Helping interns transition from campus to workplace

September 21, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Coach Susan Sandberg

Susan Sandberg

The recent Labor statistics just came in, showing unemployment still at a flat 9.1%. On a positive note other statistics show that internships play a critical role in the job search. NACE found that employers will get approximately 40 percent of their new college hires for 2011 from their internship and co-op programs. Those student interns who become new employees have learned how to transition successfully from campus to workplace.

Here are a few tips to pass onto your current interns to maximize their chances of becoming part of that 40%:

  • Cell phone and email etiquette:  Your student interns may think that they should demonstrate ability to multitask by going to meetings, answering cell phone calls, and texting simultaneously. Neuroscientists report that humans can barely attend to more than one stimulus at a time and have extreme difficulty undertaking multiple tasks concurrently. Emphasize to your students that paying attention to your computer or electronic gadget while talking to someone is rude, regardless of the industry. As one business owner explained to his intern in his first hour on the job: “In a professional environment it’s never a good idea to ignore your clients, boss or anyone else when you’re having a conversation. Doing so says your time is more valuable than their time.”
  • Reality checks:  Rowan University journalism professor and internship coordinator Kathryn Quigley made a 4-minute movie about an aspiring journalism intern who doesn’t have any clips — he does, however, have a poem about death that he’d like to send to editors. Prof. Quigley says that she loves her students and they do well at their internships, but sometimes their questions before starting an internship just make her shake her head. She created the video to be funny, not mean, as well as to make a few points. “An internship is supposed to expand your world and teach you new things. Intern work is about learning, not showing off. Lower your expectations. You can do it – have a little confidence.” Your Career Center may not have such a video, but you could assign a mentor to each intern and set up an intern online chat room to encourage reality checks, helping interns transition more smoothly from campus to workplace.
  • Time Management:  You can support student efforts by providing them with a semester calendar and directions to fill in important dates such as class times and holidays as well as study hours.  They’ve probably already worked out their internship schedule to be compatible with class requirements. Let them know it would not be helpful to their future careers to keep changing the internship hours.  If necessary, suggest that your students delete activities and concentrate on their internships. If they’re having difficulties keeping a part-time job along with the internship, suggest financial aid options for them. Establish a set time for your interns to report their progress on their internships, whether it’s a weekly report or an online diary.

How to network and turn an internship into a job

June 21, 2011 at 8:00 am | Posted in Job market | 1 Comment
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Internships often lead to jobs, according to results of a new survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Employers responding to the organization’s 2011 Internship & Co-op Survey reported that an average of 39% of their entry-level hires from the Class of 2010 were harvested from their own internship programs. The respondents reported converting, on average, 58% of their interns into full-time hires, the highest rate since the association started tracking the statistic in 2001. Encourage your student interns to practice the following effective networking tips, so they can be part of that 58%:

  • Many interns may be embarrassed to ask how to network and meet people, so you could compile a list of ideas to help out. Advise them to act friendly, smile, and say hello to everyone at work.  If people don’t respond to them in an enthusiastic manner, they shouldn’t take it personally. That individual might be in a bad mood because of personal  problems. A pleasant greeting might cheer him/her up. Remind your students that networking means interacting with other employees, not sitting at a computer and networking online. Fellow employees are the best sources of new job information. It’s important to create a friendly relationship before asking for an insider’s viewpoint on  how to land a full-time position in the company.
  • Your intern students may think that they have nothing to talk about and hesitate to start a conversation. Assure your students that the best way to start a conversation is not to talk about themselves, but to ask the other person about himself/herself. Suggest questions such as, “How long have you worked here?” “Where would you recommend as a place to eat lunch?” “Did you see the Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics last night?” People feel friendly towards those who show enough interest to ask questions and then listen attentively—cell phones turned off—to the answer.
  • Most companies have lots of non-work related activities that help interns meet people and build networks, especially in the summer. When the company has a picnic, outing to a ball game, speakers’ series or in-house sports teams, encourage your interns to get involved.  Another source of networking may be in the Human Resources department, where interns can get involved in social service activities or volunteer work.
  • Since most student interns are novices at developing networks in professional environments, they might benefit from a few cautionary words. Although going out drinking with co-workers sounds like fun, interns should proceed slowly. A sure way to ruin one’s reputation is to get drunk and become the subject of office gossip. Another red flag is the dating scene. Many companies frown on intra-office dating, so suggest that your interns wait until they finish their internships to pursue romantic interests. Meanwhile, they can make friends who might recommend them for full-time positions.

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? at NACE 2010

June 8, 2010 at 11:00 am | Posted in NACE Conference | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , made a splash at NACE 2010. To kickoff the conference, Robin Richards, Chairman and CEO of, introduced Keynote Speaker, Keith Ferrazzi, author, Never Eat Alone, and founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight. Keith gave an inspiring speech about the power of relationships and networks.

Spring 2010 Survey of Career Center Professionals” Released

The following morning, the results from the “Spring 2010 Survey of Career Center Professionals” were released during the Data and Danish breakfast. A spirited discussion by attendees followed the presentation of the results by Kenneth C. Green, Ph.D. Download a summary of the survey here.

Survey Sweepstakes Winner Announced

Participants of the “Spring 2010 Survey” were entered into a drawing to support the activities of their career center. The winner of the $1000 grant for their career center is Mark Brostoff, the Associate Dean and Director, Weston Career Center, Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Pictured here from left to right are Shari Kern, Weston Career Center Associate Director for Technology; Sarah Decker, Weston Career Center Business Development Specialist; Mark Brostoff, our survey winner;  and Mason Gates of

The entire team at would like to express how welcome we felt by everyone attending NACE and are happy to have been a part of it. It was exciting to meet the many faces that move this industry, catch up with old friends and develop new relationships.

The booth at NACE 2010.

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