Thursday, May 22, 2008

Notes from an Advertising Executive

By Joe Grimaldi
Chief Executive Officer

Here are some thoughts from Joe Grimaldi who is the CEO at Mullen. Mullen is a renowned advertising agency with locations in Massachussetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan. As a huge supporter the internship program, Joe actively engages with interns on various occasions. He speaks to them during their first week during a lunch and learn session, judges their final new business presentation, and loves to get to know them in the cafeteria.

1. What do you feel is the most differentiating feature about Mullen’s internship program, and how has this benefited the students, and the agency?

“We care about the education the interns get and put time, energy and senior management involvement into it. We need the best people to come into the business if we are to be a competitive industry, and the best way to do that is to help shape them. It’s an industry cause.”

2. Did you intern anywhere before you started working? If so, where? What was it like?

“No. I got lucky and walked out of school in Manhattan and into the media department of a top 5 agency.”

3. Name one trait you love to see in your interns, but feel you don’t see enough of?

“Two things, actually: 1) Being a sponge that absorbs everything with unbridled enthusiasm and organized thought. 2) The ability to voice original thought and ideas in a way that is not easily dismissed by people with significantly more experience.”

For more internship related tips, visit the advice column Take Note

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Good Interview Is In Your Hands

I recently read this short article in the Wells Fargo Daily Advantage publication. I have heard from professors and professionals the importance of a good handshake, but somewhat dismissed the tip. A new study conducted by Greg Stewart emphasizes the handshake as a major factor in the hiring process.

Pssst, here's a hot tip for people interviewing for jobs. When you meet the interviewer, give a good hearty handshake. A study conducted by Greg Stewart, a professor of management at the University of Iowa, found that a firm handshake is the key to getting the offer. The professor tested 98 students by having them interview with business people and also shake hands with people trained to rate handshakes. Both groups rated each student's performance and hireability, and they rated the students with strong handshakes as the most hirable. Says Stewart: "We probably don't consciously remember a person's handshake or whether it was good or bad, but the handshake is one of the first non-verbal clues we get about the person's overall personality. And that impression is what we remember." (The full results of the study will be published in the September issue of The Journal of Applied Psychology.)

According to Stewart, you can execute a good handshake by following a few simple rules:

1. Form a complete and firm grip (no finger squeezers, no dead mice)

2. Make a vigorous up and down movement (but remember you're not chopping wood)

3. Make eye contact (no I'm-the-dude sunglasses or redeye)

For more intern tips, visit the advice column, Take Note!


A Good Interview Is In Your Hands

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Are You Experienced?

By Michael R. Ratty
Director of Communications

One hand on the steering wheel, one hand on a hastily printed map, I nearly swerved into oncoming traffic on the two-lane bridge. It was a humid afternoon and I was panicking on my first day of an internship with The Lowell Sun, a daily newspaper in Lowell, Mass. Only ten minutes earlier, I had been handed by first reporting assignment, covering a press conference announcing a new affordable housing measure for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I had expected my first day to be filled with inane duties like finding cubicle having my employee ID picture taken. I was wrong. 

I was on summer break before my senior year at Ithaca College and, like most journalism majors, I has agonized over where I would intern. My first choice was the Boston Globe and my second choice was the Sun's internship program, which had four paid, full-time positions. The Globe program, although unpaid ( the Globe name was the payment...) was renowned for landing impressive placements for graduates. Up against Ivy Leaguers and students from higher profile journalism programs like Syracuse and NYU, I was not offered a position. Disappointed but undaunted, I pursed the Sun's program because of the experience I anticipated receiving. After two rounds of interviews, I was given the good new on the last day of classes. At the time, I felt like the last kid picked at gym class. The feeling would not last long.

For more of this article, check out Take Note on

Monday, May 12, 2008

Corporate Culture

By Steve Raymund
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Tech Data Corporation

Working as an intern is a great opportunity to learn what it means to live inside the world and culture of corporate America. With open eyes and ears, you can acquire important skills and knowledge that will help you succeed in your future career. Perhaps more importantly, you can learn a lot about yourself and what kind of work environment best fits your own personality.

Quite often that first or second internship culminates in an exciting job offer and the chance to build a career inside a company you now know, and that knows and values your contribution in return. Here’s a few tips to maximizing your success in the corporate America:

You may be a stranger in a strange land, unfamiliar with its social conventions, so take your time to learn how things get done in this new world. Listen, watch, take notes, study and reflect on your experience. Remember, company cultures can differ remarkably from one another. Intel, for example, is renowned for its culture of confrontation, while HP, in contrast, places high value on collaboration. Although a company may have formal procedures and rules, quite often it’s through informal networks and processes that more can be accomplished. So be diligent in learning about your company’s social norms to avoid making a silly faux pas, and to ensure that you maximize your effectiveness.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. If given an assignment, seek counsel and feedback along the way vs. waiting until your finished project is ready for formal unveiling. I’ve seen people waste weeks of work by misinterpreting their original instructions and finishing up with a worthless product. A better alternative is frequent checkpoints with your boss or colleagues during which you’re likely to hear great suggestions to improve your end product. That way you’re more likely to stay on track with the original assignment.

Be timely in everything you do. Show up to meetings a few minutes early. Deliver your reports when due. People don’t like to hear excuses for tardiness, delays and missed deadlines. To be sure, delays are sometimes unavoidable, but don’t wait until the last minute before informing your boss that you can’t deliver your work on time. It’s much better to provide an early heads up, which might in fact create an opportunity to enlist help in flattening the obstacles slowing your progress.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

How to Get The Most Out of Your Internship Experience

By Linda Greene
Executive Director
Wise Services

You’ve researched your field, contacted possible placements, made calls, and landed the internship you wanted. So you’re all set? Not quite! To make the most of your internship, here are some tips to turn your weeks or months as an intern into a truly worthwhile learning experience.

1) Set goals for your internship. What do you hope to get out of your experience?
What do you hope to learn? Which skills would you like to develop? Where in the organization would you like to work? Which people in the placement are those you wish to work with? Who else can help you? By setting goals, you will give your internship experience some direction and a way by which to measure the experience at its conclusion.

2) Meet with your supervisor and make sure you communicate what you hope to gain from your internship experience. Listen to his or her suggestions regarding how you will be used as an intern, but don’t be afraid to ask for what you want if it’s not initially offered to you. You will, of course, be more successful in this discussion if you are respectful and well prepared (here is another way setting some goals will be of use!)

3) Keep a journal of your experiences. By documenting your daily work activities and keeping track of the people you meet, you’ll have the information you need to summarize your experience in your resume and a record of your internship for future reference. Reflections on the experience will help you remember more about it and make the journal fun to read in the future. Keep updating your goals and make lists of things you hope to do and accomplish as the internship progresses. How are you doing on meeting the goals you set for your learning and for skill development?


New Feature launches launches an interactive advice column for users!

As students ourselves, we understand the need for advice from professionals. After our internships last summer, we realized how many questions arise before, during and after an internship. What makes a good resume? How do I ask for a letter of recommendation? How do I make my internships “worth the coffee”?

Take Note: Expert Advice from Industry Professionals will feature articles from various contributors of different backgrounds and specialties, offering advice about internships. You will see posts by career counselors, HR personnel and company executives. Whether you are a sports intern, finance intern or just looking for an internship, Take Note will answer some of the questions you might be too afraid to ask and didn’t know to ask.

We encourage you to post comments and interact with our writers. Please feel free to ask more questions or even suggest topics. This column is for you, so let us know what advice you really need! For now just take note…

Enjoy the new feature and don't forget to rate your internship!

--Lauren and Stephanie