Feeling lucky?

September 21, 2010 at 10:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Ever feel overwhelmed with choices?  Whether it’s in the cereal aisle in the grocery store, the War and Peace-length menus at restaurants, or the seemingly infinite cable TV stations, there is never a shortage of options. Luckily, the makers of Dice for Change recognize that more options isn’t always better.  They’ve created a wonderfully simple way to decide what step you’ll take to be healthier, kinder, or more environmentally aware each day.  While these “Dice for Change” aren’t available in stores yet, they are great reminders of how focusing on just one thing each day can be much more effective than getting bogged down in all of the options.  No word on whether they’ll have a “Cereal Aisle” version in the future, though.

Practice What We Preach

September 21, 2010 at 10:29 am | Posted in Educator Updates Newsletter, Practice What We Preach | Leave a comment
Tags:

We’re almost a month into the new school semester—are you back to your usual routine yet?  How about the part of the routine where you eat lunch at your desk or skip it all together?  Yeah…us, too.  Taking 30 minutes to an hour to decompress and relax is important: leading experts say that 10 minutes of actual relaxation equals 1 extra hour of sleep.  While that extra hour of sleep may be a bit tougher to get, 10 minutes seems doable. Initially, set goals: two times a week, block out time on your calendar to go for a walk, grab lunch with colleagues, or just find a quiet place to enjoy your PB&J. Gradually build up so that—as often as you can—you’re taking at least 30 minutes a day to decompress, relax, and recharge.  So as lunch time approaches today, take some of the excellent advice that you’re always giving to your students:  set aside time to relax and recharge because it will make you more productive, healthier, and happier. You know you’re right.

Freshmen looking for career advice now

September 21, 2010 at 10:23 am | Posted in Educator Updates Newsletter, Views on the News | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

As college freshmen nationwide are exploring their campuses — finding dining halls, laundry rooms, bookstores and gyms — officials at many schools say the newbies are increasingly finding their way to career centers. Once considered the place for panicked seniors to look for jobs ahead of graduation, college career offices are reporting dramatic hikes in use by first-year students looking for the earliest possible jump on the employment market.

Career centers are starting to hold events specifically for first year students with creative attendance incentives such as food and raffles that are designed to get freshmen in the habit of using their career center as a resource. Businesses are also interested in establishing relationships with freshmen to help identify top job and internship candidates as early as possible. Reaching out to freshmen builds a company’s name recognition and familiarizes them with the variety of jobs available. Along with career centers’ and business’ increased focus on freshmen, freshmen are becoming more actively engaged in the process, perhaps concerned by the 9.6% unemployment rate and stories of recent graduates.

Firms Assess Young Interns’ Potential

September 21, 2010 at 10:17 am | Posted in Educator Updates Newsletter, Views on the News | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

As companies are starting to rely more heavily on their interns to make full-time hires, some are targeting and tracking students as early as freshman year. These days, undergraduates are exposed to corporate presentations and meet-and-greets within weeks of arriving on campus.

The shift to intern-to-hire recruiting hasn’t been lost on would-be college students, particularly as the recession has lingered. Career Center Offices have seen a recent rise in prospective students and their parents inquiring about which firms recruit and hire interns. Katie Kennealy, associate director of the career center at Illinois, says she has seen a 15% increase in such inquiries in the past year.”Most freshman don’t know where anything is on campus, says David McMahon, associate director of experiential education at Texas A&M, “but they’ve figured out they need a good résumé, and they need to get to a career fair” early on.

According to Monica Wilson, acting co-director of career services at Dartmouth College. “Internship recruiting will largely replace entry-level recruiting in the next few years.” Are you seeing a significant increase in students inquiring about internship opportunities on your campus? Email us at educatorcare@internships.com and put your feedback in the mix.

Working out manageable schedules for both interns and supervisors

September 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Posted in Advising interns, Time Management Skills | Leave a comment

Your students are happy to be back in school, but they may be feeling overwhelmed when they look at their busy schedules—packed with classes, activities, and an internship. It’s the perfect time for them to evaluate their priorities and maintain manageable schedules with their intern supervisors. And your reputation is at stake, too, since you are responsible to the supervisors for your students’ performance.

You can support student efforts by providing them with a semester calendar and directions to fill in important dates such as class times and holidays. Classes are their top priority, so they should calculate how much study time is required for each class, and add that to the calendar. Next, ask them to fill in the hours required for their internship. They’ve probably already worked out their internship schedule to be compatible with class requirements. Let them know it would not be helpful to their future careers to keep changing the internship hours.

The one area that students can control is activities. Unless they’re on scholarship for athletics, they can probably put activities at the bottom of their list for one semester.  If necessary, suggest that your students delete activities and concentrate on their internships.

If students and supervisors are having problems in managing a timetable that is satisfactory for both, you might recommend a few alternatives. Could the internship hours be changed to fewer days with longer hours or to include weekends or extended for a longer period to fulfill the number of total hours required? Could the student perform some of the work virtually or remotely from his/her dorm room via the computer? Could a student reschedule a class for another semester to accommodate the internship hours? Your role here is as a mediator, ensuring that both parties are satisfied with the results.

Internships Aren’t Just for the Young

September 16, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Posted in Educator Updates Newsletter, Views on the News | 1 Comment
Tags: , , ,

Internships are no longer being used simply as an experience-builder for college students. This article in Money Talks News references a new survey of 2500 employers showing 23 percent of them are seeing more applications from “experienced workers” (those with 10-plus years experience) and “mature workers” (those over 50 years old) that have been laid off, or are seeking mid-life career changes applying for internships and entry-level positions.

The difficult job market has reshaped internships into a way for experienced workers to explore new opportunities. With doubt about an economic recovery employers are apprehensive to add to their payrolls and are planning to hire more interns than in previous years. Internships can serve as job interviews and often lead to full time positions. Of the companies surveyed 52 percent of them said they are more likely to hire interns as full-time employees.

As the age group applying for internships skews older, we are hearing more comments back from campus career advisors that an increasing number of alumni are seeking internships to help them transition to new careers. Anne Orange at the University of South Carolina noted “Alumni who are out of work or even students about to graduate who think they will have a hard time finding full-time employment come to the Career Center to ask if they can obtain an internship post-graduation.”

Are you seeing similar trends in your career center? Let us know what’s going on at your campus: send an email to educatorcare@internships.com.

Notes from the Field: Pomona College’s Internship Orientation

September 15, 2010 at 10:02 am | Posted in Educator Updates Newsletter, Notes from the Field, Notes from the Field, Pomona College's Internship Orientation | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

One of the exciting aspects about the start of fall semester is the launch of our internship program. About 80 students per semester commit to a semester-long internship in the industry and employer of their choice across the Greater Los Angeles area. The program kicks-offs with a ‘New Hire Orientation’ required for all students in the program to attend prior to beginning their internships. The one-hour long workshop offers helpful tips on how students can make the most of their internship.

The workshop covers general housekeeping items such as:

  • reporting their internship hours
  • transportation resources
  • important program dates

As necessary as these logistic components are, we place emphasis on helping interns maximize their experience in a professional workplace setting. Specifically:

  • how to prepare for and anticipate the first day
  • the first few weeks
  • some overall tips

In detail, I discuss what interns can do to prepare and anticipate their first day such as planning for their commute, proper attire, and bringing a notebook and pen.  In the first few weeks, I emphasize the importance of gaining familiarity of the internship site by meeting the staff, attending orientation, and receiving direction on projects and assignments. Some overall tips include how interns can show initiative and enthusiasm, two of the most desired qualities by internship supervisors. I had led a game of Family Feud with our interns to have them guess various ways that interns can show initiative and this made them proactive in the learning process. Other tips shared are how to effectively network by using conducting informational interviews and displaying strong communication skills. In the presentation, I make sure to acknowledge that interns may have varying levels of experience in the workplace but that it doesn’t hurt to be reminded of these tips.

Two changes that I’m planning for this year are around more actively engaging students in the class and tapping into the expertise of past interns. 

In previous semesters, the workshops were more of a lecture-style format and I realized that interns need to be engaged rather than talked to. For this reason, I will incorporate some role playing in the workshop, an idea that came from a book, Learning From Experience: A Resource Book By and For Co-Op/Internship Professionals (http://www.mosaiceyepublishing.com/lfe.htm) by Scott Weighart. One exercise that I am planning is around how to help interns recognize where and how to take initiative. For this, they will get into pairs and role play various scenarios where they need to take initiative. The goal is for interns to practice their ability to communicate, problem-solve, and think on their feet using real situations.

As another way to both engage students and convey information to them in different ways, I also plan to bring in past interns to discuss common pitfalls and struggles as well as to share their experiences. I find that students respond well to what their peers have to share, as it is more relatable.

If you are considering offering this type of course, my advice is to make sure this workshop is engaging, interactive, and meaningful. The content also needs to be relevant to the unique needs and experiences of your students. I hope these tips are helpful for your career center in orienting students to the workplace.

Have you offered a similar program at your school?  If so, what have you learned?  What are you planning for this year?  Send your stories, plans, and take-aways to mbusse@internships.com.

By Sarah Yoo

Sarah Yoo is the Internship Coordinator at Pomona College, a selective liberal arts college located in the greater Los Angeles area. She obtained her graduate degree at California State University, Long Beach in Counseling with an emphasis in Student Development in Higher Education and obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego in Sociology. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, spending time with friends and family, and cooking.

Teaching time management skills to your interns

September 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Advising interns, Time Management Skills | 1 Comment

A time management seminar for your students early in their internship program could save them time and ensure their success as they balance their heavy work and class loads. Offer the same workshop at different times to accommodate their various schedules.  Remind your students that they will impress their internship supervisors more by learning how to manage their time efficiently rather than working overtime.

First, help your students improve their organizational skills. They can start by making to-do lists at the end of every day for the following day, rating the items in order of importance from most important to least and adding a time limit for each entry. Arranging similar duties in blocks of time can help, too. Multitasking is another skill made easier thanks to technology. Your students could use an iPad to send emails or do internet research while traveling or waiting for a meeting.  Some people work on computers and make business calls simultaneously.

The phone, whether cell or land line, is the biggest tool to help manage time. Instruct your students to stand while they talk on the phone, encouraging them to keep the call short. Another time-saving technique involves not making or taking any calls until a task is finished or scheduling all phone conversations at an appointed time. One idea is to make calls and leave a message, knowing that the other person is unavailable but will receive the necessary information.

Wise meeting arrangements can also improve time management. Your students will find that if they go to someone else’s office or room for a meeting, they can leave more easily than if someone has settled down in their office or room. At meetings and in correspondence, direct your students to state the point of the meeting or letter at the very beginning, keep the information short, and then be clear on what action is expected. Having an agenda and timetable for every meeting contributes to a shorter meeting, too.

A time management seminar for your students early in their internship program could save them time and ensure their success as they balance their heavy work and class loads. Offer the same workshop at different times to accommodate their various schedules.  Remind your students that they will impress their internship supervisors more by learning how to manage their time efficiently rather than working overtime.

First, help your students improve their organizational skills. They can start by making to-do lists at the end of every day for the following day, rating the items in order of importance from most important to least and adding a time limit for each entry. Arranging similar duties in blocks of time can help, too. Multitasking is another skill made easier thanks to technology. Your students could use an iPad to send emails or do internet research while traveling or waiting for a meeting.  Some people work on computers and make business calls simultaneously.

The phone, whether cell or land line, is the biggest tool to help manage time. Instruct your students to stand while they talk on the phone, encouraging them to keep the call short. Another time-saving technique involves not making or taking any calls until a task is finished or scheduling all phone conversations at an appointed time. One idea is to make calls and leave a message, knowing that the other person is unavailable but will receive the necessary information.

Wise meeting arrangements can also improve time management. Your students will find that if they go to someone else’s office or room for a meeting, they can leave more easily than if someone has settled down in their office or room. At meetings and in correspondence, direct your students to state the point of the meeting or letter at the very beginning, keep the information short, and then be clear on what action is expected. Having an agenda and timetable for every meeting contributes to a shorter meeting, too.

Counseling busy students

September 7, 2010 at 4:28 am | Posted in Advising interns, Preparing interns | Leave a comment

Your students are balancing their internships along with classes, school activities, and sometimes even jobs. You can help your busy interns by recommending ways to juggle their overloaded schedules, ensuring their success in every area.

First, create a semester calendar for every intern and ask each one to customize the calendar, filling in fixed dates, such as class times and holidays. Since classes are their top priority, suggest that they determine how much study time is required for each class and add that to their calendar. They should leave room for study groups or special assignments. Next, request that the students fill in the hours required for their internship. If applicable, they should add transportation time to and from the internship, calculating the total internship hours.

If the students have jobs that help pay their tuition, they’ll have to enter them into their calendar, too. A paid internship may help them cut back on job hours. Remind your busy students that the one area they can control is activities. Unless they’re on a scholarship for athletics, they can probably put activities as a low priority for one semester, selecting only what will fit into their already crammed calendar.

Student interns could also increase their available time in their schedules by reducing nonessential items, such as limiting the minutes spent socializing on cell phones or browsing on the Internet. And they could cut out going shopping, stopping for a cup of coffee, or watching a movie. To make these suggestions more attractive to your students, consider proposing that they save these routine activities as a reward for keeping to their revised schedules.  Finally, recommend that your students arrange their schedules according to their energy levels, planning a heavier daily schedule when their energy is at peak levels, maximizing their input and utilizing their time in the most productive way possible.

Helping your student interns understand their new roles

September 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Posted in Advising interns, Intern Advice, Preparing interns | Leave a comment

Your students are ready to start their internships, learning how to transition from student to professional. Although you’ve given them lots of helpful information and training, they still need your continued support and resources as they adapt to new roles.

If possible, organize a pre-internship meeting to honor the new interns and serve light refreshments to create a celebratory mood. Former interns could address the group about their experiences followed by a Q & A session. Emphasize that the interns are a select group and the Career Center is proud of them, building the students’ sense of self-confidence. To show your support, present each new intern with a care package that could include a notebook, pen, breath mints, and a health bar. If the budget allows, include a university mug or tote bag.

To ease any intern fears of being unprepared, you might want to review the skills that each intern will need at his/her internship site. If the intern’s skill level, such as IT skills, is not up to par, arrange for the intern to receive help before the internship begins. Or if the intern assignments involve writing, you could make sure that he/she has a grammar book.

Since unforeseen issues may arise during the internship, arrange for each of your new interns to have a student mentor who has already been an intern and will offer advice. The mentor can be from any major or have interned in a different company as long as he/she is willing to share insights. Or you might have already set up an online support group for the new interns, enabling them to communicate among themselves during the internship period. They can ask questions about problems that arise on the internships and compare solutions. Also, let the new interns know that you or someone on your staff will be in contact with them on a regular basis. Set up the schedule ahead of time, allaying any intern fears of being isolated. Finally, encourage the new interns to email or call you whenever they have questions.

Blog at WordPress.com. | The Pool Theme.
Entries and comments feeds.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.