Keeping in touch with busy students

October 28, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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The semester is half over, so it’s time to take inventory of your interns, who have probably been so busy that you rarely hear from them. Even if students have been sending in their weekly reports, you still can’t tell if their internships are really working for them or if they’ve been too overwhelmed to contact you. And please don’t assume that all is well since you haven’t heard otherwise from internship supervisors, who may also be too busy to contact you.  It’s not too late to correct any problems, leading to a successful conclusion and rave references.

First, set up an appointment for a phone or onsite visit with each intern. You can find out much more about a situation by talking “live” to a person rather than communicating by email or text messages. Keep the appointment short and prepare a few direct questions, such as “What do you like/dislike about your internship? What problems are you having with the assignments or supervisor? What can I or the school do to help you be more successful in your internship?” Their answers should reveal specific issues and initiate resolution.

Second, create a more detailed reporting form for the second half of the internship. Initial forms often use boxes for check marks to save busy interns time, but by now your interns should be involved in projects. Request samples of projects or abstracts of meetings, so you’ll be more knowledgeable about the internship. If busy students show resentment towards more detailed forms, remind them that you need to keep a good file to help them get their next internships.

Third, keep in touch in positive ways that include fun and fellowship. Along with your colleagues, plan a mid-semester party for your student interns. If some student interns are on distant sites, explore ways to bring them back for the special day or to include them via long-distance technology. Celebrate your students for making it half-way through busy internships and cheer then on to a fine finish. They’ll appreciate your efforts and renew their own.

 

Business Cards thrive in a digital age

October 28, 2010 at 7:51 am | Posted in Educator Updates Newsletter, Views on the News | Leave a comment
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In a time when everything is digital why are business cards still thriving? Perhaps it is because of their versatility:  they are commonly used for professional reasons, and are fast becoming popular in social settings as well.

Companies like Staples and Office Depot report a surge in demand for business cards over the past 3 years. This is despite the fact that there are apps such as “Bump” for the iPhone that are designed to exchange contact info by touching phones together. Many of these new app companies are finding they are trying to solve a problem that nobody wants solved.

While digital means are speedy and convenient, business cards allow you to showcase your personality in the design and delivery of your card. When people exchange business cards they transfer more than just contact data. They transfer impressions and stories that leave a lasting impact.

In these tough times leaving a lasting impression is both vital and effective in networking your way to your dream internship…your dream job…your dream career. When you can hand over a card and your new acquaintance knows who you are and how to contact you, digital convenience flies out the window. And let’s face it…who doesn’t love seeing their name in print!

Feedback from the Frontlines

October 28, 2010 at 7:35 am | Posted in Educator Updates Newsletter, Feedback from the Frontlines | Leave a comment
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In response to last month’s article about the growing trend of people using internships to make a career change, Jean A. Spahr from the College of DuPage weighs in on why she isn’t seeing this taking off.

“Employers I’ve spoken with aren’t interested in experienced or unemployed folks doing internships. I agree with them because, even if the internships are non-credit bearing, they are work-integrated learning experiences that are appropriately connected to an academic program of study. I’ve heard the term “returnship” connected to experienced and unemployed people trying to build skills on the job in order to return to the workforce. The experienced and unemployed can re-career at non-profits legally, however it’s simply volunteer work…while for-profits can’t utilize volunteers. How is a “returnship” viewed under the FLSA if it’s an unpaid experience?”

Are you seeing a similar trend on your campus? What does this mean for alumni re-entering the work force or making career changes? Throw your feedback into the mix at educatorcare@internships.com.

N + 1 or N – 1 …where do you fit in?

October 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Posted in Educator Updates Newsletter, Practice What We Preach | Leave a comment
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N + 1 represents the idea that we always have the ability to add one more thing to our list. N – 1, then is that we can always take one thing off our lists.

You know what N + 1 looks like, right? You start the day with a to-do list and even when you’re really productive, your list always ends up longer at the end of the day. The way our lives work, N + 1 is usually the default:  there’s always one more thing to do.

But what if you switch things around:  each morning, take one thing off of your to-do list. What would happen if you eliminated one thing on your list? What if eliminating one task allowed you to perform above and beyond on everything else?

As career center folks – and parents and spouses and best friends and pet owners and… — you always have an infinite list of things to do. Look at your list for today:  pick one thing to cross off. Really. Try it. It may not be much…but you may notice a shift as you move from the default N + 1 to a more deliberate N – 1.

Email us at educatorcare@internships.com and let us know what you deleted from your to-do list.

Setting up January internships for your students

October 27, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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You probably have a line of students outside your door, wanting to talk about spring and summer internships. You might find that some students would be happy to have January internships, especially if they have heavy class loads next semester. And late Fall is the perfect time to line up those internships for students who have the month off.  January internships are growing in popularity because students aren’t under stress from classes. They can enjoy working full-time and earning credits in a condensed period. However, some students may need to have placements in specific geographic locations, depending on their January living arrangements.

Since many companies aren’t familiar with January internships, it’s your role to introduce them to the benefits. A student can give full concentration and complete a project in one month. Also, budget-conscious companies may appreciate the extra help without having to hire a new employee. Since the internship is on a short timeline, the internship supervisor will not be burdened with several months of overseeing an intern.  To set up January internships, you can work with an established internship site or you can approach new ones. A company with which you already work may be more open to January internships. However, it’s also a good way to get your foot in the door with a desirable company because the short internship is less likely to be as intimidating as a longer one.

Next, review the skills of students who want a January internship. You’ll have a smaller group than during the rest of the year since many students want that month off for recreation or relaxing. Understand the skills that your January interns have and match those skills to the prospective company. Then, design a month-long program that works for both your intern and the company, present it to both parties, and have an agreement in place before Thanksgiving.

 

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