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: