Advising finance majors on internship selection

January 21, 2011 at 11:59 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Finance covers a broad field, which can be confusing to your students. The spectrum is global as well as local, and the range is from giant corporations to small nonprofits.

Students might benefit from a weekly email update listing current resources or timely articles to help them track finance trends that could affect their internship as well as career choices.

  • Giant corporations:  As one of the largest financial institutions in the world with over 120 million customers in more than 100 countries, Citigroup is at the forefront of the financial services industry. Each year Citigroup selects some of the brightest students and most outstanding candidates to participate in their summer internship program with assignments in investment banking, equities, global transaction services, and fixed income currencies and commodities. Finance majors should check the application deadline if they want to be considered.
  • Global companies:  Forbes Global 2000 are the biggest, most powerful listed companies in the world. Your students can sort the group by rank, company, country, industry, sales, profits, and assets. This composite ranking is the best snapshot of just how these titans compare. According to Forbes, the corporate dominance of the developed nations is steadily receding. Refer your students to the Global High Performers, an elite list of companies that set the pace in their respective industries and may offer good internships.
  • Current news items: posted an article on Jan. 19 from Fortune, “Have the too big to fail banks gotten too fat to succeed?” “That’s one takeaway from a round of mushy earnings reports this week. The KBW bank stocks index fell 1% or more for the second straight day Wednesday, after Goldman Sachs (GS) and Wells Fargo (WFC) joined Citigroup (C) in underwhelming anxious investors. Citi let fans down by admitting it won’t buy back stock or increase its dividend this year; Goldman posted poor trading numbers, blaming skittish markets, and Wells posted numbers that were merely in line with estimates, disappointing fans who expect more from its premium valuation.” Students could also check Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.  These sources are excellent email material to forward to students to help them target good internship sites.
  •  Encourage your students to browse daily for opportunities, such as for a financial representative intern at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in Michigan. This part-time paid internship for college credit is available year-round. The internship involves consulting and financial/insurance.  For students interested in nonprofit/social services, Micro-Enterprise Inventor’s Program of Oregon is seeking a Financial Access Volunteer to direct financial activities, prepare reports, and review balance sheets.
  • School-related or personal finance achievements:  Remind your students that they may have other valuable experiences in finance that will increase their chances of landing the desired internship. Class projects involving the development of business plans and budgets for local startups go on the resume. Recommend that they serve as treasurer or sit on fund-raising committees of campus organizations. If students are making or charting investments for friends, family members, or themselves, that activity will gain them credibility, too. Some students have started small businesses, such as landscaping, painting, or tutoring services, which reflect their finance skills and enhance resumes.

Introducing your students to new trends in marketing internships

January 21, 2011 at 10:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Marketing students today have more exciting options than any of their predecessors. One growth area is image making, whether it’s in politics or products. BP is a case study in trying to reverse a negative image after the catastrophic oil spill. There are many informative resources to introduce your marketing majors to new trends that showcase internship opportunities.

  • International marketing:  China’s President Hu Jintao landed in Washington this week accompanied by a Chinese advertising blitz meant to showcase its “soft power,” using images of ordinary Chinese citizens and celebrities like NBA star Yao Ming, Web tycoon Jack Ma, and a quartet of fashion models in a minute-long ad. The Chinese-produced video—to run on television and 300 times a day in New York’s Times Square for a month—is aimed at showing Americans a different face of China. Rather than a rival accused of manipulating its currency and siphoning U.S. jobs, Beijing wants Americans to think of sports stars, Internet entrepreneurs, and astronauts. (The Wall Street Journal Jan. 19). Encourage your students to explore global marketing internships.
  • Professional resources:  Before students make an appointment with you about an internship, suggest that they read the latest news in AdvertisingAge. For example, the front page online article (Jan. 19) dealt with branding. “Brands were once the cornerstones of consumer culture. With the ascendancy of social media, consumers increasingly subsume brands. They’re now the producers and the consumers. Meanwhile brands are sidelined to serving ‘content.’ Which, sadly, makes marketers sound like caterers: ferrying drinks to VIPs at a cocktail party, desperately hoping everybody likes the appetizers. Advertising, long acknowledged as both taste-maker and toastmaster in American culture, is now mostly a facilitator.” Students may want to refine their internship goals based on current trends toward social media.
  • The American Marketing Association (AMA):  The AMA has an Ask the Expert columnist for students. The expert is the internship coordinator for the Department of Journalism at Ball State University and has worked with more than 2,200 interns since 1992. If your students have questions, they can submit them to Sample questions include the following:  If I want a career in international marketing, is a marketing degree equal to an international marketing degree? I go to school part time and work full time. The marketing experience I’m getting is not in my preferred field and I worry I will not be able to land a job with my experience. What should I do?
  • Suggest that your students study the wide range of marketing listings on the Website. If a student wants an internship in fundraising and events, the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in Baltimore seeks a resource development intern. The Foundation helps to build character and teach critical life lessons to disadvantaged young people through baseball- and softball-themed programs. Another marketing internship option is genYcapital, offering part-time virtual internships. The company wants marketing interns who can learn the art of social network marketing and help with a Facebook and LinkedIn campaign targeting college sophomores and juniors. Reviewing the hundreds of marketing postings will help students broaden their own searches.


Notes from the Field: Encouraging Interns to Network

January 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Networking often conjures up images of people in business professional attire approaching strangers at a mixer and passing out business cards. You and I both know that this is rarely the reality. It’s also not news to you that internships are a great opportunity for students to develop their network of professional contacts. Students often start their internship knowing this but are sometimes uncertain how to go about networking. Here are some tangible ways to encourage interns to begin networking.

  1. 1. Create a LinkedIn profile and connect with colleagues

This technologically savvy millennial generation can create a professional online presence by joining LinkedIn and connecting with their internship supervisor and other staff members they have established a working relationship with. I remind students that this keeps them connected to individuals and not just the employer once their internship ends.

  1. 2. Conduct informational interviews

Busy executives are often willing to spend 30 minutes to talk about their career path with interns. I often remind students that this passing down of knowledge and wisdom is invaluable—and flattering for the professional!  Also, people remember a quality interaction and display of initiative.  Before they jump in, I encourage students to conduct preliminary research on the individual, prepare thoughtful questions, and ALWAYS send a thank you note.

  1. 3. Volunteer

When I was an intern for a local municipal government, I joined a committee whose purpose was to research how other organizations promoted employee retention and satisfaction. Not only did I develop great knowledge of this area, I was introduced to colleagues in various departments I would not have met otherwise. While it can be time-consuming, volunteering is a great opportunity for relationship building, while building skills!

These are three tangible ways that even shy but eager interns can start to network. Because after all, internships are much more than just completing assignments and tasks:  they are ripe opportunities for developing a network that can serve as a foundation for a deliberate, fulfilling career.

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 on 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.

Helping your students find social impact internships

January 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Many students want to make the world a better place, and you can help them by directing them to social impact internships. First, students will have to decide on a field of interest and the type of organization—government, nonprofit, or for profit. Then, whether they want a local, national, or international internship? Paid or unpaid?  After these questions are answered, suggest that your students begin by exploring the following:

  • The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has a motto, from Harm to Home. IRC is a global leader in emergency relief, rehabilitation, protection of human rights, post-conflict development and more. The organization offers internships worldwide from Somalia to Haiti and focuses on issues from child soldiers to refugees.
  • Have students who are artistic? Direct them to Design for Social Impact, an organization that provides progressive groups with design, online media, and communication strategies for public interest communication. Internships include graphic design and layout, writing and editing, marketing, campaign planning and more.
  • Located in Cambridge, MA, Root Cause is involved with cutting edge work in the exciting field of social innovation. Internship areas include Social Impact Research, Public Innovators, Social Innovation Forum, Knowledge Sharing, Business Development, and Root Cause Consulting.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the U.S. Constitution and the nation’s civil rights laws. A current ACLU project, the Immigration Rights Project, targets the nation’s largest impact litigation program, defending and expanding the rights of immigrants.
  • The Net Impact Job Seeker Center helps students incorporate positive social and environmental impact into their careers. Net Impact partners with employers to offer members exclusive internship opportunities with socially and environmentally responsible organizations, such as the Climate Corps program.
  • Project for Public Spaces is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people turn their public spaces into vital community places, with programs, uses, and people-friendly settings that build local value and serve community needs. Internships range from transportation to R & D and social impact analyst.
  • lists opportunities for internships with 5,900 nonprofit community organizations in 165 countries, ranging from Breakthrough Collaborative to American Chemical Society (Kids & Chemistry).
  • Making the Difference-
    Website provides information about federal government jobs and internships
  • Recommend that your students search for some of the best options. Simply type in Social Impact internships in the Search for Internships section. They’ll find lots of listings, such as office intern for a green and sustainable company and Feed My People, a group searching for a marketing assistant in a virtual internship.
  • To learn more about how your university can support social impact internships, review the Center for Social Concern at Johns Hopkins University, a full-service program.




Advising your Education students

January 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has emphasized the importance of education by creating innovative programs and obtaining more funding for his department than any previous Secretary.

Your students can take advantage of many new opportunities to advance their careers as well as obtain great internships. Here’s a sampling of timely issues and internships for 2011:

  • The following excerpt from the online Wall Street Journal is by Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of the public school system in Washington, D.C.:  In the past year, 46 states grappled with budget deficits of more than $130 billion. This year could be worse as federal recovery dollars dry up. And yet, for education reform, 2011 could be the best of times. Three weeks ago, I founded StudentsFirst, a national organization to defend and promote the interests of children in public education and to pursue an aggressive reform agenda to make American schools the best in the world. In the first 48 hours, 100,000 Americans signed up as members, contributing $1 million in small online donations. This week StudentsFirst is introducing its legislative agenda, “A Challenge to States and Districts: Policies that Put Students First.” It is a comprehensive set of policies and legislation that we believe must be adopted to create the right environment at local and state levels, where transformational school reform can take hold. StudentsFirst’s efforts will center on three key areas:  treat teachers like professionals, empower parents and families with real choices and real information, and ensure accountability for every dollar and every child.
  • On Jan. 12 in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Christopher Paslay, Philadelphia schoolteacher, author, and blogger, voiced concern that teachers are the least consulted experts on reform.  He wrote, “But if education leaders are going to demand that teachers perform with the precision of surgeons, then teachers should be treated as specialists. Their experience and expertise should be used to reform policy and set budgets so they can get the educational support they need to help children succeed.” Read more.
  • The Student Conservation Association will appeal to Education students who have a deep care for the earth and a love for nature, the environment, education, and the outdoors and want to share it with others. SCA offers seasonal work and internships in all 50 states.
  • A Smithsonian Institution internship is a prearranged, structured learning experience scheduled in a specific time frame. The experience must be relevant to the intern’s academic and professional goals and to research and museum activities of the Institution. For more information contact the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies.
  • Teach for America has developed relationships with highly regarded nonprofit organizations that offer many internships. Some examples of groups that work with youth are Crossroads for Kids, Jumpstart, and Let’s Get Ready. For more information go to
  • offers nearly 1,200 internship listings for Education majors. Opportunities include the Chicago Zoological Society, which is accepting applications for interns to develop play programs and experiences in area zoos. Another interesting, paid internship for an Education major is the Summer Undergraduate Internship in Nonproliferation Studies at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Helping your students find virtual internships

January 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What do you tell your students who worry they can’t get an internship because:

  • it’s too late to apply for the spring semester
  • they can’t afford an internship in New York City because of living expenses
  • they have to work to pay tuition and can’t work in an office during traditional hours

The perfect solution is virtual internships, which can be undertaken from anywhere with an Internet connection. Virtual internships enable students to sample different fields while still going to classes and working. More and more employers—especially small to midsize ones—offer virtual internships because they have a larger pool of talented candidates, and they save money on office overhead.

The most common virtual internships are in information technology (IT), software development, research, sales, marketing, blogging, and social media. Companies want self-reliant, self-starters who are comfortable with web conferences, emails, and phone calls. Many traditional internship sites are potential virtual internship sites, too–if your students just ask! When applying for a virtual internship, here are some questions for your students to ask:

  • How much mentoring and feedback will I receive?
  • Who is my key point of contact and how often do we make contact?
  • What is the type of work and what are the expectations?
  • Will I receive payment or college credit?  Will I get a letter of reference?
  • How many hours a week are involved and for how long a period?
  • Could I view the work of former virtual interns?

Virtual internships in all fields can give students multiple opportunities for career-related experiences—and can add experience and skills to strengthen their resume.  They also allow a student to develop time-management skills and autonomy in their work.  While they may not allow for the same level of personal bonding and mentorship, virtual internships can provide the flexibility of working for a great employer while still maintaining a traditional schedule of work and/or classes.


Helping interns work with entrepreneurs and learn how to start a business

January 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

How many of your students want to start a business when they graduate?

Since the job market is tight, starting a business is a great way to jump-start a career. While a great idea for many reasons, most students:

  • don’t know how to get started
  • don’t yet understand what’s involved
  • lack experience and useful connections in the industry
  • don’t have connections with investors

One great way to get a glimpse at the myriad of skills and experiences needed to start a business is for students to do an internship with an entrepreneur. The type of business isn’t as important as the willingness of the entrepreneur to include the intern in all phases of the enterprise. By performing or assisting in the startup operation, your students will learn the importance of a good business plan, how to create a budget, hire employees, develop a marketing plan, and negotiate with investors. Because most startups are small companies, interns get more responsibility than in large organizations.

So where can find an entrepreneur who will happily accept them as an intern? Networking. Suggest that your students go to every possible event, speaker series, seminars, social events, family reunions, etc., and talk to everyone about his/her work in order to expand their networks. You might draw up a list of local entrepreneurs willing to have your students as interns and then organize a workshop or seminar featuring these entrepreneurs.

Since most startups are working on a tight budget, your students will probably not receive a salary. But the payoff for hands-on education and information is worth every free minute. Remind your students that the secret to a great internship with an entrepreneur is that they should be truly passionate about taking the internship and knowing what they want to get out of it.  Even after the internship is over, most entrepreneurs will remain available to mentor their interns turned entrepreneurs, helping your students steer a clear path to future success.


Why students “win” in a Winternship

January 4, 2011 at 9:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Most students look forward to their winter breaks as the perfect opportunity to visit family, travel to see friends, stay up late, and sleep in. Yet more and more students are aware that the holiday break, which lasts as long as six weeks at some universities, is prime time to advance their career opportunities for a successful future. Students are taking advantage of the growing number of Winternships. Most Winternships are the same as spring, summer, and fall internships only on a smaller scale.

Winternships can maximize a limited time period, whether it’s for three weeks or more. Without a class schedule, students can work fulltime shadowing a professional in their field of interest and networking for future internships.  Even though a Winternship might be a condensed experience, it could lead to an invitation to return in the summer for a longer internship or for a job, according to a report on Goldman Sachs.  Also, because fewer students choose a Winternship, there’s less competition for a spot in a desirable company.

The approach to Winternships differs around the country. At Vassar, 12 students are selected and are paid a stipend for a shadowing/internship opportunity with alumna/us for one week during the winter break. Christie’s offers fulltime, six-week Winternships that provide an introduction to the inner workings of an art auction house.  These unpaid internships are available at New York and regional offices. Some universities, such as Johns Hopkins University, call the winter break Intersession and offer a variety of experiences from volunteer work to shadowing. Encourage your students to take an active role in creating their own Winternships or experiences at companies that appeal to them to give them the added edge come summer internship season!


Easy resolutions for a more productive 2011

January 4, 2011 at 9:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Whether you are joining the multitudes setting resolutions for getting in shape, changing jobs, or running a marathon, there are a few professional resolutions you may also want to consider. Particularly in this week before students return, spend some time getting yourself and your office ready for a great year.

1.  Clear the clutter

  • Begin by clearing off the clutter on top of your desk, your file cabinet, or table in your office (hint: give yourself a time limit!). Then, simplify your filing system by throwing out all the outdated paperwork that you won’t need in 2011. Review the remaining paperwork and determine how much of it can be scanned or transferred to a disc and stored in your computer. Then, buy a new calendar (bonus: they’re all on sale now) and start putting in important dates for 2011. While you’re at it, don’t forget to update your computer calendar.

2.  Know where you want to go.

  • In order to create goals for yourself, you’ll want to review your 2010 successes. For example, if you helped 50 students find internships, you could challenge yourself to help 60 students find internships in 2011. If you contacted 35 prospective internships sites in 2010, set the number at 50 for 2011.

3.  Make time to develop yourself.

  • Your own professional development is important, too. Evaluate the workshops and conferences you went to last year: were they worth not just your money, but particularly your time? Set your professional development schedule for 2011 now so that you make sure you don’t get to August without having done anything.

4.  Networking isn’t just for students.

  • Follow the advice that you give your students and expand your networking list. Set goals for meeting new people each month, on campus, in your community, through your professional associations, or even through personal circles. Be intentional about meeting 3 new people a month—and put it on your calendar so you set aside time for it!

5.  Create a new view.

  • Create a more stimulating work environment for yourself by reorganizing your office and your desk. Look for a more comfortable desk chair or add an extra chair for students. Switch up the art for your walls or change your desk décor, adding updated photos or a decorative item from a recent trip. Even repositioning your desk for a change of view can be refreshing. Bring in a new candy dish or coffee or tea mug for a nice personal touch.

Here’s to a great 2011!


Online networking for professional and personal development

January 4, 2011 at 9:03 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More than 500 million people are now signed up for Facebook and 175 million for Twitter, proving the popularity and potential value of social media. You are most likely already a member of several such sites, but are you maximizing your social networks to enhance your own professional and personal development? Here are five sites where you can begin building your own personal e-brand.


You could start by registering your Google account and assembling a Google Profile containing personal and professional information as well as links to your Web site. Google Buzz is connected to your Gmail account and is a tab in your Google Profile. It allows you to send messages to your current Gmail address book and expanded network and syndicate your other social feeds. Consider writing a blog, which can be a personal one or a business one detailing what you do at your work or a combination of the two.


Many blogs are powered with MyBlogLog widgets, showcasing avatars of your recent visitors. As people join your blog network, you can notify them of newly created blog posts or major events through the MyBlogLog messaging system.


A professional social network site is LinkedIn with millions of active users making professional contacts. Each user profile can be personalized to feature recommendations from colleagues, a self-portrait, relevant links, and special interest groups.


Another social networking site is Ning, which allows you to launch, invite, and facilitate your own free social network in minutes. Your network can be on the topic of your choice, such as career services.

And of course…

Facebook is the dominant network, giving you free access to events, groups, and profile pages from around the world. Facebook allows users to fuse their personal and professional lives together. Remember to set privacy controls as it is an open platform where your coworkers as well as your friends can access your information.

Whatever social network you choose, you’ll quickly be building professional and personal contacts to advance your career.


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