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Via Nevada Today : Navigating through your internships

How internships are foundational for a successful career.

Internships prepare students for a full-time job and expand student networks that later help in the growth of their careers. The Reynolds School of Journalism Director of Internships and Experiential Learning, Claudia Cruz, is here to help students attain and make the best of their internships.

“It’s a foundation for professional development,” Cruz said. “Being in an environment that exposes you to what it might be like when you enter the professional world gives you a leg up.”

Cruz is well versed in reporting and the media industry. Originating from New York, Cruz moved to California then to Reno for her current position which she found through Twitter.

“Most of the work I was doing was daily reporting,” Cruz said. “My career has mostly focused on local communities and recent technology.”

Cruz has aided in nurturing the talents of younger journalists and remains connected with all of the media relationships she built. She hopes to use her connections to help students find internships and jobs not only in Nevada but across the country.

“Throughout my career as a journalist, I’ve helped younger journalists,” Cruz said. “I’m still in touch with people I interned for in 1995. What got me hired here was the same skills I used to get my internships in high school.”

On the importance of an internship, Cruz mentions that without this foundation, it is difficult to stand out during the hiring process.

“I’m encouraging internships because your resume needs to start reflecting the job you want; this is how you transition,” Cruz said. “Internships are how you start laying the ground work to show people, when you start interviewing for that first job after college, that you’ve been thinking about your profession.”

She encourages students to start gaining experiences that teach them transferrable skills and stresses that even if an internship is not in an area or with a company where a student wants to work in the long run, the experience will still allow students to become more knowledgeable about the field and the employer.

“A lot of students don’t have a lot of experience or experiences that they are very proud of, it doesn’t matter,” Cruz said. “During the application process you just have to be able to present your transferrable skills in a way that’s well written and shows you’ve learned something.”

Cruz also mentions that writing is the backbone of attaining an internship and a future job.

“It’s so important be a great writer,” Cruz said. “The first step is having a meticulous resume and a meticulous cover letter. When someone looks at a resume or cover letter, you’re presenting yourself; it’s the first step of personal branding.”

Cruz emphasizes that internships and jobs will not be handed to students, and students must be open and resourceful.

“Be personable,” Cruz said. “Learn how to navigate this space where you need to be forward and ambitious, but also be comfortable with that. People will notice you if you let yourself get noticed. There are opportunities out there, you just have to be savvy about getting them.”

Cruz can personally attest that networking is valuable and connections lead to opportunities. In 1998, Cruz was the manager of her university’s men’s varsity soccer team. This opportunity had a domino effect on the success of her career.

“The internship connection I made in college, I used again in 2006 to get myself back to Major League Soccer to intern for their legal department,” said Cruz. “Network! Write letters; write Christmas cards. Now it’s easier! You can write emails.” To this day, she still uses those contacts though now as a reporter.

Lastly, Cruz urges students to “take your passions and turn them into job opportunities.”

Via In Your Area : How to make the most of your internship in six quick tips

Are you starting an internship soon? Leading job board Fish4jobs shares 6 top tips for making the most of your internship.

Lasting anywhere from a few months to a year or more, internships can prove to be an excellent stepping stone between education and employment, but as with school, university or permanent work, you only get out what you put in.

We’ve come up with six top tips for making the most of your internship.

Keep track of your progress

In a journal, a draft email or a note on your phone, keep a record of everything you learn and do during your internship, using figures or metrics wherever possible to make your accomplishments tangible.

Update your CV as your progress through your internship, using your notes to demonstrate your new skills, experiences and achievements.

Ask all the questions

Internships are all about learning, so you’re not expected to know everything.

If you don’t understand something then get clarification, take advantage of your colleagues’ company, systems and industry knowledge, and ask your manager about what you can do to improve your performance.

Connect with your colleagues

Don’t just ask your colleagues about work.

Talk to them about their hobbies, interests or what they did on the weekend – this is your opportunity to get to grips with office culture, begin developing a professional network and possibly even find a mentor.

Never say no to new opportunities

The purpose of your internship is to gain as many different experiences as possible, so never say no to a new opportunity.

Is someone required to help at a client meeting? Be the first to volunteer.

Does the marketing team need a hand writing email copy? Get involved.

If you come to the end of your internship and decide this company or industry is not for you, you will know that your decision is fully informed.

Treat your internship as a permanent job

While many internships result in permanent employment, there’s no guarantee of a job offer.

Increase your chances of success by treating your internship as if it’s your full-time, permanent job.

Your extra efforts won’t go unnoticed by your manager.

Stay in touch

If you don’t get a permanent job offer but have really enjoyed your internship, make sure to keep in touch with those you have worked with so that you are first in mind when an appropriate vacancy emerges.

If you see a job advertised at the company in the future, get in touch with your contacts for application advice, a reference or to see if they’ll refer you for the role.

Via Inside Higher Ed : Approaching Your Internship With Intention

Pursuing an internship while in graduate school is no easy feat. You have already invested time in understanding how to best work with your thesis adviser, crafting a thesis topic in which you must become an expert and balancing research with taking or teaching courses. And now you are considering adding an additional responsibility that requires its own period of training and adaptation, all while fulfilling your obligations as a graduate student.

Despite the daunting nature of engaging in an internship in graduate school, the pros can outweigh the cons. Experiential learning is widely recommended as an effective, albeit time-intensive, way to not only explore postgraduate careers outside academe but also gain confidence in your ability to do so. And the evidence supports this: two separate studies on the impact of internships on biomedical graduate students and postdocs demonstrated that internships increased trainees’ confidence in their self-development, career choice and ability to secure a job. Further, some professionals in the career development field argue that internships are crucial for graduate students to transition out of the academy, allowing them to develop specific skills and gain direct experience that employers prioritize when hiring.

So you’ve weighed the pros and cons of doing an internship during your Ph.D. and have decided to take the plunge with the purpose of learning more about a career field, developing a relationship with an organization and/or learning new skills. You can’t avoid the fact that internships require additional time and work on top of graduate school, but you can keep certain objectives in mind to adapt to your new work environment and stay on track to fulfill your internship goals.

I should know. That has been my own aim for the past year as I have held a part-time internship while continuing to work full-time on my Ph.D. Consider the following recommendations for approaching your internship with intention, which have not only been recommended by professionals in the career development field but have also been vetted by an actual graduate student intern.

Set expectations with your supervisor on how you will work together. Success in your internship requires having a conversation with your supervisor to define expectations for the goals of your internship and how you will work together. Make sure to clarify what skills you should develop, who will help train you in those skills and what specific projects you are expected to complete. Whether your supervisor provides a rubric for assessment or has a more laissez-faire approach, actively ask what success looks like in your internship and how you’ll know if you achieve it.

You should also clarify how you will work with your supervisor throughout the internship. How often will you get guidance or support on projects? Is your supervisor going to be very hands-on, or will you need to be proactive in asking for help? When might you receive constructive feedback? Will you perhaps even get recognition for your achievements? Bring your questions about your supervisor’s expectations for internship goals and structure to early meetings so you will have clarity as you proceed.

Understand both your own and your supervisor’s communication styles. Determining your style of communicating — and that of your supervisor — early on in your internship is essential to making the most of your meetings. Core components to consider are how both of you think, organize and phrase your ideas.

Do you need to process your thoughts before you’re ready to speak or, in contrast, to verbalize your thoughts as they come up (referred to as internal and external processing, respectively)? Do you lay out your points in a systematic and linear fashion or speak in a more organic, circling style? When speaking, do you use analogies or more concrete descriptions? Understanding where you and your supervisor align and differ in communication styles will remove stress from your meetings so that you’re less preoccupied with thoughts of “Why can’t I understand what they’re saying?” and can instead focus on “What are they trying to tell me?”

Develop your own deliverable from the internship. Carrying out a project you can call your own is a remarkable achievement, indicating your ability not only to learn in a new work environment as a trainee but also to develop into a contributing, innovative colleague. That will make your internship experience all the more impressive when you apply for jobs. After you have addressed the pressing tasks that your supervisor assigns at the beginning of your internship, consider asking them if you can work on a deliverable where you will be the main contributor. It will demonstrate your ability to learn skills and do tasks during your internship, as well as to apply your knowledge to developing something new.

Depending on the length of your internship, this deliverable can take several different forms. If your internship is coming to a close, you can write a summative report or make a presentation to members of the organization on the project you were assigned and your recommendations for follow-up work. If you have time to research and propose a new project — whether a follow-up to your initial project or an entirely separate initiative — consider what further concepts or skills you want to learn and use that to inspire your project design. If your internship is an extended experience, you may even be able to manage the project you propose to completion. Regardless of whether your deliverable is a report or a project you carry out entirely by yourself, your internship colleagues and the future hiring managers who read your résumé will recognize — and most likely be impressed by — your intention to go beyond the expectations of a trainee.

Access other professional growth opportunities at the organization. Your professional growth during an internship does not begin and end with your work for your supervisor. Taking advantage of other mentors or opportunities at your internship organization not only benefits you but also identifies you as an engaged, thoughtful and hardworking contributor. Make time to meet with other members of the organization — whether it be simply for an informational interview, shadowing them on a job task or even training to develop an additional skill. You will develop allies for your internship success now and, potentially, job references for the future.

Similarly, seek out staff meetings to gain a broader perspective of the organization’s work or attend local conferences to understand its contribution to the wider career field. Use such opportunities to introduce yourself to new contacts and discuss your own internship projects and what they offer to the field. If you demonstrate the initiative to go beyond your supervisor for career insight or training, it will raise your profile within the organization or field and ultimately increase your self-confidence in transitioning from graduate school to a postgraduate career.

These four intentions to approaching your internship will help you transition smoothly into working in a new environment with a new supervisor. It will also allow you to build a professional identity that will have a lasting impact on your career success.

Via The Muse : Everything You Need to Know About Internships—From What They Are to How to Get One

If you’re a career-minded college student, you’ve probably heard about internships. Honestly, even if you’re not “career-minded,” you’ve probably still heard about internships. But what exactly are they and how do you get one? Strap in. Here are the basics.

What Is an Internship?

An internship is a short-term work experience offered by companies and other organizations for people—usually students, but not always—to get some entry-level exposure to a particular industry or field. It is as much of a learning experience as it is work. Ideally, interns spend their time working on relevant projects, learning about the field, making industry connections, and developing both hard and soft skills. Internships sometimes even lead to full-time job offers.

Summer internships are typically 40 hours a week over 10 to 12 weeks. Fall and spring internships vary, but are almost always part time. Some are paid. Some are not. We’ll talk more about that later.

Why Are Internships Important?

As an intern, you get a chance to work side by side with accomplished industry professionals and get a pretty good idea of what an entry-level role might entail. You’ll not only gain real work experience, but also meet and learn from the pros. And you’ll start to build your own network, from your fellow interns to seasoned leaders.

One other less obvious but equally important benefit of an internship is the chance to figure out what you don’t want to do. It’s often difficult to know where to even start when it comes to job searching. Internships give you the chance to try a few things out without committing. If you’re lucky, you’ll find something you love. And if not, you’ll at least know what doesn’t work for you. When it comes to something as tricky as finding the right career, the more information you have to work with, the better.

As internships have gotten more and more common, employers expect to see them on resumes. Applicants with previous work experience are much more competitive than those who only have relevant coursework. Internships offer you the chance to not just build relevant skills and learn about the field, but to demonstrate those skills and industry acumen on the job. For most employers, even ones who are extremely adept at hiring new graduates, nothing quite makes up for real-life experience.

Companies also use internships as talent pipelines to fill their own full-time positions. For employers, internships are a lot of things: a super-extended interview, a training program, and (frequently) a smart way to hire for open roles. This means some college students can walk into their senior years with job offers in hand (and therefore have a much less stressful last year at school).

In short, internships can help you figure out what you want to do with your career and then make it easier to land your first full-time job in that industry.

Do Interns Get Paid?

How much interns get paid varies widely by industry. Tech and finance tend to pay on the higher end, while journalism, fashion, and nonprofits in any field often pay on the lower end (or not at all). According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), 56.7% of graduating seniors in 2017 most recently had a paid internship or co-op experience—up from 53.7% in 2014—while 43.3% were not paid. Undergraduates who were paid in 2018 made an average of about $18.50 an hour. Graduate students got paid a fair bit more, with doctoral students making an average of $32.35 an hour.

As short-term workers, interns typically don’t receive health or other benefits that full-time employees get. But depending on the industry and size of the company, it could offer perks ranging from offering a handful of social events or vacation days to covering relocation and even housing.

That’s the paid internships. Let’s talk about the unpaid ones. A pretty uncontroversial stance is that people should be paid for their work. Luckily, the law—namely the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)—agrees. Usually.

Why then, do unpaid internships exist? In theory, unpaid internships are mostly learning rather than work experiences. The Department of Labor has a seven-point test courts have used to distinguish between an employee (or paid intern) and a legally unpaid intern at for-profit companies. Basically, for an unpaid internship to be lawful, you should be benefiting more than the company. According to the FLSA’s factsheet, it’s also generally OK for the public sector and nonprofits to have unpaid interns who “[volunteer] without expectation of compensation.”

All that said, some organizations, whether for-profit or not, offer unpaid internships that, uh, get precariously close to the lines (or cross them). Some industries are notorious for not paying their interns (or paying them poorly), while also requiring internships in order to get a foot in the door for full-time entry-level jobs. Of course, that means that people who can’t afford to take unpaid internships not only miss out on those valuable learning experiences, but have more trouble breaking into the field as a whole.

If you’re interested in an industry where unpaid internships are common, but spending a summer or semester working for free isn’t an option, don’t give up! Check with your university’s career office as well as relevant academic departments, institutes, and centers on campus—they may have grants and other programs you can apply for to help you support yourself while getting the work experience you need.

You can also look outside of your school for funding to support internship experiences. The Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, for example, gives awards of up to $5,000 for undergraduates of “limited financial means” who are looking to study or intern abroad. Other organizations run very specific programs, like the Association for Women in Sports Media, which matches female college students with paid internships and gives participants an additional $1,000 scholarship.

It might take some digging to find one that’s the right fit for you, but it’s worth looking for a program on campus or off that can help fund the work experience you’re looking for.

3 Ways to Find an Internship

Now that you know what an internship is, you might be wondering how you go about finding one. Here are three ways to find internship opportunities.

1. Use Campus Resources

If you’re a student, go to your campus career center and figure out how to attend career fairs and take part in on-campus recruiting. There may also be job boards for students at your university. These employers are specifically looking for students from your school! Make the most of that university connection and take advantage of how convenient it is to have employers come to you.

2. Go Online

As you probably guessed, there are tons of resources online too, including, of course, The Muse, which features both job and internship postings along with company profiles to help you learn about organizations and their culture.

Searching online can be really overwhelming, so it’s best to go in with an idea of what you’re looking for, such as “product management internship” or “editorial internship.” It’s counterintuitive, but the more you narrow your search, the more manageable it’ll be. You can always stay open to other opportunities as the process unfolds, but start with a clear goal.

3. Look at Your Favorite Organizations

Everyone has a couple of dream companies. If you’re not sure exactly what kind of internship you want to pursue, another direction you can go is to check out the company first. Go directly to your target company’s website and see what kind of internship programs and opportunities it offers. If you find one that might be a good fit, apply! After all, a major benefit of an internship is helping you figure out what you want to do post-graduation.

4 Tips for Getting an Internship

If this all sounds good, the last step is, well, getting the internship. Here’s how.

1. Start Looking Early

Figure out when your industry recruits. In general, the larger the company is, the earlier in the fall they probably start the process for the following summer’s intern class. If your school has a fall career fair, that’s a great place to begin your search.

Smaller companies have a harder time projecting headcount and therefore tend to hire closer to when they need someone to start. That could mean applications due anytime between January and March for a summer internship, so make sure you check on timelines in the fall, even if you’re targeting smaller organizations.

If you’re looking for a fall or spring internship, aim to start your search at least a full semester before your target start date.

2. Get Your Resume and Cover Letter in Shape

Follow these five steps to write a resume for an internship and read up on how to write a cover letter for an internship. (There are examples at the end of each article!) You might not feel like you have very much experience to write about, but as long as you keep an open mind about what “experience” encompasses—like course assignments, hackathons, volunteer projects, or other extracurricular activities—you’ll likely be able to put together a compelling application.

3. Prepare for Those Interviews

It can be tempting to wing it, especially since interview invites can often make them sound like casual chats. Don’t fall for it. Review common internship interview questions and practice answering them aloud. You don’t have to memorize your responses, but definitely practice them.

Make sure you do some research about the company—what it does, what it’s currently working on, and what its culture is like. If you want to be extra prepared, dig a little deeper to see what their interview practices are like and what questions they ask (if you have a contact at the organization, reach out!). Lastly, if possible, try to learn more about your specific interviewers on the company website, LinkedIn, or other professional pages. Use all of your research to come up with relevant questions to ask at the end of your interview.

4. Use Your Network

If you’re a student, reach out to professors, alumni, and your career center. Let people know what kind of internship you’re looking for. They can’t help unless they know what you’re after. I don’t mean go and ask an alum you’ve never met before to hand you an internship. Instead, tell them what you’re interested in and ask for their advice on how to achieve it.

To be even more targeted with your networking, create a list of companies you’re interested in and start finding people to reach out to via LinkedIn or your school’s alumni database. Apply online as well to make sure you don’t miss any deadlines, but keep meeting with people and conducting informational interviews to get advice about your search. You may even find yourself in an impromptu interview and land the internship of your dreams.

Networking is often a more labor intensive approach, but it also tends to result in a better fit than just applying randomly. Even if it doesn’t directly pay off in your internship search, one day you’ll be glad you started developing your network early in your career.

Via SCMP : Internship application advice from an expert: three top tips to help you reach your work experience goals

How do you convince someone to hire you for an internship or a summer job? Positivity, and the ability to put yourself in an employer’s shoes, are key.

If you’re hoping to apply for a summer job, we’ve got some professional advice from a headhunter. So before you send off your applications and CVs, here’s what career doctor Alison Chang said you need to know.

“A lot of the time, [students] themselves don’t buy into the fact that they want or need a summer job,” the veteran headhunter said. This might be because they’re only doing it because people around them expect them to – but this mindset is not helpful.

“If you don’t take [a summer job] seriously, you won’t be able to learn anything from it, or show how it’s valuable to a future employer,” she said. Instead, young people should take some time to think about why they want a summer job before applying for one.

“Ask yourself what you’d like to achieve by the end of it, and set your goals accordingly. You shouldn’t do anything without a focus or a reason.”

Put yourself in their shoes

Once you’ve set your goals, you should put yourself in an employer’s shoes to improve your chances of being hired. One easy way to figure out what an employer needs is to imagine yourself as a delivery person, and the employer as your customer.

This exercise helps you to recognise the importance of matching your delivery – in this case your skills – to a person’s order or what an employer is looking for. In other words, your job application, cover letter, and job interview should reflect how your personality, experiences and skills will help you fulfil the needs of the job they are advertising.

“It might be as simple as your being the organiser of your school year’s graduation trip, or mentioning your volunteer experience teaching underprivileged students,” Chang said. These are important things that highlight what makes you a better person for the job than another candidate.

Have good interview manners

Having good interview behaviour, once you’ve secured one, is also very important. If you are offered an interview slot that is at a time that isn’t possible for you to attend, you should make sure you let the company or person know in advance you wish to change it.

“If, however, something urgent comes up,” Chang said, “apologise, explain your situation, and reschedule the interview.” Rescheduling too many times can make you look as if you aren’t a very reliable person, though, or as if you aren’t very interested in the job.

If you realise that a job isn’t right for you in the middle of an interview, or after it, don’t be afraid to speak up. Chang said, when you realise this, you should let the employer know as soon as possible. You could, for instance, thank them for the opportunity, and that you’d like to learn from them in the future.

“Be thankful and grateful [because] … someone spent time talking to you, and you’re learning [regardless of the result],” she said. Avoid saying things like “I have a better [job] offer”.

Stay positive

If you don’t get a job offer, you should still remain respectful and positive. Just because you get turned down for one job, doesn’t mean you can’t learn from it for another interview. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, Chang said, because most employers are happy to let you know what you did and didn’t do right.

“Ask follow-up questions,” she said. “Say, ‘I’m interested in the position or the industry, could you give me some advice as to how I’m going to improve my chances in the future?”

Not everyone gets a job offer on their first try, but no matter if you’ve sent out one or 100 job applications, the most important thing is to remain positive. That way, any potential employer will see the best possible version of you – and someone they’ll definitely want to hire. Good luck!