Helping students focus on most important aspects of internships

May 24, 2012 at 8:00 am | Posted in Advising interns | Leave a comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

The subject of internships—paid or unpaid?—rages as the #1 controversial issue in education today as the summer internship season kicks off. Even the most respected media sources in the country are highlighting the debate. According to Time magazine, “Today an estimated one-third to one-half of the U.S.’s 1.5 million internships are without pay, a trend that has only accelerated since the 2008 financial crisis. Employers contend that they’re paying interns with experience, which can be more valuable than cash, especially in tough-to-break-into fields such as media, fashion and entertainment.” As a career services professional, it’s your job to help your students see beyond the news stories. The following reminders focus on getting the most value out of internships (whether paid or unpaid):

  • Focus on the internship:  A new study by Millennial Branding and Experience, Inc. reported in shows that only half of employers have hired an intern in the past six months. While 91 percent of employers think that students should participate in an internship before they graduate, the majority of companies surveyed haven’t hired interns for full-time positions.  Remind your students not to worry about getting a job offer, but to focus on learning as much as possible from their current internship, viewing the experience as a test to determine if your student wants to pursue a career in that field.  Advise your students not to ask how many interns the company hires or inquire about future opportunities until the internship has a successful conclusion.  Students should also avoid gossiping about interns in the news who are suing their internship sites for unpaid work or misrepresented internships.  To start a conversation at work, students may want to ask questions about the job or the company or talk about sports or even the weather.
  • Focus on preparation:  As part of Senior Week, Ohio University Career Services is hosting an Etiquette Dinner Workshop. Although the word “Etiquette” may sound old-fashioned, it’s still in vogue to understand proper behavior. If your students have the opportunity to share a meal with employees or the internship supervisor, it’s important to know proper table manners and protocol. Refrain from drinking alcohol at work functions is a good place to start. Dress codes are another important subject.  Encourage your students to wear basic or neutral colors. Males should wear dress shirts and trousers and females may wear pants suits, tailored dresses, or knee-length skirts and blouses. Better to err on the side of being too conservative until students spend enough time at their internship to observe dress policy.   Students should research their internship company thoroughly, using Google or talking to other students who have already interned there.
  • Focus on new challenges:  A successful internship will offer students the opportunity to learn new skills and new approaches to projects.  Encourage your students to ask lots of questions, request more assignments, and volunteer to help out on projects.  An internship is a great place to get a mentor who will explain new duties and help interns avoid errors. Mentors are key to building a good reputation. The mentor may be the internship supervisor, a seasoned employee, or a staff person who shares the same career interests or is an alum of the intern’s college.  Reassure your student interns that it’s perfectly acceptable to admit ignorance at an assignment as long as they follow up with asking for help in performing the assignment.  If technology issues cause undue stress for your interns, you may be able to help out by contacting the technical staff at the company and asking for assistance for your students.
  • Focus on enjoying the internship:  An internship may be a turning point in life, so before a student decides that the internship is boring, too difficult or too whatever, he or she should give it a chance. For example, in a recent NYT’s Sunday Review section,  Kara Newman wrote about her internship years ago at a prominent New York magazine. She says that she “hated” her internship, but one of her duties was serving Scotch to the boss. Now she’s the spirits editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine.  If students are unhappy in their internships, try to find out why. As a good career professional, you’ve probably thoroughly researched the site and know the internship supervisor well enough to ask him or her about the intern’s complaints.  If the intern is simply miserable and wants to leave no matter what you suggest, the intern may still be able to find another internship for this summer at, the world’s largest internship site with 70,000 internships and 20,000 employers.

Making sure all your students have summer internships

May 17, 2012 at 8:00 am | Posted in career center | Leave a comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

You and your colleagues are working hard to ensure that all your students have summer internships lined up. “Internships are being sought by more and more KU students because they realize how important internships are in their future job search,” said Erin Wolfram, assistant director of career networks at the University Career Center at Kansas University. The number of students involved in internships is difficult to monitor, Wolfram said, due to the variety of ways students find them. Some find internships through professors, family members, or career services, such as, which was recently listed as #1 of 6 Best Sites to find Summer Internships on Students still searching for summer internships might find the following opportunities on helpful:

•    Accounting Internship:  CampGroup, LLC, Monmouth, ME. 2 Full-Time, Paid;  05/29/12 – 08/18/12.  Accounting intern to assist Controller in the management of CampGroup, LLC, which owns and operates 15 children’s resident summer camps in lakeside locations.  Assignments will involve routine accounting practices such as entering invoices & cash receipts, paying bills, recording manual checks & journal entries. You will also be involved in the preparation of staff payroll and tracking of staff advances. Requirements:  Academic concentration in Accounting or Finance required. Must have completed 2 semesters of accounting, must be detail oriented and have solid computer skills with working knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Word.

•    Advertising Copywriter:  Internet Webpages Newspaper, Inc., Chicago, IL.  Part-Time, Paid  05/07/12 – ? (Dates Flexible.) Internet Webpages Newspaper, Inc. (IWN), a downtown Chicago-based print, online and events company, is seeking an Advertising Copywriter intern for an exciting opportunity at our Chicago Loop office. The primary responsibility is to execute the vision and direction of IWN’s Brand strategy. Specifically you will 1. Create Ad Copy for Print Publications, Event Signage and Graphics 2. Write AIDA oriented copy for a network of up to 80+ company websites and online stores. Requirements:  The ideal candidate is outgoing, friendly and works well in a collaborative office setting. Detail-oriented with excellent grammar and writing ability. Multilingual is desired but not mandatory.

•    Development Assistant, Marketing/Development Department:  Student Support Center, 1003 K St. NW Washington, DC.   Part-Time, Unpaid (College Credit Required) 06/01/12 – 09/01/12 (Dates Flexible). The Development Intern is responsible for assisting the Director of Development with maintaining the organization’s donor database, tracking and evaluating fundraising efforts, researching donor prospects and grant opportunities.

•    Tech start-up intern:  VenueTap, New York, NY. Full-Time, Unpaid, 06/04/12 – 09/04/12 (Dates Flexible). VenueTap is looking for a creative-minded go-getter to assist in developing our party planning platform. Your primary responsibilities will be managing the quality of our releases and sketching out future functionality. A good candidate will be able to work independently and follow directions well and be responsible for Quality Assurance and System Monitoring, Bug troubleshooting, and UI development and design. Requirements:   Familiarity with MySQL, JavaScript, C#, .NET, HTML, organized, strong attention to detail, ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment,  previous start-up experience is a plus, and proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel).

•    Mobile App Graphic Designer:  TapWalk, Boston, MA. Part-Time, Unpaid (College Credit Required), 06/01/12 – 10/01/12 (Dates Flexible). This internship starts ASAP. The July 1st start date and submission end time was just to keep the post open to allow for continuous submissions. TapWalk is a technology-based startup and a world leader in the geo-based custom mobile application. Requirements:  1. Portfolio 2. Pursuing or graduated with a degree in Graphic Design.

•    NIH internships:   The National Institutes of Health (NIH) consists of 27 institutes with more than 1200 laboratories; some of the institutes include the National Institute of Cancer, National Eye Institute, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and the NIH Clinical Center. NIH offers stipends for trainees. The positions are highly competitive and are considered on a rolling basis. In one period, out of 6,700 applicants, only 1,200 interns were selected. You’ll need references.

•    Keswick Theatre Internships:  AEG Live, Human Resources, Los Angeles, CA , 2 Part-Time, Unpaid (College Credit Required),  05/14/12 – 08/14/12 (Dates Flexible).The Keswick Theatre – nationally recognized by audiences and performing artists as the most comfortable, friendly, acoustically-perfect listening room in the Philadelphia area-presents a broad range of internationally acclaimed performers geared to virtually every entertainment taste and interest. Requirements: Must be a junior or senior at a full-time and accredited college or university. Must provide proof of college credit within first week of internship. Previous work experience (industry-related experience) is encouraged and a commitment to 16-20 hours’ work per week is required.

Maximizing partnership opportunities for your students

November 3, 2011 at 9:00 am | Posted in Views on the News | 1 Comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

At the recent EDUCAUSE 2011 Annual Conference, a higher education information technology event, a new partnership opportunity was unveiled.  Blackboard Inc. and  announced plans to integrate job search and career building tools and resources directly in the Blackboard Learn(TM) online teaching and learning platform. Here’s how this new partnership and other partnerships benefit students:

  • CEO:  “With unemployment remaining so high in the United States, the key for student job seekers is not only to find and apply to available work opportunities, but also to prepare themselves to be hired through career content and tools,” said Mr. Robin D. Richards, Chairman and CEO of “We are honored to enter this partnership with a leader in the higher education industry and further distribute our world class social recruiting tools, features, and content to the next generation of America’s great employees.”
  • Blackboard CEO:  “As a company, Blackboard is committed to providing the best tools to help students succeed both inside and outside of the classroom and we know career development is an important part of the education experience,” said Michael Chasen, CEO and President of Blackboard. “This partnership with gives us the opportunity to provide resources within the learning management platform that help students succeed beyond just the academic setting.”
  • Integration benefits:  According to a PR Newswire press release, the planned integration will enable students to search for and apply for internships, student jobs and entry-level positions within the course platform. Students will also be able to take advantage of the full suite of career tools from, including a social media integration that will enable student job seekers to leverage their Facebook network to find jobs and get introduced to hiring companies. With the multi-year, exclusive distribution deal for Blackboard’s North America Higher Education clients, becomes a Blackboard Premier Partner (TM) in the Blackboard Partnerships Program(TM). Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions.
  • The LULAC Internship Alliance Program: The League of United Latin American Citizens, the largest and oldest Hispanic membership organization in the country, and have partnered to build a bridge between students and businesses to ensure that Latino students receive the benefits of the platform and access to the experiential learning opportunities they need. Through this partnership LULAC is making it possible for students to receive the LULAC Intern Certification Program, ensuring that students have had an elite level of preparation to aid them in entering the workforce. On completion of this Program students receive a LULAC certified designation that employers can rely on to know that these students are prepared and motivated to become great interns.
  • Other PartnershipsSHRM – Society for Human Resource Management offers professional development opportunities in a variety of ways including conferences, workshops, webinars and social media. BASIC – Business and Students in Careers is an alliance between college and university students in Luzerne County and the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber business community to help prepare them to be career ready. Click on About Us under Educators and go to Partners on the Web site for a complete listing of organizations that coordinate services with and may help you maximize career opportunities for your students.

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