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Via BizCommunity : #RecruitmentFocus: 10 tips to making the most of your internship

Internships allow graduates the short-term opportunity to test and apply their structured learnings experientially in a real-life business.

This workplace learning is just part of a series of developmental experiences that contribute to the lifetime success and earning the potential of the youth of our country.

I could have written a list of 50 tips, but here are the 10 I thought would be most helpful for now:

1. Manage your expectations

I’m sure you’re going to achieve whatever it is you desire to, whether that be launching your own start-up, becoming an executive creative director or directing the next award-winning commercial. But, unless you’re a prodigy, you’re not there yet.

It takes time and patience to earn respect in the workplace. Don’t go in pretending like you know everything. Don’t discount the value and learnings you can extract from those more experienced.

Go in with a hunger for knowledge and curiosity, but most importantly, humility.

2. Set goals and discuss these with your supervisor

You’ll be able to make the most of the few weeks or months if you have an honest conversation with your supervisor upfront. They may not initiate this, but you shouldn’t be shy to ask to set up a meeting to discuss.

Ask what they expect of you; tell them what you expect of them.

Ask what you can do to make the most of this opportunity, how they’ll measure your success and how you will get feedback from them for improvement.

Get it out the way and you’ll feel far more secure and in the loop during the internship.

3. Be prepared, punctual and professional

Prepared – know the company you are going to. Research the work they do, the clients they represent or serve, the people in the team. Write down a list of questions in advance that you might want to ask when meeting certain people.

Punctual – because it’s respectful and the right thing to do. You may live in Cape Town where it’s semi-normal, but tardiness is not something appreciated in the workplace. Respect one’s time as you would expect them to respect yours.

Professional – goes without saying, one would think, but we’re saying it. If you haven’t learnt yet, building a career and business will largely be dependent on the relationships you forge. Take the time to start planting the seeds and watering them now – they’ll pay off greatly in the long term (and pay-off aside, it’ll help you be a good human).

4. Meet people and ask questions. Lots of them.

Some of the purposes the internship are for you to learn:

  • Is this an industry I enjoy?
  • Do I perform best in a small or large team?
  • Do I operate best in a structured corporate or a flexi start-up?
  • Am I designed to be at an agency working on multiple brands, or client side with a focus on theirs?
  • Can I keep up with the pace of a start-up?
  • Do I want to specialise in a specific area of what I studied and if so, what?

The only way you’ll learn this is by engaging and seeking answers. Spark up conversations with people who have been at the company longer than you. Find out more about their journey in an effort to broaden your understanding of the workplace. This will arm you with more data to make informed decisions.

5. Take initiative and lean in

The internship or workplace learning programme won’t always be perfectly designed to keep you busy all the time. And the nature of a business is that it’s a living organism and things will change. When this happens, do your best to adapt to the environment.

If you finish a project early or there’s a roadblock preventing you from progressing, don’t browse through Instagram or watch YouTube videos.

Lean in and find something else to do. Initiative and proactivity are sought-after soft skills that companies look out for when hiring.

6. Respect your elders, youngers and other cultures

I’m not telling you this because I’m trying to sound like your parents. I’m telling you this because, at any given time, there can be FOUR generations and however many cultures working in one team. Each of these generations and cultural groups had their own upbringings and styles of learning and work, each of them has a different ‘language’ of professional communication and they all have different perspectives on life.

As you grow within a company or grow your own company, you are going to encounter people from different upbringings to you. You need to know how to engage with them in the manner most conducive to shared success. Also, you can learn a surprising amount from them and their experience, but not if you won’t engage or listen.

If you’re going to engage in debate, great! Just do so constructively.

7. Collect as much data as you possibly can

This may be the ‘first’ real life work experience you get. You also might do a number of internships before settling into what really drives you.

At the end of the day, those with the best data are those who make the best decisions. So before going into your internship, develop a ‘list’ of things that are important to you: office environment, type of work, team vibe, leadership styles, growth opportunities, the calibre of clients, anything.

Take detailed notes on the above, preferably with a weighting and rating system so you can easily compare one experience vs. another. This will also help when you have a review meeting with your supervisor.

8. Take every opportunity to learn, learn and learn some more

Whether it’s learning the communication guidelines of Slack, best practices for using Trello, professional jargon used in the workplace or when not to CC someone in an email, learn it all and learn it daily.

Your success in life will largely be the culmination of your lifelong learning – take it seriously. It all adds up.

9. Make the most of every relationship you build

The relationships you build now are the relationships that will follow you through your career.

Find out what the other employees do, discuss their learning and career progressions, add them on LinkedIn, send them a thank you emails after you finish the internship, ask them for reference letters, volunteer to work on their passion projects or side hustles. Do everything you can.

Trust me, relationships add so much value to your existing talent and intelligence. They’ll increase your probability of success a hundredfold.

10. Reflect on the experience and debrief with anyone you can

Reflect and take stock of your learnings and experience as regularly as you can (preferably at the beginning or the end of every day), but at the very least, do this in detail at the end of the internship.

Hopefully the company you intern at will have a formal review process where you can get constructive criticism on your time there, share your learnings, discuss future opportunities, get a reference or testimonial, etc.

Use this data to update your CV, portfolio, LinkedIn profile, etc.

Via Collegian : How to Score Your Dream Internship

Tips from Past Fashion Interns

Resources from the CSU Career Center & CSU Design and Merchandising

A huge stepping stone to achieving your dream career is to first, be an intern. Internships are one of the most reliable ways to gain pertinent knowledge, skills, and experience while establishing important connections in the field. It also helps you to get your feet wet and find out if a specific job is something you could see yourself doing full time.

Studies show that 60% of paid internships will result in a job offer. Having multiple internships under your belt will greatly increase your chances of employment after graduation. However, trying to find, apply, and actually obtain an internship can be daunting. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled some tips from past fashion interns, as well as some resources from the CSU Career Center and the CSU Department of Design and Merchandising.

What better way to learn the ropes of scoring an internship in the fashion industry than from past interns themselves. Here’s some advice we’ve gathered from interns who have worked at some of the biggest brands in the fashion game.

“Don’t just limit yourself to roles that are being advertised online. Make a list of companies in your area that you would love to work for and send them a speculative application. Worst case scenario is you don’t hear back (their loss right?), and best case is they happen to have a vacancy they haven’t advertised yet and you get an interview. Even if that doesn’t happen, they will probably keep your application on file for any future internship positions.” – Suzie, a past Garment Tech Intern at Missguided

“Schedule a small part of each day to actively scour Indeed.com, set up a Google Alertfor your favorite companies, and double-check your resume to ensure it’s flawless. Looking at industry-specific job boards also helps to narrow your search and find your dream internship faster. The following job sites are ideal for students and/or media-obsessed applicants: InternQueen, ED2010, Her Campus Job & Internship Board, StyleCareers.com, Mediabistro, JournalismJobs.com, WayUp, Internships.com, and the CollegeFashionista Job Board (open only to community members)” -Anna, a past College FashionistaStyle Guru Intern

“It is important to make the most of University resources. Whether it is creating innovative business cards, or having a studio portrait taken for LinkedIn. All the resources you can take advantage of will benefit you in the long run. Similarly, if the year above is setting up a fashion show, they might not advertise that they need help but go and ask them. The experience you need doesn’t necessarily need to be at a brand. Whether it’s volunteering at a local fashion show, or assisting stylists in your area and just anything you get.” Lara, a past intern at Parfums Christian Dior

In addition to your own legwork, it is beneficial to utilize the university resources to help you through the process. If you have any questions about how to get started on finding an internship, or just want an experienced pair of eyes to look over your resume, the CSU Career Center offers drop-in appointments Monday through Friday. You can also schedule more in-depth appointments to either talk to someone in-person, over the phone, or through Skype/Zoom. Through these appointments you can receive assistance in job searching, career assessments, mock interviews, and mock salary negotiation. The Career Center also hosts career fairs once a semester on campus and industry field trips throughout Northern Colorado. These events are a great way to chat with industry professionals, and get a feel for the varying types of careers you may be interested in.

Whether you are a Fashion Major or in another field of study, an internship won’t just fall into your lap. It’s all about persistence and making use of the resources around you. You have to put yourself out there and get employers to notice what you can bring to the table. Eventually, hard work will pay off and you’ll find yourself working in the glamorous and global Fashion Industry!

Via Youth Incorporated : 7 Things You Should Know Before Your First Internship

Let’s face it, you need as much experience as you can get before your first paying job after campus. The best way to get that experience is through the power of the internship. The whole experience is highly rewarding. The truth, however, is that you won’t find it very easy to get a great position at a great company without putting in a lot of legwork from the get-go.

If you’re going to be successful in your internship, then you’re going to have to nail two things – make an effort to understand what potential employers are all about and manage your own expectations. Such knowledge as when to make your application, what kind of positions your skills are best for, and where to look for employment can prove crucial to your success. That said, there are a couple of things you should know before you ever go looking for your first internship.

Don’t be held back by your Age or Standing in College

About 17% of students finish their first internship while they are in high school that should let you know that your age or level of experience has nothing to do with your internship success. There is no time like the present when it comes to deeply engrossing yourself in the type of industry you would like to excel in eventually. You get a head start on your peers and you get to supplement all that theoretical stuff you learn in class with some practical experience.

Don’t forget the Early Bird Rule

When you take an internship, especially if that internship is going to be at a particularly large and popular company, you need to apply as early as you can. About a third of students will start their internship search at least 3 months before the due date. Companies that are particularly popular for internships also start their selection process very early. You should, therefore, take advantage of that and be in the first crop of applicants.

Pile up the Experience

Who said you have to do just one internship? More than half of students will do many internships before they graduate. It’s an awesome way to stay competitive by piling up on the experience and it also helps you increase your chances of securing a job by the time you leave school. At the very least, your networking, resume, and portfolio will benefit from the whole experience.

Your Network is your Friend

Can you think of anyone you already know that could help you get an internship? Over 60% of students actually use their personal network to get themselves internships. A third use their networks they’ve developed at their university. Don’t be shy about visiting the career centre at your school and reaching out to teaching staff to find out about opportunities.

Most Internships are Unpaid or Low Paying

As you search for available internship opportunities, remember that not all of them will be paid internships. Nearly 40% of companies don’t pay interns or pay interns less than minimum wage. Remember that you can get an unpaid or low paying internship and still keep a part-time job.

You may not have as much Flexibility as you think

If you’re looking for something that will allow you to work from your favourite coffee shop or from home, then you may be a little disappointed. Over 60 percent of companies do not allow their interns to work from either a coffee shop or their homes. It’s a little unfortunate if you’re used to being super flexible in college. If you really want flexibility, talk to your employer once you’re hired so you can work out some sort of arrangement.

Diversity may be an Issue

About 90 percent of companies aren’t that diverse in their hiring of interns. It’s, therefore, a good idea for you to put in a word about your background during the application and recruitment process. You can talk about it in your resume, cover letter, or during your interview. Employers want interns who bring in a fresh perspective on things to the company. However, they won’t know that you can do that unless you tell them.

The tips above should help you get your direction right as you begin your hunt for the perfect internship.

Via APU : How to Find an Internship That Boosts Your Résumé

A 2017 study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) found that along with a high GPA, partaking in multiple internships throughout college enables students to secure employment—or enter graduate school—within six months of graduation. Internships offer a great opportunity to gain experience and get your foot in the door, but sometimes it can be tough to find one that aligns with your future career goals.

Here’s some advice for setting ambitious and attainable goals, as well as tips around how to find an internship that will help your résumé stand out.

Set Internship Goals

There are thousands of internships available—both in-person and virtually. Before you set out on your internship search, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes brainstorming your current strengths and likes, as well as your future career goals. For example, if your desire is to become an accountant, then interning for an online fashion blog might not give you the experience that job recruiters will be looking for.

It is also wise to create a list of companies you wish to work at one day, since many big organizations hire from within. For example, if your ultimate goal is to be a writer for Disney, an internship on Disney’s social media team might provide you that “in” you need to network and get a job in your desired field.

How to Find an Internship

Once you have identified what type of internship you want, it will be easier to pinpoint the listings you should apply to. Start with your school’s career center. At Azusa Pacific University, students have access to the school’s Handshake Career Platform, which allows them to connect with companies looking for interns. Students can also benefit from APU’s subscription to Internships.com, which enables them to search thousands of internship listings.

Networking is another effective way to gain access to internships. Thankfully, almost everyone in your life is a potential connection! Sometimes it is as simple as telling a relative or family friend, “I am going to college for X, do you know anyone in this field that I can talk to or intern with?” Through this simple statement, many doors could open. For example, your uncle might have a best friend who works in real estate that needs help with listings, or your pastor might be able to introduce you to a CEO in the congregation that regularly hires interns.

Refine Your Résumé for Success

Don’t become discouraged if you have little to no work experience. You can still create a head-turning résumé. First, write out a list of all of your strengths, accomplishments, and awards/honors received. Don’t be shy to mention if you were a scholarship winner for academic excellence or athletic skills. Next, make a list of all the jobs you have had, especially important non-paid roles like club secretary, yearbook editor, or Sunday school teacher. List out all of your volunteer experience as well.

A common mistake that some college students make is simply throwing a bulleted list on a piece of paper and calling it their résumé. Instead, with your list in hand, create a résumé that paints a professional picture. Look at what items on your list complement each other. Make sure to describe how your strengths and accomplishments played a critical part in your work and volunteer experience.

For example, instead of saying, “Sunday School Teacher (2015-18) Church on the Rock: Cared for the two and three-year-old classes,” expand your job description to reflect your actual tasks. The description might look closer to this:

Toddler Sunday School Teacher (2015-18) Church on the Rock I lead a group of 20 toddlers through a structured Christian curriculum, implementing hands-on activities that engage the students and deepen their understanding of each week’s lesson. I coordinate lesson plans with the children’s pastor and make copies for all Sunday school classes.

Your job or volunteerism probably requires several skills—so highlight them! You can group similar jobs or volunteer opportunities together. For example, if you have gone on five weekend mission or service trips, you can bundle them under one heading and give a few details about each one.

Rock the Internship Interview

You already know that you are ready for this internship, now you just need to convince the interviewer. The best way to prepare (and calm your nerves) is to write out your strengths, weaknesses, personality points, and future career goals, as well as why you are the right fit for the company.

It is a good idea to write all of this down ahead of time and look at it once a day. Even though you know who you are, it can be easy to draw a blank when someone asks you, “How will your strengths play a role in this internship?” or, “Tell me an example of how you overcame your weakness in another job or class.”

Along with being confident in your abilities, spend some time researching the job you are interviewing for. Look at the company’s list of objectives or tasks for the role and be ready to explain how you can expertly fill that need.

Still feeling a little nervous? You are in good company! The majority of individuals feel anxious or overwhelmed before they go into an interview. You can brush off some of these nerves by practicing your spiel during a mock interview with a career consultant.

Via Her : The five tips I picked up during the first week of my internship at Her

Only a week into my internship at Her and I’ve learned a lot.

So my first week at Her HQ is behind me and it has been a whirlwind of introductions, admin, brainstorming and writing. It’s impressive and overwhelming in equal measure watching the Her veteran gals at the desk producing some class content. It’s a fast-paced environment, but everyone tells me I’ll get used to it!


Week one was undoubtedly a challenge but massively rewarding. The nature of media and journalism means you have to have your finger on the pulse and keep up to speed with current affairs, beauty, fashion and everything else Her does a great job of reporting on.

Her produces a variety of content besides the written articles on the site. From YouTube videos to an in-house podcast and exciting social media campaigns, there’s a lot going on so the office has a nice creative buzz and sense of productivity about it.

Wednesday evening, in particular, was an exciting one as Her hosted its first open evening for media students. The panel included Gillian Fitzpatrick, Cathy Donohue, Niamh Maher, Louise Carroll and Jade Hayden.

Here are some of the top tips I picked up:

Make your CV stand out

Publisher of Her and HerFamily, Gillian Fitzpatrick, on the night said she gets inundated with CVs on a daily basis and stressed the importance of having a strong CV with a unique edge. She said that she once received a CV that imitated the layout of the Her site and that innovative ideas like this are very impressive.

Niamh Maher, best known for her much-loved podcast, ‘Girls With Goals’, suggested it is a good idea to think outside of the box when highlighting your skills to prospective employers.

With the world being so digitised now, it’s an excellent opportunity to get creative, be it sending a short video of your portfolio, using social media to your advantage or just coming up with a killer CV layout.

Be meticulous

Gillian also stated that she is astounded by the amount of CVs that contain typos. This is such a no-no so proofread…and then proofread again! On the night, Niamh asked Gillian if a typo in someone’s CV would prevent them from securing an interview and the answer was a definite yes.

Don’t underestimate the value of an internship

Speaking on the night, Jade Hayden, now a permanent staff member at Her, said that her stint as an intern helped increase her confidence and that the fast-paced environment helped her to not second-guess her writing.

Internships are a massive opportunity to make your mark and get a foot in the door and, as Gillian says, ‘it’s yours for the making’.


Gillian began her career in 2007 as a print journalist and recalled working crazy hours to meet deadlines and carve out a name for herself. Now at the helm of Her and HerFamily, both of which attract millions of unique users every month, she accredits hard work to her success.

The media powerhouse says that hard work can make up for lack of ability in certain areas, or connections in the industry.

Make sure your writing has a hook

That’s one of the lessons I picked up from Cathy Donohue, editor here at Her and HerFamily. When editing my content, Cathy has stressed the value of ensuring your story has a ‘hook’ or unique angle to it. This distinguishes it from other similar articles and gains more traction – an important one if you’re currently doing an internship or freelancing.

Having a hook is also essential as a copywriter, as Louise Carroll hinted at. Like Jade, Louise started in Her as an editorial intern and then moved to a permanent role as a copywriter. Louise liaises with brands to figure out what clients would be a good fit for sponsored content on the site. She said that the role has strengthened her marketing and selling skills.

So keep those tips in mind when you’re looking for media opportunities. I’m so glad I took the chance and emailed in my CV. Sure as my mum always says, ‘the worst that can happen is someone says no!’