C&LD Internships: A Day in the Life

In present day, it seems like every entry level position out of college wants to see some sort of experience. This experience is usually gained through an internship. While the internship search can be daunting and challenging, there is a department on campus that offers great internships. As current interns for Career & Leadership Development, we spoke to other interns in the office to see how working here has not only given them job experience, but so much more.

We started in the SEAL office, where we talked to a few interns about what it is like being a part of SEAL and C&LD:

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“I love being an intern because of how connected we all are yet our jobs are all different. I also like working in such a busy atmosphere.”

-Shawn Giese, SEAL Homecoming Chair 

“I have really enjoyed my internship position with Career & Leadership Development. It has helped me grow as an individual and has really shaped the person I am today. The endless amount of opportunities and experiences that I have gained throughout this internship has helped me further my education and career path here at UW-Whitewater.”

-Kayhla Sadowski, SEAL Social Media Intern

“My time in Career & Leadership Development (C&LD) has changed my life. I know that sounds cliché, but I have a family in C&LD on the SEAL team. While I have only worked here this year, I have learned so much about entertainment, marketing, and students on campus. Working as the Large Event Intern has been one of the best decisions of my life, and I hope to learn more and grow as a student while on campus for the next two years.”

-Jessica Faust, SEAL Large Event Intern

After talking to those SEALS, we decided to go over to the PB Poorman Pride Center to see what the PRIDE Interns had to say: 

“The past 2 years being a PRIDE Intern in Career & Leadership Development have been so crucial to who I am as a leader. Every opportunity I’ve had has shaped me in ways that will not only help me in my career, but throughout the rest of my life.”

-Alyssa Reetz, PRIDE Intern

“Working as an intern in C&LD has helped me value myself and develop a professional identity.”

-Lisa Helms, PRIDE Intern

“C&LD has adopted me into their family!”

-Connell Patterson, PRIDE Intern

The next stop on our journey through C&LD brought us to the Student Involvement Office, where we talked to Hope Schmidt, the Community Service Intern:

“The confidence I have gained as a C&LD intern has been tremendous. Things I never thought I could do…I can now say I do.  Because of this internship opportunity, I feel like a better-rounded individual. I have learned skills that I can now take with me wherever I go after I leave UW-W!”

After all this traveling, we ended up back in our office that we share with Jamie Hinze, the Human Resources Intern and she gave us some insight into her experience in the department:

“During my first year with Career & Leadership Development, I was employed as a Customer Service Associate working at the front desk. This was a fun and flexible position that taught me how to provide exceptional customer service and significantly strengthened my interpersonal communication and problem solving skills. Later, I earned the title of Human Resources Intern – a new position in the department in which I assist in the coordination of departmental student employee experience, specifically in selection, professional development, and evaluation. This internship has allowed me to explore my interests and career goals while giving me the opportunity to network with employers, students, and UW-Whitewater staff. My supervisors are incredibly supportive of my goals and needs as a full-time student and they have tailored the experience to fit me.”

As you can see, there are many different facets of C&LD and each offers a different experience. Whether you are looking to be a social media guru, coordinate community service events, or just learn something new about UW-Whitewater and what it offers to students, C&LD is a great place to gain all these experiences and many more.

The applications are open until March 3rd! If you are looking for an internship and want to be a part of the C&LD family, then go to uww.edu/cld and apply today!

Tips For Making the Most of a Career Fair

With the career fair coming up soon, here are some tips for you:

Before the Career Fair

11. Research the companies that you want to speak with. Before you go to the career fair, you should do some basic research on what the company does. This way you can spend your time telling the company representative about yourself, rather than asking them questions about what their company does.

When choosing which companies to speak with, be open minded; just because you have never heard of a company doesn’t mean that they don’t have something great to offer. Make sure that you prioritize the companies that you want to speak with, you don’t want to run out of time.

22. Prepare questions to ask employers. After you have researched which companies you want to talk to, come up with some questions that you have for them. These could be specific to positions that they have open, or more general questions about what it is like to work there. You should also come up with some general questions for companies that catch your eye at the fair that you had not already researched.

At the Career Fair

3. Attend the Career Fair alone. However, don’t push yourself. If this is your first career fair, you don’t want to discourage yourself by being uncomfortable. If you have never been to a career fair, instead of walking in and talking to someone right away, walk around the room for a little and get a feel of the environment. Once you are comfortable, start talking to an employer.

4. Treat it like an in-person interview. Proper business attire is crucial, no bold colored blazers! Make sure that you are acting professional the entire time you are in the room. The employers are always watching and if you just had a great conversation with them but then went and goofed off across the room, they may notice that and count it against you.

35. Remember that the employers are people too. Don’t be afraid to talk to them. The days at the career fair are just as long, if not longer for them. They are here to find candidates from our school, so make their trip, and your trip, worthwhile.

6. Be honest. This includes any experience you have had. Employers can sense when you’re being superficial. However, don’t be embarrassed by what experience you have. Everyone needs to start somewhere and even if you only have a little experience, you could still be a great candidate.

7. Know what makes you unique. You are unique and you have something great to offer an employer. Use this to your advantage. Employers want to know why you would be the best fit for the positions at their company. Don’t be afraid to brag about yourself, this is the perfect setting for it.

8. Know what you are looking for. This could be a full-time position for after graduation, a summer internship, a part-time position, or an internship that starts right away. You should also know what you want to get out of the opportunity and center questions around that (i.e. networking, professional experience, professional or personal growth).

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9. Keep track of who you talk to and what you talk about. Write this information down to follow up after. Make sure you have specific notes of what you talked about, i.e. the recruiter and I talked about how we both had pet goldfish when we were kids. It doesn’t have to be something career related, but you want the employer to remember who you are.

 After the Career Fair

10. Follow up. Make sure that you follow up with the employers you talk to. This could include an email, or a formal thank you letter. Just make sure that when you are following up, you reference something that you talked about when talking with the employer, this could help them remember you.

Follow up with all employers, even ones that you may not be interested in. Just because you don’t want to work for their company now, doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be a great resource or connection in the future.

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Taking the Risk

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In high school, if you had asked me to point out Whitewater, Wisconsin on a map, I would have had no idea where to look. I was just a girl from the North suburbs of Chicago looking for a great place to go to college. I would have never guessed that I would end up in the small town of Whitewater at this University.

Making this decision was not easy. I knew that Whitewater had a great business school, there were not too many students, and it wasn’t too far from home. However, being from the North suburbs of Chicago, there were not a lot of people who came here for school. I would most likely be the only person from my high school coming here, a scary thought to any freshman.

With that in mind, I decided to take the risk and attend this University. My random roommate ended up being from another North suburb that was just around 15 minutes from mine. We were both in the same boat. We knew that if we wanted to get the most out of our college experience we would have to get involved.

This brought us to sorority information nights. We went through recruitment and joined Delta Zeta. As a new freshman, I would have never thought that joining that organization would bring me to where I am today. My sorority sisters never failed to encourage me to take risks, like the one I had taken when I chose to attend Whitewater.

My junior year, I was elected as a co-recruitment chair for the Panhellenic Council, the governing body for sororities. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Through this role I had the opportunity to attend the Association of Fraternal Values and Leadership conference in Indianapolis last winter. This conference gave me great insight into what it means to be a leader and how being Greek can help that.

Shortly after returning from the conference I decided to take another risk and apply to be on the Homecoming Steering Committee, something I quickly realized was nothing like I thought it was going to be. As the first semester of my senior year was coming to a close, I quickly realized that all these leadership positions that I had held were ending. I knew that I wanted to spend my last semester on campus giving back to something that had given me so many opportunities and helped me grow from the scared, lonely freshman I was to the confident senior that I am now. So I took my final risk and accepted this position as a Social Media Intern.

I am excited to spend my last semester here representing Career and Leadership by writing for this blog and posting from our various social media pages. I will be providing a student perspective on the scary process of searching for, applying to, interviewing for, and accepting jobs and internships.

To-Do List: Winter Break Edition

happy holidays!

Hip, hip, hooray! Finals are done, you’re headed home for a month-long break, and you have nothing to do but binge watch Netflix… Wrong.

This is the perfect time to be productive in your job search. Don’t get me wrong, you will still have plenty of time to rest, relax, and eat a lot of delicious food, but it’s important to take the time you have off from school to be proactive in your job/internship search. Here are a few tasks you should accomplish over your winter break.

1. Revamp your resume

Winter break is a great time to update your resume. Did you join a club, get promoted, or hold a new leadership position over fall semester? Don’t forget to add these accomplishments to your resume. This is also the perfect time to update your address, GPA, major, minor, and any scholarship awards that may have changed over the last four months.

2. Start the job hunt

This is the time when companies start posting summer internship applications. Make sure you are actively looking for job opportunities while on break. If you find any, take the time and apply for the positions you find. Capitalize on your free time now while you aren’t busy with papers, projects, and readings for your classes.

3. Network

You know all those awesome holiday parties you’re going to?! Use them to your advantage and network with your friends and family. Connect with people and let them know that you are looking for possible career opportunities in the ___ industry. You never know if a friend or family member has a possible contact that can help you land your dream job. Remember: it’s all about who you know.

 

Photo Credit: Melissa Brawner

How to Jump-Start Your Internship Search

Job search

The time has come to begin thinking about your summer internship. Yes, I know it’s only December, but some summer internship applications are already closed!

When I started my internship search last year, I had no idea where to begin; I had no industry experience, no connections, and no idea what to do. But I did have ambition, drive, and a good internet connection. Here are 3 ways to jump-start your internship search.

1. Reflect

The first step is to take some time and really reflect on your professional goals. Take a minute to consider the different career paths you could pursue, and where you would be happiest. For any major, there are a number of different careers to choose from, so make sure you know what you want to do.

2. Research

Once you have an idea of what kind of position you’re interested in, it’s time to research it. Learn everything you possibly can about the industry: Where are the best companies in that industry located? What is the job like? What is the industry culture like? Do they have a hiring season? These are all important questions to ask yourself. Nearly every company has a website. Use it to your advantage to learn everything about the specific companies your interested in working for. Also, check the company’s website for job openings; if there aren’t any posted don’t hesitate to contact their office to ask if they have an internship program.

Not only should you research the industry and the companies, you can also research the job market. Sites like InternMatch (that’s how I found my internship), Intern Sushi, and indeed are great internship search engines.

3. Reach Out

After you’ve found some perspective internships to apply for, reach out to people that work there. If you don’t already have connections to the industry LinkedIn is a great tool for finding people that work for a specific company. As awkward as it may seem to reach out to a complete stranger, it’s totally worth it. But don’t reach out asking for a job or an interview, when you connect with someone make the conversation about them. Fore example: ask them what they do on a daily basis, what they like about the job, or how they got to where they are.

 

 

Photo Credit: Kate Hiscock

To-Do List: Post Internship

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*They forced me to wear that medal…

I had the pleasure of working as a digital media planning intern for MediaCom in Chicago last summer. It was a fantastic experience. I learned a lot, met some wonderful people, and got my foot in the advertising world. While I was getting ready to leave, and in the months that have followed, I’ve taken a few steps to make the most of my past internship.

1. Say “Thank You”

People like to know that they’re appreciated, so take the time to tell your co-workers how much you appreciated their time and effort. They spent a lot of their time teaching you the ropes and integrating you into the company. Don’t just say thank you – invest in some thank you cards so they can have something to hold on to and remember you by. Trust me, a thank you goes a long way.

2. Update Your Resume

This step should happen before you even leave your internship. Try to schedule a review between you and your supervisor(s). Get their feedback on what you did well and what you need to improve on. During your review, ask your supervisor(s) to look over your current resume and ask what they think you should put under your job description. There are a lot of aspects of your internship you might not consider important, but others do, and your supervisor can give you some powerful insight. This would also be the appropriate time to ask for a letter of recommendation. Keep in mind, supervisors and managers are busy people and might not be able to produce a letter of recommendation right away, but ask if they’d be willing to in the future.

3. Stay Connected

We’ve all been told time and again how important networking is. This is not a lie! Stay connected to the people you worked with. Take the time to connect with them on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. It’s important to continue to foster the relationships you had with your coworkers. Who knows, if they saw your hard work ethic and great attitude, they might help you find a job!

4. Stay Updated

After your internship, it’s important to stay updated on your company and the industry overall. Now that you’ve had a taste of the “real world” you need to stay up to date on what’s going on. Furthermore, when you talk about your internship experience in future interviews it’s important to know what the company has been up to in case the interviewer asks. It’ll show you really cared about your past professional experiences.

5. Reflect

After you’ve completed your internship take time to reflect on your experiences. What did you learn about the industry? What did you like about the job? What didn’t you like about the job? Will you be pursuing this type of career, or not? Internships are great for finding what you love, but they are equally important for realizing what you don’t. Take the time to really think and reflect on your internship experience.

Photo by Shannon Waisath.

Interview with SEAL Manager

I had the opportunity to sit down with SEAL manager Sara Molnar, and talk to her about her experience on SEAL, her new-found love for event planning, and how getting involved can help students’ futures! Sara is a fifth year senior, double majoring in history and special education. Last year, Sara was an entertainment intern for SEAL, Student Entertainment Awareness League, and this year she is the manager.

SEAL

‘I actually heard about SEAL when I was a sophomore,’ Sara says.’I was working on event crew, and Melissa Grosso was my boss, so we worked pretty closely with SEAL and we went through the same training program, so that’s when I first really knew what it was.’

Sara really enjoyed what she did with the event crew, but it was solely staffing and working the events, and she wanted to do more. Her being on the event crew helped her make a smooth transition to entertainment intern her first year on SEAL.

‘Melissa [Grosso] actually reached out to me and asked me, ‘Have you ever thought about applying for SEAL?’ and I hadn’t really, so her asking if I’d thought about it got me to think about it. I thought it would be a lot of fun to put on your own events for campus.’

Although she wasn’t interested in getting into the event planning field last year, she can definitely see herself being an event planner in the future, and she has SEAL to thank for that!

‘Being on SEAL has definitely opened up a lot of opportunities for me. Not only has it taught me a lot about a potential new career choice that I want to go into, but it’s also allowed me to really grow professionally. When I was on the entertainment team, we had to reach out to the artists and agents, really got me to learn how to communicate with people, more than I had to in the past. Also I think it really showed me what this campus has to offer and how you can give back to the campus by hosting events for students.’

One of the biggest things Sara has learned from being on SEAL is time management and understanding how strict deadlines are, especially in the event planning field.

‘We [the SEAL interns] would be given four or five events per semester, and the event would be set the semester before, so you couldn’t change the date. You had to have everything done by that date. In the classroom, yes, you have to follow a deadline, but sometimes they can be a little more lenient. When an event is coming and you haven’t done anything for it, it can totally flop. You really need to manage your time and prioritize, which is something that I’m still learning. You need to prioritize, what’s most important, what should I get done when.’

SEAL does not only deal with event planning, though. They focus on marketing, promotions, public relations, social media, and mainly bringing an event up from nothing.

Sara Molnar

Having an internship is great for networking, and connecting with Career & Leadership Staff and interns is extremely beneficial when it’s time to enter the workforce.

‘When you need something so small like a letter of recommendation, and if you don’t have those experiences, you have no one to help you. Networking and being able to get yourself out there and making a name for yourself now makes your future better. Who knows what kind of opportunities they can provide. Having those resources will help you for the future.’

Sara’s last piece of advice? ‘Get involved. It’s really important, especially when you’re younger, because then you have the opportunity to get bigger positions when you get older.’

Are you interested in being on SEAL? They are hiring for the spring semester! Apply here by November 11!

Photos 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.

March Cover Model Winner

Congratulations to our UW-W Career Cover Model winner for the month of March, senior Kelsey Ostby!

Kelsey Ostby

Kelsey is double majoring in Public Relations and Journalism. She was an intern with the Wisconsin Farm Report during the summer of 2012. Read all about her experience below!

I had an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most successful female broadcasters in the Midwest over the summer, and have just recently accepted a full-time job with the Wisconsin Farm Report beginning in June 2013. Currently, I am working part-time from Whitewater, doing website and social media updates while completing my final semester.

What did you love most about your internship?

I love giving back to some of the hardest working people in the country: farmers and producers. Whether it’s by attending an event, giving the daily market information on the radio, or recognizing a family for their outstanding work in Wisconsin agriculture, I have discovered my passion.

UW-Whitewater has truly set me up for success, and I love that I am able to use the skills I have acquired. I think it’s a rare occurrence to be a senior preparing to graduate with a double major completed in four years, and have a full-time job secured.

What did you learn about yourself through this internship?

After growing up on a dairy farm and being involved in agriculture throughout my childhood, I thought that I wanted to do something different and explore other options in college. I had hoped that I would end up on television reporting from the sidelines of a football game.

Looking back, I realize that I was lucky enough to find what I loved at a young age, and that it never left. I completed numerous internships in the past few years, including working with the UW-Whitewater Marketing and Media Relations office and the UW-Whitewater Sports Information department. While I’ve had great experiences at both, there was always something missing.

When I took the internship with Pam, I knew right away that it was what I wanted to do, but never thought I could get there. So, in retrospect, I have learned to give myself more credit. I also discovered what I am good at, and what skills I can sharpen during my last semester.

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

The best advice I can give other students is to apply for internships and jobs early and often. I took my first internship the summer after my sophomore year, and it was the best decision I made. Most of my classmates thought internships were something you worry about after your junior year, and I think it’s the exact opposite. As a college student, your main priority should be setting yourself up for a great career. The best way to do that is to get as much experience as possible so you know what you like and dislike.

Also, take every opportunity offered if possible, paid or unpaid. I had some of the best experiences from my first, unpaid internship. There is no such thing as a “bad” opportunity.

Would YOU like to be a Cover Model winner? You can fill out the contest application and send it to MediaCLD@uww.edu!

Photo by UWW Career.