Staying Organized: How to Make the Application Process Less Stressful

By Natalie Wright

Keep a Spreadsheet

When applying for internships, you will find yourself completing a handful of applications, communicating to a lot of new people, and setting/meeting a crazy amount of deadlines. This can all be hard to remember, if you don’t keep a record of it all. I recommend that you keep an Excel document or Google Sheet that can hold this information. You should keep track of the company name, application link, deadline for application, contact person, and additional  information such as notes from follow-up conversations. Here is an example:

natalie bp pic

By keeping a spreadsheet like this, you will be better organized and less stressful during the application process because all information will be in one designated location.

Keep a Running List of Skillsets

During the application process it is also important to keep a running list of your personal, unique skillsets. This will be helpful during interviews because future employers are interested in learning more about you, and they want to know what makes you different from other applicants. With a running list, you can always add to it, and it will make you more confident when stepping into an interview.

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Balancing Mental Health While Interning

By Gabrielle Beamon

For some students, internships can be overwhelming, but there are ways to manage any internship stress.

Also, remember, your supervisor may have been an intern and is there for you every step of the way. The days can be long and filled with numerous responsibilities, and you’re going to get drained. Here are a few things I like to remember when my internship starts to get overwhelming:

  1. Don’t take work home.

You’re an intern, and most likely not being paid. No one is expecting you to bring work home, so don’t do it! Your time after work is exactly that, YOUR time. Watch a movie. Read a book. Go to the gym. You have the entire rest of your career to bring work home, so take these precious moments to do something for yourself.

  1. Ask for help.

You’re new, and you’re learning. Take in everything that this industry has to offer. If you don’t understand something or you’re feeling overwhelmed, ASK YOUR SUPERVISOR for help! They are in your corner and want you to succeed. It’s okay to ask for assistance.  Also, don’t be afraid to take notes. This ensures you stay on task and complete projects correctly.

  1. Talk to the other interns.

Chances are you aren’t alone in your experience. One of the best ways to boost morale is by talking to other people. If you are struggling, chances are another intern is, too. You’ll make a new friend and probably a really strong professional connection.

As someone who has interned in both New York and Los Angeles, it became overwhelming very quickly. Reaching out to others, asking for help and making time to explore allowed me to have the best experience as an intern.

Networking with LinkedIn

By Arielle Berlinksy

Applying to internships and jobs can be easily quite stressful and overwhelming. At times, you will catch yourself wondering where to even begin. One thing I can recommend is LinkedIn. Starting a profile is super easy to do! Plus, it’s like filling out a fun quiz that is all about the subject you know most about…YOU! Before you know it, you will be able to build up a network quite simply by adding professors, internship co-workers and more. Also, don’t forget to join professional groups on LinkedIn and you can connect with their members. Then, you can put up a copy of your resume and any relevant information about your latest activities for everyone to see. Companies also search LinkedIn for students who match their interests and needs.  On top of all of this, you have the privilege to network with people in companies all over the world! Plus, now you can connect with alumni who want to help you. Networking is a huge key to getting your foot in the door for that dream position, so why not start today? You are just a few clicks away from starting the path towards your dream career. Good luck!

Why Diversity in Communications Matters

By Janay Tyson

Growing up, I was always fascinated with pop culture and the influence that celebrities, actors and entertainers had on the world. I loved seeing images of the lavish lives they lived and the opportunities they could have because of their craft. Yet, the older I got, I realized that there weren’t many individuals that looked like me through various forms of media. If there were people of color represented, they played typecast roles or were portrayed in a negative light and didn’t seem to get the promotions that their white counterparts did. Representation in media matters because with the changing world that we live in, the content we create, who we portray and how, must reflect the population and the diverse individuals that live within it.

In an article named, “The Media’s Lack of Diversity and Why It Matters to You,” written by Michael Nam, he explains how detrimental the lack of diversity in media can be in shaping the opinions of society. Not only are the images we see on television and what is being said about certain groups and communities affect how we view them, but also perceptions of ourselves. A 2012 study done by CNN “showed that self-esteem among white boys increased while that of white girls and Black children in general decreased with consumption of television media.” A lack of representative diversity can deeply affect ambitions and aspirations of the underrepresented from an early age.” The content that the media chooses to broadcast has a very influential role in how younger generations and people of color view themselves.

How does this fit into your position as an intern or when finding an internship you ask? I believe diversity is a key component to any successful workplace environment. When looking for internships, research the company’s leadership and values to see if they align with a perspective that reflects diversity in thought and background. Also, if you are a student of color, apply to any and all internships because the more representation they have, the more voices are in the room that otherwise might have been there before. While working at my internship this past summer, I made it a point to always speak up in meetings or bring up points that I didn’t think were noticed or mentioned due to working in a mainly white-dominated office. During my time, I found that my input was appreciated and well-received because I brought a conversation to the table that was not considered before. I completed various projects that enabled me to make an impact on the staff and company in hopes of diversifying their brand and messaging. My advice for any student would be to make your voice heard and don’t be afraid to ask questions or challenge opinions when working for an internship because supervisors actually enjoy when you speak up; it shows you’re paying attention and using critical thinking skills on the job.

Representation matters because our world is changing at a rapid pace and all people deserve to have positive images of themselves in the news stories we read, shows we watch, companies where we work, or music we listen to. “Globally, individuals on average spent 456.1 minutes each day consuming media last year,” said Rani Molla, a writer for Recode, a technology news website, and “Mobile internet consumption accounted for 19 percent of all global media consumption last year.” Because media is how we gain most information about the world, it’s time we start looking at the ways we describe and portray women, children and minorities who are most affected by this. We must move away from discriminatory hiring practices, generate news that doesn’t highlight crime or other negative acts and diversify our casts lists and the roles actors/actresses are given to play. Society is becoming more multicultural every day and because of this, our world and the media will have to follow suit.

Sources:

http://www.diversityinc.com/news/medias-lack-diversity-matters/

https://www.recode.net/2017/5/30/15712660/media-consumption-zenith-mobile-internet-tv

http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/01/showbiz/tv/tv-kids-self-esteem/index.html

The Importance of Confidence

By Arielle Berlinsky

Confidence will take you a long way in the process of searching for internship positions.  Avoid the stress and instead of starting the process with the fearful thought that you may not be good enough for a company, try reminding yourself that they would be lucky to have you.  This will help to relieve some of anxiety and those overwhelming thoughts.

Each day, start looking on the Communications Hotlists and social media, EJN, LinkedIn, and other sites to start finding positions.  You will also feel more confident in applying for positions if you have your resume, a cover letter, recommendation letters, and examples of your work always on hand in a folder on your desktop.  This way, when the application asks for these elements, you will have them already to submit.

Once you have made it to the second step of the application process, you will begin interviewing.  Confidence and a smile will take you far.   Most people do not realize it, but if you smile while you answer questions on the phone, it actually sounds happier, presents confidence, and makes your answers sound more appealing.  If you have an in-person interview, you do not have to smile the entire time, but make sure to flash those pearly whites at least a few times during your meeting.  There is no reason to be nervous in an interview because you will be discussing the topic you know best…YOU!  To boost your level of confidence for preparing for the interview, look up examples of questions that may be asked online so you can prepare some possible answers ahead of time.

Congratulations!  You made it past the application and interviewing steps.  Now, you are in a new workplace, so how can confidence be carried into your new position?  When I got to my internship, I greeted everyone I ran into and introduced myself with a smile and confident handshake from the first day.  It is important not to feel intimidated by the new environment and people around you.  At the end of the day, they are going to want to teach you what they know and help you to feel comfortable with completing your new tasks.  At the end of my first day, I sat down in the CEO’s office to discuss what I wanted to gain from my internship.  I also explained my skills, interests and more so he would know what projects I work well on during my time there.  Expressing your goals will help others to assist you in making the most of your position.   When you believe in yourself and what you are capable of, you will go far.  Now, go and conquer your application process with confidence. Good luck!

Be Proactive in the Internship Process!

By Miles Garrett

The Communications School strives to help its students excel and find internships and jobs. Communications student organizations allow any person to come in and gain valuable experience in their respective field of study. However, it’s important to know the value in being proactive in determining your opportunities outside of what is offered to you at Elon University.

As a freshman, I started my own sports blog to offer my opinions on sports-related content while also practicing my writing at the same time. During this period, I learned to share my content on social media and to advertise my work, and I received some notoriety as a result. This experience provided an advantage over my peers when I applied to The Pendulum my freshman year; and after only two short months, I was offered the role of sports editor. I believe  getting that role would have been impossible if I had not been proactive with my work.

You should also take responsibility for your own learning.  Classes are important to my career, but I teach myself and learn on my feet, too. I rented cameras and decided to practice filming on my own and eventually learned some good techniques. Otherwise, I could have hindered  learning a very important aspect of my major.

Finally, the Communications School will do its best to help you get an internship, but at the end of the day it’s up to you. I applied to nearly 30 different internships and received numerous rejection letters. I had to be proactive in going off campus and meeting people in-person, and even showing up to a TV station to talk about their internship program. This ended up being what got me the internship —being persistent and taking matters into my own hands.

Highlighting Coursework in the Application Process

By Rachel Tinker

So, you’re applying for your first internship. You have very little organization experience, but you have learned a lot about the industry from classes, and that’s okay. Everyone must start somewhere. Below are some ways you can best highlight your course experiences during the internship application process.

On Your Resume or In Your ePortfolio

If you have coursework that will help you stand out, such as writing samples, graphic design projects, multimedia content and more, consider making an ePortfolio. Take advantage of the School of Communications resources  to help you create an effective one. If you’ve worked with a client for a class, highlight that work in your ePortfolio, or even on your resume. Be mindful that you may have signed non-disclosure agreements with the client , so make sure you have permission first to include this work in an  eportfolio.  It’s best to ask  your professor or client. If you cannot use your work, your resume can also be a great place to feature some of the work you’ve completed. Examples of how to do that can be found on The Balance. Featuring your work in an eportfolio is always preferred, but either way, it allows for a hiring manager to get a better sense of your knowledge.

In Your Cover Letter

Your cover letter is a great place to reference an experience you’ve had working with a client. The SPDC offers a cover letter writing guide that helps with the structure. If you lack professional experience, consider highlighting how you used your skills or qualifications in your class. Consider how your coursework has challenged you to develop and use skills that would be useful in the internship.  This will demonstrate a greater understanding of the internship position, while also showing that you have the skills necessary to be a great intern.

In An Interview

An interview is the perfect time to bring up concrete examples of your expertise, even if those experiences are through the classroom. In the interview for my first internship, I brought up working with a client in my Strategic Campaigns class. My work with that client captured just about every element of work I would be doing in my internship, from strategic planning to developing content. Discussing my coursework and what I learned from it allowed my employer to get to know me in a more personal way. Rather than speaking generally, I could draw on my actual experiences that would benefit me as an intern, and I got hired!

Coursework is not a replacement for getting involved in student professional organizations and faciltiies, but it can help set you apart as a candidate ready for a working environment.