They Can’t Teach You This in a Classroom

By Matt Krause

I’ll never forget hearing that quote from Jon Laaser, the radio play-by-play voice of the Richmond Flying Squirrels Minor League Baseball team. As someone who aspires to a career in play-by-play, I knew that I had to get hands-on experience somehow. After all, play-by-play sports broadcasting isn’t a big enough field to merit an academic major.

Enter the internship program.

Elon University’s School of Communications is second to none when it comes to preparing students for real world success. The thorough, well-rounded Communications education gives both foundational knowledge and practical skills, but it is the internship program that has put me over the top with preparation for the future.

I spent my summer doing exactly what I hope to do in the real world: broadcast play-by-play of real professional baseball games. I worked for the Burlington Royals, the rookie league affiliate of the 2014 American League champion Kansas City Royals. I wasn’t a glorified shadow of a veteran broadcaster, I was the guy for the B-Royals. I handled all nine innings of play-by-play to an average audience of over 100 listeners. I provided game updates through social media and by writing a full recap for the team website.

If you looked around Minor League Baseball staff directories, you might notice that such a position (commonly known as “Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations”) is a full-time gig at the higher levels. I was the youngest lead play-by-play broadcaster in all of professional baseball this past summer. As a result, I will graduate and enter the “real world” with actual experience in the field, a valuable resume tool.

All this is thanks to the internship program. The internship program is the perfect pairing for the top-notch Elon education received in and around McEwen building.

After all, there are some things that they can’t teach you in a classroom.

Social Media Do’s and Don’ts Blog Post

By Gary Grumbach

If you’re anything like me, you have a million different social media accounts, and a million passwords to control them all. They’re about as easy to remember as whether or not I returned all of my ETV equipment. As someone who has access to as many Twitter accounts as there are days in a week, here are some social media do’s and don’ts as you prepare to apply for internships or jobs.

DOs
-Sign up for a LinkedIn account, and then actually set it up. LinkedIn gives you step by step directions to make your account as successful as possible.

-Create a professional Twitter. Think before you tweet! 140 characters can be the difference between your resume on the desk, and your resume in the trash.

-Google yourself. Make sure there isn’t anything embarrassing. For example, the Vines that you created and posted when that was still a thing…or the time a friend tweeted about you for doing something you didn’t remember the next day.

DONTs

-A good simple and basic rule of thumb: If Grandma shouldn’t see it…it shouldn’t be online. This includes the group shot from that one night during Fall Break at Señor Frogs, or that time you dressed as zoo animals with five of your closest friends.

-If you’re smart enough to get the position, don’t be stupid. For you sports guys, It’s like running into the wrong end zone. If you present yourself as a professional and put-together applicant during the interview, maintain that same level of professionalism throughout your internship or job.

-While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, plagiarism is not. If you see a funny tweet/post/blog/article, use it to create your own funny tweets/posts/blogs/articles. RTs are acceptable and encouraged. Copy and pasting is not.

So in conclusion, when it comes to social media, just don’t be stupid! If you want a professional internship or job, act professional. Show employers you have nothing to hide- in person, or online.

The Perks of Interning at a Small Company

By Katie Ginsberg

When choosing an internship, some people say, “Go big or go home.” They think that it is best to work at a large, corporate company, or none at all. Instead, I believe that the best things come in small packages, and in my case, small companies. Interning at a smaller-sized company taught me valuable lessons, gave me hands-on experience and established genuine relationships with coworkers.

Perk #1: Smaller companies value their close-knit environment. Although you may be designated to a specific department, at the end of the day, you work as one team. Learning how to be an effective and enthusiastic team player is a valuable skill in any industry.

Perk #2: Having this ability to work together gives you the freedom to learn about multiple areas of the company. So, through this one internship you can learn which areas you enjoy or dislike the most. As a result, you will know which positions to look for in your future job searches.

Perk #3: This freedom gives you the opportunity to work on several projects, giving you a variety of content for your e-portfolio. It is important to create a strong representation of yourself through your work. Make sure to ask your mentors for advice and feedback!

Perk #4: Due to the intimate work atmosphere, it is very likely that you will directly interact with the company’s head honchos—the owners, the managers and the investors. This opportunity is very valuable because it can lead to connections that could influence your future career path. Remember to maintain these relationships, both during and after your internship is completed!

Although you may think bigger is better, interning at a smaller company can truly be a unique and valuable experience. It opens doors to multiple areas that could not be seen at larger companies. This opportunity will not only give you knowledge about the industry, but also about your personal strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. Through this internship, you can gain the confidence and connections that are vital to your success!

Internship Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Internships can be an incredible learning experience but you will only get out of the opportunity as much as you put into it. Many interns learn this lesson the hard way and leave at the end of summer with regrets. That doesn’t have to be you! Just avoid the following common intern mistakes to ensure a worthwhile, regret-free internship.

  • Failing to ask questions or ask for more work. Asking questions is a great way to show your supervisors that you are really trying to learn and want to make the most out of your internship. Never be afraid to ask a question if you are confused about a task. Also, if you run out of work, don’t assume it’s just free time to browse Facebook or Instagram on your phone. Ask for something more to do! Actively seeking more work is very impressive and will help you stand out among other interns.
  • Getting frustrated or complaining about being bored. Most internships start slow and will build as employers begin to get a sense of your capabilities. You may wonder how being exceptional at photocopying and errand-running impacts your ability to do higher-level work. However, if you excel at the smaller tasks and don’t complain, you have a better chance of getting assigned more interesting tasks you can add to your portfolio.
  • Neglecting to network. As an intern, it is crucial to establish key relationships that can assist you in learning over the course of your internship. Take advantage of any down time to start conversations with co-workers and learn about their careers and get good advice. Never think, “I’m just an intern.” You are now a part of the team and it is important to make yourself known.
  • Dressing inappropriately. If it appears like you’re dressing for a class rather than a job, you’ll give off the vibe that you don’t take your internship seriously. Pay attention to how the higher-ups in your office dress and mirror their level of formality.
  • Leaving without a trace. Before your internship is over, make your mark by giving hand-written thank-you notes to all of your co-workers. Schedule time with your boss to sit down and discuss future employment opportunities and a recommendation letter.

Internships have become a crucial and necessary stepping-stone for college students across the country. In today’s competitive society, it is imperative that you take the experience seriously and avoid mistakes that could hinder this amazing learning opportunity.

For more information on this subject visit:

http://internships.about.com/od/internships101/a/8-Mistakes-To-Avoid-While-Interning-For-A-Company.htm

http://www.businessinsider.com/common-mistakes-interns-make-2014-6

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/07/11/dont-make-these-10-internship-mistakes

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/05/08/the-top-8-internship-blunders

Managing Two Internships

By Jessica Leano

What seemed like 200 internship applications later, I finally read the words every college student longs to see. “We’d like to offer you a position for the summer.” After several stressful weeks of trying to find an internship in California, I landed a position as a production intern with a small non-profit radio broadcasting company.

As a transfer student from a public university where most students don’t do an internship, I wanted to get all the experience I could out of my last summer in college. In addition to my radio internship, I also applied for a marketing internship, and was hired at a loan management company.

Every college student knows that multitasking is a necessity, and working two jobs similarly requires careful time management. Here are my tips for balancing two internships at once.

1.    Establish a set schedule.

Before flying out to California, I discussed my availability with both of my supervisors. To demonstrate that I was equally committed to both positions, I negotiated my hours early on. Having a solid schedule also helped me set goals for completing assignments and plan out my work for each day. I also worked more effectively having less time at one job than the other interns.

2.    Find connections between your internships.

Inevitably, schedule conflicts come up. With my marketing position, I was invited to attend an email-marketing seminar on one of the days I would be at my other job.

After speaking with my supervisor at the radio internship, I found that both companies use the same email-marketing vendor. When I asked for the day off to attend the seminar, I assured my boss that I would take good notes and share the information, as well as make up any missed work on the weekend.

3.    Talk regularly with both supervisors, and make both sites feel important.

Several times, I found myself having to resolve issues at one company while physically at the other. I do not recommend being glued to your cell phone while at work, but in cases where coworkers urgently need your help; make sure they are able to reach you by email or phone.

Fortunately, my co-workers at both companies were always flexible and understanding anytime I needed to step out and make a phone call. If you treat both jobs equally, your supervisors will know that you are a dedicated worker, not just prioritizing one position over the other.

  1. Get plenty of rest when you can.  Two internships can be demanding so you can’t stay up late and expect to be on top of your game the next day.  You want to be eager and enthusiastic at both sites.

Although I never planned on doing two internships at once, and didn’t think it would even be plausible, I came back to Elon with not only two more jobs to list on my resume, but experience working in two different areas of communications.  And, I returned to school much more confident in my abilities, both in and outside of my concentration. I would encourage aspiring interns to explore all their options and, if possible, to take on more than one job. Two jobs mean more work, but also double the career advice and double the lunches with coworkers!

Below are links to two articles about how to handle two internships at once!

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/20/education/edlife/to-double-dip-or-not.html?_r=0

“To Double dip or not”

http://heatherhuhman.com/2011/04/a-tale-of-two-internships-one-paid-one-not/

“A Tale of two internships”

Why it Pays to Be Unpaid

By Amanda Parker

If I were to ask every person reading this if they would rather have a paid or unpaid internship, I’m sure, most (if not all) would choose having a paid internship. And that’s great! Paid internships are awesome. But, the realities of internships are – most are unpaid. Now, we could all be upset that we’re working for free, OR we could look at the positives that come from unpaid internships… So let’s do that!

Positive # 1: You’re most likely receiving credit for your internship, which is a graduation requirement for the School of Communications. So, you may not be getting paid, but you’re checking boxes off of your course-work to do list!

Positive # 2: Freedom!  It’s nice when you don’t have the pressure of being on the pay roll. So, take initiative and ask for more work and more responsibility. What do you have to lose? If you ask for more tasks and show your dedication to your internship, your supervisors and co-workers will take notice; and they may even give you more freedom and bigger projects.

Positive # 3: When you reach your goals, you’ll be so proud! Work hard and reap the benefits. If you aren’t being paid for your work, it’s natural that you might start feeling lazy or unimportant at your internship. Instead, try getting extra motivated – because nothing feels better than accomplishing something without an extrinsic reward, and knowing you did it well! Set goals before starting your internship and track your success in accomplishing them throughout your internship.   It’s a great time to learn new skills!

Positive # 4: You’ll gain confidence, new mentors and work for your e-portfolio. Take the time at your unpaid internship to build relationships with people in the office and ask for feedback. Using your internship as a time to fine-tune your networking style is vital for when you’re in the actual working world. This is your chance to ask for help and ask for feedback on your work.  So, when you leave your internship, you’ll have work to add to your e-portfolio and contacts who can help you later. All of this will increase your confidence in future work endeavors.

You can pout and stomp your feet all you want if your internship is unpaid; instead, try looking on the bright side! You have the rest of your life to make money; use unpaid internships as learning experiences that will help you in the long run. The truth of the matter is un-paid internships are much more common and easier to find than paid ones. Take it from me, someone who’s had three unpaid internships, you will survive! If necessary, ask your internship site if they will let you be part-time so you can pick up a paying job. Don’t be discouraged. Prove to your internship site you’re a hard worker, and maybe in the future – they will pay you.  It happens!