internship

The Internship Quest

June 24, 2015 in Alive Campus, Career

This summer, I have been lucky enough to experience my first office internship in New York City. I am currently working as a fashion and home intern for Woman’s Day Magazine, doing miscellaneous tasks very similar to that of an editor. I commute to the famous Hearst Tower every day by Metro North train and work a full 9 hours. From what I’ve accomplished so far these past six weeks, I can certainly vouch that internships are key components to your college experience in order to gain an insight as to what it’s like to work in your field of study. It may ultimately lead you into being hired post-graduation if you work hard enough and make solid connections. Or, it may turn you away from the job you thought you had always wanted. Luckily, for me, it’s only made me more interested in eventually working in publishing. Here are some beneficial tips to know prior to your internship search:

Application Process: The cover letter is always huge factor in showing why you specifically are cut out for this internship. If you’re applying for a writing position, talk about your previous work and why it’s benefited you as a writer and a worker. Make sure your resume is clean and straightforward, considering companies do not have the time to read through thousands of intricate applications. If this is your first internship and you have no prior experience, simply talk about your skills and the classes you have taken in school.

Interview: I was able to do a phone interview for my internship since I attend school in Florida and rarely come home throughout the semester. While these are becoming more and more common, they are still just as important as far as making an impression. It’s always a good idea to have notes laid out in front of you for any questions that may be asked, and always be sure to have background information about the company for any unexpected questions. Showing that you’re interested in the company and have immersed yourself in background knowledge of it is extremely important.

You’re Hired!: This is the most exciting news you can receive after all that hard work. If the company decides to hire you, make sure you thoroughly explain to them all of the school requirements if you plan to get credit for the internship.  Several internships, such as mine, are unpaid if you are receiving school credit. In order to make up for it, I work on weekends at a restaurant. While it may be difficult to not receive any form of solitary compensation for your hard work, just remember that internships will provide you with an amazing experience that gets your foot in the door. DO NOT turn it down if it is unpaid. This is a common mistake that several students make when they realize they will not be paid for the internship. In a situation like this, experience conquers money.

The Internship: Once you have the internship, I’ve learned thus far that going above and beyond is extremely important in order to make an impression. There are so many students that intern at major companies, so naturally, it’s easy to forget some interns. Stand out by showing up early every day or leaving later, and even check emails while at home if you’re set up on the company email account. It demonstrates responsibility and a huge interest in bettering the company as a whole. Keep a positive attitude while on the job and always do what your boss asks no matter how exhausted you may be, because there will certainly be days that seem never ending. However, a recommendation from your boss is what will ultimately lead you into being hired down the road. Remember that you need to start somewhere to reach the top!

In the end, the internship usually turns out to be one of your best college experiences. There will be tough days on the job and easy days, just like that of the real world. Work hard during the application process, and don’t stress over the possibility of not being hired. It happens to the best of us, so keep applying and you will eventually be accepted somewhere. Good luck in your internship search!

Hearst Tower

Hearst Tower

Internships will separate you from the rest!

October 11, 2014 in Alive Campus, Career, Colleges

Internships are a way that students can set themselves apart from their peers. It will show future employers that you have had experience in a professional setting. Internships are also the perfect opportunity for students to truly find out what type of career they want to pursue. Thankfully, the University of Maine has a requirement for students to fulfill a semester long internship program of their choosing. Here are some tips that will help you during your internship that will leave a lasting impression.

Some tips for internships:

  • Always show up on time – being on time and early is always a good way to show your employer that you are dedicated to showing up to work. Telling them that you are a hard worker in a job interview is one thing, but actually proving it to them during your internship is much more valuable.
  • Be reliable – If you are asked work on a specific task or come in at a special time it needs to be your first priority. Having an internship is also all about making a positive name for yourself so that it could be potentially used as references for your next job.
  • Establish contacts – Unfortunately it isn’t always about what you know but who you know. Contacts are valuable in helping you find a job and getting your foot in the door. Put yourself out there by trying to meet everyone at your internship. You never know who they know and what type of impression that you can make on them. Establishing a strong network of communications will be tremendously valuable for future jobs that you apply to.
  • Take the initiative – Be the go-getter that sets out to do more than what is asked of you. If you are average and do the bare minimum during your internships, employers won’t view you as a valuable asset to the team. Stick out from the rest, make yourself available, volunteer for extra tasks. Anyway that you can make yourself stand out from the rest will benefit you in the long run.
  • Pay attention to details – Overlooking small details can hurt you in determining your job performance. Employers want to see how detail oriented you are and if you can impress them with your attention to details then that is one advantage that you have on your competitors. Double check your work and be active in reviewing all possible errors.

At the University of Maine’s journalism department it is a requirement for all students to complete an internship program. This is a great opportunity for students to network with local media from around the surrounding towns and cities. Not only will it familiarize students with working in a professional setting but it gives students an advantage over other programs that don’t have this requirement built into their curriculum. For many that have participated in the internship program they have impressed newspapers, television stations and other companies so much that they end up landing a job where they interned. You never know what opportunities may open up if you impress your boss. Keep striving to be great everyday during your internship and never take a day off.

Why every college student should have a job

September 18, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Colleges

Having a job or internship as a student is never easy, but for most students it’s a necessity in order to save money to pay off loans, or to have some spending money. Plus, working is great experience, no matter what kind of job you have.

Working in Dining

Working in Dining

I worked in dining at both Franklin Pierce and at Boston College; at FPU, I served students food, and at BC I was a barista at our Chocolate Bar. There were days where I didn’t want to go to work, or I felt like I deserved better, but that happens with every job, no matter where you are. Even in a job that relates directly to your field of study, you will most likely start from the bottom doing menial or boring tasks. Only after having completed this stage will you have opportunities to get promoted or show that you have innovative ideas to contribute.

I also think that it’s important for students to experience working for other students/adults. Unless you worked during high school, you have been pretty much served everything you’re entire life. This continues in college; dining halls serve our food, universities provide housing, and, with the exception of laundry (in which case, let’s be honest – people only do it once a month anyway), everything else is pretty much given to you. Because we are handed everything on a plate, we forget that those who serve us are also human beings and that they also have lives and feelings. The next time you get frustrated because you had to wait too long for your coffee, or your server forgot your extra side of mac ‘n’ cheese, remember that you could just as easily be in their position. Nobody likes to be embarrassed or yelled at, so treat those who are serving you with the same respect you would like to be treated with.

Working teaches you how to deal with difficult customers, how to follow directions, and be part of a team. These are lifelong lessons that will be important for every aspect of life and future career, no matter what field you’re in (unless you have a job where you don’t interact with any human beings…).

Learn to Keep Cool with Customers

Learn to Keep Cool with Customers

However, most of us have other aspirations that have nothing to do with brewing coffee or swiping IDs at the gym entrance. The summer after your sophomore and junior is the best time to have an internship; most internships look for older candidates who have more experience and more knowledge under their belt. As a rising junior or senior, you will committed to a certain major, and will want to try out working at a job/internship that relates to that interest. Internships are invaluable because they give you experience and a contact to put on your resume (for future applications), and they give you an opportunity to discover if what you’re studying is truly what you want to do.

This past summer, I interned as a research assistant at a psychology lab on campus. Even though I’m majoring in psychology, I was shocked to find that after two months of doing research and testing subjects, I was sick of it. I dreaded going to work each day, I hated entering in data, and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. It astounded me that there were parts of psychology – something I’m deeply passionate about – that I disliked. The internship showed me that research is definitely not something I could do long-term. If I already hated it after two months, I would definitely not be able to do it for life. Thankfully, there are other areas of psychology that I can pursue, but if I had not been a lab assistant, I would have never known.

Working a job and interning are both crucial parts of education – ones that are sometimes overlooked or left out. Not everything is learned in the classroom; experience in a job unrelated to and in line with what you are studying may give you a better sense of what you want to pursue/accomplish in the future.

And let’s be honest, it’s also nice to have some pocket money.

A bit of advice: if you want to have an internship during the summer, start looking midyear, around January (or earlier) and start applying by February or March. It’s much better to be on top of things and proactive, because you’ll have more options and back up plans.

Finding an Internship

Finding an Internship

Welcome to College: Here’s Your (Mini) Bucket List

September 7, 2014 in Academics, Alive Campus, Campus Life, Career, Events, Sports, Top 10 Lists, Travel

  1. Join a club

Joining a club not only allows you to meet people, but it also teaches you to work with others and to try new things. Stepping out of your comfort zone and participating in something that you may not be good at, or have much knowledge about can be difficult, but it’s worth it. You’ll learn so much about yourself, and you may even make some close friends there. Even trying something new and then quitting is better than not trying at all – most of the time, you’ll learn to love what you got yourself into.

2.    Go to a play or concert

Even if your school doesn’t have a good theatre/arts program, it’s still worth seeing your classmates perform. It takes a lot of practice and bravery to stand up in front of a crowd and perform, and those people deserve an attentive audience (that’s where you come in). If your school doesn’t have an arts program at all, find one in the city or town nearest you! If you’re as lucky as I am and have a thriving city like Boston nearby, take advantage of it. There are always tons of events going on in cities – find something you like, or want to try, and check it out!

Go to a theatre production

Go to a theatre production

3.    Attend an athletic event

Whether your school is successful or not at certain sports, it’s still nice to go support your fellow students, just as it is in artistic performances. Athletes train long and hard to perform at their best, and they play even better when they have a whole stadium full of supporters goading them on. Plus, it’s a fun way to meet other people – and you get to make up weird cheers!

Cheer on classmates at an athletic event

Cheer on classmates at an athletic event

4.    Party (at least once)… for most, that won’t be a problem at all

Most people go to a party and fall in love with the lifestyle. To them, it’s a great way to let off steam, unwind from a tough week, forget about classes, and make memories (if you actually remember anything from those Saturday nights….) with friends. However, some people don’t like that lifestyle at all – they’d rather do something at home, or go to dinner, or see a movie. No matter which type of night you prefer, try both. That way, you’ll appreciate being able to cuddle up and watch a movie in bed, but you’ll also get to experience the typical college experience of going out and drinking.

College Experience 101: Party

College Experience 101: Party

5.    Take a class unrelated to your major/a subject you’re interested in

We spend so much time learning what we “have” to know, so it’s good to change it up and take a class that isn’t part of your major but that you’re curious about. You learn better/more when you are actually passionate about learning something, rather than dreading it. Plus, taking a class outside your major can be a refreshing break – when you’re sick of doing bio homework, you can turn to the art project you need to complete, or write a short story.

6.    Live on campus

Though most people will live on campus for all four years of college, it’s still worth putting on this list. Being on campus allows you to experience the freedom you didn’t have at home. You get to control when you go to sleep, when/what you eat, what you do in free time.

Dorm Life

Dorm Life

7.    Live off campus (if you can)

Living off campus is also a useful experience. You may not have a meal plan and you will have a longer commute to campus. You’ll not only have to learn how to cook for yourself (or spend all your money eating out, which I don’t recommend), and you’ll really learn to plan ahead so that you get places on time. Living off campus will definitely make you a more responsible and productive person.

Live in a "real" apartment

Live in a “real” apartment

8.    Study abroad

Studying abroad, or any sort of international travel is an incredibly valuable experience. Going to a different country opens your eyes to new cultures, languages, people, and ideas; traveling teaches you equally important lessons about life and interacting with others.

Travel

Travel

9.    Find something you love doing

This goes back to the idea of taking a class that you’re interested in, but may not fall into your major. If you find a subject or discipline that you are drawn to and passionate about, don’t ignore that feeling. Even if you’ve wanted to be a doctor your entire life, or your parents push you to becoming a lawyer – follow your own head and heart (sorry, didn’t mean to be cheesy). College is the time to discover what you really love doing and what you’re good at. If you find something that doesn’t fit in to what you were doing before, don’t ignore it – take a long hard look at whatever it is, and ask yourself if this were something you’d like to pursue more seriously.

10. Internship

Internships are a great way to get experience in the field you’re looking to go into, and it also gives you a chance to see if it’s actually something you could do for life. The things we’re interested in can look nice and fine from the outside, but sometimes it’s a different story when you’re actually doing it. Internships also look great on the resume and allow you to build contacts when looking for future employers or opportunities.

Top 10 Things to Do Before You Graduate

June 13, 2014 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Top 10 Lists

Your college years are short and numbered–make the most of them by checking these 10 must-dos off your list before graduation!

graduation

Make the most of college before you toss your cap at graduation!

1. Go to a house/frat party

Even if the party scene isn’t typically for you, this is one of those things you just have to do at least once during your higher education career. It’s so stereotypical, but that’s the point. Find out where the biggest and best parties happen on or near your campus (they definitely shouldn’t be difficult to come across), and then grab some friends and get in! Obviously it’s important to be aware of your surroundings, to keep track of who you came in with, and to stay safe, but college parties can be a great way to let loose and socialize! Everyone has to do it at least once before they graduate.

2. Get involved in a club

In high school, a lot of us didn’t get involved at school. And those that did get involved often joined a million clubs to put on a resume or college application, without actually being active in any of them. Let college be different: join one or a few student organizations at your school, and really dedicate yourself to them. Put in the work required to make the club successful. Showing off what you do in a campus extra curricular is a really great way to prove to potential employers that you did more than just go to class.

3. Get an internship

Especially in this day and age, with the job market as competitive as it is, internships are almost a necessity. They provide a great way to network and get your foot in the door, as well as gain real-life work experience to put on your resume. Internships can be completed during the summer, or, if your school allows it, during the semester for academic credit. Check out resources like LinkedIn, Internships.com, InternMatch.com, InternQueen.com, and your school’s job listing board.

4. Take a crazy class/elective outside of your major

Nearly every college, big or small, will offer classes and majors in subjects you never even realized existed. And nearly every college student will have enough space in their schedule for at least one elective outside of his or her own course of study. Alternatively, you may have a general education requirement that can be fulfilled by a crazy, interesting course. No matter you situation, try your best to take a weird class that sounds interesting to you!

5. Connect with a professor

Professors are an extremely valuable resource that every college student should take advantage of. You professors are accomplished, acclaimed scholars with plentiful experience–and thus great advice for budding young professionals! Get to know your professors during their office hours. The connection might come in handy later when you’re job hunting or need a recommendation!

6. Study abroad/travel

I truly believe that every college student should study abroad for at least one semester during their college career. The benefits of traveling and studying in a different place are endless–you’ll be immersed in a new culture, you’ll connect and network with new people, and you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime. Many study abroad programs also include an internship portion, which can check #3 off your list at the same time! If you aren’t able to study abroad, try and travel somewhere at least once in college, whether it’s in the summer or during a mid-semester break.

7. Make close friends

I have had the same set of super-close friends since elementary school, so by no means am I telling you to replace your friends from home/high school. Nevertheless, college presents you with the opportunity to meet SO many new, different people–it’s important to take advantage of that and to get to know new people. Your college friends often become lifelong friends!

8. Spend a summer at school/away from home

You’ve got to fly away from the nest at some point. College is the process of weaning you off your parents, and teaching you how to be a responsible adult on your own (which is the scariest process ever). Whether you get an internship or summer job in a different city, or you simply stay at school/in your school’s city during the summer, spend time living away from home at least once.

9. Get your own place

This is similar to #9. Quite often, living off-campus is cheaper and provides more living space than living on-campus. Of course, this isn’t the case for everyone, but you should still look into it! Renting an apartment off campus can be really fun–you’ll probably have a bigger kitchen, living room, and bedroom than you would have living in your school’s housing, and you’ll feel much freer and more independent. And, again, it can be a lot cheaper than your school’s overpriced dorm rooms!

10. Discover a new hobby, interest, or passion

A lot of people find themselves in college–they really discover who they are, and what they truly care about or believe in. College is also a perfect time to experiment and try out new activities or hobbies. Seek cool student clubs to learn a new skill, or try something you’ve never done before, like volunteer community service, tutoring, an art, etc.