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

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Internship Rating of the Week: XM Satellite Radio

This week the company that students need to watch out for is XM Satellite Ratio! has received 10 users ratings for XM Satellite Radio in DC making it our largest rated company so far! Not only does it have 10 ratings, but almost all of them give great detail about the benefits of their internship program. Here are what a few of the interns had to say:

Mes76:Great internship! I wanted to improve my Excel skills, and I was paired with someone who was great with helping me do that, and at the same time I felt like I was doing something useful.

Lauren: I learned more from my 12 week experience at XM Radio than in any class I have taken in college

I loved my internship with XM last summer. The people were great, it was a very relaxed environment, and I got paid! The overall structure of the program allowed for a lot of meetings with upper level management which was great experience when preparing for a job.

Jbleiche: The best part of the internship is how much I was able to interact with people in all departments throughout XM. This really helped me pin-point specifically what type of work I want to pursue in my career. The program is incredibly structured and any problems I ever had were quickly fixed. Great internship all around!

We are so thankful for the enthusiasm of their Interns. Their participation shows us the importance of landing a great internship. All of these students were able to learn real world knowledge of their respective industry, meet great people and enjoy their time as an intern. We only hope that more companies adapt similar programs so other students can have the same experience.

Thank you XM Satellite Radio for really valuing you interns! For more information on
XM Satellite Ratio and other companies check out

Monday, March 31, 2008 at Boston University's PRSSA Event

This weekend was full of events for! We attended "PR Advanced" PRSSA Goes 2.o," which was hosted by the Boston University and Simmons College Chapters of Public Relations Student Society of America. The conference was held at B.U. and included various representatives from local PR firms as well as students from B.U., Simmons and University of Rhode Island. Our favorite speaker at the conference was THE social media guru, David Meerman Scott. He is the successful author of best-selling book The New Rules of Marketing and PR. He believes in the use of social media (blogs, podcasts, social media releases, viral marketing and online media) to promote products and measure success rather than old methods like clip books and newspaper articles. The first time we heard David Meerman Scott speak was at Boston PodCamp in the fall. This time we learned some great new things about PR and the blogging world. Scott is a huge believer in the power of blogs and their large reach (his blog gets thousands of its daily). What we found most interesting is the fact that Scott's book sold more copies when it was featured on his blog as opposed to when the New York Times published an article about it!
At the end of the conference was a career fair with companies like Schneider Associates, Racepoint Group, 360 Public Relations, Fleishman Hillard, Weber Shandwick, Cone and yours truly! Seniors and underclassmen socialized with these well respected firms about jobs and internships. (Surprisingly, the Public Relations industry is just starting to hire employees and interns.) We were excited to mix and mingle with students and learn about their internship experiences. Companies were even interested (and slightly scared) to discover their company reputation. Whether your last experience was fabulous or a waste of time,  don't forget to rate it so that other interns can make a more informed decision for this summer! 
We look forward to seeing you soon.

--Stephanie and Lauren

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Internship Ratings of the Week: Omniture, Inc.

This week I have decided to review the rating for Omniture, Inc. This rating stands out to me because of the working environment this user experienced. From what I gather, Omniture is a fast-paced media company that understands the importance of an internship. This user states that there was always something to do and "never felt like I was given busy work or work that was insubstantial." Obviously, this is very important to future internship applicants. At this company, you can leave with a feeling of accomplishment and maybe even a portfolio! This internship is also good for networking and real world experience.

The one problem with this company is that it is quite large. This can be extremely overwhelming for an intern. According to this users comments, there are a lot of politics that circle around the office environment. If interning at a company be careful when it comes to gossip and inter social relations. Keep it PG-13 at all times. Remember things you say in fun or in passing can bite you in the butt! While working at a company that likes to "work hard and play hard" make sure you show your personality.

I think that this company provides a great experience for most interns. But, if it is your first time interning I would recommend staying away. It is hard to be thrown into such a large company at the beginning. If you are just starting your intern career, try applying to smaller companies. Hopefully there you will be able to adjust to the working world without having to deal with corporate politics. For more information about this internship check out!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Great Debate: Which Internship To Take

Spring is progressing and internships are quickly approaching. The normal highly structured and well planned life that I like to lead now has elements of uncertainty. I find myself in a confused position regarding the decision of which internship position I should accept. I applied to two very different companies: a public relations firm and a recording studio that specializes in jingle writing. (Do not judge me, it sounds like a fun, creative, brain-exercising summer experience.) I am finding the decision difficult for a few reasons: 1) Should I try something new that isn't necessarily related to my intended major? 2) Should I work under a pr professional or as my own boss? 3) Should I accept a summer of low-level pr tasks for a well-respected firm or work diligently (and stressfully) to create high-level projects?

This predicament is one of the reasons why I created While it is important to consider the skills I will learn and the tasks I will perform, the company environment and staff play a large part in the success of an internship experience. If the companies I am interested in were posted on the website, it would make my decision much easier! Unfortunately, I do not know anyone who has interned at these companies and therefore must try to make the most informed decision I can on my own.

As I sit here weighing my options, I will offer you some advice if you are in the same position. Ask for the company's internship program fact sheet/guide. This document should clearly define your summer duties and the company's expectations of you. The one I received even details how to answer the phone properly! As I have also mentioned before, the interview is also a great way to get to know more about your potential employer. Thoughtful questions can provide you with similar answers that a previous intern would give.

If you have taken this advice and feel confident about both internships, you should feel confident selecting either option. And when you are finished with your experience, don't forget to add it to to make a fellow intern's next decision an easier one!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Create Your Own Internship

College students are individuals who have diverse passions and interests seeking self-discovery. It is almost as if college students are expected to have a clear idea of their intended career path upon matriculating. Narrow-based curriculums do not allow students to experience different fields of interest. Internships, however, can foster the discovery of unknown skills and hobbies. 

Traditionally, companies offer set programs to shadow a position or to include certain projects. Students who want the flexibility of exploration are now designing their own internship programs to meet their wants. Companies who have established programs are taking notice of these individuals and hiring them for positions. The Wall Street Journal published an article on this subject late last week. It featured liberal-arts students who pitched ideas to various companies about projects that anticipated the company's needs and combined the student's personal interests. For example, one girl combined her love of hip-hop music and helping children by organizing a program for underprivileged children for a non-profit art education organization.

Do not get discouraged if a company does not offer the program you want. Instead, design your ideal experience and pitch it to companies. Create a proposal that you can send to a targeted group of companies and/or organizations. In order to do this, you must first conduct research that can help you narrow the focus of your internship search. Consider what you want to gain from the internship (skill development, career exploration), what kind of responsibilities you would like to have and what kind of daily duties. Then, think about the field(s) you want to work in and whether there is a need for what you want to do. The proposal should be written in place of the cover letter and include the following information:
  • Specific description of what you would like to do and why you think the company needs you to do it
  • Description of the project or position you want to fill
  • Description of what you have to offer the company/organization
  • Dates of availability
  • Attached resume that highlights strengths mentioned in the proposal
Developing your own internship takes time and effort. If you cannot locate a position that is  customary, do not give up! You are a commodity that companies value and depend on. Be persistent until you find the right opportunity!


Persistence equals progress!

The last few months, I have been observing my friend go through the process of getting an internship. David, a broadcast journalism major, wanted to intern at a local Boston news station. He had a contact through a family friend and called him early on in the school year. He was told to call the station around January when they begin accepting internship applications. When January arrived, David excitedly called the contact and reminded him of his dedication to this potential internship.

When David didn’t get a response from the program coordinator, he became frustrated and concerned. I reminded him not to give up and be determined. Persistence shows interest, responsibility and passion. David decided to follow up by calling the coordinator. Finally, a few weeks later he received a phone call back for an interview. He felt the interview went really well and was confident that he would hear from the interviewer within the next few days. When David had not heard from him after two weeks he knew he had to do something. He was tired of calling and did not have the interviewer’s email address. The one thing he did have was the office address. David decided to write his interviewer a hand written thank you letter. Although it seems weird as most people avoid snail mail at all costs (especially for work correspondence), he knew it would not hurt.

His thank you note said something to the effect of:
Dear X,
I enjoyed speaking to you this afternoon. I think that I am a great fit for your internship program. As we discussed in our conversation, I am journalism major with experience writing for my college newspaper. Like you said, I think this would be a great first internship for me. Thank you again and I hope to hear from you soon.


Remember while writing a thank you note to be grateful and concise. It is also a good idea to recap a part of the conversation to spark a memory.
A few days after his letter was received, David got a phone call. He was accepted to the internship program! David was so excited and realized that his persistence paid off. David learned that although sometimes times you feel like a nuisance, its better to be overly enthusiastic than lethargic.

The moral of the story is a little bit goes a long way. Take that extra step. Make that extra phone call. Write that extra letter. It’s better to go above and beyond. Remain confidant and determined and your passion with shine through.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008 Internship of the Week: New England Cable News

Internships in broadcast journalism can be very intense. They often require odd hours in a fast paced environment that can be hard to adjust to. But, if you are aching for your television or radio debut, you must begin as an intern. I’m sure back in the day you could have found Barbra Walters fetching someone a cup of coffee.

The internship I chose to review this week is an internship at New England Cable News. It seems like an all around good internship. The user who posted felt comfortable in his/her environment. There was not a lot of grunt work involved and it met the description that he/she signed up. This user did not receive a letter of recommendation, but did receive college credit. Although this user did not get a letter of recommendation, it doesn’t mean your chance at a recommendation is over. After the internship ends, it is appropriate to contact your boss or supervisor. You can let him/her know how much you learned throughout your internship and how important his/her involvement was in your experience at the company. Then simply state that you would appreciate a letter of recommendation for your files. No matter what the answer, it never hurts to ask.

One of the most important aspects of an internship is networking. This internship seems like a great networking environment. The user specifically states that “there's an hour break and lots of time to network - if you're interested in a particular field of broadcast journalism, like sports or investigative reporting, the people are incredibly helpful in getting you into whatever you like to do in your spare time here.” Working at a new station provides people with a lot of opportunity for socializing. Talking to anyone and everyone can only help you!The bad thing about this internship is that it is located in Newton, MA, which is about 8 miles (but 25 minutes) outside of Boston. If you are a college student living in Boston it may be wise to have a car for the duration of the internship. For more information on this internship check out or the New England Cable News job section:


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Internship Ratings of the Week: Focus on ESPN Radio Boston

Boston is a haven for sport's fanatics! This  bustling city of college students and professionals is passionate about its baseball, football and basketball teams. The Red Sox are this year's MLB champions and the Celtics are heading in the same victorious direction. Therefore, Boston is the perfect city for a sport's enthusiast to find an internship.

This week, I chose to review 890 AM ESPN radio because it upholds the aspects that find most important for an internship: networking, fair/flexible hours and a letter of recommendation. The production intern who posted this position worked for a period of five months, during which he/she got practical experience preparing commercials and audio clips for the station. In addition, this intern was exposed to the world of sports public relations. This did not fall under the immediate job description; however, the intern left with a broader understanding of sports communications. In this case, the intern helped promote a whiffle ball tournament.

I was surprised to read that there was not an established internship program at 890 AM ESPN radio because of the structure and organization of this intern's experience. While I have previously mentioned that companies with standard internship programs tend to be more regulated and overseen, that is by no means an official indication of how the experience will turn out. Just because a company does not have a program and/or has not had interns before, do not be discouraged! To gain a better understanding of your summer at Company X, all you need to do is ask the right questions. During your interview, consider asking some of these questions:
  1. What are the most important aspects of this internship?
  2. What are some of the skills I will acquire from this position?
  3. What are the responsibilities of this position?
  4. Can you describe a typical day or week in this position?
  5. What do you like about working at this company?
Do not be afraid to ask questions! Rather, by asking questions you can differentiate yourself from other possible candidates by proving that you want to make an intelligent decision and determine whether the company will be a good fit. The questions above will enhance your understanding of the company's culture and expectations of its employees. 


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Internship Ratings of the Week: Focus on Mullen offers potential interns unique inside-information that will allow him or her to make a better informed decision about applying to a specific company. The free expression section of the rating is equally as important as the questions because it allows users to get a more detailed idea about the company. It is a way to learn about specific departments, horror/funny stories, specific responsibilities and other aspects of the experience. Each week, we will highlight a critique that offers meaningful insight (good and bad) about the intern world at Company X.

This week, I will feature a post about Mullen, a communications agency (specializing in Advertising, Public Relations and Marketing) renowned for its business approach termed collective entrepreneurialism. It has grown to become the 22nd largest communications firm in the United States. It is based in Wenham, Mass., a suburb of Boston. Mullen has a well established internship program that has already received more than 200 applicants for Summer 2008. 

The anonymous brand planning intern who worked at Mullen last Summer had the opportunity network, gain an understanding of the Advertising industry and meet other college students. Networking with company employees and co-interns is important for future endeavors, such as applying for jobs. The fact that Mullen encourages employees and interns to interact is a fabulous quality of its summer program. This person enjoyed weekly catered brown bag lunches (my mouth is starting to water) for her department. In addition to this, there were other events like ice cream/pizza parties and intern kickball. Events like this demonstrate a few great qualities about the company and its summer program: 1) It is invested in its employees and openly appreciates them 2) It establishes camaraderie among interns and employees 3) It wants to cultivate an internship program that differentiates itself from other similar communications firms by giving interns perks 4) Activities such as these allow Mullen to gain a greater sense of a person outside of the regular bustling office scene...think of an interactive interview process. 

Another positive aspect of Mullen's program is its focus on teamwork. At the end of the eight-week experience, interns are separated into teams and must create a new business pitch for a client. The presentations are judged by principal members of the company--in this case it was the CEO, COO and New Business Director. This opportunity enables interns to combine all of the skills they have learned throughout the experience and gain feedback from accomplished professionals. This project seems invaluable because of the skills you can perfect (ie public speaking, strategic planning and teamwork). It is more useful for a future career than any mock proposal I have had to turn in at school. I also agree with the post in that "the fact that such high profile people invested time in the internship program speaks to the culture at Mullen." 

If you are interested in reading the rest of the rating, please click on this link.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's all in the details

Now, that we have introduced the site to you, here are some of its defining features:

Homepage: The homepage allows the user to get started by either searching for internships, viewing internships or rating internships. A user can search by industry, city or state. You can also click on the search button which leads you to an advance search. This feature allows you to be more specific and even look for companies with paid internships! The homepage also has three ways of viewing internships: Recently Rated, Top Rated and Worst Rated. Read some horror and success stories from past interns. 

Rating Questions: We tailored the questions to the needs of our users. After our own internship experiences and the experiences of others, we determined the top 12 questions concerning an internship. Out of these 12, the top 5 questions correspond with an icon that can be seen easily without viewing the full rating. We also understand the importance of a rate and rave, so there is a comment box that allows you to go into more detail.

Membership: In order to add/ rate a company, you must be a member. By becoming a member you are able to receive updates from the site, see local ratings in your area, and of course rate an internship! 

Anonymous Ratings: Many users are nervous to post an internship for fear that the company might track their review. With the anonymous setting, this is not an issue. When you sign up for the site all you have to do is go to your account settings and click on  "Keep my rating(s) anonymous". It's pretty simple! is a bright, colorful site that is easy to use and geared toward the college demographic.

We are working to make the best it can be! If you have any comments, questions or concerns just click on the contact link at the bottom of the site.

Enjoy and rate away!!


Thursday, February 14, 2008


It is hard to find a good internship these days. Students are fighting to land stops at the most well known companies they can. Many companies take advantage of young students who want to gain industry experience. Interns are often subjected to coffee runs and filling for hours upon hours!

But, isn't it just great when you land that fabulous internship and you get really involved  in the company in the company! you make good connections, receive a letter of recommendation, and have acquired skills that you just can't learn in school. Internships lead you to a better future, so when choosing your internship you have to be sure to pick the best one.

Throughout the summer, Stephanie and I would always compare our daily internship experiences. As I have explained in my past posts, my internship did not turn out the way I had anticipated and neither had Stephanie's. We then realized that there was no way for students to know what it is really like to intern at specific companies. This got us thinking...

After long days and sleepless nights, Stephanie and I created! A place where interns can rate, research and compare internships across the United States! Check out the website and let people know about your experience! Help build this resource so interns can finally get the experience they deserve! 

--Lauren and Stephanie

Monday, February 4, 2008

Watch Your Mouth!

A recent article published by suggests that the appropriateness of comments in the workplace to coworkers and bosses can damage your relationships and even your career. Although you may think that a pejorative remark rolled off the sleeve of your supervisor, it could be a comment that he or she decides to associate with you from them on.

Interns, especially, should be cognizant of their behavior in the workplace. Whether or not they are given the same respect as employees, they should demonstrate responsibility, trustworthiness and an interest in the experience. Internships are equated with an interactive interview process that could lead to a position in the company. One poorly thought out remark could ruin their credibility. So interns, for the sake of your reputations and future careers, watch your mouths!

Here are some phrases that you should AVOID saying in the workplace:
"I heard ____ say this in the break room."
It is inappropriate to create inner office gossip, especially since you do not know if it's true. As an intern, you should not meddle in the affairs of other employees, as it could result in the end of your internship. The best thing you can do is walk away from the situation.

"I partied so hard last night."
While you might think of your supervisor as more of a friend, it is inappropriate to discuss your partying habits with him or her. Even though your boss might have share your habits, this topic is simply inappropriate for the office. Trust me, you do not want to become associated with sex, drugs or rock and roll.

"Get your own coffee."
Internships are stereotypically associated with grunt work, like shlepping your boss a cup of coffee. If menial tasks were not in the job description you signed up for, do not freak out. Instead of scolding someone who is your superior, politely grant his or her request. If your boss continues to ask you for coffee, ask if you can talk privately at a convenient time. During this conversation, politely state that you are ready to take on larger responsibilites!

For more examples, please click here to see the original article!


Monday, January 28, 2008

Questions for Thought

The interviewing process is always a stressful time for an intern. You have to impress your future boss, while sticking to the universal interview rules: speak highly of yourself, but do not boast; compliment the interviewer or company, but don’t seem like you are sucking up; and have a lot of questions, but not questions that can be easily answered on the company’s website.

In preparation for an interview, people are usually concerned about how you are going to be perceived. Don’t forget that this is an opportunity for you to question them too! The interviewer should also be ready to make a good impression on you. He/She must be able to demonstrate his/her company’s greatest qualities. You are there to make sure that you will be a good fit for them and vice versa.

Make sure to have a list of questions ready that will allow you to get a better feeling for the company and your future internship:

Here are some questions that I think are crucial to understanding the realities of the internship:

1.What skill(s) will I develop here?
While this is an internship and grunt work is sometimes inevitable, you have to expect and demand some sort of learning experience. Remember, you are not there to waste your time. There are always places with better internship programs.

2.Will I be able to sit in on important meetings?
Being allowed to sit in on meetings shows that they respect your desire to learn and absorb information. Whether or not you are able to voice your opinion in the meetings, it is a great way to understand the industry.

3.Do you often offer jobs to your interns?
This question is very important. It shows that you are serious and hopefully that they are serious too. If their answer is yes, you know that there is a greater potential of you being more involved in the company. If they are thinking about hiring, then they will probably assign you more important tasks in which you can demonstrate your abilities.

For more questions check out this article:


Sororities and Networking

Saturday morning I was surprised to find an e-mail in my inbox from a sorority alumna whom I have never personally met. The subject of the correspondence was an opening for summer interns at an upscale fashion designer in Manhattan. The message should not have been so unexpected, however, because I had received a similar e-mail two months prior from a different alumna who was looking for spring interns at a Boston based public relations firm. 

I have never considered myself the quintessential rah rah sorority girl and was iffy about whether or not I belonged. These e-mails reminded me of the importance of my sisters for my future endeavors. I was excited to get the messages at a time when I was considering internship options. I did not know about either company, which made the messages even more exciting. I was able to add two new companies to my list of potential employers.

While sororities are stereotypically associated with mixers and date parties, they are in actuality more closely associated with networking. The lineage of members spans across diverse industries and occupations. Members are eager to reach out to one another and offer internships because they are linked by a commonality. Whether or not i am interested in my sisters' companies, their network of connections can be of use. Because the membership of sororities in general are nationwide and it is impossible to know everyone, displaying the greek letters on a resume can help your application be more strongly considered if employees are also members.

If you are in a sorority, message your network of sisters before applying for your next internship!


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Internships: It's all I ever hear about

Internships, internships, internships…it’s all I ever hear about! I had a get together with a bunch of my high school friends the other night. What did you think we talked about? Internships (obviously)! The conversation went something like this: who was working where, places they applied and connections they had. These were hot topics of conversation that lased longer than one would expect.

The New York Times published a phenomenal article that discussed the various aspects of an internship experience. Journalist Lisa Belkin writes, “Internship is to first job as community service is to college.” So true! As the article states, it is hard to land a job without having the past experience of an internship at this day and age. Unfortunately, getting that experience is becoming harder by the minute. If you have not yet started planning for a summer internship, you are officially late! Don’t worry, you still have a little time before applying. Start thinking of all of the people you know and see if they can help you find an internship. Then get cracking! Send out a cover letter and resume as soon as possible. In your cover letter, make sure that you present yourself properly. If you are applying for a creative job, write a creative resume! Set yourself apart from everyone else. You only have one chance to distinguish yourself from other qualified candidates, so take advantage of this opportunity.


Check out the recent Times article: