Quiet Before the Storm

Storm in the high country

I hope everyone enjoyed their Spring Break! Even though I was at work, I know I enjoyed the quiet time to catch up on random things.

From what I could see on Twitter, several UW-W students were using their time off from class to work on their internship searches. However, I know that there are likely many others who have yet to begin. Based off of my experiences the last few years, I know that this week was just the quiet before the storm.

I consider starting a summer internship search in April to be a last minute search. New postings will start to slow down as we progress through the month and some summer internships will begin in May…only a month away.

Are you one of those students who has left their search for a summer internship to the last minute? Don’t despair yet! Let’s get you cranking out those applications and put you on track to hopefully gain career-related experience this summer.

  • Check out our Internship Search Plan. Walk through the steps to help you identify what you want in an internship and how to find opportunities. Of course, you will see that the plan is laid out according to an ideal timeline, and starting your search just now isn’t going to fit it. Don’t worry. Start where you need to start and work, work, work!
  • Get one-on-one help. If you would like to discuss your individual search after reviewing the Internship Search Plan, schedule an appointment with me or another career staff member in Career & Leadership Development. We can look over your resume, explore some of the best resources for your particular field, and discuss networking and other proactive strategies for unearthing opportunities.
  • Come to my Last Minute Internship Search “Workshop.” On Monday, April 4th at 5:00pm (location TBA), I will be hosting a presentation/workshop focused on the down-to-the-wire internship search. I’ll focus on strategies to employ at this point and will also cover some “Plan B’s” to prepare.

While waiting until the last possible moment to start your internship search isn’t ideal, all hope is not lost. There are still opportunities out there and there will still be some popping up before the end of the semester.

Get started NOW, though. Please don’t be one of those students emailing or calling me the first week of June inquiring about summer internships…for that same summer. At that point, it’s just not going to happen. (Photo by Curtis Fry)

Question of the Week:

How is YOUR internship search going??

Preparing for an Internship or Volunteer Experience

Join Career & Leadership Development on Tuesday, November 16 from 1:10-2:00pm for “Preparing for an Internship or Volunteer Position.” This panel discussion will highlight how to apply, prepare for and survive an internship or volunteer experience.

Our panelists are from local agencies and organizations with successful programs as well as current students and alumni who successfully navigated the internship process. Speakers include:

  • Kevin Brunner, City Manager for the City of Whitewater
  • Ann Dudzek, Big Brother Big Sisters
  • Danielle Calkins, alumna and former intern turned permanent employee at Reader’s Digest
  • Ellen Hatfield, UW-W graduate assistant in Career & Leadership Development

This is the perfect time to begin preparing for your summer internship search. We hope you join us for this informative program.

Preparing for an Internship or Volunteer Experience
Tuesday, November 16
University Center, Hamilton Room

Beginning Your Internship Search

The beginning of a new school year means more students start thinking about internships. I’m both glad and relieved to hear from so many students starting to plan for the upcoming spring semester or for next summer. Internships have become a must for college students, and early planning is key to successfully securing an opportunity.

For those of you new to UW-Whitewater or for those of you just beginning to look into internships, here are some programs and services available to help you along the way:

  • One-on-One Appointments: If you are beginning your internship search, scheduling a consultation with me or one of our other career counselors is an excellent first step. You will be introduced to some resources for finding opportunities and will learn how to use both active and passive strategies for your search.
  • Twitter: Follow me on Twitter – twitter.com/uwwinternships – and learn about opportunities instantly. I also “tweet” about internship resources or tips/advice related to the internship search. Beyond following me, follow employers. There are a lot of organizations and professional on Twitter, so it makes an excellent networking tool.
  • Hawk Jobs: Earlier this summer, we launched our new internship/job management system – Hawk Jobs. When an employer sends us information on an internship opportunity, we post it here. As a current UW-W student, you can access the system with your Net ID and password. For more information, read over the helpful Student Guide or speak with a member of the career staff.
  • Faculty Internship Supervisors: Almost every academic department/major has a faculty member in charge of credited internships. If you are interested in earning credit for an internship experience, you need to talk with one of these individuals. Even if you don’t wish to enroll for credit, these are great individuals to network with. They will know where other students in your field have interned and may know of open opportunities with specific organizations.
  • Resume Dr: One important piece of paper that everyone needs as they apply for internships is a resume. However, the application process for internship opportunities is becoming much more competitive, so an OK resume just won’t cut it anymore. Get a resume “check-up” during our first Resume Dr. series of the new year. Get the list of dates/times from our Career Spotlight Blog.
  • How to Work a Career Fair: One of the resources for finding an internship is a career fair. However, career fairs can be confusing and/or intimidating events. Learn how to be successful at upcoming career fairs by attending our How to Work a Career Fair workshop on Wednesday, September 22 at 5:15pm in Summers Auditorium (UC).
  • Hawk Career Fair & Expo: Once you know how to work a career fair, be sure to attend the campus’ first major fair of the year, the Hawk Career Fair & Expo, on Wednesday, September 29 from noon to 4:00pm in the UC (Hamilton Room and UC Ballroom). We’ll have over 80 employers attend the fair, and many of these organizations have internships to fill. During the fair, drop by the Expo, a series of brief workshops provided by employers attending the fair. Session topics will include How to Work a Career Fair, Conducting Your Job Search (much of the advice should be applicable to an internship search, too), Developing Your Personal Brand, and Professional Networking. Log into Hawk Jobs to see the list of attending organizations.

No UW-W student is alone in his/her search for an internship. While no one will find one for you – nor would you want them to, believe me – there are many faculty and staff on campus to support you as you look and apply for opportunities. We have a wealth of resources online and will provide guidance on all aspects of your journey – from searching for an internship to making the most of one.

Best wishes for a successful internship search!

Photo by J. Stephen Conn

Internship Week 2010: Day 4 & Week Wrap Up

Internship Week wrapped up on Thursday with one final Internship Outpost. It was a quiet morning in Upham Hall, but Ellen and I still had a chance to talk with a few students eager to secure summer internships.

To wrap up, I’d like to share a few of my observations from the week:

  1. It’s important to define “internship” for yourself. The concept of an internship is defined differently by different audiences. When you are talking about an internship, what do YOU mean? Figure out what you mean when you say you want “an internship.” Your search will start from a much more solid place.
  2. It’s a challenge to find opportunities. While there are internship opportunities available, some students are still having difficulty finding opportunities that match their needs. It feels like finance and human resources have taken a bit of a hit, as I’m not seeing many opportunities in either field. Other students are struggling to find internships in the geographical locations they want. Summer is approaching super fast, and I know this makes the search for a summer internship all that more intense.
  3. Motivation and perseverance are key. While it is tough out there, it’s important to keep working. Keep looking at advertised positions. Work your network. Begin thinking about developing your own internship and pitching it to an organization. Come up with a plan B. It’s easy to get discouraged, but remember that you have support at UW-Whitewater: me, other staff, and faculty.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the week in some way, whether it was attending the Bootcamp or dropping by one of the Outposts. It’s so much fun to get out around campus and meet more UW-W students!

Congratulations again to the winners of the various prize drawings throughout the week:

Internship Search Bootcamp…

Staci Groshek won a UW-W portfolio, a copy of the book “Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World” by Lindsey Pollak, and a $20 gift card to the SweetSpot in Whitewater.

Internship Outposts…

Monday – Tiffany Lozoya
Tuesday – Andrea Hoffmann
Wednesday – Jennifer Taylor
Thursday – Jasmina Badic

Each Outpost winner received a copy of the book “The Intern Files: How to Get, Keep, and Make the Most of Your Internship” by Jamie Fedorko and a $10 gift card to the UW-W Bookstore.

And special thanks goes out to the SweetSpot Coffee Shoppe. They generously donated a $20 gift card for the Internship Search Bootcamp drawing. Not only does the SweetSpot have great food and drinks, but they are very supportive of UW-W students and the Whitewater community as a whole.

Internship Week 2010: Day 3

Ellen and I are really enjoying the Internship Outposts. It’s a nice opportunity to get outside the walls of the office and meet UW-Whitewater students elsewhere across campus.

So what exactly is the Internship Outpost? In short, it’s a traveling info table. Since it’s staffed by me and Ellen, though, it’s also a drop-by station for quick internship questions. Here is some of the information you can find at the Outpost:

In addition to handouts with this information, we have our awesome new  UW-W Student Internships pens! Plus, each student who stops by the Outpost can enter into our prize drawing for a copy of “The Internship Files: How to Get, Keep, and Make the Most of Your Internship” along with a $10 UW-W Bookstore gift card. Finally, as I said before, visiting us at the Outpost gives you a chance to ask some of your personal internship search questions.

The final Outpost for Internship Week 2010 is today (Thursday, March 4). We’re hanging out in Upham Hall. Visit us there if you can. If we don’t see you, hopefully we’ll catch you at one in the future!