Be an Intern with Career & Leadership Development!

Here in Career & Leadership Development, we don’t just write about interns, we hire them, too! Applications are now being accepted for the 2012-13 academic year. Here is a run-down of the available opportunities. All are paid positions.

  • Budget Specialist Intern (15 hours/week): The Budget Specialist Intern will be working in the new Student Involvement Office (to be located where the existing Women’s Resource Center is presently located). This intern will assist SUF (Segregated University Fees) funded student organizations in understanding how to request, access, and use their SUF monies.
  • Involvement Interns (3 positions – 15 hours/week): Again working out of the new Student Involvement Office, the Involvement Interns will be responsible for staffing the Office, helping students with JOIN!, working with students to develop involvement plans, and presenting to New Student Seminar classes and student organizations.
  • Pride Interns (3 positions – 15 hours/week): The three Pride Interns will be responsible for staffing the PB Poorman PRIDE Center, supporting educational programs and connecting with faculty, staff, and organizations that address LGBT student issues.
  • SEAL Interns (12 positions – 15-20 hours/week): The Student Entertainment & Awareness League is UW-Whitewater’s primary programming board, bringing you bands, comedians, movies, night clubs, and a whole host of other fun activities. The available roles are as follows:
    • Community Service Intern: Coordinates the America Reads program as well as other service initiatives.
    • Entertainment Interns: Coordinate a variety of events designed to bring the campus community together in socially entertaining ways.
    • Greek Life Intern: Implements Greek life initiatives, educational programs, and alumni outreach.
    • Management Intern: Responsible for the day-to-day operation of SEAL and outreach to student groups for opinions and collaboration.
    • Movie Interns: Coordinate weekly weekend movies.
    • Large Events Intern: Coordinates larger weekend entertainment events and acts as a liaison with Residence Life.
    • Promotions Intern: Assists all SEAL Interns with additional promotional support and promotes events electronically (Facebook, Twitter, videos, etc.).
  • Graphic Designers (10-15 hours/week): Seeking a career in graphic design? This ideal opportunity provides you with real design experience working on projects for Career & Leadership Development as well as SEAL.
  • Front Desk Staff (8-12 hours/week): Work on the front lines of Career & Leadership Development. Our Front Desk Staff are responsible for the reception and clerical needs of the office.

While not a part of Career & Leadership Development, you can also apply to be a Campus Service Officer (CSO – formerly Event Crew). Working 7-15 hours/week, you will serve as a resource to students, faculty, staff, and visitors of the campus community by providing awareness of security. The CSOs will assist with officer duties, such as pedestrian crossing and night patrol. CSOs will also assist in executing the campus’ Special Event Policy and the Academic Building Manager duties. Shifts vary between early morning, late night, and weekends.

Application Information

  1. Applications are available at http://www.uww.edu/involve/employment.php. The entire application process is done electronically.
    1. Complete and submit the online application.
    2. Send your resume to cldaps@uww.edu.
    3. Have 2 references complete and submit the online reference form at http://www.uww.edu/involve/jobreference.php.
  2. Applications are due by Friday, March 23. Completed applications must include the online application, 2 references, and a resume.
  3. Interviews will be held on April 12th and 13th.
  4. Decisions and notifications will be made the week of April 23rd.
  5. A new employee meeting will take place before the end of the spring semester.

If you have questions about these employment opportunities or the application process, contact Melissa Grosso at GrossoM@uww.edu.

Winning the Internship Balancing Act

Since starting the UW-Whitewater Internships Blog in 2008, I haven’t gone a week without posting (with the exception of that first summer and winter/spring breaks). So to have missed three weeks in a row during a non-break period has felt weird…and wrong.

balance_HikingArtistCom illustration

As I wrote for the Student Branding Blogthis past fall, maintaining good work/life balance is something that I have always prided myself on. Yet here I am, struggling with that balance for the first time. And I’m trying to figure out how to regain it. Looking back at my college career helps…

My college roommate was the quintessential over-booked college student. Lisa would get up around 5:00am for her daily run. Then, it was off to classes. Because she was super involved on campus, her classes were inevitably followed by an evening’s worth of meetings. Finally, she would return home around 9:00pm or 10:00pm, and then start her studying for the night. But that was Lisa. She thrived on being active, and it worked for her.

I always felt like a slacker around Lisa, even though I had what would be considered a pretty impressive college student resume. I just took on one thing at a time (for the most part) and was more focused with my involvement. While I was never running around from meeting to meeting, I still kept busy. But my busy was an easier-paced busy. That was my style: Be involved in one major thing at a time, building on what came before, and maintain plenty of personal downtime to recharge.

And I was involved for me, not to impress anyone else.

I think that there is a lot of pressure being placed on you as a college student today. Complete as many internships as you can. Get as involved as you can. Take on as many leadership roles as you can. Oh, and while you’re at it, work a paying job (or two), study, and get good grades.

The fact that articles need to address the question, “How many internships are enough?,” says it all. I have witnessed several students take on multiple internships at one time, I’m assuming under the “need” to have more. On the flip side, I have watched one particular student complete an impressive number of high-level internships…but one at a time. My guess is that the second model has resulted in much richer experiences with a focus on quality over quantity. And ultimately, it is quality that will take you farther in your career.

I’m here to tell you to take it easy on yourself. I fear that too many students are striving to do too much, all to their own detriment. I would hate to see anyone burn out before even hitting the “real world.” I’m not saying that you can go through college doing nothing. However, balance is something we all need. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way this year as I’ve taken on more and more in order to be “more.” It hasn’t made me better. In fact, I have been worse off for it.

Before taking on that one more thing – like that one more internship on top of the internship you already have, your student organizations, and a job – think about why you would be doing it. Is it to impress someone, like that future employer who doesn’t even exist to you yet? Is it to compete with a classmate who you desperately want to best? Is it because you thrive on being busy and your balance threshold is simply higher than others’?

Take on those extra commitments for the “right” reasons – because it truly is right for you, not because it is “right” for someone else.

Photo by HikingArtist.com

Rock the Vote. Intern in Politics.

Last week, the big news story was the mid-term elections. Only if you were living under a rock did you not see, hear, or have a general awareness of the serious campaigning going on leading up to this election. What you likely didn’t see, however, was the power behind many of those campaigns: college student volunteers and interns.

If you are interested in a career in politics or government, there are a few key methods of gaining relevant experience as an undergraduate.

  • Get involved in student government. If you are pursuing a career in politics or government, one excellent way to start diving into the field early in your college career is by getting involved in student government. For one, you can gain actual experience for your resume, especially if you serve in an executive board or, in the case of Whitewater Student Government, a senator position. At the very least, most people would expect to see involvement in student government from anyone looking to get into politics or government work. It’s likely a key item potential internship sites will look for when evaluating applicants’ resumes.
  • Volunteer with a political campaign. As I mentioned in the introduction, many students were involved in the most recent political campaigns. This includes working for local politicians running in state legislative races as well as the bigger campaigns for governor and US House or Senate. I know of several UW-W students who worked with the Scott Walker campaign, both this summer and into the fall semester. During the last presidential election, there were UW-W students working with the local campaign efforts for Barack Obama. Last Wednesday, the day after the election, CNN was already mentioning that campaigns for the 2012 presidential election would be gearing up. There will no doubt be plenty of campaign opportunities on the horizon.
  • When campaigns aren’t in full swing, intern with a elected official. What do you do if it’s not an election year or if there are no campaigns to work on? Look for internships with current elected officials. Paul Ryan, US Congressman serving Wisconsin’s 1st District, gets information to UW-W every year about his internship opportunities. These internships are available locally in his Janesville Constituent Services Center OR with his office in Washington, DC. Governor Jim Doyle has also offered internship opportunities which have been available in his Madison, Milwaukee, and Washington DC offices. I would imagine similar opportunities will be available with Scott Walker when he begins his term as governor. In the case for many of these internships, you can stay close OR go far!

Any of these experiences should provide helpful insight into local, state, and national politics. You can gain some valuable experience without running for office. Of course if you do decide to run for an elected office, the background you gain through student government, volunteering with a campaign, or interning with an elective official will definitely be put to good use!

For more information on internship opportunities in government, public policy, or politics, please see our Field-Specific Programs & Resources page on the UW-W Internships website.

Photo by Beverly & Pack

You Have More Experience than You Think

I feel like resumes have taken over my life this semester. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. However, I have done more than a few resume reviews during appointments, via email, and at our Resume Dr. events.

Resumes become frequent guests in my internship search appointments with students. In many instances, this is the first draft EVER of the student’s resume, and it’s often a pre-internship resume (Sometimes I’ll meet with a student who has already had an internship and is going back for more). One of the biggest concerns these students have is fear of a lack of experience.

Never fear! You probably have more experience than you think you have.

So where is all of this experience hiding? Consider the following:

  • Community Service: Extensive volunteer experiences often provide you with the exact skills employers are looking for. It wasn’t a paid job? So what! The important factor is what you actually DIDduring the experience. Take UW-Whitewater’s America Reads program, through which students tutor and work one-on-one with area elementary school children either in the classroom or in after-school reading programs. Particularly for individuals going into human services or education, this is indeed important experience.
  • Student Organization Leadership: UW-Whitewater has a wide variety of student organizations, including professional organizations such as the Forensics Team, Social Work Student Organization, and Student Wisconsin Education Association. Students who step up to take leadership roles with these or other student organizations are often doing work. The treasurer monitors a group’s finances, the secretary is the main communications hub, and the president manages the overall operations. There is a lot of real “work” a student in such a role can describe on his/her resume. Additionally, a group like the American Marketing Association (AMA) participates in a national case competition every year. Playing a role on the case competition team should provide a student with experience in research, report writing, and presenting.
  • Student Government: Students who serve as Senators or in Executive Board positions with Whitewater Student Government (WSG) are building experience in governance, legislative processes, and constituent (i.e. student) outreach. For a student considering a career in government and/or politics, this provides directly related experience. I’m hosting a resume writing workshop for History, Political Science, and Public Policy majors next week. If anyone attending hopes to go into one of these career areas AND happens to be involved in WSG, I’ll be encouraging them to place much more emphasis on their work with student government.

Look at your college activities a little differently to find experiences and skills that you can more strongly market to a potential internship site. While tucking the above experiences into a “Co-Curricular Activities” section on a resume makes sense in some cases (for example, you’re just a regular member of the organization, it was a one-time community service activity, or an organization is purely for fun), other circumstances allow you to highlight important work that you’ve done in a seemingly innocuous part of your college life.

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Photo by sansfaim

Intern Spotlight: Abigail Naumann ’10

Abigail Naumann

Abigail Naumann, Senior (May 2010)
Major: Journalism
Minor: Multimedia & Design
Internship: New Media Commandant with Caffeine Communications

Abigail Naumann is a passionate communications crusader intrigued by the many aspects of the media industry. She is especially interested in social media, web 2.0, and the way all the elements of communication come together to play an integral role in society. Despite her journalistice upbringing, she has an invigorating passion for public relations and social media.

Describe your internship experience. Where are you interning?

My official title is New Media Commandant. My job is to help initiate and manage a social media presence and conversation, while incorporating other multimedia efforts. Caffeine Communications is a powerhouse public relations boutique with offices in Chicago and Milwaukee. We are known for unleashing a refreshing simple attitude that’s all about world-class creativity and fearless story telling that elevates the collective consciousness of a client’s brand by making it a current event unto itself.

What interested you in this internship?

Knowing how rough the economy has been, I wanted to make sure I had a strong resume with a lot of diverse experience. There’s an episode on Full House, where Michelle finally graduates from a crib to a bed (view a clip). Uncle Jesse is tucking her in and he explains to her that she’s got to test it out and rustle around under the covers for awhile to find her “sweet spot.” I think that’s what college is like. I utilized my time at UW-Whitewater to try new things and test myself in order to find my own sweet spot. I tested my on-camera skills as a weather broadcaster for Cable 19. I climbed my way up to the top of the ladder and became editor-in-chief of the Royal Purple. I served as the Publicity Co-Chair for the Homecoming Steering Committee. And I was president of the Society of Professional Journalists. Each of these roles helped me determine my strengths and narrowed down what it is that I love to do. Over the summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to work as a creative services intern for Visit Milwaukee. It was a wonderful experience, but I still hadn’t nailed what it was that I was passionate about. I read up on Caffeine Communications and its founder, Bryan LeMonds, and I knew that I had to become a part of their magic. We connected on Twitter and after meeting with the team, they invited me to join!

What are you doing in your internship?

As an intern at Caffeine, I’ve been able to dip my toes in a diverse sample of projects. I work with several accounts, including Harley-Davidson’s Youth and Noise accounts, Milwaukee Harley-Davidson and Il Mito (a lovely restaurant in Wauwatosa which I can’t say enough about). For example, I recently helped organize an event for Milwaukee Harley-Davidson called The Adult Derby. For the event, I created a website – www.adultderby.com – and a viral video that took off so well, they were featured on Fox and Friends, a national morning show in New York. That’s the type of work I do for all of our clients.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyaBe2ll2pY[/youtube]

What strategies did you use to find your internship?

There are so many tools online to help find internships. I love Big Shoes Network. I found my internship by researching the company and contacting them on Twitter. (Crazy, eh? But it worked!)

What have you learned during your internship experience?

I think it’s important to love what you do and do what you love. I genuinely look forward to going to work every day (yes, even despite the hour commute each way). I love to share inspiring stories – so I assumed I’d be a great fit for print journalism. I forgot to consider the other avenues of story telling. Turns out, public relations and I are like two peas in a pod. I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t tested myself in different situations.

What advice would you give to students exploring internships or beginning their searches for one?

Shamelessly self-promote yourself. At the beginning of my college experience, I was uncomfortable talking about my strengths or accomplishments. But it was something I learned to overcome. If you can’t sell yourself to an employer, how on earth will you be able to sell/promote their brand, product, or idea? It’s important to have confidence. If you’re not confident with yourself, fake it until you are.

Other thoughts or advice?

Make Google and the internet your best friends. When you apply for jobs, the first thing employers do is Google you. There are so many tools online to improve your web presence. Employers want to see what your capable of. Make a Google Profile, LinkedIn profile, blog, website, Twitter account, slideshow of clips, YouTube account, etc. (And guess what? It’s all free.) Do whatever you can to display your abilities online. Employers will be impressed – I guarantee it.

Have an interesting internship story to tell? Would you like to be considered for a future Intern Spotlight feature? Please email a brief synopsis of your experience to me, Laura Jacobs, at MorrowL@uww.edu.