Internship Advice

Checklist: Searching for an Internship

By Lucy Rodgers, Internship Coordinator

Does the thought of finding an internship seem overwhelming?  There are many ways to approach an internship search.  You can search reactively – looking through job boards and company postings to see what’s open or proactively – doing research in your field of interest and getting to know people currently in the field or company of your choice.  The following checklist will assist you in using both reactive and proactive strategies.

  • Have your resume and cover letter critiqued: Career Services offers daily drop-in hours – simply stop in with a printed copy of your resume or cover letter and meet with a counselor.
  • Identify the field, industry and/or region that you are interested in pursuing: Having a focused search will increase your likelihood of finding an internship that matches your interests and career goals.
  • Know your industry/field recruiting cycle: Many programs have application deadlines several months in advance of the internship start date.  In general, business and technical companies tend to recruit in the early fall for summer internships, while the communications industry will have many of their summer opportunities posted in the late winter/early spring.
  • Network with employers via social media, on-campus events, information sessions and workshops:  Yes!  Many internships are found (directly or indirectly) through networking.  Career Services hosts many events, employer information sessions and workshops that can help you make connections and leverage your internship search.
  • Tell your friends, family, faculty and staff that you are looking for an internship:  Make sure that all these people know what you’d like to do, so that they can pass on relevant leads and introduce you to people in their networks.
  • Use OrangeLink and web/social media resources for searching internship opportunities: The Career Services website has some amazingly helpful internship resources which can be accessed at: http://careerservices.syr.edu/undergraduates/internship_resources.html.  Some of my top choices are:
    Internship-USA
    – Where internships are listed by themes, then by state.
    Indeed.com
    – A one-stop-shop, which is efficient and effective for finding a large amount of internships currently available.
    InternMatch.com
    – A visually appealing site which highlights paid and summer internships searchable by region and fields.
    Vault.com
    – This site has downloadable guides that are really handy in searching for internships.  You will be able to identify companies within your industry or field, get the history of a company and identify their top competitors.
  • Research companies prior to an interview:  You need to be able to speak knowledgeably about the company and its culture.
  • Keep a log of the companies/internships that you have applied to:  You may want to include dates and methods of application so that you may refer back to the internship posting when called on to interview.  This will also help you organize your follow-up efforts.
  • Be sure to follow-up with employers: Always send a “thank-you” letter after meeting with an employer or after an interview.

For more assistance, please log-in to OrangeLink to sign up for an Internship Search Strategy Workshop held on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the semester.

The Lessons I Learned At My Summer Internship

By Erica Clapp, Career Services’ Student Assistant, ’14

Howdy! I’m Erica Clapp, a junior majoring in Advertising and minoring in Policy Studies. This past summer, I interned at Penske’s Corporate HQ in Green Hills, PA. I learned a ton at my internship and tried to capture some of that in this blog post. I hope it’s helpful for those of you who are interning now or are planning to in the future!

At first, I was surprised by the amount of freedom I was given. I realized that, with no one standing over my shoulder, it was up to me to get things done. Lesson: You’re only as good as your work ethic.

However, you should strike a balance between work and play. Get to know the people in your office, because you’ll be spending a lot of time with them. Connections of some kind will probably emerge and may work to your advantage. (Note: you should always stay professional while at work).

Initially, I had the urge to ask many questions, but I realized that my colleagues were full-time professionals and very busy. Lesson: Learn how to accomplish things yourself. Be aware of the resources to which you have access. You can find the answer to almost anything if you try hard enough. Keep in mind that the solution doesn’t have to be perfect. Simply getting the job done and producing results is the most important thing.

On the first day, I realized that taking meticulous notes like I do in lectures here at SU wouldn’t work because there was simply too much to learn. Lesson: Just jump in and you’ll figure things out. Don’t worry about knowing every detail beforehand. You’ll naturally ask questions and pick things up as you go.

I’m used to going from class to class here at school, so this next lesson took a lot of self-discipline. Lesson: Focus on one thing at a time. There will be many things and people competing for your attention, which you can’t always control, but you should try to limit distractions.

One of the most valuable assets I gained is learning to communicate properly, which is the key to getting what you need. Lesson: Don’t assume people know things. However, it never hurts to ask. You have no idea how someone will respond to a question, and the worst he or she say is “no.” Also, you should be aware of different contexts. Something may not occur to you in the same way it does to other people, so try to have an open mind.

I didn’t do any envelope-stuffing or coffee runs, but some tasks did seem monotonous after a while. Granted, this is part of almost every job, but something that can make these tasks more bearable is if you have a clear understanding of the overall goal. Most projects are intricate and involve many steps that can make it hard to remember what you’re really trying to accomplish.

Last and certainly not least, take ownership for your actions. If you make a mistake, admit it and move on; your honesty will be appreciated.

 

Summer in the City…the City of Syracuse, that is!

By Alyssa Austin ’13

During mid-semester last year, I decided to browse OrangeLink in an attempt to find possible internships for the summer. I filled out each selection box as specifically as I could and not before long, a unique looking name called “Terakeet” was presented as the best possible suggestion given my previous answers. A Search Engine Optimizing (SEO) Company located right in downtown Syracuse was looking for interns, and I wasted no time in sending an email to the person named, as well as a copy of my resume.  Short of two weeks, I received my first email response and after a few more email conversations and one in-person interview, I was awarded an intern position. Now I encourage every SU student to use OrangeLink to find internships and possible jobs for the future.

I’m not much of a “city-person,” so I was happy to find that downtown Syracuse is the perfect balance of bustling city life while maintaining intimate settings for hanging out with friends or grabbing lunch – something I did on a regular basis with other interns. Within our hour break, we got to see a lot of downtown Syracuse, relishing in our memories of being there during freshmen orientation. On more than one occasion I, as well as other interns, ran into Terakeet employees on the weekends, illustrating the intimacy one can achieve in the city. It was not only comforting to recognize other individuals, but an enjoyable experience.

Not only did my internship teach me the art of doing specialized research through social media, forms of professional writing and dynamic investigative reporting, but they also made the summer worthwhile and most importantly, taught me how to be successful after college in whatever I choose to pursue. Sometimes arriving early allowed me to talk with other employees about their experiences, for example, how they decided to enter the workforce over graduate school or how they simultaneously decided to do them both. I gained not only skills I will utilize in the workforce, but valuable advice on life after undergraduate studies and I have my internship to thank.

There are so many avenues to pursue while in college – it can be a tad overwhelming, but thankfully, we SU students have exceptional assistance at our disposal. I could not be more grateful for OrangeLink and Career Services.

Check out Mac Cummings, CEO of Terakeet, when he speaks at the Tech Garden on Tuesday, September 25th at 6:00p.m.!

Still searching for an internship? Try these sites!

Internship Coordinator Jennifer Pluta shares her favorite internship resources that will be helpful to those of you looking for a summer internship.

1. Have you met the Queen?  Lauren Berger is the expert on everything internships; she is “The Intern Queen.”  She relates to students and engages them by sharing her entertaining personal internship experiences at 15 different companies across the U.S. (including MTV, FOX, MTV, and more).  The Intern Queen makes sure that students who use her website are not only talking about internships but also are utilizing their career services center and taking the necessary steps to land an internship and make the most of the experience.

2. Vault.com is not an internship search site per se, but it is one of my favorites.  The site has downloadable guides that are really handy for searching for internships.  The Employer Guides list employers by industry or field.  Let’s say you want to know who the top biotech/pharmaceutical companies or investment banking firms are in the country, there are guides to provide that information.  Not only do they identify the companies, but they also give a brief company history and identify the top competitors.  I like to call them your “Internship Cheat Sheets.”  This resource is password protected; call or email Career Services for the information to log in.

3. If you want to know what the current internship buzz is, than go to Internships.com. This site provides information and resources for students, employers and educators.  You can follow Internship.com via Twitter (@internships) or a downloadable app.  They are constantly pushing out internship opportunities for students to apply to.  In addition, employers will find helpful information for supporting their own internship program, as well as options to post on their website.

4. For students searching for internship opportunities, I also like Indeed.com.  Indeed.com is an aggregator, meaning it pulls postings from other websites which gives you a comprehensive list of internships.  There are many options to customize your search (on the left-hand side of the screen).  This is a one-stop-shop, which is efficient and effective for finding a large amount of available internships. Not only can you search for internships, but you can also set up search alerts that will email you postings!

5. Finally, Internships USA is a different kind of internship posting website.   Internships are listed by themes.  Themes include sports, business, communications, human services, social change/human rights, politics, the environment, museums and more.  Once you click on the desired theme, internship opportunities are listed by state, which is great if you are seeking internships within a certain geographical area.  You’ll find the organization’s phone number, contact name and even an email address in each listing.  This resource is also password protected; call or email Career Services for information on how to log in.

Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t yet secured an internship for Summer 2012. There are still plenty of opportunities out there! Hopefully, the tips above will help you in your search.

The planning process: getting things ready for Spring 2012!

Happy 2012 to all! We’re back in the Career Services office and working hard to plan great events for the spring semester.

We have several new blog posts in the works; in them, you’ll be hearing from additional members of the Career Services team. They have a lot of expertise to share with you!

We’re most excited about the events we’re planning for this coming semester. Consider this post a “Save the Date” – and remember, this list is just a small sampling of what we have up our sleeves! Check our website and OrangeLink for details on times/locations for each event.

1/31 Four Steps to Sophomore Success!
Learn how to make your internship a success.  The conference, which is sponsored by General Electric and Career Services, will provide you with advice and teach you skills that every employer wants you to know. Expect snacks and prizes! Details in OrangeLink.

2/1 Senior Sessions: Resumes, Cover Letters, and Fairs, Oh My! 
Get your resume and cover letter ready for job applications and prepare for the Spring Career Expo. Register in OrangeLink.

2/8 Spring Career Expo (check out OrangeLink to see who’s registered!)
This is a smaller-scale version of the Fall Career Fair in the Carrier Dome. Head to Goldstein Auditorium in Schine and chat with employers who are looking to hire!

2/15 Senior Sessions: Shhhh! Job Searching Secrets
Get the scoop on finding a job in your chosen field through internet searches, in-person networking events, and picking up that phone to get yourself ahead. Register in OrangeLink.

2/21 Alumni Speaker Series Presents Microsoft’s Lan Luan, G ’04
SU alumna Lan Luan will visit and share her career story as part of National Engineers Week. Lan is Senior Product Manager focusing on International Marketing for Microsoft’s Bing.

2/22 Senior Sessions: #SocialMedia Networking
We’ll help you to create a LinkedIn profile, fix up the one you have, teach you the best ways to network using social media and discuss how to make that network work for your job search! Register in OrangeLink.

2/22 Nonprofit & Government Fair (check out Orangelink to see who’s registered!)
Interested in working for the government or with a non-profit? This is the career event for you!

3/9 – Big East Career Consortium at Madison Square Garden
Check out http://www.bigeastcareerfair.org/ for more information on this event. Get your Spring Break started on the right foot!

We look forward to seeing you at some or all of these great events!

Happy Holidays from the Career Services Team!

Congratulations on finishing your finals! Take this break to relax and recharge for next semester.

Here’s some advice from the Career Services team as you head off on break.

Happy Holidays to all! See you next semester!

Heaven Johnson, Katie Conrad, Kim Brown, and Mike Cahill

Mike Cahill, Director: Use the break to explore and learn about careers/jobs that interest you.  Find people who do work that is attractive to you, talk with them about what they do, and get advice on how to prepare yourself for that type of work.

Katie Conrad, Assistant Director: Use winter break to explore OrangeLink (access it via MySlice). Create a job or internship search agent and OrangeLink will email you with postings that meet your criteria. Check out Career Explorer (click the Resources tab) and explore careers based on industries, growth potential, green jobs, preparation (the amount of prep you need to do for a specific career) and more. These are just a few things you can do to in OrangeLink to help you on your career path.

Kim Brown, Alumni Programs Coordinator: Not on LinkedIn yet? During winter break, sign up for an account! Then, come to the Career Services office in January to learn how best to use it. If you’re already on LinkedIn, try your best over break to get your profile to 100% completeness.

Heaven Johnson, Career Coordinator for Diversity Programs: Pay attention to what you are naturally drawn to doing, and find someone who will pay you to do it.

Jeff D'Andria, Tracy Tillapaugh, Rosanne Ecker, and Chuck Reutlinger

Tracy Tillapaugh, Career Counselor: Take time to relax over the break to reflect about the semester and think about where you were and where you are now, career-wise. Then think about where you want to be next semester… there are plenty of opportunities to reach new levels in your development.

Rosanne Ecker, Associate Director: Work and life are both important. Students should be sure to spend time with friends and family. Your work will always be there when you get back from enjoying visiting with the special people in your life.

Jeff D’Andria, Graduate Assistant: If you’re not sure how to reconnect with people in your network (i.e. old supervisors), the holidays are a great time to send a check-in email. You can simply wish them a happy holiday season and update them on what you’ve been up to with school/internships/volunteering.

Chuck Reutlinger, Associate Director: They say knowledge is power.  Research positions, people, salaries, employers and industries, and learn when and how to use your knowledge, and you will be powerful.

Sue Casson, Sue Clayton, Jackie Shiel, and Shannon Feeney

Shannon Feeney, Employer Relations Coordinator: Take time to research companies you are interested in working/interning for, then try to set up an informational interview while you are home for break!

Jackie Shiel, Recruiting Assistant: Show up on time. Reliability is a very important quality.

Sue Casson, Associate Director of Employer Relations: Every event is a networking opportunity.  The holidays are a great time to practice your networking skills.  At a family gathering or other function, make a point of striking up a conversation with the uncle you haven’t spoken with in some time or with someone you don’t know.  To show your interest, practice asking them more questions about themselves instead of you just telling them all that you do. 

Lucy Rodgers and Ronnie Jones

Sue Clayton, Recruiting Coordinator: Be sure your resume is always up-to-date.

Lucy Rodgers, Internship Coordinator: Take some time over winter break to explore internship opportunities for this summer.  Internships are a great way to try out new career fields, build your resume, and strengthen your credentials.

Carol Hornstein and Pam Latham

Carol Hornstein, Office Assistant and Receptionist: Come to Career Services early, often and always! Our website is an exhaustive resource immediately available and career counseling is just a phone call away!

Pam Latham, Client Services Manager: Don’t wait until the last minute – begin now to develop those skills that you are going to need later when you begin interviewing for internships/jobs.


The Dulye Leadership Experience: A Weekend That WILL Change Your Life

Katie Walpole, a Syracuse University Senior studying European history, policy studies, and political science, shares her memories of the Dulye Leadership Experience and tells you why to apply.

Last year, a friend recommended that I apply to an amazing experience that in turn changed my life. What was this experience that changed my life for the better? The Dulye Leadership Experience (DLE)!  My friend had participated in the 2010 DLEand she said that no matter your passion, no matter your major, and no matter what you want to do following graduation, the DLE was for everyone. I jumped on it.

Going into the program, I only had a little knowledge of the weekend-long, all-expenses-paid leadership workshop from my friend. I knew none of the other participants, but during that weekend, the entire group of participants, the faculty members, and I became part of the larger DLE family – a family that is now my network and a close group of people that I can rely on as I enter the next stage of my life. Next year, I’ll be attending University College London to pursue a MSc in Public Policy.

A photo from the DLE 2009

The entire DLE weekend is focused on making you, yes, YOU, the best possible applicant to an internship, job, or graduate school. The faculty is beyond distinguished – they are incredible people who have excelled in their fields. And, they want to help you!  Our faculty includes everyone from a former VP of Lockheed Martin to fresh-out-of-the-door SU alumni, just getting their start in the workplace.  The presentations range from information on the art of small talk to personal finances.  Incredible attention is paid to resume development, LinkedIn, the one-minute “elevator speech,” and the culture of a workplace.

You learn from the best and you can apply all of what you learned right away. After the DLE, I was able to work through different situations at internships with much more ease. I knew the best possible way to present myself in interviews as well as on graduate school applications.

I encourage you to take time to review the website, talk to students who have participated, and to submit your applicationThe deadline to apply is December 31!

I’m happy to chat with anyone who is interested in learning more about DLE. You can find me on Twitter, on LinkedIn, or send me an email at kathleenwalpole@gmail.com.

People remark that a life can’t be changed in a three day weekend. I disagree, and I think you should see for yourself. 

A special thank you to SU alumna Linda Dulye for offering this incredible experience to our students!

The Dulye Leadership Experience: A Weekend That WILL Change Your Life

Katie Walpole, a Syracuse University Senior studying European history, policy studies, and political science, shares her memories of the Dulye Leadership Experience and tells you why to apply.

Last year, a friend recommended that I apply to an amazing experience that in turn changed my life. What was this experience that changed my life for the better? The Dulye Leadership Experience (DLE)!  My friend had participated in the 2010 DLEand she said that no matter your passion, no matter your major, and no matter what you want to do following graduation, the DLE was for everyone. I jumped on it.

Going into the program, I only had a little knowledge of the weekend-long, all-expenses-paid leadership workshop from my friend. I knew none of the other participants, but during that weekend, the entire group of participants, the faculty members, and I became part of the larger DLE family – a family that is now my network and a close group of people that I can rely on as I enter the next stage of my life. Next year, I’ll be attending University College London to pursue a MSc in Public Policy.

A photo from the DLE 2009

The entire DLE weekend is focused on making you, yes, YOU, the best possible applicant to an internship, job, or graduate school. The faculty is beyond distinguished – they are incredible people who have excelled in their fields. And, they want to help you!  Our faculty includes everyone from a former VP of Lockheed Martin to fresh-out-of-the-door SU alumni, just getting their start in the workplace.  The presentations range from information on the art of small talk to personal finances.  Incredible attention is paid to resume development, LinkedIn, the one-minute “elevator speech,” and the culture of a workplace.

You learn from the best and you can apply all of what you learned right away. After the DLE, I was able to work through different situations at internships with much more ease. I knew the best possible way to present myself in interviews as well as on graduate school applications.

I encourage you to take time to review the website, talk to students who have participated, and to submit your applicationThe deadline to apply is December 31!

I’m happy to chat with anyone who is interested in learning more about DLE. You can find me on Twitter, on LinkedIn, or send me an email at kathleenwalpole@gmail.com.

People remark that a life can’t be changed in a three day weekend. I disagree, and I think you should see for yourself. 

A special thank you to SU alumna Linda Dulye for offering this incredible experience to our students!

A TV Junkie's Success Story: Turning an Internship into a Job in LA

In light of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, I’ll put it this way, I’m the 1%. But unlike the target of the Occupy Wall Street movement, I realize how lucky I am – I got a job in my industry while still studying at Syracuse. It’s rare in television to have this happen because unfortunately the TV model isn’t built to allow students, even the very bright ones – and there are a lot of them at this University – the opportunity to intern, prove themselves, leave for six months to wrap up a degree, and then return to a job. It’s because in Hollywood, most of the entry-level jobs are ones that need to be filled in a day’s time. Unless they’re giving you the corporate jet, you ain’t making that kind of commute in time.

Andrew Graham, Newhouse '12

However, despite the TV model, this feat can be pulled off, and it’s not about accepting internships but rather vetting them. A lot of students are in the habit of just getting an internship for the sake of having a professional company to put onto their LinkedIn profile or a resume. And while having a few internships on your resume is important, it’s not nearly as important as making sure you’re lining yourself up for a quality internship in which you’ll have the opportunity to be an integral part of the day-to-day operations. That last part really is the secret to nabbing the job: don’t take any internship in which you’re completely expendable. I’m saying this from experience; I’ve been there and it was my fault for not fully investigating the company, its culture, and seeing where I might fit in.

I’m writing this of course from the perspective that you’re a bright All-American go-getter who’s got chutzpah and is ready to pull yourself up by your own boot straps, and since you’re reading this on the SU Career Services blog, then chances are that you probably fit that criteria. I say this because if you’re not ready to throw yourself 150% into every project, then obviously it doesn’t matter what company you’re at, it’ll never work out.

Some of this involves being at the right place at the right time, but it’s more about knowing what to look for. So, to give you somewhere to start, below are three things I’ve learned to look for through my experience in both good and bad internships.

1) Is this the right environment? When you go in for your interview, look around at the other interns. Are there a lot of them or a few? Are they just hanging around on Facebook or hard at work? How about the guy/girl who interviews you, what does their mood seem like? Ask a lot of questions about what you’ll be expected to do. Remember, you’re going to work here.

2) Is their growth in this company? Look at their development slate and see who they’re talking to and what they’ve sold. Talk to the interviewer about their projects; if they’re not developing or selling much, then there’s probably not a lot of room to grow and likely the company isn’t worth your time as an intern.

3) Be aware of company mandates. MTV is a great company, has a strong brand, lots of growth and largely happy interns. Seems like the perfect place, right? Maybe not. No Viacom company will hire without a degree. I actually heard a story about someone interviewing for a SVP position that was turned down because he didn’t have a degree. Is a company like this worth your time then as an intern? You make the call.

If you are able to land an internship at a company that has growth + genuinely needs you in order to operate day-to-day, then you stand a large chance of scoring a job. It’s harder than it sounds, but simpler than people make it out to be. Be selective about where you work and then give that company that’s given you a shot your all. Best of luck!

Andrew Graham currently works for Bogner Entertainment Inc., a production company with an overall deal at FremantleMedia. Follow him on Twitter @MistaGraham.

By the way, Bogner Entertainment Inc. is looking for interns for the spring! Interested parties can visit them online at www.BognerEntertainment.com and send resumes and cover letters to info.beiTV@gmail.com.