Searching for internships for your students? Northwestern Mutual has 2,500

April 14, 2011 at 9:30 am | Posted in Job market | 7 Comments
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Susan Sandberg

Business news sources recently, ranging from the Baltimore Business Journal to, and and more, are buzzing about the announcement that Northwestern Mutual will hire 2,500 financial representative interns from colleges and universities nationwide this year. The Milwaukee-based financial services firm said the large number of internships results from “increased demand from Americans who seek financial guidance.” The following information may help you decide if you should recommend that your students apply:

  • Who is Northwestern Mutual? Northwestern Mutual has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 150 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual shares, where possible, its gains with policy owners and delivers consistent and dependable value to clients over time. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions, including life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services.
  • Northwestern Mutual’s rationale: “This generation witnessed the impact of unprecedented financial turmoil and as a result, they appreciate the importance of financial planning and they’re taking action,” said Michael Van Grinsven, Northwestern Mutual field internship director. “Instead of waiting, more young adults are addressing their long-term financial futures.” Applicants can visit Northwestern Mutual’s website or contact a Northwestern Mutual office to learn more about internships.
  • Top Ranking:  Northwestern Mutual offers one of the top 10 internships in the country, according to the 2011 Vault Guide to Internships. The annual Vault study measures mentorship and career advancement opportunities, number of active interns, compensation, intern feedback and unique appeal. For 15 straight years, Northwestern Mutual’s program has been recognized by Vault for providing interns with opportunities for personal and professional growth, valuable training and real-world experiences with a respected financial security company. More than 31,000 students across the country have participated in Northwestern Mutual’s internship program since its inception in 1967.
  • Internship options:  Northwestern Mutual offers a wide selection of internships all over the country from New York City to Omaha, NE.  Internships may be paid or unpaid, fulltime or part-time, or for college credit. Many interns start full-time in the summer and continue working part-time through the rest of their college careers. Throughout the internship experience, students have access to Northwestern Mutual mentors and joint-work programs to support intern development.
  • What former interns sayAndres Baltazar, a 2007 DePaul University graduate and former Northwestern Mutual intern, now manages a successful financial practice in Skokie, Il, helping hundreds of clients each year. “When I attended DePaul, I wanted an internship where I could make an impact on people’s lives,” said Baltazar. “You don’t get people coffee; you help people achieve financial security, and that kind of opportunity to make a difference is so rare for students today.” The Northwestern Mutual website also offers videos by former interns Meghan and Ron, which may interest your students.
  • How can help:  You’ll find many excellent opportunities listed on the site for Northwestern Mutual. For example, there is a fulltime, paid with college credit required internship in Saint Petersburg, FL. Applicants must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 college credits. Another listing is for a part-time internship in mid-town Manhattan. Again, can help if housing is a problem. Your students can follow a link to Educational Housing Services (EHS) that offers off-campus residences for students and interns in New York City. The EHS motto is Live Like a New Yorker, which should appeal to many students.

Economic News to Cheer About

April 12, 2011 at 8:35 am | Posted in Job market | Leave a comment
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Stacie Stormer

Has all of the recent bad news been bringing you down? It has for me. In particular, I have been exhausted by the string of negative economic news. For many of our students, it seems, all they have ever known is negative economic news. So, I searched for some news to lift my spirits and this is what I found:

  • Planned private sector layoffs are down. In fact, according to a recent report released by Challenger Gray and Christmas, downsizing has not declined this much in the first quarter of a year since 1995.
  • Employers are planning to hire more employees and interns. In surveys of employers conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers plan to hire 13.5% more bachelor degree graduates and 7% more interns for 2010-11 than they hired in 2009-10.
  • There are industries that are growing (12 in fact). It is widely known that industries such as healthcare and computer systems design are growing, but did you know that performing arts and sports, metals manufacturing and transportation grew in 2010? In this article, you may be surprised by the other industries that also grew in 2010.

As career advisors, counselors and coaches, we often play the role of the “cheerleader” for students. Perhaps like me, remaining optimistic has been challenging at times. However, this recent news does give us something to genuinely cheer about! What do you think?

Encouraging students to use Spring Break to find internships

April 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Posted in Advising interns, Finding internships | 1 Comment
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Susan Sandberg

Many students are enjoying a well-deserved Spring Break. An email reminder from you as their career services advisor might motivate them to think beyond the moment and come back from Break with a summer internship lined up—or even an externship or shadowing experience—as well as a tan. Here are some recent items to share with your students:

  • Spring Break Internships/Externships: In an article for Her Campus, Ngozi Ekeledo shares tips and advice on how to use spring break to find an internship. “Packing up and heading to Miami or MTV Spring Break are great options, but getting a crash course in a company’s daily ins and outs can also give you a (less tan) leg up. Many businesses, companies and schools offer spring break internship opportunities that you can take advantage of, and they’re often less competitive to land than summer internships.” Caitlin Crotty, an advisor for Medill Career Services at Northwestern University, believes that networking is the key benefit of a shorter internship. “It’s hard to work on something meaningful in that short time span, but internships and externships are a wonderful way to meet some professionals in a target organization or industry,” she said.
  • Shadowing alumni: Some universities set up externship programs with alumni in which current students can follow these workers for a day at their jobs. Northwestern University’s NEXT externship program is a great example. Students register through the alumni association website and have the chance to follow someone in the field of their choice. Some popular choices for students include business, communications and law. For instance, in the field of journalism, students have the chance to shadow a worker at The New York Times or NBC to learn more about these media powerhouses. Read the rest of this article from Her
  • International Internships: The following excerpts are from a recent article, “Internships abroad more popular,” by Torie Deible, news staff writer. While many Virginia Tech students traveled to Mexico or other countries for spring break last week, others have been going abroad for work instead of play to take international internships. “So many companies, if they’re not already international, are thinking about going international. They’re all thinking globally. Someone who has had that international opportunity is an asset to the company,” said Reed Kennedy, director of international programs for the Pamplin College of Business. Kennedy, a supporter of international internships, said when students intern abroad they gain self-confidence and undergo much more of a growth experience than interning back home.
  • Internships in nonviolence and community organizing: Students concerned over the escalating violence and war erupting over the globe may want to read about the internships with the Fellowship of Reconciliation posted By FOR. The Metta Center for Nonviolence nonviolence immersion program is open to young adults ages 18 to 35, and located in Berkeley, CA, and includes an opportunity to work directly with FOR’s office in Oakland. The Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point Center internship in multifaith community organizing and nonviolence practice is open to young adults ages 18 to 28, and located in Stony Point, NY. The Greensboro Justice Fund Fellowships at the Highlander Center in popular education and community organizing for social change is open to all adults over age 18, and located in New Market, TN.

Seeking the all-inclusive internship

April 6, 2011 at 9:45 am | Posted in Advising interns | Leave a comment
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Jyl McLaughlin

It’s Spring Break and you may be visiting with many students who are excited and want to share their beach plans with you. As they leave your office, you might find yourself wishing for the same youthful flexibility and excitement of days gone by.  Maybe a quick look into a travel website and checking out All Inclusive weekend deals for last minute getaways will help!?  Unfortunately, the daydreaming will be short-lived…there is still work to be done.  Sun-kissed students will soon return and you know they will be facing the Spring Semester rush and anticipation that summer is near.  In turn, students may be dreaming of those exciting, thrilling internships or summer jobs that have it “all” – as in “All Inclusive paid, housing, location, opportunity”.

There are many opportunities that students can research that provide pay, housing and exciting locations. More often than not, those options are in populated areas such as Boston, New York, Los Angeles or even Silicon Valley and overseas.  I often talk of fun, creative or popular companies and jobs as “sexy” versus “the 9-5”.  If you have students that wish for such an experience, let’s consider some resources and current stories for brainstorming ideas:

1) Their “Eye of the Intern” blog presents regular stories of successful interns in a variety of locations. A recent post came from a journalism student writing about her Communications Internship at Elle in downtown San Diego.  These blogs offer an opportunity for students to post questions and receive responses from fellow students about internship do’s and don’ts.

2) Apple: I often hear from clients/students that they are “gadget maniacs” and this interest can be a keyhole into career decision making to target companies of interest like Apple. Their Corporate jobs page says “Don’t Expect Business as Usual” – now that sounds like code for FUN! At the time of this post there are 42 internships posted for Apple which defines “interns as an important part of the team.”

3) USA!: What about one of the largest employer in the country?  Students can browse opportunities at which can provide experiences across the country, in all occupational categories.  Internships with the Federal Government could lead to permanent work after graduation but also varying perks such as housing and pay, some at the Smithsonian Institute.

4) Disney:  Do you have students interested in travel and tourism? Disney offers structured internship experiences for students in various majors.  Be sure to visit for internship and experiential opportunities.  Representatives travel regularly to campus, find out if one is near you to present to students!

5) Be sure to check out the long list of Internship and Study Abroad resources on the Riley Guide:

These are just a few ideas for you to share with your students. There are many exciting opportunities out there that will help your students find that “all inclusive”, fun experience, as well as give them the chance to learn more about their strengths to help clarify future career paths.

Bon Voyage!

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