Internship Advice

The Internship Application Rollercoaster

vsBy Vanessa Salman ’17

It’s that time of year again — that’s right, it’s summer internship season.

You’ve perfected your resume after going to Career Services’ drop-in hours, made your cover letter a window into your professional soul, and submitted your application. A week later, you still haven’t heard back and you’re as antsy as could be. The worst starts to go through your head: do they hate me? Did they hire someone better than me? Did they even see my application?

I’m gonna stop you now – stop thinking this.

Take a breath. A deep, cleansing, mindful breath. This process is scary and competitive, but if you don’t get that coveted position at that fancy magazine or don’t intern with a notable Member of Congress, that is okay. There will be plenty of opportunities in the future, but for now, focus on finding something else for this summer.

Easier said than done, I know. But you have to keep a positive attitude and your head held high in these types of situations. The search, the application, and the wait time are all extremely nerve-wracking, however the reward of the experience is worth the temporary insanity – I promise! As cliche as this may sound, everything happens for a reason, so maybe not getting that internship will lead you to an experience you didn’t expect.

I say this all from personal experience. I went through this process just like everyone else, and let me tell you — it was emotionally draining. Applying to internships, especially those with larger organizations, make you feel like a number. You constantly refresh your email and just hope that there’s something about you that stands out among the hundreds or thousands of other numbers in the applicant pool. If you don’t get that internship you’ve been vying for, explore other options.

I applied to quite a few internships this summer, ranging from consulting firms, to various federal agencies, to congressional offices, and didn’t receive any good news. After encountering many dead ends, I decided to explore other options other than internships for the summer. I am so glad I did this, as I received a job opportunity for something that I hope to do post-graduation. As bummed as I am that I won’t be interning in Washington, DC with the rest of my friends this summer, I am happy with the way things have turned out, and it’s all because my summer didn’t go according to plan.

There are so many ways to find other job or internship opportunities (no, I’m not just saying that). LinkedIn, Indeed, and Internships.com are just a few means of finding opportunities online. Play around with the keywords you use to find more results.  Also, Syracuse students have an advantage because we have access to OrangeLink, which gives you access to job and internship postings, in addition to an employer directory. How cool is that?

Instead of sulking, it’s best to spring into action, and search for something else to do with your summer. You won’t regret it.

Need help with making the most of your summer? Call our office to schedule a phone, Skype, or in-person appointment, at 315-443-3616!

The Most Future-Proof Career Advice Ever

Marina will take over @WorkingOrange on Thursday, October 22.

By Marina Zarya, ’11; G ’13, Time Inc., Video Producer, Branding + Culture

Now that I’ve got your attention with my very-catchy headline, I’ll warn you that the actual advice part of this post will be underwhelming.

Ready?

My advice to you, eager Syracuse University student, is BE KIND.

Yes, that’s it. The job you’ll have soon does not exist yet, and your skills will keep evolving to meet market demands. What won’t change is how you should treat people. And if this is the part where you’re clicking off the page, that’s OK, you’ve read the most important part and I hope it sticks. If you’re enjoying my snippy prose, you’ll be pleased to note that I’ve prepared a few examples to illustrate what I mean.

/bē/ verb; Exist
/kīnd/ adjective; Of Kin, gracious, congenial, altruistic, accommodating

Put the two words together and they mean to exist in empathy, act with integrity, humility, and grace. This is a way of being. A state of mind that everyone is capable of tapping into and effectively living in. Please don’t misinterpret this as a suggestion to be lovey-dovey 100% of the time or to let people walk over you.

“Be Kind” doesn’t mean “Be Nice”. Nice guys (or gals) finish last for a reason. Niceness is short-lived and stems from a need for immediate approval (and therefore comes from insecurity). Niceness implies an alternative (usually selfish) agenda, and is a disingenuous approach to relationships. Kindness is being aware of others; their feelings, needs, and time. It means being confident in your ability to empathize, or help if need be. It means adding value to interactions and relationships, not taking away from them by being self-serving. Here are a few ways to do this.

Be Kind:

  1. To *everyone* you meet.

As far as your career is concerned, you just never know where you’ll see the person again. Every single job or freelance gig I’ve ever had (including the one in which I decorated cupcakes in a bakeshop window during a summer in high school), I got because I was kind to someone, not realizing they held a key to my future employment.

My favorite quote on this subject is one that I learned of in grad school by the great Dr. Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Be kind to your teammates. People love working with kind people, and certainly remember them when other co-working opportunities come up.

As I’m sure you’re well aware, networking is the utmost important part of finding work. Interpret this as your chance to be kind. For one, be kind enough to get the person’s name and position right when you email them. Be kind to follow up, to demonstrate that you appreciated a new connection’s time. Be kind and do your research – understanding the person’s background will lead to a productive conversation and no wasted time. Mostly, be genuinely interested in what they’re doing, and don’t start the relationship with “I’m looking for a job at your company”.

  1. To yourself.

I learned the hard way. As the former reigning queen of caffeinated all-nighters in Bird Library and Newhouse Photo Labs, I can attest to the severely negative impacts of disrespecting your body’s needs for sleep, healthy food and exercise. I won’t preach too much on this point, for fear of sounding like a hypocrite. Part of being a productive adult is learning to manage the fine balance of your own well being, whatever combination of factors it is for you. This is probably harder than finding a job, but is crucial to your success. Science (and Arianna Huffington) suggest that getting enough sleep is the most important thing you can do to take care of your brain.

“Be kind” applies to negative self-talk, too. Yes, we all fall back on deadlines, procrastinate doing laundry, or forget to send emails. These things happen. Guilt-tripping yourself over past indiscretions or behavioral patterns that you may have inadvertently formed will not help you change them. In fact, bad-mouthing yourself in your head activates your brain’s reward center, making your biological self think that you’re having a great time beating yourself up – making the feedback loop of negativity a “fun”​ habit.

  1. Online. 

Just because you don’t see the person you are writing to does not mean that you don’t have to be kind. Write carefully thought-out emails that get right to the point, and if something is too long for an email, pick up the phone (old school, I know). Being kind online also means being kind to your image online – when you’re job-searching, recruiters will rifle through your tweets, Instagram posts, and anything really. Do yourself justice by portraying your professional self accurately.

     4. To your community. 

In the near future, you’ll be in a position to offer career guidance, or recommend a classmate for a role you see opening up at your company. Be kind. Pay it forward.

Speaking of which, current juniors and seniors should apply to my company’​s (Time Inc.) Summer Internship & Fellowship Programs. The preferred deadline is December 1, which is sooner than you think.

Graduating seniors and grad students should check out the Careers page. We’re constantly looking for new talent to join the company.

​We also post frequent updates and job alerts on InstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter, keep in touch with us there!

————————————————————

Marina Zarya works at Time Inc. as the Video Producer for Branding + Culture. She did both her BS and MS at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, in Advertising and Multimedia, Photography and Design, respectively. While at Syracuse University she was General Manager at WERW Real College Radio, an Engagement Fellow, Remembrance Scholar, News21 Fellow and Bayliss Scholar.

Top Tips to Make the Most of Your Internship

By Jennifer Pluta and Lucy Rodgers

Internship panel hosted by the Lubin House and Syracuse University Career Services
Internship panel hosted by the Lubin House and Syracuse University Career Services

A few weeks ago, Syracuse University in NYC hosted a program in partnership with Career Services called “Making the Most of Your Summer Internship.” Attendees heard from a fantastic panel of alumni, including:

Josh Books ’11, Nielsen Catalina Solutions
Daniel Greenberg ’13, MediaLink
Josh Levy ’10, William Morris Endeavor
Pamela Medina ’13, General Assembly
Ciara Schoenauer ’14, Fullscreen

These recent alumni from various industries and fields provided their perspectives on how to have a successful internship in New York and elsewhere.

Here is what they had to say:

  1. What we hear most from employers is that they wish interns were more proactive. They encouraged everyone to follow the advice, “be a go-getter.”
  1. If you experience any “down time,” don’t wait for direction. Instead, look for assignments and present ideas.
  1. Be sure to take advantage of your resources because the connections you make at your internship can definitely go a long way in the future.
  1. You drive yourself and that itself is motivation. Even if you make a mistake and you may get discouraged, keep going.
  1. Treat your internship seriously. Treat it like a job. For example, go beyond your assigned responsibilities and ask to sit in on meetings.
  1. Your connection with Syracuse University is huge. You can see all 50,000 alumni who call New York City home on LinkedIn. So, use those Orange connections!
  1. When you are trying to network and make a connection, a great way to end an email is to ask “if there is ever any advice that you can give me, please reach out.”
  1. Don’t ask someone you are trying to connect with to meet for coffee and then expect them to do all the talking. Be prepared and ask insightful questions.
  1. Be sure to attend any professional development opportunities or networking events within the organization where you’re interning. Local events are great, too.
  1. Get and stay connected with fellow Syracuse University student and interns in order to build your network.
  1. After the internship, make sure to maintain your connections through emails, thank you notes, or holiday cards.

Check out all of the tweets from the event for a full re-cap of the evening.

For more advice on how to make the most out of your internship or if you are still seeking a summer internship, Career Services can help – call 315-443-3616 to make an appointment today!

5 Valuable Tips from Career Crash Course

By Danchen Zhou, G’14, Career Services Public Relations Intern

Danchen Zhou, public relations intern at Career Services.
Danchen Zhou, M.S. ’14, Career Services Public Relations Intern

On Friday, March 28, Syracuse University Career Services hosted a crash course on campus providing students with five career-focused workshops.  Presenters were recruiters from IBM, JPMorgan Chase, Northwestern Mutual, O’Brien & Gere, and U.S. Secret Service.  Here are some of the most valuable tips and insights regarding resume writing, personal branding, networking, interviewing, and financial management-

1.  Resumes: “Just a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it.”*
The recruiting manager from JPMorgan Chase said he would not spend more than one minute reviewing a resume. With only one minute, it’s important to learn how to tell a whole story explaining why you are a good fit for the position on a one-page resume. Also, use numbers to show the outcome and impact of your experiences. Finally, proofread your resume. Make sure your resume is typo-free, which indicates that you are a detailed-oriented person.

2.  Personal Branding: Make yourself stand out and be your own boss.
Take a few minutes to think and write down the strengths that make you stand out. If you have trouble identifying your strengths, ask your friends who know you well, or utilize some online tools, such as StrengthFinder 2.0. Once you realize your strengths, manage yourself like a boss manages its company. Take ownership of your career because it’s your choice where you lead your own path.

Students in J. P. Morgan Chase's resume presentation.
Student listen to advice from JPMorgan Chase about building effective resumes during the Career Crash Course.

3.  Networking: Don’t just take – give.
Whether you are searching for a job, or you are trying to connect with an alumnus, a common mistake is that you emphasize what they can offer you.  But why don’t you try to think about what you can give to them instead? You have connections and some information that matters to them, too. In a way, the networking process should be beneficial for both of you.

4.  Interviewing: Bring out your thoughts that can add value to the company.
The representative from IBM talked about the importance of doing research before the interview. For instance, reading balance sheets of any publicly-traded company can help you learn more about their business strategies and then you could reference this information during an interview. It’s also a way to take charge of the interview by offering your own thoughts.

5.  Financial Management: Start early and have a plan.
The representative from Northwestern Mutual shared a point that rich people get rich because they stay away from debt. To eliminate the amount of loans and avoid a poor credit score, you need to start planning your finances even while you are still in college.  The first thing is to determine what you need rather than what you want. Mint is a good App to record and calculate your expenses so that you are aware where your money has gone.  It will also help you establish a long-term strategic plan for savings. In addition, you need to familiarize yourself with financial policies and procedures, such as 10-99 Form, W-4 Form, and W-2 Form.

*Benjamin Mays Poem God’s Minute

Interning in the DA's office

Outside the Monroe County District Attorney's office.
Outside the Monroe County District Attorney’s office.

By Duane Ford ’15

Last summer I interned at the Monroe County District Attorney’s (DA) office in the domestic violence department. I worked closely with an Assistant District Attorney (ADA), and helped prepare cases for indictment.

My favorite part about the internship was consulting with the ADA and learning more about the law and the work that goes into preparation for a case to go to trial.

I also enjoyed watching some of the higher profile trials. My least favorite part about the internship was, actually nothing to do with the work of the internship, but that I had to go through a metal detector about every 10 minutes walking back and forth from the DA’s office to the hall of justice and have to empty my pockets, remove my belt and watch, and anything else that was metal. Even with all of that it was a very rewarding experience since I knew that I had assisted in putting perpetrators of domestic violence behind bars and protected victims from their abusers.

During a typical day I did a lot of refiling of paperwork, organization of cases, do “discovery” (which is a fancy name for copying 100+ papers), and would go to get documents notarized. When there was an ongoing trial I would sometimes assist in interviewing jurors for jury selection and help go over case work with the ADA presiding over the case. I received the job by applying directly through the District Attorney’s internship program. My connections also helped; I was lucky enough to shadow a friend of my mother’s in the bureau.

My advice for anyone looking for an internship is to build a network of people or contacts that you can tap into when you want an internship or a job opportunity. For undergraduates: start making your connections now, find someone with a large network that you already know (including Syracuse University alumni) and they will help to point you in the direction of helpful people they know. A great way to build these connections is through joining an organization with a diverse group of interests and majors like Student Association. If you are interested in hearing more about my internship, please feel free to contact me at defordjr@syr.edu. I would be happy to talk to you more about working with a District Attorney or the office at Monroe County!

If you are interested in pursuing opportunities in the government, law, nonprofit, education, or public service sector, don’t miss the Nonprofit & Government Career Fair on Friday, February 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. More than 50 nonprofit and government organizations will be in Panasci Lounge (Schine) to recruit SU students for internships and full-time positions!  You can view the list of attending organizations and their open positions in OrangeLink.

Interning in the DA's office

Outside the Monroe County District Attorney's office.
Outside the Monroe County District Attorney’s office.

By Duane Ford ’15

Last summer I interned at the Monroe County District Attorney’s (DA) office in the domestic violence department. I worked closely with an Assistant District Attorney (ADA), and helped prepare cases for indictment.

My favorite part about the internship was consulting with the ADA and learning more about the law and the work that goes into preparation for a case to go to trial.

I also enjoyed watching some of the higher profile trials. My least favorite part about the internship was, actually nothing to do with the work of the internship, but that I had to go through a metal detector about every 10 minutes walking back and forth from the DA’s office to the hall of justice and have to empty my pockets, remove my belt and watch, and anything else that was metal. Even with all of that it was a very rewarding experience since I knew that I had assisted in putting perpetrators of domestic violence behind bars and protected victims from their abusers.

During a typical day I did a lot of refiling of paperwork, organization of cases, do “discovery” (which is a fancy name for copying 100+ papers), and would go to get documents notarized. When there was an ongoing trial I would sometimes assist in interviewing jurors for jury selection and help go over case work with the ADA presiding over the case. I received the job by applying directly through the District Attorney’s internship program. My connections also helped; I was lucky enough to shadow a friend of my mother’s in the bureau.

My advice for anyone looking for an internship is to build a network of people or contacts that you can tap into when you want an internship or a job opportunity. For undergraduates: start making your connections now, find someone with a large network that you already know (including Syracuse University alumni) and they will help to point you in the direction of helpful people they know. A great way to build these connections is through joining an organization with a diverse group of interests and majors like Student Association. If you are interested in hearing more about my internship, please feel free to contact me at defordjr@syr.edu. I would be happy to talk to you more about working with a District Attorney or the office at Monroe County!

If you are interested in pursuing opportunities in the government, law, nonprofit, education, or public service sector, don’t miss the Nonprofit & Government Career Fair on Friday, February 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. More than 50 nonprofit and government organizations will be in Panasci Lounge (Schine) to recruit SU students for internships and full-time positions!  You can view the list of attending organizations and their open positions in OrangeLink.

Thinking about a local internship? Here's what's in it for you…

By Maryann Akinboyewa ’15

When it comes to thinking about internships, we tend to look to major cities such as New York City, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles as the only options for summer. While these cities offer great opportunities, the Central New York area also has much to offer. As someone who has interned in a major city and in Syracuse, I can honestly say both experiences are equally valuable.

During my sophomore year, I worked as a communications intern for the Division of Student Affairs. At the time, my friends and family didn’t understand why I wanted to work an unpaid internship on campus. However, I was determined to gain experience in the field I was passionate about. Fast forward a year and a half later and my unpaid internship is now my part-time job on campus. In addition, I now have a network of professionals that I lean on for career advice and personal support.

More than 60 local companies and nonprofits will post internships during the Internship Apply-A-Thon.
More than 60 local companies and nonprofits will share internships during the Internship Apply-A-Thon.  Visit OrangeLink for the full list of participants.

Whether you’re looking for your first internship or third, a local internship is an experience every SU student should have. Here are 3 key reasons I think local internships are valuable:

1). It’s a resume builder!
Have you ever applied for an internship only to be turned away because you didn’t have prior internship experience?  I have!  Learn from my mistakes and work on building your resume as early as possible. Internships are a great place to get real world experience in your field of interest. Even more, local companies love to hire SU students. During my internship with Student Affairs, I was able to explore the world of communications through my assigned projects. I gained experience in social media, blogging, and interviewing.

2). You build amazing connections.
Another benefit of local internships is the large number of resources and connections available to you. I’ve learned that when you do a good job and show interest, people are willing to help.  For example, during my internship with Student Affairs, I met many administrators and key players across campus. By the end of my internship, I felt more connected to SU than ever before.

3). It’s a great opportunity to explore career options.
When I first started at SU, I was an education major who had no clue what she wanted to do with her life. My internship exposed me to other career options and helped me focus my passions. Since then, I have changed my major and discovered my career path. I love my marketing and writing majors and look forward to working in communications.

This year, the Local Internship Apply-A-Thon will take place January 25 to January 31 on OrangeLink. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to gain experience, make connections, and explore your options!

Alumni Networking in D.C.: How One Intern Made the Most of His Summer

Billy FletcherBy Billy Fletcher, ’14

This summer I had the privilege of working in Washington, D.C. for the American Trauma Society, a health care advocacy organization, as a policy intern. As a rising senior, soon to be entering the job market, this summer was critical to opening doors for my post-graduation job search. I took a risk with an unpaid internship, and my risk has, without a doubt, paid off. The success of my internship can be credited to networking with great SU alumni and going above and beyond what was asked of me as an intern at work.

A crucial aspect of the success of my internship occurred not only inside the office but also outside as well. Since I went to D.C. as an unpaid intern, I realized that the value of my internship would come from the networking opportunities. I was quickly able to form relationships with those working in my office, one of whom was a Syracuse University alumnus who offered me the internship, and then use those relationships to branch out to other policy organizations in DC. I quickly found myself interacting with senior management at American Trauma Society who, after seeing my drive, were eager to help me form connections with other policy organizations related to my career aspirations.

I found a fondness for attending organized happy hours and meeting for conversations over coffee, and almost everywhere I went, there were friendly SU alumni with whom I could immediately form a connection. Contacting Syracuse University alumni, especially those alumni of organizations I am involved in on campus, was critical to my success. Even those alumni who weren’t necessarily politically aligned with my interests were eager to help me get in touch with those who were. On one visit, I was meeting with a friend of my boss, and after telling him I was a Syracuse University student, he immediately introduced me to two other alumni working in the office, and both kindly offered to meet with me in the future. Seizing opportunities to interact and connect with different people across different organizations was invaluable, but none of it would have been possible without focusing on the work I produced at the American Trauma Society.

My success in D.C. wasn’t derived solely from the networking, but rather was made possible by focusing on the projects that were assigned to me in my office. Without the commitment of coming to the office early, leaving late, and finishing projects before deadlines, none of the opportunities I had outside of the office would have been possible. My supervisor and other management were only willing to introduce me to others in the policy field because of the hard work and dedication I displayed while at the American Trauma Society. My dedication paid off as not only was my supervisor willing to help me form connections within his own network and the Syracuse DC alumni network, but I was also asked to continue working from school at the end of my internship, with incentive to do so.

I was fortunate to have such great resources to assist me during my internship, but the success of the internship wouldn’t have been possible without taking advantage of every opportunity and challenge put before me.

Billy Fletcher ’14 will be graduating in May and is eager to return to Washington, D.C. to begin a career in policy.

Career Resources Series: Use Vault.com to Score Points with Employers

By Chuck Reutlinger, Associate Director, Career Services

“Why are you interested in us? What do you know about us? Why are you interested in this position and this career path? What are your strengths? Where do you see yourself in the future?”

Employers ask questions like these to see how much you really know about their organizations, their products or services, their work cultures, and, of course, the actual tasks, challenges and preferred qualifications of a specific job. Why? They are trying to identify that candidate who has an accurate grasp of the realities of working in a specific role; is confident that their knowledge, skills and attitude can produce desired outcomes; whose personality and work style will fit easily into their work culture; and who will be energized by the work they do now and in the future. This will be the candidate with whom they will want to form a relationship and to whom they will gladly make an offer.

VaultIn order to properly impress an employer, motivated job seekers have come to depend on a number of resources that capture and publish information on industries, employers, specific careers, and the tactics that employers use to evaluate candidates in the various stages of consideration.  Foremost among these resources is Vault.com.  Through its various profiles and lengthy guides, Vault provides the kind of information that networkers, cover letter writers and interviewees can use to compete successfully for an offer of a job or an internship. Familiarity with such information has become an employer’s expectation of their best candidates.

For the general public visiting Vault’s web site, some information is presented free of charge but most of the truly valuable information carries a cost.  Fortunately for students, Vault makes arrangements for colleges and universities to pay an annual fee that affords their students access to a great deal more crucial insider information on industries, careers, employer cultures, preferred qualifications, interviewing styles and formats, and much more. Syracuse has such an arrangement whereby students can log on to Vault through a Syracuse portal, set up their own accounts on Vault, and use the resources without the restrictions that non-Syracuse users would encounter.

Access Vault via the Syracuse University portal and create your account using your @syr.edu email address.

Counselors at SU Career Services can help students to grasp how Vault information can help them.  Resources similar to Vault include Wet Feet and Glass Door although SU does not currently have specific arrangements for student usage.

Connect with Employers…VIRTUALLY…for Internships!

By Jennifer Pluta, Internship Coordinator

Is your resume looking empty?  Or, are you looking to gain new skills or experiences?

Then consider participating in Career Services’ first-ever VIRTUAL Internship Fair on January 30 from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Why should you participate in the Virtual Internship Fair?

  • It’s so convenient. You can meet with recruiters VIRTUALLY in our online chat room without ever leaving your computer or your room!
  • It’s a great time saver. Avoid the crowds and long lines you might find at an in-person internship fair.
  • It’s a fantastic way to make connections and build your network.
  • And, of course, you may land a spring or summer internship!

To participate, apply to available positions on OrangeLink by:

  1. Logging on to MySlice  and clicking on OrangeLink
  2. Select “OrangeLink Postings” under the “Jobs/Internships” tab
  3. Click the “Advanced Search” option
  4. Under “Position Type,” select “e-fair posting,” then click “Submit”
  5. Click the internship title to view details and apply
  6. Click the “Apply” button (*must have uploaded your resume to be able to apply)
  7. Select the appropriate resume and click “Submit”

To be considered for any internship during the VIRTUAL Internship Fair, YOU must apply to the available positions by January 27! Employers will view your resume prior to the VIRTUAL Internship Fair and only students who have applied will be able to join the online chat room.

Just a note: be sure to check for available positions often as new opportunities are added daily!

*Please note if you do not have a resume uploaded in the “Upload Resume & Other Docs” tab, you will need to upload one when you apply by clicking “Add New.”

If you have any questions, you can email Jennifer Pluta at jrpluta@syr.edu or call 315-443-3616.