside to send out your materials today. Many companies will want your CL, Resume, Letters of Rec via email. Send those out and make sure they are addressed to that company and not to another. I suggest blind copying (BCC’ing) yourself on all of the emails as a reminder to follow up in 2 weeks. Any mail applications *companies that have indicated regular mail is best* should also go out today. Good luck ! Make a note in your STATUS column of your Excel document of the date you sent your materials out.

 

Tuesday, March 24th 2008 – Follow Ups Begin. I suggest calling each company (unless they specifically told you to NOT call) and asking to speak with the internship coordinator. All you say is, “Hi, This is Lauren Berger, I emailed my resume to _____two weeks ago and wanted to follow up and make sure they received it.” Be as polite as possible.

 

**** Note, if you don’t hear anything back by the 2nd week in April, I suggest applying to at least 10 more internships. Most companies will notify interns by Mid-April.

I asked my Friends on Twitter What They Thought About Applying for Summer Internships – Here is their Advice:

 “Do it NOW”; Most common msg but nobody listens because there’s too much social activity; waiting=lost opportunity-fini.” @lauratoogood, Student Coach.

 

“Friends can wait until the hunt is over; they’ll just blow past U anyway; if they’re real friends they’ll B fine w/it.” @lauratoogood, Student Coach.

 

“DO NOT put references on a resume; biggest mistake EVER; keep the list separate; AND double check the validity.” @lauratoogood, Student Coach.

 

“Letters of Reference are important.” @globalsultana, Communications Professional.

 

“I def think anyone looking for a summer internship should start looking as soon as possible. Speed to market as they say.” @geraldinemae, http://geraldinemae.blogspot.com/.

 

“Apply for summer internships now…we’ve been interviewing since late January.” @Alicia_Wells, Accountant Executive and Internship Manager.

 

“If you apply too early your resume and coverletter may be misplaced or lost and often they ask you to resend it.” @amaute, Alyssa Maute, Student at Clemson, http://amaute.wordpress.com/.

 

“The last two years in a row I’ve had mine nailed down by mid February … very reassuring :) This year I’m not so lucky!” @jess_a_ca.

 

“No matter how tough it is to NOT procrastinate, get applications in EARLY. Most basic advice but always true.” @saramartinez, Student in Chicago.

 

“Don’t limit yourself to paid internships. It’s not about the money, it’s about the experience.” @DavidSpinks, Student and Blogger in New York. http://twitter.com/DavidSpinks.

 

“ABSOLUTELY NO MISTAKES IN THE COVER LETTER OR RESUME. No ifs ands or buts.” @karlastevenson.

 

 

 

 

 





Internships Change In Today’s Economy

13 02 2009

Today internships are more valuable than ever before. In this economic climate, an increase in job layoffs has also signaled an increase in internship opportunities. Most internships tend to be unpaid opportunities for college students to earn credit. Employers are cutting costs left and right and providing more and more unpaid internships for students. Graduating college seniors who do not have internship experience are at an extreme disadvantage. They are not only up against their peers but also adults who have recently lost their jobs. Gen Y does have an advantage over adults in the workplace. They understand social media like no other generation and have fully integrated it with their every day lives. What do adults have over these young minds ? Experience. The best way for college students to gain experience is through internships. I am The Intern Queen and my goal is to bridge this gap between students and careers and provide them with internship listings, internship advice, and internship guidance to help them find these opportunities and make the most of them.

Ways Internships Have Changed In This Economy

  • Interns Don’t Need To Get Paid. When you can’t pay to hire more employees, why not hire interns that you do not have to pay ? For my company, the amount of employers seeking internships this summer has doubled from semesters past.

 

  • Higher Expectations. Due to the increase of layoffs, interns are expected to be responsible for more tasks than in the past. Many of my employers are including interns in brainstorm sessions, having the interns run their social networks, putting the intern in charge of several projects over the semester, and picking their brains for new marketing techniques.

 

  • They are Highly Competitive. Some internships have always been difficult to get. However, in today’s economy they are ALL hard to get. I receive about 200 resumes per day and many of them are  for the same companies, over and over again. Popular internships have almost tripled the amount of resumes they get in each semester.

 

  •  Students are Starting Young. When I was a freshman in college (2003) and had an internship, that was considered young. I get hundreds of resumes from highschool students (sophomores, juniors, seniors) that are looking for internships while they are still in school. By the time these students get to college, they already have several internships on their resume. This is the competition when college students are going out for internships.

 

  • More Internships are Turning Into Jobs. Because employers are on a tight budget, they are hiring these interns at the end of the semester. Why ? Interns can be hired at an inexpensive rate compared to someone who has already established a starting salary in the real world. Also, if a student has already interned at the company they are familiar with company employees, processes, goals, missions, etc.

 

  • Internship Awareness. Since I launched the new website in 2008, several internship companies have emerged. Career Counselors are encouraging students to check into internship opportunities, professors are speaking about them, parents are becoming more knowledgeable, and there is definitely a “buzz” about them among students.

 

  • Students Understand the Economy. Students can’t turn on the news, speak to their parents, or go to class without being constantly reminded about the state of our job market and the downturn of the economy. They understand that they are about to enter the workplace in a state of turmoil. Thanks to this knowledge, they know the importance of internships. Many students are postponing their college graduations to stay in school one more semester and participate in an internship.

 

  • Rise of Social Media. Gen Y has a complete understanding of most social media websites and networking tools. They use them to communicate to their personal friends. It is powerful for a business to take on these students as interns and be able to grow their companies via social media tools. Companies don’t need to hire anyone to run their Social Media  because they can simply pass them off as “intern tasks”. Several interns are running the social networking (Facebook, Twitter, MySpaces Pages, YouTube Pages) sites for companies.

Where can students find these internship opportunities easily ?

I created www.quarterlife.com/intern, The Quarterlife Internship Program Powered By The Intern Queen, to provide access to hard-to-reach internship opportunities. My site lists over 350 companies in the fields of marketing, media, film, public relations, finance, law, sports, government, non-profit, etc. Some of the most popular names on the site include Nascar, Sony, Universal, Seventeen, Rolling Stone, GQ, etc. I’ve also seen a surge of small business owners and entrepreneurs post both in-office and virtual internships on the site. Start-ups like handmedowns.com, How Cast Media, Resume Bucket are all using my services. Students go on the website, www.quarterlife.com/intern, click on the opportunity that interests them, and email me their resume. I take their information and forward to my specific internship coordinator/HR contact at each company. I have put a face behind a service and any student or employer can write to me with their questions and concerns. This is my way of delivering a personal and customized experience for the user.

If you have any questions about Internships in Today’s Economy feel free to email me at lauren@quarterlife.com.

I asked my Friends on Twitter About Internships In Today’s Economy:

“I hear from more students and GRADS willing to take unpaid internships than ever before…esp GRADS who didn’t expect this.”@toryjohnson, http://www.womenforhire.com/

 “Free labor.” @Devinarbiter, Katalyst Entertainment. 

“Because some people use unpaid interns.” @orlandosports, http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/.

“Because it’s cheap/free labor.”@Darren_Heitner, http://www.darrenheitner.com/

“Free labor is the only one that comes to mind.” @onustees, http://www.onustees.com/onustees-home/.

“It’s cheaper to keep and intern than to keep a full time employee. In fact is cheaper to have 2 interns than one hired.” @jjaime, http://jjaime.tumblr.com/.

“Employers raising the bar, looking for folks who know exactly how to do a job. What better way to learn than w/ internships.” @panah,  http://www.bloggingot.com/.

“Web developers, designers and other web tech people are in high demand… they just don’t get hired as interns, more freelance.” @mattwilsontv, http://www.mattwilson.tv/.

“Free/cheap labor, which saves $ in bad economy and picks up slack of laid-off workers.” @AndreaSantiago, http://healthcareers.about.com/.

“I think  employers need a more effective way to source applicants.  Market’s too saturated with good candidates.” @sweetcareers, http://sweetcareers.blogspot.com/

“Company’s are taking a low risk approach to hiring. It makes it easier to cut ties if they don’t see it working out.” @jrdbryan, PRSSA President at WSU.

“No… only social media internships have increased. Why would other internships have increased as a result of SM?” @KathleenLD, http://kathleenld.wordpress.com/.

“Maybe because agencies and corporations know that students are willing to work for free. Free labor really, in my opinion.” @heatherdamico, http://www.linkedin.com/in/prheather, PR Intern.

 





Write the Perfect Thank You Note

10 02 2009

I know that it sounds very ‘old school’ but you MUST send a Hand-Written Thank You note after each internship interview. Here are some guidelines on what to include, when to send, etc.

 

·         WRITE IT. I know it sounds corny but sending a  hand-written note is thoughtful and shows that you wanted to go the extra mile. You could easily send an email but you are NOT going to do that. You are going to send the perfect Thank You Note. This shows that you pay attention to detail and don’t mind a slight inconvenience when it comes to your job.

 

·         INVEST IN STATIONARY. You will rarely hear me tell you to invest in something but I do suggest buying a nice simple stationary set with your name written on the top. My personal stationary is on small rectangular paper. It is cream colored with a dark red border and reads Lauren Berger on the top. This sort of stationary looks more professional than picking up a box of Thank You cards at the drugstore. Remember to keep this simple – no crazy colors or wild patterns. Think sharp and sophisticated when picking out your stationary.

 

·         GREET THE EMPLOYER PROPERLY. If the employer told you to call them by their first name, put the first name on the card. If you are at all hesitant than use their last name with a Mr. Mrs. Or Ms.

 

·         4 LINER. Your Thank You Note should be approximately four lines. The first line should express your thanks for the employer taking time out of their day to sit down with you. The second line should reference your conversation. Line 3 should reiterate that you are extremely interested in the position and Line 4 should state your follow up plans. Below is a sample Thank You Note:

 

Tracy,

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with me today. I really enjoyed hearing about your career path and the responsibilities of the position. I’m extremely interested in working with you and becoming a part of your team. Again, thank you so much for meeting with me and I’ll follow up with you in one week. Have a wonderful weekend.

 

Best,

Lauren Berger

 

·         SIGN IT. Make sure you sign your name and don’t forget. I always use “Best” when closing out a letter. Make sure your signature is legible !

 

·         NO FRILLIES. This means no drawing flowers, butterflies, or writing your name in pretty bubble letters. There should be no extra markings on the envelope.

 

·         GET IT OUT. If you can get out a Thank You Note, in the same day as you interviewed, that would be great. Get to the Post Office ASAP. Don’t let the employer say, “Where is that Thank You note?”

 

I aked my Tweeps in the Twitterverse if they had any Thank You Note pointers:

 

“Don’t wait – do it the SECOND you get home! ” @GinaLaGuardina, http://www.ginalaguardina.com/blog/.

 

“Tell them to keep it short and sincere.” @Klrabbit, http://klrabbit.com/wordpress/.

 

“Handwritten. Also send it within a couple days. I forgot for several days once and ended up overnighting it.” @obrienmedia, http://www.linkedin.com/in/obrienmedia.

 

 

 

 

 

Helpful Links

From Keppie Careers: http://www.keppiecareers.com/2008/04/29/seal-the-deal-with-a-postage-stamp-interview-thank-yous/

From Alison Doyle on AboutJobs:http://jobsearch.about.com/od/thankyouletters/a/samplethankyou.htm

Cliff Notes on Thank You Notes: http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/Section/Write-a-Thank-You-Note-after-an-Interview.id-305417,articleId-27783.html

 

 

 

 





Practice Interview Questions For Your Internship

19 12 2008

Have an internship interview coming up ? Do you want to make sure you are prepared ? Check out these REAL questions that come from REAL internship coordinators on www.quarterlife.com/intern. Print this out and use as a practice ! Good luck !

 

Note: I will update this list frequently.

Common Interview Questions for Internships

 
What are you looking to get out of this internship?

(Internship Coordinator at Nu Image Films)

 

What is your long term goal in the industry?

(Internship Coordinator at Nu Image Films)

 

What are some of your favorite movies and why ?

(Internship Coordinator, Polsky Films)

 

Give me a logline for your favorite film – as if you are selling it to me ?

(Internship Coordinator, Polsky Films)

 

What is your biggest weakness and why ?

(Lauren Berger, The Intern Queen)

 

What is your strongest attribute that you really bring to the table ?

(Lauren Berger, The Intern Queen)

 

What kind of tasks would you like to be involved with ?

(Lauren Berger, The Intern Queen)

 

If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be ?

(Lauren Berger, The Intern Queen)

 

Can you recall a situation where you were a leader ?

(Lauren Berger, The Intern Queen)

 

If you commit to this internship, what does that mean to you ?

(Lauren Berger, The Intern Queen)

 

What is it that you want to do within the industry ?

(Internship Coordinator, Intrepid Pictures)

 

Are you bothered by profanity in movies ?

(Internship Coordinator, Jinks/Cohen Productions)

 

What do you know about the company ?

(Internship Coordinator, Imax Corporation)

 

What interests you about working in this industry ?

(Internship Coordinator, Imax Corporation)

 

 Helpful Links

AdHoles Weblog: http://adholes.com/postings/d2d66d27f4e95147cfb3297cfe77e96d

 





What to Expect From Your Internship

19 12 2008

 

I wanted to take a moment to let interns know what they should expect during the first few days/weeks of their internships. A misconception that many students have is that they will be VERY BUSY at all times. Here are some tips that I put together:

 

  • EXPECT lots of downtown. Just as you are getting used to the new job, new tasks, new hours – the company and your boss is getting used to you. They might not be used to having an extra hand around the office so everyone needs time to adjust.
  • Don’t get frustrated after the first few hours on the job or internship because you aren’t given anything to do. Just wait patiently and give yourself and those around you the opportunity to get situated.Be prepared to outside your comfort zone in plenty of professional and social situations. High school isn’t over quite yet ! Be prepared to find new friends to lunch with and to explore the different social circles in the workplace.
  • Be patient while the LEARNING CURVE takes its course. Even though the people around you are used to the day-to-day in your new office doesn’t mean everything will click right away. It takes time to learn each companies individual systems in and around the office. Everyone keeps track of things like emails, phone sheets, and databases in different ways. Give yourself a break if you don’t get it right away.
  • Extra  It’s a NEW job. You don’t have to love it the first day and most likely you won’t. Don’t be so hard on yourself and make sure to give yourself credit and take the proper time to adjust.  







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