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Posts Tagged “Internship”

Via The Ipswich Advertiser : How to score your dream internship

WITH graduates rising to the top faster than ever before, many are starting their legwork early by securing internships in high school or university.

But what makes a good intern and how can you maximise the learning outcomes of your industry experience?

I asked Kirsty Mitchell, the director of Bond University’s Career Development Centre for her top tips.

“An internship is not always about getting a foothold into a job,” she says.

“It might segway into a job, but it might not and that’s OK because it’s actually about building relationships and transferable skills.

“You want to be adding value and asking yourself: “Why am I interested in this?”

Bond University student Peyton Hutchins, 17, discovered her passion for journalism in high school, and sought out an internship at the Gold Coast Bulletin when she was just 16.

“I found the experience so beneficial because it helped me build skills and get (real world) insight into the industry,” she said.

“I think you have to be passionate about it too … I took a week off school mid-year which was quite an important time, but I knew the opportunity to do work experience would be so valuable.”

Ms Mitchell shares more of her tips below:

ON LANDING THE INTERNSHIP

Internships, work experience, there’s so many different names that companies will use to advertise opportunities.

Some students, particularly university students, will secure an internship through an informal interview which is an opportunity for you to ask questions about how this person got to where they are, and show some real interest.

LinkedIn is also a great tool: never has it been to transparent to know who the CEO or CFO of a certain company is.

ONCE YOU’VE GOT IT

IT’S important to set out your expectations early and ask: what are the tasks, time frames and realistic deliverables that I can achieve here?

Being a student is your primary job so don’t overcommit, but do have a plan to work through so that you know you’re contributing.

Try shadowing people in different areas of the business other than your own and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Some people think ‘well im not getting paid to do this’ so they’ll turn up late or dress casually … the reality is that you’re not going to be curing cancer on day one, you have to know the chords before you play chopsticks.

Make sure you dress up on your first day – not in a ball gown – but if the dress code is smart, go one step above that. Treat it like a job interview.

You should also be welcoming and friendly and remember names.

Some people say ‘oh I’m rubbish at remembering names’ and that’s just a huge cop out.

You will get to know people in the office if you A) know their name and B) ask them interesting questions.

And nothing builds a relationship quicker than bringing in a packet of cupcakes to share.

Via Uloop : How to Stay Motivated when Applying to Internships

Applying to internships is an exhausting process (both mentally and physically). Because of this, people oftentimes have issues staying motivated and staying on top of their applications. The fear of not getting an internship and the fact that applications tend to take a long time causes students to lose motivation and then stress at the last minute because of their lack of motivation. Well, I am here to tell you that there is a better way! I’ve been through the whole internship application process and am currently going through a similar process in finding a full-time job after I graduate, so I promise you that my tips are helpful and doable! Keep on reading if you want to ensure that you stay on top of your internship application process!

The best piece of advice I can give to those of you applying to internships is to create a schedule and to stick to it. In order to stick to a schedule, it needs to be realistic… for example, you can’t have 20+ difficult and time-consuming tasks to complete in one day on top of your academic and social schedules. When creating your schedules/to-do lists, make it in accordance with your class schedule that day.

If you have four classes in one day, schedule two or three difficult tasks for that day or five to ten easy tasks for that day. If you have two or one class in one day, use that time wisely and try to complete ten or more internship-related tasks that day. I know this schedule may seem somewhat vague at the moment, but I promise you I will go into greater specifics later on in this article. The main point of this paragraph-long spiel is to ensure that you allot your time wisely in accordance with your academic and social schedules.

When applying to internships, there are a few types of tasks that go along with the entire process—writing a resume, writing a cover letter template, writing individual cover letters for each job applications utilizing said template, updating your LinkedIn profile (or creating one), searching and saving job listings, prepping for interviews, reaching out to connections, attending career fairs, and, last but most important, submitting an actual internship application. Always begin your process by writing a solid resume and a cover letter template that can be adapted and individualized to each application; this can usually be done in one day, so do this on a day where you have little or no class.

Be sure to proofread your resume and cover letter and have at least two other trustworthy and unbiased people read your resume and cover letter. Listen to their advice, but don’t deviate from what you think is truly best. Creating and writing a resume and cover letter is an activity that should always occur on a day in which you have a lot of free time… you don’t want to stop and start this process over a series of days because it can get confusing.

Tasks like updating your LinkedIn profile and searching for job listings, are tasks that can be done on busy days because the bulk of this work is going through the mechanics. When updating your LinkedIn, you are essentially copying and pasting your already-made resume into your profile and searching for people to connect with. This process is something that is usually unaffected with a lot of stopping and starting. You might think I’m crazy for saying that finding job listings can be done on a busier day, but there are many steps that go into finding job listings and the preliminary search is the work that can be done on busier days.

Registering for websites like Indeed.com or Internships.com are great and easy ways to get the ball rolling on your internship search. They allow you to save jobs to your profile and they also allow you to upload your resume to your profile, which makes the future applying to the job much easier. When reading job descriptions, however, you should allot a few hours a day to ensure that you meet the job requirements and to make sure that you are actually interested in the job.

Networking and utilizing connections are things that can be done all throughout the day through both face-to-face conversations and e-mails. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there. Devote a couple hours each Friday to talking to professors, advisors, career counselors, family friends, family, etc. to network for certain internship opportunities that may not be publicized online. In addition, if you have a meeting set up with a professional, be sure to have copies of your resume and cover letter handy (this is a similar process to how businesspeople always have their business cards handy because you never know who you are going to meet).

I always try to fit in at least an hour of networking into my everyday schedule, but this is subject to change depending on your dream internship as well as the networking events provided by your university. However, networking is the most important part of staying motivated and on top of your internship application process because you never know what can come from networking and the worst thing someone will say to you if you ask for his/her help is no, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

When it comes to finally submitting your internship applications, make sure you have notes on the due dates of each application and be sure to read over each application multiple times. I suggest submitting your applications that Sunday before they are due and devoting six to eight hours to do so. By doing this, you can start your week off fresh and focus on fully on your academics instead of diving your time between searching and applying to internships and your schoolwork.

I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to be aware of due dates and application requirements. Read through everything at least three times and even have another person read through your stuff so that you have a fresh pair of eyes looking through your work… I promise it’s worth it, even though it may seem tedious.

I wish everyone the best of luck with internship applications and make sure to stick to a regimented schedule and to remain on top of your application deadlines!

Via Uloop : 7 Internship Interview Mistakes to Avoid

Going for an internship interview is a little different than going for a job interview. The interviewer will be looking for different qualities and skills in a candidate for an internship than a permanent position. The questions may be different and the atmosphere of the interview may be different too. That being said, there are some internship interview mistakes to avoid in order to ace your interview and land the internship.

Show Up Late

Punctuality is key when it comes to landing an internship. If you show up late for your interview, you have already put a bad taste in the interviewer’s mouth. They may write you off then and there because they may worry it is a consistent problem they will have to deal with if they hire you.

Make sure to leave yourself plenty of time when traveling to your interview. If you have to take public transportation, account for delays. If you are driving, account for traffic. It’s always better to arrive early to show them that you are eager to be interviewed for the position than rushing through the door late.

Don’t Bring Resume or References

Along with preparing for an interview, you should print out copies of your resume and a list of professional references to bring with you. Make sure to bring a few copies with you because you never know how many people will be interviewing you. When you offer your resume, it shows that you come prepared and are always one step ahead of the game.

At the end of the interview, pull out your list of professional references for your interview whether or not they ask for it. This shows confidence that you are qualified for the job as well as being prepared.

Dress Inappropriately

Dressing professionally is difficult, especially if you aren’t exactly sure what constitutes as professional or not. Take a few minutes and look online at some guides on what you should wear to an interview. If you aren’t sure whether you should dress business casual or business professional, it is always safer to dress business professional. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed at an interview.

It may sound shallow, but the way you present yourself and how you look can be a huge factor when a company decides to hire an intern. They want someone who is clean, well-kept, and knows how to dress professionally because they will be representing their brand.

You Ramble and Tell Stories

It’s okay, if not encouraged, to tell stories about experiences during an interview; however, there is a fine line between talking about your experience and rambling on. Don’t worry, rambling and going off on tangents happens to the best of us, especially when we are nervous. However, it is important to be aware of it when it is happening.

Keep your answers short and on topic. It’s okay to take a long pause to think about how you will answer a question. It also never hurts to prepare some standard answers beforehand and practice saying them out loud.

You Don’t Ask Questions

At the end of an interview, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. The answer is always yes. If you do not have any questions about the position, it shows them that you really are not all that interested in working for them. This is an essential part of the interview process.

Some sample question topics are about the typical day, skills needed to succeed, and where the company sees itself in the next ten years. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about things you spoke about in the interview too.

You Ask the Wrong Questions

You may ask questions about the position, but they are the wrong questions. Questions about getting a job offer at the end of the internship are inappropriate. This shows that you don’t care about the experience of having an internship and are only focused on the job offer at the end.

Putting an emphasis on getting paid is also inappropriate. Some internships are paid and others are not. It’s okay to ask if it is paid or not, but don’t put an emphasis on this.

You Aren’t Humble

It’s always important to never brag about yourself during a job interview. Learn the difference between talking about your accomplishments and bragging about your skills and achievements. It’s important to stay humble about your experiences, but stay confident that they are important factors that make you a qualified candidate.

Nobody wants to work alongside someone who thinks the world of themselves. Especially when interviewing for an internship position, you must show them that you are willing to learn and own up to your mistakes because you are learning the industry.

Via ULoop : How to Document Your Internship

Internships are amazing opportunities to get some real-world experience in your field of interest. Completing an internship shows potential employers that you have what it takes to succeed at the job.

I am so thankful to have spent this past summer conducting research at a university outside of my home state, and I absolutely loved it. It was an incredible learning experience that I never want to forget. Internships like these don’t come along all the time, so it’s a good idea to document them. It’ll be fun to look back on your memories in a few years.

Here are some fun ways to document your internship!

Take photos

Of course, taking photos is a great way to document your internship experience. Nowadays, we always have a camera with us on our phones, so there’s no excuse to not take pictures. You don’t have to photograph only the best moments, you can photograph everyday things, too.

Also, take as many photos as you can, because you can always delete them, but you can’t bring them back. In a few years, you will be glad you captured those moments. I am so thankful to have pictures of the adventures my friends and I went on during my summer internship.

Post photos on social media

Posting photos is not only a fun way to show off what you’re up to but also a good way to keep in touch with those who are doing different things. They can see what you’re doing, and you can see what they’re doing. When you see them again, it’ll be a great conversation starter.

Vlog it!

Similarly, you can vlog your internship experience! This takes some effort because you have to remember to bring your camera and actually film what’s going on. Then, you have to edit the footage. But the effort will be well worth it when you can look back at a wonderful video you put together.

Keep a personal journal

Journaling is another great way to document your internship experience. Try to write down even the things you think are boring. You will be glad you did. You don’t have to write every day but write as much as you can. It’s always fun to read about your younger self’s thoughts and feelings.

Keep a professional journal

In science, we have lab notebooks to keep track of what we do every day. This might not be as fun as a personal journal (since it’ll be focused on your work rather than on your adventures), but it’s still good to have a record of everything you’ve done. It’s helpful if you ever need to refer to something you did a few weeks ago.

Create a playlist

I love making playlists when I travel because when I listen to those songs after the trip, they bring back good memories. I especially like to choose one specific “theme song” for each trip. For this past summer’s internship, the theme song was “Getaway” by Parachute. It really described the way I felt about taking this trip. Picking songs is a fun way to remember your internship, so I encourage you to do it!

Internships are great learning experiences for college students. They don’t last forever, so it’s important to document them while you still can. In a few years, you will be thankful you recorded all those memories.

Via Forbes : Upgrade Your Interns: Keys To Making An Internship Program Valuable

With summer in the rearview mirror, the noise level in the office has gone down a couple notches, and the kitchen shelves aren’t quite as bare. Without context, that might seem like a good thing, but we’re actually pretty torn up about it. Because it means our interns have left. Even though they were with us for mere months, they quickly became just as much a part of our culture as any full-time employee—and their energy and enthusiasm is something we’re having a tough time learning to live without.

Interns arrive bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to tackle the world as they embark upon what is for many their first real job. Unfortunately, not all internships are created equal. While everyone jokes about how interns are for paper shredding and coffee runs, sometimes those jokes are far too close to the truth. Take a look at these intern horror stories:

Keyera interned with a startup in hopes of gaining experience in public relations. She ended up spending all her time calling and emailing organizations asking for donations and grant money. “It turned out the head of this startup was looking for free labor instead of the opportunity to mentor college students to gain experience.”

Adam accepted an internship at a local game development startup at the end of his undergraduate degree. “I was promoted to lead designer of the project at the end of the first week, and it was then that I realized that I knew more about game development than the person who was supposed to be mentoring me.”

Ron had an accounting internship that started out full of valuable experience. However, after the busy tax season, his manager ran out of work for him and assigned Ron to file scanning. Over the next four months, he scanned close to 20,000 pages. “Ever since that summer, every time I hear a machine scan a document, I run away.”

And finally Jesse, whose internship with a local hospital’s ophthalmology department sadly proved that sometimes stereotypes are 100% spot on. Jesse spent every single day shredding papers, never once interacting with the doctor or patients. “I would sit in the optometrist’s office and shred using a cheap shredder that could only take a couple of pages at a time. After about 15 minutes of use, it would heat up and stop shredding, so I would have to wait around for it to cool down.”

So obviously some internships are broken. Interns face unavailable managers, no formal training, busy work or a lack of work altogether, and no clear goals. They finish the summer with no useful skills, no relevant experience, no meaningful relationships, and deflated enthusiasm.

Six years ago, we hired our first intern at Lucid, and we knew we wanted our program to be different. Interns aren’t for coffee runs, and you can give them real-world learning experience while simultaneously creating value for your company. We want our interns to feel immersed in the culture, working on real projects that produce real impact. We want them to stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Here’s how we try and do it.

Trust them with hard things.

When our VP of engineering Brian Pugh first meets with potential interns, he explains our internship philosophy. “An internship with most companies, even hot tech companies like Google and Microsoft, means working on a project that may never see the light of day. At Lucid, within 3-4 weeks, interns will have worked on code that is out in our production system being used by millions of users. There are bug fixes or new features in the product that interns can point to as something they personally worked on.”

We don’t dream up separate “intern projects” that are presented at the conclusion of the summer. Instead, we place our interns on a team and give them work that integrates directly with the overall team objectives. For example, engineering interns are placed on an existing scrum team and treated like any other team member, diving headfirst into the issues that team is responsible for and working on real features that become the next big things in our product. In fact, many employees find it difficult to distinguish between full-time hires and interns, only realizing when the interns disappear come September. Brian says, “I know it has been successful summer when a co-worker says to me at the end of the summer, ‘He/she is back in school? I didn’t realize he/she was an intern!'”

Last summer, our graphic design intern helped kick off Flowchart Fridays, a huge campaign that is still running today and that has received numerous local and national awards. During this intern’s first couple weeks at Lucid, she designed the very first flowcharts for the campaign. They have hundreds of thousands of page views to date and remain some of the most viewed in the campaign. This campaign has been crucial in allowing us to reach new audiences with our software.

Two of our marketing interns built hundreds of diagram templates that customers can actually use. Each template was published as an individual page, and they have helped us rank for dozens and dozens of valuable keywords.
The feedback we hear most often from our interns is how much they appreciate being given this real experience rather than fake projects that fade into oblivion once they leave. We truly value the work our interns do, and we make sure they are well aware of that. Frankly, we are baffled that so many companies waste interns’ time and talent on unimportant projects.

Give the interns a chance. See what they can do. It’s likely they will surprise you.

Treat them like the real thing.

How, you might ask, do I comfortably pass the reigns on a real project to an intern who barely looks 14? I realize that can be a bit disconcerting. But if you’ve hired the best of the best, they are ready to handle it.

Hiring the right interns might not seem as important as hiring for full-time positions. It’s just a summer, right? But you can’t treat internships like short-term relationships. In fact, we hold our interns to the same high bar as we do our regular hires. We are looking for the cream of the crop, and we put our intern candidates through the same rigorous interviewing process as we do our normal candidates. For example, engineering interns take the same programming test, are asked the same algorithm, language, modeling, and behavioral questions, and are held to the same high GPA standard as full-time hires.

So yes, the recruiting and the hiring can be a long process when you have such a high bar. But the process is a smart long-term investment. We’re building a pipeline of qualified candidates, and we hire our interns with the intention of offering full-time positions if the internship goes well. You can put them through the ringer now, or you can do it later.

In addition, internship programs are an easy way to build goodwill for your company and expand your footprint. Interns talk—they are going to tell others about their experience (and keep in mind that they’re going to do so whether it’s good or bad). Our interns have become Lucid ambassadors, representing the company at career fairs and generally raising awareness about our company among university students.

Pair them up.

Don’t send your interns on a wild goose chase. Set them up for success and make sure they have access to the people who will help them achieve that. In addition to the manager they report to, all interns are assigned a mentor from day one.

Mentorships offer a chance for more informal relationships that facilitate open communication. Mentors help interns feel comfortable and quickly get up to speed. In doing so, interns are able to start contributing to meaningful projects right away—the best way to learn is by getting their hands dirty. On our engineering team, mentors often pair program with interns, always review interns’ code changes, and help interns learn the intricacies of the system. We have a graphic design intern who started working with her mentor on a big summer campaign the day after she started.

Immerse them in the day-to-day.

Key to making an internship valuable is ensuring interns are immersed in the culture. And the best way to make sure that happens is to integrate them in existing teams from the get-go. That way, they are living the culture every day rather than listening to you talk about it.

We bring all of our interns on our company retreat at the beginning of the summer. That means our retreat count hit nearly 300 this year. But it’s worth it. The experience allows them to feel a part of the company and to meet people they don’t normally interact with. The informal setting fosters relationship building within and across teams and can put even the most nervous interns at ease.

Every summer, we also hold a Hackathon where employees are invited to come up with ideas for new product features, join a team and create something amazing in just a few days. Many hackathon projects become key features in the products. Interns are strongly encouraged to join (or form) a team and participate. Last year, an intern was on the winning team that came up with Feature Find, which was released to the production system and had a significant impact to our business. This year, an intern was part of a team that spent three days converting 600,000 lines of JavaScript to TypeScript, working off of very little sleep and averaging one file per minute for 48 hours straight. When asked why he joined such an ambitious project, the intern said, “We chose this project because we are absolutely crazy and we don’t know when to call it quits on a joke.”

We also want our interns to feel comfortable with one another and to have that network as another support system. In addition to the company-wide events, we have intern-only activities throughout the summer, such as baseball games, BBQs, and hikes.

So give your interns a shot. Find the golden ones and put them to work on things that really matter and produce value for themselves and your company. Let them think they can tackle the world—and please don’t squash their enthusiasm with coffee runs.

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