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Via Poynter : Advice for interns: Go beyond what’s required, send handwritten thank you notes and find allies

Welcome to intern season. The first time I oversaw an intern, my boss gave me valuable advice: Having an intern is actually more work (you need to carve out a lot of time to give feedback), and you are there to teach and guide. It’s not about what they are bringing to you. This doesn’t mean they aren’t useful; many interns provide a lot of value to newsrooms. But I believe it is managers’ responsibility to provide environments that allow interns to grow as journalists and colleagues.

I asked 10 smart women to give advice to this year’s interns to help them be as successful as possible.

How do I fit into the culture?

“This is a tricky one because office cultures can vary a lot, and if it’s not a healthy culture, you might not want to fit into it! Use the first couple weeks to be hyper-observant about how staff operate: Is it hierarchical? Do people stay super late? Can you take digital ideas directly to an editor, or should you talk to your direct supervisor first? Is the vibe formal and quiet, or chatty and social? There’s nothing overtly good or bad about any of these scenarios, but it’s useful to get the sense of the culture so you don’t go shouting to a friend four cubicles over if it’s not that kind of place. Seek out a staffer who could be a casual role model — maybe the newsroom even sets you up with a mentor — whom you can occasionally ask for advice around these issues when they come up. Whom do you pitch an idea to? Is it OK not to eat lunch at your desk? Having a friendly ally can help figure out how to navigate those culture questions as they come up.”
— CJ Sinner, digital graphics producer at The (Minneapolis) Star Tribune.

What will make my work stand out?

“Mostly, I recommend going beyond the work that’s required. Work on a project that is outside what is assigned to you and also personally fulfilling. It should be something that you want to invest your time into. You will grow tremendously from pushing yourself. The project is a perfect avenue to connect with staffers who will guide you to nurture that work. Also, the great gift of being an intern is that it is designed to be a learning experience. You are not there to show off. You are there to learn and to absorb the resources available to you for a very short time. It’s important to experiment, to embrace failure and to learn from your colleagues.”
— Dania Maxwell, freelance photographer based in Los Angeles.

“Come early, stay late, pick up holiday and weekend shifts, and volunteer for every assignment that’s up for grabs. You can demonstrate your strengths — whether it’s a bulldog reporting instinct, or a talent for narrative writing — in every story you write, no matter how brief. And if you get to pitch your own ideas, make sure you can finish them by the end of the internship.”
— Laura Nelson, staff writer at the Los Angeles Times.

How should I deal with sources or colleagues who don’t take me seriously because of my age?

“Find allies. For me it was about finding the youngest senior people and getting them to listen to me. They remember what it was like to be in your place. This also includes allies who are open to and embracing of what you have to offer. Your youth comes with strengths — play those up. You offer fresh perspective, and have newer insights. Use that to your advantage. Your youth is not a bug, it’s a feature.”
— Dhiya Kuriakose, senior director of development strategy and syndication at Condé Nast Entertainment.

“You’re not alone and you do have weapons in your arsenal: Dress professionally for the way you want to feel and carry yourself with confidence — even if you don’t always feel it. Be undeniably good at what you do to silence naysayers. Align yourself with your boss or a newsroom leader who will advocate for you and provide opportunities for visibility. Come up with quips for when your age/experience is brought up. For example, “How long have you been in journalism?” “Long enough to know what I’m doing. 😊””
— Kari Cobham, senior manager of digital content at Cox Media Group.

What should I do during my internship to prepare for job hunting?

“Meet with as many journalists as you possibly can. Take editors out to coffee and ask them what they look for in a new hire. Ask your mentors to give you feedback on your resume and cover letters. Spend time updating your personal portfolio with your best work. If you see a hole in your body of work, consider asking your manager for an assignment that could help show your skills in that area. Say thank you (and follow up with a handwritten note) to anyone who spends more than 30 minutes giving you advice or helping you learn something new. Being gracious, as well as professional, helps build your reputation and your brand.”
— Emma Carew Grovum, product manager at The Daily Beast.

“Keep a list of the tasks you do and the skills you acquire during your internship. Keep in mind the things you enjoyed doing, and the things you didn’t. Use that to inform what jobs you apply to, but know that first jobs almost universally suck. Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs at smaller organizations outside of coastal media hubs — I’ve found it’s better to do the thing you want to do at a smaller place than to try and fight to do the thing you want at a bigger organization. ”
— Alex Laughlin, audio producer at BuzzFeed News.

How can I talk to my boss about personal challenges or mental health?

“A good boss will want you to be honest with them. Sometimes that may mean sharing a work-life stressor or a more personal obstacle you’re trying to overcome. But remember, when you’re talking to your boss, you’re not talking to your ‘bff.’ Don’t ramble. Be succinct.”
— Leah Becerra, digital growth editor at The Kansas City Star.

How can I combat imposter syndrome or competition with other interns?

“Realize you’re here for a reason. Journalism internships are very competitive. You had to prove yourself just to get this one, and you should be proud of that. Go in with the mentality that the other interns are your allies, not your competition. More so than anyone else at the organization, they’ll be able to relate to your situation. Go to them for advice, commiserate with them, and grab lunch with them when you can. Long after your internship is over, they’ll be valuable contacts in the industry.”
— Rubina Madan Fillion, director of audience engagement at The Intercept.

“I loved reading about the Shalane Flanagan effect after she won last year’s New York City Marathon. She’s one of the premier elite runners in the U.S. — a position she’s earned not just from a decade-plus of training and hard work, but also through mentoring and elevating her fellow teammates. She’s supportive, but not submissive. The article specifically describes the Shalane effect as a type of feminism, but I think it’s a good principle to keep in mind when any colleague might also be considered a competitor. As the article says, ‘It’s not so lonely at the top if you bring others along.’ If you build a support network for others, it will support you as well.”
— Ryann Grochowski Jones, deputy editor for data at ProPublica.

Do your homework

This week I’m asking for advice: How do you prepare for a big interview? How do you stay calm and make sure you get what you need? What if it’s a celebrity or big industry name? Reply to this Twitter thread, and I’ll share the advice. You get bonus points for sharing your advice with colleagues, too.

Focus on the work

When Joni Deutsch joined WFAE last November, her colleagues couldn’t stop talking about their idea for a podcast based on Sarah Delia’s year-long investigation of a woman who was sexually assaulted by a stranger in Charlotte, North Caroline. The more Deutsch learned about it, the more she knew it could be great, and she pulled together the right people from across the organization to figure out how it would sound and be published.

The first episode of the She Says podcast launched on May 31. It’s the story of a woman named “Linda,” who was sexually assaulted nearly three years ago and has had to act as her own advocate and detective to try to solve her case. She recorded her conversations with the police, and those recordings are featured in the podcast. New episodes are available every Thursday on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, NPR One and on other podcast apps, as well as on WFAE.org/SheSays.

Via Entrepreneur : Eyeing a Foreign Internship? Follow These 4 Tips to Succeed

Getting a full paid internship in a foreign country is a dream come true for any student in India and it is very achievable

Interning abroad is becoming a budding trend. An internship abroad offers an international exposure to the students, along with the knowledge and abilities that one masters during the course.

Interning abroad, adds enormous value to a student’s resume and also helps them in adapting to a new culture. This, in turn, creates a good impression about the intern, amongst the employers. Interning abroad gives one incredibly worthwhile endeavor that they must have, in order to be successful in the ever-changing world today. Simply hiring a student based on good grades is losing its significance in the modern world as such students often lack real-world life experiences and are seen as robots. Companies, in fact, look for interns who have a thought process which is out of the box and much more beyond grades. They are looking to hire interns who have a little real-life work experience which cannot be inculcated by classroom knowledge and grades. This is when projects, volunteering and internships can make one stand ahead of the crowd. It is very important for students’ to know how to pull good internships for a valuable work experience.

Getting a full paid internship in a foreign country is a dream come true for any student in India. And it is a very achievable dream in the current scenario when it is so easy to connect with foreign companies and universities.

Here are few tips, how one should go about when looking for an internship abroad:

Use Social Media Tools such as LinkedIn to Research, Find Groups and Apply for Summer Internship

Amongst all, LinkedIn has become the go-to website for job-seekers & internship seekers, which is very alluring to all. If one wants to be found and heard, the go-to place for them to make a presence is, on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a must for students looking for foreign internships as it is filled with recruiters looking for fresh talent.

Apply for Corporate Internships From Reputed Companies

This is the era of powerful brands and lack of experience shouldn’t dissuade a student from aiming high. Google, Microsoft and Facebook are known for their worldwide student internship programmes and these organizations hire students globally. They sponsor their visas and fund their stay, usually for a period of three months. Yet it is often said that getting an internship with a company such as Google can be more difficult than getting placed in a top college, hence one must always be prepared to face the competition.

Builds Networks

Networking plays an imperative role when it comes to crafting one’s career. As students go to intern abroad, they come across people from different spheres of life, which helps them in shaping their future. A student must always be their compelling self as they get to know people of varied natures and they must exchange business cards. Building their network would get them better internships as well as jobs.

Enthusiasm to Learn

Youth is extremely enthusiastic when it comes to interning abroad. They are open-minded; which helps them in building trust easily. Employers prefer giving more tasks to students if they see some curiosity and interest in them, not only in their project study but also about others. They must always ask questions and conduct research in their subject. If they have been given a task which is of no interest to them, they must still work hard and accomplish the goal. This will broaden their chances of being in the good books of the employer and they will also learn things.

By interning internationally, students get an exposure to people from different countries and organizations. Students can easily network with the kind of people whom they may or may not meet in their home country. A foreign stint will also place the student in good stead when he/she plans a career abroad. The prospective employers would know that the student already has a good understanding of their culture, and can integrate with them. A student must always work very hard to get a foreign internship because that will help them excel in their global career. A foreign internship also increases the marketability of the students who work hard, which adds to their resume. Interning with a foreign company is any day going to be good for students professionally as well as personally.

Via Standard Media : Here’s five tips on how to perfectly hack an internship

Those looking to succeed or become better at what they do should readily adopt Pele’s quote. The legendary footballer himself found meaning in this saying.

Raised in abject poverty, Pele always looked for opportunities to practice his skills, including playing on amateur teams. Sometimes, for lack of a proper football, he would be found playing with a sock stuffed with newspaper and tied with a string.

Anything for practice. From these humble beginnings, Pele went on to become the best-paid athlete of his time and the only player to win three FIFA World Cups.

Recruiters match Pele’s desire to succeed to what college students and young graduates should aspire to especially when interning.

According to recruiters that Hashtag spoke to, students should look at internships as the best opportunities to practice knowledge until they gain enough confidence before they accept real jobs.

Recruiters offer more tips on how to hack this period.

Conduct background research

Identify the organisation you want to intern for and research thoroughly on it. Part of the organisation’s background you need to dig into, according to Eagle HR Consultants CEO, Patrick Mutisya, is its history.

“Your association with organisation will always follow you even after you leave and look for positions elsewhere. It is important to ensure that you tick off organisations of ill repute,” says Mutisya.

He points at organisations that are notorious for compromised standards or corruption and warns graduates against striving to work for them.

“If an organisation is infamous for theft and everyone knows about it, the vice may follow you wherever you go such that when something gets lost, you will be the first to be questioned. Take time to learn an organisation’s ethics and ways of conduct,” says the HR Consultant.

Seek to stand out

Maximise on getting noticed by the larger crowd. These days, getting an internship is as much an uphill task as getting a real job. Some of the reasons that students graduate without an industrial attachment mark is actually failure to land one.

According to Francis Muhindi, Manpower Services Managing Director, the gravity that goes into looking for a job should be employed when looking for an internship.

“Something as simple as internship can haunt you all your career journey. A simple statement detailing that so and so is very humble and hardworking and should be accepted on any team can actually get you places even if you are not taken in after your internship,” says Muhindi.

Mr Muhindi is specifically put off by intern seekers who arrive late at the interview imagining an internship is of little importance.

“In fact here, we have a rule to lock out any person who arrives late for an interview. We never even give them a chance to explain themselves,” he says.

Manpower Services is a regional recruitment consultancy that has recruited personnel for top companies and the government.

A personal appearance at your target organisation also gives you an edge over other internship seekers, according to Brighter Monday CEO, Emmanuel Mutuma.

“This way, you have a chance to sell your other attributes. You can show your communication skills by the way you choose to express yourself, bring out your aggressiveness, your good grooming and such attributes the recruiter won’t see if you just send mail,” says Mutuma.

Portray the right attitude

The recruiters maintain the importance of observing discipline once you have landed the internship opportunity.

“Don’t get into office grapevine or talk negatively. Instead, maintain a pleasant personality, be kind to everyone, focus on your duties, be humble, flexible and to portray a willingness to learn,” says Mutuma.

“Your supervisor will need someone they can easily work with. If they want to show you a thing or two after office hours, don’t tell them that your working hours are over. Cheer up to the idea and show you are flexible and willing to be taught at any time,” adds Musyoka.

Learn all-round

“Take chances and make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.”

Mutuma says it is the best time to learn from as many fields as possible because you are at liberty to gain a variety of skills.

“It is also a time of practice where you can be allowed to make as many mistakes as possible because you are learning. This is the liberty no one will allow you when you are employed,” he says.

He says the career journey of Centum Investments CEO, James Mworia inspires him the most.

“James Mworia once said he had many opportunities to get jobs but instead agreed to be taken in by Centum Investments on a graduate trainee programme. On this platform, Mr Mworia worked in different departments and, I believe, this is what helped him learn the ropes of even leadership,” says Mutuma.

In past reports, the Centum CEO has revealed attending meetings with the then company CEO and taking notes for him, says Mutuma.

Don’t seek monetary gain blindly

The Brighter Monday CEO gives his own account of internship.

“I worked at Kenya Ports Authority for nine months as an intern IT Helpdesk Technician. I kept renewing my internship after every three months with a hope of being hired,” say Mutuma.

He says that during this time, he didn’t receive any form of remuneration from the company, despite his good work and dedication.

His experience, he says has enabled him to advise both employers and those looking for interns in matters relationship.

“I advise interns to overlook all the challenges and focus on the invaluable experience and the opportunities that come with interning. But I try to talk sense into employers looking to hire unpaid interns. I tell them to remember that since they are part of their team, they also represent the employer’s brand. And satisfied teams represent the brand better,” says Mutuma.

Via Forbes : Are You Ready For Your Internship? Top MBA Students Provide Advice

For students seeking internships, the emphasis is usually on the interviewing process. Getting a job offer from a coveted employer is the goal. However, once the offer comes in, attention should shift toward succeeding in the internship. In a session hosted by the Marketing Club at the Darden School of Business, three successful interns provided advice on lessons learned. Below is their advice.

A big thank you to Hillary Hardy (interning at Rodan+Fields) and Liz McMann (interning at Ford), first-year students from Darden who took and compiled notes for this article.

Leigh Feldmann, interned at Wayfair

Advice: Have an introductory meeting with the manager over the phone in May to understand the goals for the summer and expected output. The earlier that you can get clarity on the project, the better. Also, although it wasn’t stated, remember that the project is 50% networking and 50% analysis, writing, and presenting. Make sure to get buy-in from key stakeholders throughout the summer.

Lessons Learned: A key pitfall to avoid…socialize your project beyond your group and get input from more than just your manager. Put coffee chats on people’s calendars to go over the final deck. Because Feldmann’s presentation was very technical, it was important to share the deck with others to make sure the metrics, language, and general flow made sense for the audience. Also, she suggests working with other interns as much as possible. They may be the only ones not evaluating you, so help each other as much as possible.

What She Would Have Done Differently: Feldmann suggested drafting your project timeline immediately. The one thing she would have done differently was to think further out in advance. One of the AB tests she worked on took more time than expected, making her feel rushed at the end.

Rockstar Moment: Seeing an email banner test that she designed and implemented in her own gmail inbox. As Feldmann said: “Be proud of your accomplishments along the way.”

Katherine Atchison, interned at General Mills

Advice: If a document detailing your projects and expected deliverables isn’t provided on day one, create one yourself by interviewing your manager. What are the projects, objectives, and competencies they are trying to test? What are your responsibilities and deliverables? Who are the key contacts? And when are the due dates? Based on this information, build out a timeline of what you want to accomplish for each project, each week, and share this with your manager to check feasability. This is a working document and will evolve over time, but you want to make a plan and get some early approval on your approach. Lastly, observe and identify the company culture. Assuming you succeed, you’ll want to know if this is a good fit for you.

Lessons Learned: To get an offer, you must: 1) fully understand what’s expected of you, 2) constantly update stakeholders (don’t let anything surprise them), 3) know when to utilize your weekly meetings and when you need to let someone know something immediately, 4) be organized and efficient with others’ time (Atchison compiled notes throughout the week of what she wanted to ask people at the next touch point), and 5) be positive, helpful, and open-minded.

At the midpoint, if you get negative feedback, you can shut down or take a positive constructive attitude; the latter is impressive and shows perseverance. Remember, if you aren’t coachable, you won’t likely get a job offer. At some point, you will be criticized. They may be testing your ability to take criticism and grow from it.

What She Would Have Done Differently: Atchison wished she had built and shared a skeleton deck sooner—only the high points that really tell your story before the mid-point presentation to ensure you’re aligned with your manager.

Rockstar Moment: Demonstrating flexibility and staying positive as project scopes changed drastically.

Note: Demonstrating coachability and adaptability is critical. These skills aren’t often emphasized in school but top companies require that employees can grow through coaching and can adapt to changes. It is expected and part of any business environment—whether you work for a startup or a blue-chip firm. As Atchison suggests, how you cope with ambiguity, negative feedback, and changes will impact, if not determine, your success.

Mike Burke, interned at Procter and Gamble

Advice: At the end of every week, he sent out an email describing everything he did that week and the plan for the next week. This helped keep his manager up to date while also providing Burke with a reference to look back to should anybody ask questions about his projects.

Accountability is your friend. Burke indicates that it is okay if you make mistakes—just own up to it and figure out what you want to do to avoid it in the future.

Burke made a great point about project expectations. He suggested asking your manager if you should be limited by realism or should you think bigger?

At the end of the final slide deck, list out all the people you have talked to on a slide to thank them. This has the added bonus of demonstrating your networking skills. Related to this is an important concept–don’t reinvent the wheel. Look around and see if any related research or analysis has been done in the past. You could use their logic and site their statistics if helpful. This demonstrates resourcefulness.

For big, established companies with multiple brands, make sure to deeply explore cannibalization effects before pitching a new launch.

Via AZ Big Media : 4 ways students can parlay internships into jobs

The job market appears a bit more promising for soon-to-be college graduates than it has been for most of this decade. Just four years ago, CNN Money reported that 260,000 college grads held minimum-wage jobs. Barely 25 percent had a job related to their college major. But this year, the National Association of Colleges and E mployers projects, U.S. companies will hire 4 percent more new college graduates than they did from the Class of 2017.

Yet with more optimistic employment prospects, there’s still stiff competition for those first “real” jobs. Who stands the best chance of getting them?

Several studies show that college internships make a significant difference. According to Gallup, for example, recent graduates who had an internship in college were more than twice as likely to be hired for a good, career-related job immediately after graduation.

“The solution for college students is to increase job experience while still in school, and that means obtaining a hands-on internship every summer while in college,” says Matthew Stewart, co-founder of College Works Painting, which provides business experience for thousands of college students each year.

“Unless you graduate college with a significant amount of real-world job experience, finding a job will be incredibly difficult.”

Stewart gives college students four tips on maximizing their college internship in order to improve their post-grad job prospects:

• Find an internship that challenges you. An internship experience that will be meaningful on a resume should make demands of the student, Stewart says. Ideally, they’re getting a preview of their chosen profession and an idea of the skills they’ll need to succeed. “College students should be looking for experiences that will challenge them,” Stewart says. “When they get out of school they will be competing with thousands of other graduates. They need to ask themselves, ‘Will the internship offer real experience that will separate me from my peers?’”

• Treat your internship like a career. “The easiest way to treat your student job like a career is to ask your boss to mentor you,” Stewart says. “Under the mentorship of your supervisor, you can expand your basic job functions.”

• Be proactive, take initiative. Going above and beyond in your internship will set the foundation for your career. “You’ll gain confidence by taking initiative, which is a core skill in the business world,” Stewart says. “It’s important to set goals and have a plan of action around those goals.”

• Seek promotion opportunities. “Again, the mentor factor comes in,” Stewart says. “Build a strong relationship with your mentor, and let him or her know you are eager for more responsibility and that you’re up for the challenge. Always check the company job board.”

“College is not the time to relax,” Stewart says. “You need to treat college and an internship seriously; it’s your future. College consists of three summers of internships, and by the fourth summer students should have what it takes to find a career.”