Winter Break: Gear Up Time for Your Summer Internship Search

I can barely believe that winter break is already upon us. The fall semester flew by, and I’m guessing this spring semester will do the same. This means that summer – and its abundant internships – will be here before we know it.

Winter scenery

For my last post of the fall semester, I want to leave you with some things to do over the winter break to be prepared for your summer internship search. Opportunities will begin popping up in late January/early February, so you will want to be ready to take advantage of them. Here we go…

1. Get that resume ready!

It probably goes without saying, but you will need a resume in order to apply for most internships. And if great internships start getting posted and you don’t have that resume ready, you are going to be behind many of your peers. The break is an ideal time to work on your resume. No assignments, no papers, and no studying leave plenty of time to focus. I have written about internship resumes before, so check out these posts:

2. Google yourself and act accordingly.

Have you Googled yourself lately… or ever? If you are going to apply for internships, it’s a good idea. With the high potential for employers to scope you out online, you will want to be ahead of the game and know what’s out there. And if you’re strategic, you can start to mold your online presence and make it a positive one. Check out this thorough SlideShare presentation to help you get started:

3. Start building a profile on LinkedIn.

I refer to LinkedIn as your resume meets Facebook. It’s your professional social network, and it’s never been easier for students to build profiles on the site. LinkedIn takes your resume to a new level and will help you develop your professional network. Where do you begin? Check out the LinkedIn resources on our Career Resources website and read over the following articles:

Other social media sites can be beneficial as well. For tips, read Six Sites Every Potential Intern Must Be On.

Wishing you a relaxing, yet productive, winter break! “See” you in late January!

What is one thing that you will definitely accomplish over the winter break?

Photo by Bernt Rostad

Confessions of a Summer Intern: Making Opportunities Happen

Leah gives us the scoop on where she is after her internship revelation in her first post.

A lot of things have happened since my last blog post! I ended up leaving my marketing internship at the Madison Mallards to explore various other options. It was a difficult decision for me, because I was concerned I would not have as much ‘real world experience’ as my fellow graduates. However, it was not the right fit for me and life is too short to actually work at work, you should enjoy what you do!

The Monday after I left the Mallards, I was determined to find another internship to fill my time this summer as well as a part time job so I could start making some money. I went to the Andersen Library Monday morning and searched for virtual internships. I wanted to try a virtual internship so that I could still work one or two part time jobs. I applied for a couple of them and awaited responses. Immediately I found a ‘mailer-dameon’ notice in my inbox telling me that the email addresses I sent my applications to were incorrect. I felt defeated because I spent all day tailoring my resume and writing cover letters just to have them sent right back to me. I decided that Tuesday I would focus my search on getting a part time job and put an internship as a secondary priority.

Tuesday, I went to Janesville and applied at every possible restaurant; no one was hiring. I went to the Duck Inn and they were also not hiring. I went home and applied online to several places such as Menards, Starbucks, and Target. I was getting impatient, because I didn’t have a job OR an internship and it was nearing July. I asked some friends if their jobs were hiring and waited to hear back, hoping somewhere had an opening!

In the meantime, I decided that I might try and create an internship and make some money at the same time by doing some social media work for local businesses. My plan on Wednesday was to create a ‘sales pitch’ for The Steaming Cup and possibly some local bars offering them social media services for a small fee. I figured that way I would be able to get some sort of marketing experience while making money as I continued my job search.

Wednesday came along and before I got started on any plans, I heard back from a friend that the Anchor Inn in Edgerton was hiring. I got myself ready and drove out to Edgerton hoping for the best. I filled out the application and handed it in.

Before I left, I mentioned that I would be willing to do some social media work as well since they didn’t have a strong Facebook presence, no Twitter at all, and no website. The bartender said ‘one moment’ and ran outside to grab the owner. John came in and talked with me for about 5 minutes asking my availability and what I could offer them as far as social media. I told him I could do Facebook and Twitter for sure and try to create a website even though I’ve never done it before. Then he said ‘Okay, you’re hired, come in tomorrow at 10:30 to start training.’ I was so excited! I found a part-time serving job AND I would be doing social media marketing for them! I instantly went home and started working on a website.

Before I get too ahead of myself, for those of you who don’t know, the Anchor Inn is a restaurant located on the Rock River. It’s in Newville. But since that is an unincorporated little town, the address will tell you it’s in Edgerton. We have an outdoor deck/patio, grass seating, and as of last year we have an outdoor bar! Bands play live music on the weekends on our stage that sits right on the river. We also have tables inside and a nice bar area. Here are some picture of the Anchor Inn!

Anchor Inn

Anchor Inn Patio

LinkedIn and Your Internship Search: New Profile Sections

LinkedIn pen

Are you on LinkedIn? I am happy to report that I am connecting with more and more students on LinkedIn. And when I speak with students, whether one-on-one or in a class, I am pleasantly surprised to hear that many have joined LinkedIn already or are at least familiar with it. Progress!

When LinkedIn first started gaining in popularity, it was challenging for students to work with the tool. If you didn’t have a lot of work experience – or any work experience for that matter – you were pretty much out of luck for completing a profile. Over the past couple of years, however, LinkedIn has become much more student friendly. New sections are making it easier to showcase your college experiences.

As a student looking for an internship, you can make your LinkedIn profile more productive by adding some of these new sections:

    • Organizations – If you are involved, this is a must-add. When you add an organization, you can include a line for positions you hold or have held. You can also give a description, which can be especially helpful if the organization is unique to UW-Whitewater.
    • Courses – Just as you might list relevant coursework on your resume, you can now add courses to your LinkedIn profile. List the actual course name (ex: PR Tactics), and instead of including the course number, enter the university where you took the course. While this might be unnecessary if all the courses were at one institution, it is useful for those of you who have transferred or who have taken relevant courses at another institution (ex. a computer course at a technical college for skill-building purposes).
    • Projects – Ever had to complete an epic project for a class? Whether a group project or solo venture, there could be some good experience in there – experience with an end product, no less. Be thoughtful with your project title and add a clear, concise description. If the project can be found online, you can add the URL – great for multimedia students.
    • Volunteer Experiences & Causes – Many employers highly value volunteer work. If you are a student seeking a future career in human services (i.e. psychology, social work), volunteer experience can be career-related experience – i.e. your internship. Now, you can highlight your volunteer work in it’s own section. Just like a job-job, you include the organization you work/worked with, your role, dates, and a description of your work.
    • Skills – Along with Volunteer Experiences, this section has been a huge boost for student profiles. From a career exploration standpoint, you can discover the primary industry for a particular skill. For networking, you will see related LinkedIn Groups. You can also see related skills. If you are lacking in these related areas, keep an eye out for internships that will provide the opportunity to to build those skills.

Make your experience with LinkedIn even more valuable for your internship search by jazzing up your profile with these new sections. You will see the “Add sections” option right under your profile’s summary box. Of course, there is a lot more to LinkedIn, so I’m planning a few more LinkedIn posts for the semester to help both you and me make better use of this professional social network.

And if you aren’t on LinkedIn, check out the getting started resources on our Career Resources website.

What questions do YOU have about LinkedIn?

Photo by Sheila Scarborough

Welcome to the Fall 2011 Semester!

Back to school

Welcome Back Warhawks! I trust that the first week of classes went smoothly, and I hope you’re ready to get back into the school groove. Hopefully part of your 2011-2012 plans include an internship (or two).

Here’s a little look at what you might have missed over the summer and what you should definitely take advantage of this fall:

  • Confessions of a Summer Intern – For the second summer in a row, I recruited a group of four UWW interns to share their summer internship experiences with the masses. Alysondra, Gabby, Erin, and Sarah were all over the internships “map.” We learned what it’s like to be a virtual intern, we experienced what our nation’s capital has to offer interns, we headed oversees to London, and we got an insider’s view into a local powerhouse. If you missed any of the series this summer, definitely check it out!
  • Resume Dr. – Did you know that September is International Update-Your-Resume Month? I didn’t either until I saw it on Twitter last Tuesday. Get in the spirit by checking in at one of our first Resume Dr. events for the year:
    • Tuesday, September 20 – 9:00am to Noon – Hyland Hall Atrium
    • Wednesday, September 21 – 10:00am to 1:00pm – University Center Concourse
    • Thursday, September 22 – 1:00pm to 4:00pm – Andersen Library
  • Hawk Career Fair – Don’t miss out on the biggest UWW career fair of the year! Approximately 100 employers attend this annual event to recruit, and many come looking for more than just full-time employees. Internships make up a large segment of the available opportunities. Find the list of fair attendees and opportunities being recruited for on Hawk Jobs:
  • Intern Spotlight – Did you have an awesome internship experience this summer? Or are you anticipating that your fall internship is going to rock? Then you definitely need to consider applying to be UWW Intern of the Month and be featured in our “Intern Spotlight”! If you’re not there yet, the Intern Spotlight is still very beneficial. Read UWW interns’ stories and learn from their experiences.

Be sure to hit the ground running when it comes to your internship search. I’ve already met with students planning for Summer 2012! It’s awesome!! Haven’t even come close to thinking that far ahead yet? Get going! The competition is already ahead of you…

If you want some one-on-one advising on your internship search, be sure to schedule an appointment with me, your trusty Internship Coordinator. Just contact Career & Leadership Development at 262-472-1471 or drop by the office (UC 146 – up the ramps/stairs across from Willie’s 360/Freshens-side).

Beyond the in-person meetings, connect with me on Twitter. I tweet about current internship openings, and I share articles and tips to help in your search. I can also answer basic questions there – just send me a “reply” or “direct message” and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Wishing you all the best for the 2011-2012 academic year and in your quest for an amazing internship!

Photo by Avolore

Intern Spotlight: Emily Gullickson ’12

Emily Gullickson

Emily Gullickson, Senior (December 2012)
Major: Marketing, Direct & Internet
Minor: Media Arts & Game Design, Visual Media Design
Internship: Marketing Internship with Fort HealthCare

How did you find out about this internship? What interested you in the position?

Before applying at Fort HealthCare, I had been on the internship hunt for many months. But through school organizations such as AMA and classes at UW-Whitewater, I had found many useful resources throughout the process of applying. I finally stumbled upon my internship at Fort HealthCare through Big Shoes Network. The position interested me not only because it was close to Whitewater, but because Fort HealthCare had recently been ranked among the Top 100 Places to Work in Wisconsin. I had some knowledge about Fort HealthCare through AMA and decided it would be a good idea to apply. The job description had many things that I thought I would enjoy doing, including things such as social media management and event promotion. It took me about three weeks to secure my internship, but following up with Fort HealthCare played a vital role.

Describe your internship experience.

At Fort HealthCare, I help the marketing and health promotion department with many projects. I have helped with programs such as the first annual Weight Management Expo; edited biographies and created ads for the Therapy and Sports Center; made promotional flyers in Adobe Illustrator; created many social media posts; written press releases for upcoming classes; added and updated events for Fort HealthCare’s 365 events website; and generated ideas for the concealed weapons policy.

What have you learned during your internship? How does this opportunity relate to your career goals?

While at Fort HealthCare, I have seen the basics on how a marketing team works, what they do on a daily basis to keep the company running, and what challenges they run into, especially when it comes to launching new programs and promotions. Not only have I seen how a team works as a whole, but I have learned how to use new programs as well. I have also seen the agency side of things when it comes to Fort HealthCare and what tasks are delegated to marketing agencies that they work with. This can easily relate to my career goals as a marketing student. I watched a new web design go when I started my internship, and I have watched the revisions and changes they have had to make after it went live. As an internet marketing and visual media design student, this is an ideal thing for me to see. Working at Fort HealthCare also relates to the field I would like to be in someday [Sports Marketing/Health Promotions], as sports and being physically active are things that interest me.

What advice would you give other students about internships?

  • Internships are the building block to success! In the month I have been with Fort HealthCare, I have learned so much already. None of it is ever something that I am going to learn through a textbook. Once you land your internship, you will be hungry to learn, learn, learn.
  • Don’t ever give up on your internship search! It took me a lot of interviews and months to land mine, but the hard work of applying over and over again has definitely paid off. I have learned so many skills within the marketing and visual media design fields that I will take with me the rest of my life.

What did Emily’s supervisor have to say?

Emily was tasked with loading ALL Fort HealthCare events [on], which was over 40 events for the fall alone, and compiling a mailing to be sent to local NPOs. She had the events loaded in record time and was on the mailing right away. She completed the mailing in its entirety to over 100 local NPOs encouring their use of the site.

Her go-getter attitude took this project from sitting on my desk for months to completion in less than two days. Amazing.

Emily also exemplifies UW-Whitewater’s Core Values…

Commitment to the Pursuit of Knowledge

Emily is open to learning new things but also the “why” of why we do things. It is not enough to know that we have the website; she wants to know how people use it. It is not enough that we create flyers for classes/programs; she wants to know who takes them and what they learn. It is not enough to create Facebook posts; she is interested in who is reading them and how that feeds into our marketing plan.

Personal & Professional Integrity

Her integrity and professionalism are second to none. She speaks up when appropriate and withholds negativity. She engages people at all levels of the organization in meetings and via electronic communication. I trust that she will do impeccably well in her future if she maintains these qualities.

Congratulations Emily on being selected as UW-Whitewater Intern of the Month for September 2011!

Are you having or have you had an outstanding internship experience like Emily? Tell employers, faculty, and, of course, fellow UW-W students what makes/made your internship experience so great! Be featured in the Intern Spotlight! To learn more, visit the UWW Intern of the Month Program page.

Be sure to check out past featured students’ stories as well!