Connecting Internships to Jobs

January 26, 2012 at 8:32 am | Posted in Summer internships | 1 Comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg CEO, Robin D. Richards, says “Internships are the new job interview. With seven out of every ten internships turning into full time jobs, choosing the right opportunity to pursue is critical.”  The Web site offers search options, including All Opportunities, Internships, and Jobs to help your students find the best fit. According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, technology giants have been expanding their summer-intern programs, while smaller tech companies are ramping up theirs in response to “woo summer interns.”

The article identifies several companies that might be excellent internship / job resources for your students:

  • Facebook / Google:  Facebook Inc. plans to hire 625 interns for next summer, up from 550 this year. Google hired 1,000 engineering interns this past summer, up 20% from the previous year. Yolanda Mangolini, Google’s director of talent and outreach programs, says the company is still figuring out its target for 2012, based on its overall staffing plan. Google generally extends offers to the majority of its intern class. “It is one of the primary ways we find full-time hires,” Ms. Mangolini says.
  • Dropbox Inc.:  The company plans to hire 30 engineering interns for next summer, up from nine this year, says engineering manager Rian Hunter, who adds the company wants interns to comprise one-third of its engineering team. The San Francisco-based file-sharing company this year dispatched its entire engineering team to recruit at more than a dozen colleges, up from just five schools last year. “More interns mean more opportunities to bring people to the company,” Mr. Hunter says, noting Dropbox is seeking people as young as college freshman.
  • Bump Technologies:  Interns allow you to “try before you buy,” says Bump Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Dave Lieb, who plans to hire as many as 10 for next summer. He says the 30-person company pays intern engineers about $10,000 for a roughly 12-week stint, similar to what other tech start-ups say they pay. Tom Greany, 23, a full-time software engineer at Bump Technologies, was originally a summer intern at the company.
  • Venture Capitalists:  Venture capitalists have begun doing some intern legwork for their companies. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, recruiting at 25 college campuses across the country, helped a cohort of its companies hire around 25 engineering interns for the coming summer through a new program called KPCB Engineering Fellows. Kleiner’s companies, including Klout Inc. and Twitter Inc., started notifying their new interns last week. “Competition for talent is so fierce,” says Kleiner partner Juliet de Baubigny. She says the firm may expand the program, which is currently for juniors in college, to others, including possibly high-school students.

Getting calls already from overwhelmed summer interns?

June 23, 2011 at 8:00 am | Posted in Intern Support, Summer internships | Leave a comment

Susan Sandberg

Your students headed off to their summer internships full of enthusiasm, but after the first week many feel overwhelmed. How do you convince them not to quit and reassure them that their internships will be rewarding experiences? Here are some ways that you can respond to calls for help:

  • Emphasize positive benefits:  The internship could lead to a job. The Career Center Director at University of South Florida says hiring interns is an emerging trend among employers and their approach to internships is to treat them as entry-level job positions, whereas previously, “students would have internships and then move on.” According to a NACE survey, 75.8 percent of hires drawn from an employer’s own internship or co-op program were retained, compared to 60.7 percent for hires without internship or co-op experience after one year.
  • Identify the problem:  First, set aside some phone time to talk with him/her and find out exactly what is overwhelming your intern. Is it the heavy workload or the office technology? Is it the more experienced interns or an uncommunicative supervisor? Or is it such a large company that he/she feels lost and insignificant? Or is it homesickness if the intern is living far from home or a personal problem? Together, you and the intern could compile and rate a list of reasons that are causing this unsatisfactory situation.
  • Brainstorm solutions:  The resolution may be as simple as getting instruction on an unfamiliar computer system or it might be as complicated as arranging a new assignment. Your assistance is key to getting the intern back on track. Your intern’s parents will also appreciate your successful intervention. Your students may find strength and humor, too, in reading blogs by other interns, such as Eye of the Intern on internships. com in which interns report on the trials and tribulations of internship life.
  • Enlist resources:  You may need to enlist additional resources to help solve your intern’s crisis. If you deem the situation as dire, arrange for a school mental health counselor to talk to your intern. YourCareerCenter may also have an intern online or phone center with 24-hour assistance. Another avenue of support may be in finding a mentor for your overwhelmed student. An experienced intern who may have interned at that same company would be an excellent choice.
  • Consider on-site visits:  Depending on your schedule and the internship site location, you could visit the company and your distressed intern to offer support and to talk with the supervisor on how to quickly correct the problems. When you visit, you might want to give your student an inspirational guide for interns or even a care package with some treats.
  • Do damage control:  If your student is truly unhappy, you might have to accept that the internship is not a good fit. It’s better to do damage control early on rather than end up with a miserable student as well as a disgruntled intern supervisor who may be reluctant to take future interns from you. If you find yourself in this situation just when you’re going on summer vacation, suggest your student go to to explore options and connect with other employers offering internships. More than 12,675 University of South Florida students are registered with, more than any other school. Your students may benefit, too.

Interviewing can be as simple as attending a dinner party

March 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Posted in Advising interns, career center, Intern Advice, Summer internships | Leave a comment
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Stacie Stormer

As a career counselor, I am always looking for metaphors that help my clients reframe a challenge they are facing. Oftentimes, when clients express anxiety about interviewing, they are focused on learning the rules and what to do – or not do – in an interview. While understanding interviewing basics is crucial, doing well in an interview can be as simple as being a good dinner guest.

My spouse and I were recently hosting a dinner party and one of our friends brought a guest. While we were cleaning up after the party, we discussed how much we liked this new guest. While there are many reasons why we liked this person, there were a few things this person did that can be transferrable to the interview. She:

Asked about others – As the host, I felt it was my duty to make this guest feel welcomed. So, I attended to the guest a bit more and thought about topics that would interest her. She, however, initiated her fair share of conversation. She deepened the conversation by asking follow-up question. She came across confident and thoughtful. I often encourage my clients to listen attentively and ask follow-up questions as this can change the dynamic from a “one-way barrage of questions” to a more collegial conversation.

Complemented others – After having worked hard on the meal, it felt good to hear her praise what we had prepared. She seemed sincere as she stated what she specifically liked about the meal. Employers are people too and they like to hear what candidates sincerely and specifically like about their organization.

Told stories – I learned a lot about this person from the engaging stories she told. She told colorful stories without monopolizing the party. Regardless of our culture, we humans are much more attentive when listening to a story and a story is a much more clever way to convey a message. I advise my clients to write down the most important things they want the employers to know about them and come up with a story to illustrate those. Then, look for opportunities to tell those stories in the interview.

Of course a dinner party should not feel like an interview, but an interview can feel a bit more like a party!

Certainly the employer asks questions to assess candidates’ knowledge, skills and abilities, but how an interviewer feels about the candidate can be quite powerful. Having positive feelings certainly tip the scales in that candidate’s favor. So, the next time a student asks you about how to ace an interview, just say “pretend you are attending a dinner party”. Want more interviewing tips?  Click here.

Oh and by the way, our dinner guest also sent us a handwritten thank you note – nice touch!

Motivating your students to apply for summer internships in the winter

February 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Posted in career center, Finding internships, Intern Advice, Preparing interns, Summer internships, Time Management Skills | Leave a comment

Susan Sandberg

It’s been a cold, snowy winter throughout much of the country, leaving students focused on spring break. Whether it’s a fun trip to sunny Florida or home for comfort food and family visits, most students are thinking of getting away rather than planning ahead. As a career professional, your challenge is to inspire and motivate them to move forward on getting a summer internship—now. Here are a few incentives that you might share with students:

  • Stanford University News: Stanford graduate student Alexandra Wexler has been awarded the 2011 Daniel Pearl Memorial Journalism Internship, which will have her working in a foreign Wall Street Journal bureau this summer. Wexler, from New York City, previously held internships at ABC Eyewitness News in Durham, N.C., and the Durham Herald-Sun. Her writing also has appeared in during a stint in South Africa. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University. If you forward this to your students, they’ll understand that the better internships are being filled now, so they might want to send out internship applications before heading out for spring break. Or you might consider if your school wants to sponsor an internship in honor of a well-known graduate.
  • Famous former interns featured at    Before Harvard University, before Microsoft, 17-year-old Bill Gates spent a summer as a congressional page. A budding entrepreneur, he sold outdated campaign buttons as collectors’ items. During her sophomore year at Tennessee State University, Oprah Winfrey worked at WVTF-TV—the CBS affiliate in Nashville. She was hired. Former New York Knick Patrick Ewing, while a basketball star at Georgetown University, spent the summer of l983 interning for the Senate Finance Committee. During his internship he met his now ex-wife, Rita, who was interning for then Senator Bill Bradley. Brook Shields volunteered at the zoo through an internship program at her N.J. high school before heading off to Princeton University, where she studied French. Internships can be the start of something big for your students just as they were for the above celebrities.
  • Summer Internships: Suggest that your students browse through the 4,433 Summer Internships listed on for ideas. Remind them to check application deadlines. For example, they can follow up on Development Apprentice Summer 2011 at iMADdu in Fairfax, Virginia. This non-profit organization seeks 6 part-time, unpaid interns who will perform a wide range of assignments and may work remotely.  To learn more, visit IMakeADifferenceDoyoU dot org. If students want a part-time, paid internship, they might want to check out Web Design at Metro Tech in Illinois. MetroTech Service Corporation is a privately held HVAC Service Company providing Preventative Maintenance and Emergency Service Repairs exclusively to prominent retail customers operating internationally. Interns will be building a whole Web site. Final product will be intergraded in to existing Web site.
  • Answers Forum: You understand that your students have lots of questions about Summer Internships. Yet they may not take the time or have the initiative to come to your office and ask your advice. A good alternative for them is to log in or join the Answers Forum on for complete privacy. Many of the people who submit questions use Anonymous as their name to protect their privacy. The topics range from Searching, Applying, and Preparing for internships to After the Internships. A recent sample questions was “What is the GPA criteria to get job/internship?” Encourage students to take advantage of this resource.

This post was written by Susan Sandberg. Find out more about Susan and the rest of our bloggers on our new About Us page.

Keeping your students motivated on their career search

February 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Posted in Advising interns, career center, Finding internships, networking, Preparing interns, Summer internships, Time Management Skills | 1 Comment

Jyl McLaughlin

It has been a long, cold winter for some of us.  For many, Spring Break Fever is in the near future.

Keeping in mind your students’ focus on academics, extracurricular and don’t forget social schedules, it will be helpful to mentor the concept of implementing a daily, weekly and monthly plan for students to maintain and keep motivated in their search.  Encouraging use of popular sites and a focus on one activity per day can motivate students and keep them focused.  The following sites have options for students to utilize to reboot their search energy:

1)  Using the internship predictor catches students’ current interests, personality traits and preferences helping clarify career choice and best fit occupational areas. Once completed, sample job titles can be “clicked” to see current postings for potential interest and application.  These “live”, quick results allow a student to see that there are opportunities available for them.  Currently there are over 40K internship postings across the United States.

2) Students can begin professional networking here with friends and family as well as with professional association and alumni groups.  Many high schools, in addition to colleges and universities, have organized alumni associations willing to help out past and current members. Making a new connection with someone on a regular is always encouraging for students that feel they don’t have enough professional contacts in their network.

3)      Professional Associations: Most professional associations offer discounted or reduced rate student memberships. Being a part of a larger professional group can develop confidence in a student’s ability to be proactive in their career choice and participate in national or local conferences.  They also can identify networking opportunities and job listings related specifically to their career choice such as: CFA Institute, Federal Aviation Administration, American Marketing Association, and Association of Operations Management.  Better yet, students can add membership to their resume!

4)      Electronic Footprint: Remind your students to regularly check in on their electronic footprint.  Students can check their social media accounts, such as FaceBook and be sure they are not seen by the public or clean up any incriminating evidence that may be looked at as negative.  Simply “Googling” a name can help identify what presence one has on the internet.  Employers check this as they review potential candidates.  Keeping your private life private is an important concept for students accustomed to sharing much in public. This regular review can help students step “outside and look in” and focus on their marketability to employers.

Reminding students of best practices with popular sites helps them stay lean and focused while being proactive in their career planning and job searches.


This post was written by Jyl McLaughlin, a new tennis player, peacekeeper, and mom of two.  Find out more about Jyl and the rest of our bloggers on our new About Us page.

About internships: it’s all about the employer this summer

January 28, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Posted in Summer internships | 1 Comment
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by Colleen Sabatino

As career counselors, we always have our students’ best interest in mind. We work on behalf of the student first and support employers only as a means for getting our students connected to them. That is why this blog post is a tough reality check that we need to get clear on. This week’s blog is about an important message that we need to send to all students seeking a summer internship. The message?

“This summer, it is about the employer not the student.”

In the past year, the role of the intern has shifted dramatically. The employer mindset has gone from viewing the internship as a form of corporate community service to a method for accessing free labor. In a thriving economy, employers want to invest in the future workforce by providing opportunities for young emerging professionals to learn about their industry and professions. However, when times get tough, employers want to simply stay alive long enough to get through the recession.

As an intern, your student needs to adjust to this new mindset and approach internships differently than in the past. Instead of approaching their summer internship as an opportunity to learn about a profession or industry, they will need focus on pursuing an internship that helps them contribute their skills in a way that generates value and substance for the employer. As a result of that contribution, they will no doubt learn about the profession and industry but the goal should be contributing not learning. Employers in this tough economy are trying to make their dollars go farther and their people produce more. Internships help them accomplish both. A student that is committed to helping them get more for their money and do more with less is the one who gets the offer. The one who is looking to learn about the profession or industry will be sitting at home. It won’t matter how smart or good they might be, this summer, the winners will be the ones who recognize the needs of employers and embrace them. It is our responsibility as career counselors to help them shift their mindset and prepare appropriately for interviews. 

So what does this mean for your students? Well for starters, we can coach them on what to say when asked in an interview, “Why do you want this internship?” We can help them understand that the focus needs to on what they can do for the employer. Do not talk about how this is a great opportunity for them to learn about the industry and profession. While that might also be true, it is not the most important reason to highlight in the interview. What’s important to the employer is their ability to take initiative and produce quality work as a member of their team.

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