So You Don’t Have An Internship This Summer?


The academic year is winding down, summer is approaching and panic sets in.  You don’t have a summer internship yet.  Perhaps you’ve been spending endless hours applying for positions since the fall semester but nothing has worked out.  Or maybe you just started applying for positions last week and the majority of them have been filled.

Stress mounts as self-doubt runs through your mind. “Time is running out.  Without an internship I’ll never land my dream job.”

Wrong. Don’t panic! While you may no longer be able to land your dream internship for now, there are many valuable and productive ways to spend your time this summer.  Here is a game plan to make sure you make this summer count!

1. Network

Whether you’re tapping into your own established network or asking your parents what friends of theirs you can contact, networking is a powerful method to help advance your career. Not sure where to start? Consider reconnecting with former teachers, mentors or even alumni from your high school. See whom they know and who they can introduce you to.  Get out there and attend networking events this summer. It all starts with a conversation, so step out of your comfort zone and create connections with those around you.

2. Volunteer

Whether you’re volunteering at a local food pantry or with a national non-profit organization, there are plenty of ways you can volunteer and prepare yourself for your future career.  Many volunteer positions will give you a proper title that will look just as great as an internship on your resume, and you can list your job duties just as you would for an internship. Nonprofits are always looking for volunteers. Try finding an organization your passions align with and contact them to see how you can help.  Serving as a volunteer could lead you to an internship or even a full time position. 

3. Continue the search

Don’t stop applying.  Consider taking an unpaid internship to gain the experience, if needed.  Use this free time to find the perfect internship for next semester.  Get yourself hired before anyone else even begins working on their resumes. Keep an eye on job openings.  Contact companies and reach out to them before they even get a chance to say they are hiring.  You will be ready for next semester before anyone has a chance to even think about it.  It’s never too late, so don’t lose your drive.

Untitled.png24. Gaining skills from unrelated jobs

Within your summer job ask if you can help out with something that relates to your field of work.  Make sure your unrelated job ties into the overall narrative you’re telling about your skills and experiences.  You can highlight components of your summer job and relate it back to your career goals on your resume.  Some transferrable skills include: working with difficult people, managing time or stress, working with money, and the list goes on and on. Don’t dismiss the experiences that are coming your way.  Even though it is not your ideal internship, you can still learn new things every day at an unrelated job.

Not sure where to begin your search? Click on the different colleges below to for a list of internship coordinators here at UW-Whitewater:

Your resources are closer than you think.


  1. Revamp your online presence

Take the summer to update your LinkedIn profile, clean up social media accounts, and revamp your resume.  Think about what you have accomplished in the past year; new skills, course, projects or certificates.  By taking the time to update your resume you can focus on the details and specifics to make it as clean as possible while reflecting your personal achievements.  Not only will these updates save you time down the road, but also you will begin to recognize what areas you may need to start focusing on for the future.

  1. Continue your education

Take summer courses.  Use this summer to build up your GPA.  You can lighten up your load for the fall by taking summer classes.  Pick up classes that will help you with something in the long run.  Teach yourself Photoshop or how to code.  Learning new skills that relate to your career field can give you an edge when applying for internships.  Click on the different colleges below to see whom to contact to help you find internships here at Whitewater.

You may not have the perfect internship in place, but you can still gain skills and experience for your resume. Take a moment to sit down and make your game plan to attack the fall semester. Remember, don’t panic!

Intern of the Month: Becky Wintringer

Written by Stephanie Gordon

Coming to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Becky Wintringer was not sure this was the place for her. It was not until she became involved with her residence hall that she was sure Whitewater was home.

Throughout her time at UW-Whitewater, Wintringer was involved in many aspects of student life. From being a general member of the Optimist Club her freshman year, to being a part of the Homecoming Steering Committee last fall, it seems that she has done it all.

Wintringer, an English literature major with minors in journalism and communication, was named the April Intern of the Month for her internship with Career & Leadership Development (C&LD).

Wintringer was hired as a Warhawk Connection Center Intern for the fall of 2013. However, this was not the path she thought she would take.

Originally applying to be a customer service associate, Wintringer found herself with the offer to be an intern in the Warhawk Connection Center. In looking at this opportunity, she felt that it was an area that she did not have a lot of experience in, however, was one that she could grow and develop from.

Throughout her time in the Warhawk Connection Center, Wintringer has appreciated all of the people that she has met and worked with.

“I have absolutely loved my time in the Warhawk Connection Center,” Wintringer stated. “I have been mentored and advised by wonderful professionals throughout my time here who have really helped me develop into the open-minded and professional that I am today. My skills have been fine-tuned in so many ways.”

Wintringer’s time in C&LD will follow her through her next endeavor. After graduation, Wintringer is going to be moving to Massachusetts to pursue her master’s degree in higher education administration and working in their housing department as a first year resident educator at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell.

After learning and growing here at UW-Whitewater, she is excited to see where this new journey takes her and what new experiences she will have and the lessons she will learn.

Take advantage of the opportunities around you and keep an open mind,” Wintringer noted. “You never know when you’re going to find your passion.”

Passion Drives Motivation: Kate Winkler Named March Intern of the Month

Kate Winkler knew there was something missing from her marketing major when she entered the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

It was not until the second semester of her freshman year when she was enrolled in Biology 120, that she discovered what she wanted to study for the duration of her undergraduate collegiate career.

“I’ve always been proficient in science and wanted to take more science courses after that semester,” Winkler said. “After speaking with my adviser, I switched majors and began the path that has brought me to where I am now.”

Winkler, a senior integrated science and business major from Kewaskum, Wis., was awarded the Intern of the Month honor for the month of March. Her marketing internship started in July of 2014 at Spacesaver Corporation.

Spacesaver is an innovator in storage, offering solutions to make every aspect of a business run more efficiently.

A former supervisor from her time as a market researcher for the Wisconsin Innovation Service Center (WISC) contacted Winkler about the internship at Spacesaver.

“While I only completed one project under her direction, she thought that my constant drive for knowledge and diligent work ethic would be a great fit at the company,” Winkler said. “After doing my research on the corporation, I too, knew it would be a great fit for me.”

During her time at Spacesaver, Winkler has created market briefs about different industries, conducted online surveys and phone interviews to gauge the preferences of their audience and collaborated with the marketing team to develop user-friendly product pages.

Winkler is also working to improve Spacesaver’s social media strategy and search engine optimization strategy. This includes working with social media outlets to increase audience engagement and research key words to incorporate into the company’s content.

“What intrigued me about the position at Spacesaver was the fact that I would be able to constantly collaborate with the whole marketing team,” Winkler said. “Most of my market research projects that I had completed at WISC were very individually driven projects and while I can work efficiently on my own, I think that the best work comes out of a team effort.”

Another big part of Winkler’s internship is communicating with several different people, in order to work more efficiently and know the product better.

This has proven to be initially difficult, but has produced substantial benefits, Winkler notes.

“What I had thought were strengths before are even stronger strengths now because the marketing team at Spacesaver has pushed my boundaries,” Winkler said. “Spacesaver has taught me that a job can be fun, yet scary. I have learned that it is okay to take a risk and fail, just as long as you learn and grow from it.

Outside of work experience, Winkler is currently the captain of the UW-Whitewater Women’s Golf Team and has been a member for the past four years.

Golf is individual and team-based at the same time and truly showcases an individual’s work ethic, according to Winkler.

“I came to UW-Whitewater to play golf, but I have found so much more than that,” Winkler said. “I think UW-Whitewater does a tremendous job at giving students all that they need to succeed and pushing students to be their ultimate best, both in the classroom and outside.”

After graduation, Winkler wants to continue working in marketing for a water business. Until then, she will continue to learn and grow as a working professional.

“Take advantage of all opportunities and soak it all in,” Winkler said. “Learn as much as you can and apply it. Push past what you know and try something new. Collaborate and share your ideas. But most of all take advantage of these opportunities and absorb as much as you can while the chance is in your hands.”

 Apply to be our next Intern of the Month and share your story! 

Building Your Experience: One Bullet Point at A Time

“Please attach your resume to the application.”

These words appear on every job application. Everyone always tells you to make sure that your resume stands out against the other candidates. How am I supposed to make sure that mine is different from all the rest? What are the important things that I need to include on it? These are all questions that come to mind when writing a resume.

I have read plenty of articles giving me all sorts of resume tips. I have been in classes where creating a resume was an assignment. How was I going to make sure that mine stood out?

I start from the top. Name, contact information, and education. Your name is important, so I make mine a little bit of a bigger font than the rest of my resume. I include my address, phone number, and email so that when the employer reads my amazing resume they knew how to get ahold of me. I put my school name, my major, expected graduation date, so the employer knows that I have the education background for the job that I want. This section wasn’t too bad.

In the related work section I make sure that I bold all of my position titles, places of employment, and the dates that I was there. This way, when the employer is scanning my resume they can quickly see the titles and then read on if they are interested. In the sub-points for each job, I describe what I did, always starting with a verb (this website has a great list of verbs that make your resume more powerful If I currently hold the position, the verb is in the present tense, if it was a past position, the verb was in the past tense. I put my experience in chronological order. You can choose to do it this way or you can order the positions by relevancy.

2Throughout college I have been involved in many different student organizations. My resume was a perfect place to show all of the relevant skills and experiences I have gained through those. This section is formatted just like the related experience section except instead of them being employment related, they are leadership and professional organization related.

The final step in my journey to make my resume one that would stand out to employers and land me that job is to get feedback. My family is happy to help, my friends are almost as happy, but I will have to read a couple of their resumes too. I will also take it to one of Career & Leaderships Resume Doctors so that I could get a more professional opinion on it as well.


After talking with these different people I also got some advice on what not to put on my resume. The two most important pieces of advice I received was to make sure that I did not have any spelling, grammatical or punctuation errors on my resume and that my resume was not more than one page long. These mistakes could take me one step back in my goal to look professional. Another piece of advice was to make sure that I am using an easy to read format so that the employer could easily follow my experience and skills and relate them back to the job. Finally, they told me to make sure that I am highlighting that I have the required skills and experience for the job. I can do this by taking out experiences that aren’t as relevant and elaborating a little bit more on what was.

A resume is never completed. With every new job and every new experience there is something to add. As time goes on there will be things that are no longer relevant. However, now after going through my resume and making sure that the basic layout is good, I feel a lot better about attaching my resume to the job application and sending it out to future employers.

5Note: It is not recommended to send out massive quantities of your resume unless it is tailored to each specific position.

Career & Leadership Development is a great place to get your resume reviewed no matter what field you are in! Call (262) 472-1471 to make an appointment today!

Big Buildings to Open Roads: Jonathan Fera’s Journey to Happiness at UW-Whitewater


Being born and raised in a big city, I became naïve of what was outside the Milwaukee city limits. The city was so fast and so vast that any other area seemed unexciting in comparison. That mindset did not last past the age of eighteen.

I decided to come to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater during my senior year of high school. My advisers informed me of the College of Business and Economics at this institution and it’s positive reputation, so it seemed like the perfect fit. That career path only lasted two days into my time at UW-Whitewater until I switched to a communications major with an emphasis in public relations.

During the fall semester of my freshmen year, a strong depression caused by missing home and wanting to be around my family took over my life. I was socializing with people in my residence hall and in my classes, but it was never enough to be happy.

The city was calling my name to come home. After all, I missed the quick pace environment and diverse culture.

How was I going to spend the next three and a half years here? It was not until I opened my eyes to the amazing opportunities at UW-Whitewater that this attitude changed.

After talking to my Resident Assistant, she mentioned attending the spring involvement fair to look for student organizations to join. I had an interest in political communications after dropping the business major, so I joined the UW-Whitewater College Democrats.

I immediately got involved with the organization and started to make friends outside of my residence hall and classes. It was refreshing to have conversations with like-minded individuals that were passionate about the same things I was.

During my sophomore year, I joined the organization’s executive board as their Communications Director and the next year, was elected President.

Besides the College Democrats, I found the Whitewater Student Government (WSG) and the University Marketing and Media Relations Department.

I started attending Whitewater Common Council meetings because of my role as Intergovernmental Affairs Director for WSG. This allowed me to become more engaged in the community and be able to call Whitewater a new home.

It all happened so fast and I was so overwhelmed by my professional involvement that I began to lose sight of why I got involved in the first place: to be happy.

I was asked to join the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity my junior year from some WSG colleagues. I did not think I was the kind of person to join a Greek organization.

When looking back at that decision, I wouldn’t take it back for the world.

This past semester, I assisted in coordinating the grassroots efforts of the WarhawksVote campaign for the gubernatorial election. This allowed me to have a say in promotional material, strategic messaging and online content through both WSG and University Marketing and Media Relations.

After the election was over, I wanted a new opportunity. I wanted a new project before entering the workforce. After all, this is the last semester to make the most out of what became the best four years of my life.

Fast-forwarding to present day, I am now the Career Social Media Intern for UW-Whitewater Career and Leadership Development. While WSG is a part of the Warhawk Connection Center, I have never worked for the department before.

I am excited by this new opportunity and exciting challenge to better myself and my craft, while helping others gain the skills, motivation and resources to find a job or student organization to join.

After the journey I had to pursue in finding my place at UW-Whitewater, I hope to make that process easier and less stressful for other students.

Career and Leadership Development has the resources and guidance to help students find their place at this institution. To motivate them to succeed and take chances. To help them be happy.

Interview with AMA President

I had the opportunity to talk with American Marketing Association’s president, Briana Roy, about leadership, involvement, and, of course, AMA. Briana Roy is a senior, with a corporate health and communications major and marketing minor. She joined AMA her second week of her freshman year and has loved it ever since.

‘Joining AMA was the best decision I’ve ever made,’ Briana says. ‘I love it. I’ve been involved ever since freshman year. I’ve made so many great connections through networking; I’ve grown in ways that I would not have if I wouldn’t have gotten involved.’

There are about 200 students in AMA, and their meetings are every Wednesday night in the Timmerman Auditorium in Hyland Hall at 4pm. They are always open meetings, so everyone is encouraged to attend! Briana says there are 17 positions on AMA executive board, and every position changes each semester.

‘That gives more students the opportunity to get on e-board faster, say if they don’t join AMA until they’re a junior, they can get on board right away. Also you get to hold more positions that way,’ Briana says.

Briana Roy

Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be a marketing major to join AMA.

‘AMA is very broad,’ Briana says. ‘We have advertising, we have finance, we have IT, accounting. It’s really open to everyone, especially sincemarketing is such a broad field, that’s one reason why we’re so big. If you really like sales, we do sales. If you’re interested in retail, we do retail. If you’re interested in finance, we do finance. Last year we had Photoshop workshops. There’s so many opportunities that you can’t say that you joined AMA and didn’t find something that was for you.’

AMA is also a professional organization, and students at UW-Whitewater connect with their alumni regularly.

‘An AMA alumni talked to us and one of the biggest things she took from AMA was learning how to talk with professionals. In college you get to talk to other students and professors but you don’t really necessarily get to talk with other professionals but when she got into her job she found it really beneficial that she knew how to talk to higher-up management, whereas some people might be more intimidated by that. If you’re in a leadership role you’ll have that experience.’

Briana’s last thoughts about AMA? ‘It really gives you a hands-on opportunity. You’re not going to go into a classroom and do the kinds of things that you can do with AMA. I can go into a job interview and say ‘I managed a team of 33 people’ and you just don’t get that in a classroom.’

Are you interested in joining AMA? Contact Briana Roy at

Photo by UWW Career.

April Cover Model Winner

Congratulations to junior Hannah Jean, our April cover model winner! She had an internship with the Disney College program.

Hannah Jean

What did you love most about your internship?

My internship with Disney provided me many friendships and memories that I will never forget. Every day I went to work was wonderful because I was a part of the Disney magic, and I felt like I was a part of a family. Seeing smiles on kids’ faces because I gave them a birthday pin with their name on it or because I traded a pin with them that they had been looking for all day made each day not only magical for my guests, but for me as well.

One day, I was trading pins at the fruit cart in Tomorrowland. A little girl came up to me who had been looking for a specific pin, and I had it. She was so excited when she saw that I had it. The little girl and her dad thanked me, and left. A few moments later the little girl came back to give me a hug! Moments like this are why I loved my job so much.

Although I am back in Whitewater, the magic from my internship with The Disney College Program is still with me. I have an amazing team of campus representatives for the Disney College Program that make each day I spend with them full of magic!

What did you learn about yourself through this job/internship/career-related experience?

I learned how to live on my own and how to network with professionals. I also learned that you can make people happy even with the smallest actions.

What advice would you give students about the job/internship/career development process?

Keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. They can come from anywhere. I didn’t even know my internship existed until I walked into the University Center and saw that an information session was about to start. The process of finding a job or internship can be difficult, but I promise you it will pay off when you land one! There’s nothing like the feeling of being hired for a position you worked hard to get.

Photo by UWW Career.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Your Parents to Help Your Career

This is a guest post written by Erin Palmer. Erin writes about a variety of topics such as teaching careers, attending graduate school and career planning for US News University Directory. You can follow Erin on Twitter.

College is the time to transition from being taken care of by your parents to taking care of yourself. In the professional world, you will be on your own, which is why it’s important to learn independence right from the start of your career path.

Your parents can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to your job search and career development. It all depends on how you use them. Consider these do’s and don’ts:


Do: Expand Your Network

One of the most difficult parts of beginning a career is not yet having a strong network to rely on. Use your parents’ connections to start building your professional network while you’re in school. Inquire about their friends and colleagues who work in your desired field. Incorporating your parents’ network into your own can help you find job opportunities and potential mentors. If you end up working at the same company as a family friend who used to change your diapers, just make sure to keep it professional during work hours.

Don’t: Let Mom and Dad Complete Your Application

Having a parent fill out your application, call up a potential employer or any other form of doing the talking for you is a bad career move. Employers will not take you seriously if your parents are doing all of the work for you. How can they trust your ability to do the job properly if you can’t even apply for it on your own? Your parents won’t be with you when you go to work, so they shouldn’t participate in the job search process at all.

Do: Ask for Advice

Starting your career can be scary and overwhelming, so it is important to ask for advice when you need it. No one can make your decisions for you, but talking things through can help you make the right one. Even if your parents work in an entirely different field, they can likely still relate to your issues. Certain workplace stresses are universal, so chances are your parents may have the answers you need.

Don’t: Use Your Parents as a Reference

Putting your parents down as a reference is a pointless endeavor. Employers know that your parents are too biased to give an honest recommendation, so it is unlikely that they would bother calling. Besides, your parents aren’t the best people to speak about your professional talents. A teacher, former colleague or other professional would be a much stronger choice. Choosing your parents as a reference is basically like telling the potential employer that you can’t think of anyone else to vouch for you.

Having the support of your family can help make it easier to adapt to the professional world, but it is still up to you to handle the responsibilities. Use your parents as a guide, not a crutch. Show the world that you can make it on your own and then let your parents take you out to dinner to celebrate your success.

Photo by CP Food images.

Hooray for Winter Break!

I don’t know how you feel, but this semester seemed to fly by faster than ever before. It has been a busy semester in Career & Leadership Development, but it’s all a good kind of busy. Just like you, we appreciate the short break between semesters. Amidst taking some time off, many of us will use the break to tackle projects that demand our full attention.


Over your winter break, you might wish to do the same. Have you been putting off career-related projects because of work, classes, or your social life? Winter break is the perfect time to do some of this work. Here are some ideas for your to-do list:

Do your career homework. Homework?? On break?! Don’t worry, this “assignment” should be enjoyable. Take time over the break to make some decisions on your career direction and the next steps you should take. If you are at the point of trying to decide on a major, explore the career possibilities linked to the majors you are considering. Then, do a little more research on the careers that sounds interesting. Start developing a Plan A, B, and C for career paths.

Develop a career plan for the spring semester. Without overloading yourself with too much to do during the spring semester, identify a few things you can easily accomplish that will get you closer to your career goal. The beginning point for creating your plan is understanding what employers in your field will be looking for in new hires. Here are some ideas for gaining the skills and background employers will be seeking:

Need more ideas? Check out this post from YouTern: Your Back-to-School Checklist Will Never Be the Same

Work on all of those traditional career tasks we tend to put off for later. Add content to your resume (or start writing it if you don’t have one). Spend time building or improving your LinkedIn profile. Create and order networking cards. Whether looking ahead to summer internships or that first job out of college, you’ll want all of these pieces in place for applications, career fairs, networking events, etc.

If you are working on any of these things over the break and have questions, we are still here to help. Our counselors and advisors are taking appointments, and most of us are open to phone appointments, too. You can also email us, which works particularly well for resume reviews. Just contact Career & Leadership Development at 262-472-1471 to schedule an appointment or find our direct contact information here.

Other Winter Break Posts:

Photo by Jarek Zok

Resource: Vault Career Insider

Career & Leadership Development has subscribed to  a very good career resource called Vault Career Insider. This product contains information useful to most job seekers, as well as valuable information to those exploring various career paths. Vault may be found from your Hawk Jobs main page – select Career Resources on the top bar, then select Vault. First time users will need to create their account, which is very simple to do. You’ll receive an immediate reply from Vault, then you’re ready to access the information!

For those of you exploring career paths, check out the Career Guides. The are 12 Career Topic Guides, providing useful information about what it’s like to work in various fields. The guides also provide a wealth of information about various industries, employers, international career opportunities, and tactical information about resumes and interviewing.

Vault also provides resources helpful to learn about your job search – from information and samples of resumes, to career videos and blogs, and discussion groups. As you’re working to develop your job search plan, Vault will provide you with wonderful resources that will help you land that job you most desire.

And for those of you seeking information about various employing organizations, Vault provides more than 10,000 company profiles. These profiles allow the thoughtful job seeker to learn more about which organizations are the best fit for them. The company profile resource also provides 2011 edition of the “Best Companies to Work for…” list.

So when we suggest that you research the employer before your interview, start with Vault!