Remote Internships: An Opportunity to Explore and Network during Pandemic Times

By: Alexandra Strouse

Even with the current remote circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, internship experiences are still highly beneficial. My remote internships this past summer with Elon’s Center for Design Thinking and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater were both great opportunities to explore and network.

In terms of networking, I found it beneficial within both of these organizations to schedule and have one-on-one conversational interviews with many employees. These conversations allowed me to gain insight into their careers, career paths, the organizations, and the industry, as well as provided me with inspirational professional advice.

I recommend making having conversational interviews part of your remote internship experience. Here are some great conversation starters and questions I typically like to ask:

  1. Can you tell me more about your position? What are your responsibilities?
  2. What skills do you have that make you successful in your job?
  3. What does a typical workday or workweek look like? What kinds of interactions do you have on a daily basis?
  4. What excites and inspires you about your job that makes it so compelling to you personally?
  5. What has been the most interesting project you’ve worked on? Your favorite? Most surprising?
  6. What are some challenges you face in your work?
  7. How has the pandemic effected your work?
  8. How do you foresee the next year with your work considering the pandemic?
  9. How do the different sectors and roles within the company/organization work together?
  10. Describe your career path. What experiences helped route you?
  11. What advice do you have for me as someone who is looking to go into your field in the future?
  12. When hiring out of college, what are you looking for from candidates?

You can also ask questions that pertain more to their specific role. This could include questions like: how do you establish contacts and create relationships with the press or what’s your process in producing your work?

I recommend aiming to do this with as many employees as possible, whether or not you think you may be interested in a role similar to theirs in the future. It is important to gain an understanding of how the entire company or organization you are working for operates and you may even find yourself interested in more areas.

Having conversational interviews with many overall allows you to create connections and helps to guide you as you continue to make steps for your future. Make sure to follow up following these conversations and stay in touch following your internship experience.

Have questions or want to hear more about how to network within your internship experience or at any stage in your internship search? Please reach out to me by email at astrouse@elon.edu!

How Internships Can Make You Rethink Your Future Career … (In a good way)

By: Ashlyn DeLoughy 

There are a lot of reasons why students apply for internship programs. One is to network, another is to build their resume. However, I think one of the most underrated outcomes of an internship program is the perspective it provides students on their future career goals. 

Prior to my internship with RadicalMedia, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life post grad. I knew I would graduate with two degrees, but I never knew which industry I would lean towards pursuing. Beyond that, I didn’t know what specific job I’d want within that industry. I always thought I would figure that out later, that it was something to address in the future, not the present. 

Needless to say, my internship completely changed my perspective on the journalism industry and what I want to become within that industry… in the best ways possible. And the best part? This all happened when I least expected it. 

I almost didn’t apply for the internship position I had this summer. I thought I was underqualified and I was hesitant because the internship was remote due to COVID-19 concerns. Not only was I worried that I wouldn’t even get the position, but I was also worried that I wouldn’t get anything out of the experience, especially if I wasn’t going to be in the production studios surrounded by my supervisor, other RadicalMedia employees and the rest of the intern team. I was so wrong. 

I’m incredibly grateful for my internship experience this past summer. Being able to be a part of a national storytelling project as special as PBS American Portrait, was never an opportunity I thought I’d have. I learned so much about the TV Production industry through this internship experience. This includes understanding how to develop a narrative through visual storytelling, accurately producing/creating content that adheres to a national audience, learning how different TV episodes are scripted and organized in pre-production, etc. Additionally, I had the opportunity to work alongside the casting team, which particularly helped me to gain a skill set I never imagined I’d have or even want to have.

I can now say that I’m interested in TV News production, which is something I never even considered going into prior to this past summer. I always had my mind on reporting, but this internship position reminded me that producing is another option that still allows me to creatively tell stories to the rest of the world. 

Everything I learned in this internship experience completely changed my perspective on not only what I can do with my journalism degree, but also what I want to do with it after graduation. I think more than anything this internship experience made me understand that really at the end of the day all I want to do after graduation is become a professional storyteller. This project not only opened my perspective on the production field, but also reminded me of how much I love telling stories above everything else. 

I say all of this because if you’re unsure about an internship position because it’s not what you want to do with the rest of your life or because you think you’re underqualified, just apply! You’ll never actually know if it’s something you’re passionate about and capable of pursuing until you have first-hand experience in that field. Do not hold yourself back because you might just be surprised with the end result. 

If anyone has any questions or would like to further talk to me about this, please reach out! Send me an email at adeloughy@elon.edu I’d love to chat with you! 

Keeping Up With The Changing Media Industry

By Emmanuel Tobe

How much do you know about the media industry? Through a variety of Elon classes, you have probably learned all about how Facebook changed digital communication or how the birth of Netflix gave consumers the power to watch what they want, whenever they wanted, and that information is very valuable, but the past should not be where your media knowledge stops. Facebook may have been on top of the world for the past decade, but it has not stopped trying to evolve and grow. From 2018 to 2019, Facebook had a 9% increase in users, over one million more total advertisers, and a 29% increase in revenue, yet the company is still announcing new initiatives that continue to shape and change the social media landscape.

It is great if you can talk about how the media industry has changed, but it is also just as important to speak about where you think the media industry is going. Yes, busting out your extensive historical knowledge of Social Media can be beneficial during networking opportunities and job interviews, but talking about the future of Social Media can help you stand out even more. For example, it is popular knowledge that Twitter has been an extremely valuable commodity to a company’s digital portfolio, but what is more obscure is the fact that Reddit, despite being 15 years old, may be the future as it has added an additional 100 million monthly users since 2018, and now has more monthly active users than Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat.

Online, there are a variety of websites that allow you to stay informed with the latest media news and trends. My personal favorite is ‘Mediapost.com,’ as they have a good blend of news stories, reports and commentary from those in the field. Another great resource is ‘Cynopsis’ which has a free daily newsletter that they email with information on everything from digital media news to job opportunities. Variety.com is great in highlighting moves made by industry executives and professionals. These sites are free and don’t even scratch the surface in regards to the number of resources available for people who want to know what is going on right now and in the future. It is important to care and know what is going on in the present, because ultimately, we are all the future.

If you would like to discuss further about thinking about the future of this industry or learn more about potential resources out there, do not hesitate to email me at etobe@elon.edu!

The Most Important Step of the Internship Process is Applying

By Ethan Porter

Landing an internship can be somewhat daunting initially. However, before you can even get the internship, you have to apply.

The first step to getting an internship is to make a list of all of your interests. The Elon Job Network is an excellent resource to get an idea of what opportunities are currently available. Compare your list of interests to the list of positions available and note which opportunities match. While writing down positions of interest, always make sure to note when the application is due as you do not want to miss an opportunity because you didn’t submit.

This past summer I was fortunate enough to have an internship with the School of Communications as part of the Elon Comm Collective. I was told three days before the due date for my internship’s application that the summer job I had lined up previously was cancelled due to the pandemic. I submitted my application for the internship on the deadline.

If your application needs a faculty recommendation, reach out to faculty! Network! Grab coffee, lunch, or get on a phone call. Elon has amazing faculty and staff who would love to help further your education and see you succeed. I promise you it’s not that awkward.

Once you have all of the required materials, submit as many applications as you possibly can. Do not get tunnel vision on one specific opportunity. If you get your number one choice, excellent! If not, keep moving forward like “Meet the Robinsons.” Eventually you will get to where you need to be.

The more positions you have, the more experience you acquire. The more experience you have, the higher your chance of landing your dream internship or job. However, before any of that can happen, you have to apply!

If you have any questions, feel free to make an appointment at the SPDC, or email me at eporter7@elon.edu.

2020-2021 Communications Internship Ambassadors

The School of Communications Internship Office has selected new internship ambassadors for the 2020-2021 school year. Ambassadors are carefully selected students who have successfully completed at least one for-credit communications internship. Ambassadors are knowledgeable about the internship process and have the leadership skills to give advice to other students. These ambassadors are here to help communications students with advice, tips and tricks and their own stories to help students apply to and get awesome internships! 

Here are this year’s ambassadors. 

Ashlyn DeLoughy 

Ashlyn is a double major in Journalism and Dance Performance & Choreography. She interned this past summer at RadicalMedia, a global transmedia company that develops and produces a variety of style of content. She is heavily involved on campus, as a member of Elon News Network, Society of Professional Journalists and a Panhellenic sorority.

Jacqueline Dieker 

Jacqueline is a Junior double majoring in Communication Design and Strategic Communications. She completed a summer internship in digital marketing at JusticeApp, a legal technology company based in Newburyport, Massachusetts.  

Ethan Porter 

Ethan is a Journalism major, he interned for the Elon Comm Collective this past summer. During his internship, Ethan was responsible for producing and mixing audio for the COMMon Ground Podcast and reviewing and editing his team member’s writings. 

Alexandra Strouse 

Alexandra is a double major in Strategic Communications and Dance Performance & Choreography. She had two internships last summer, one at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and one as the Communications Intern for the Elon University Center for Design Thinking. 

Emmanuel Tobe 

Emmanuel is a Senior Media Analytics and Cinema & Television Arts double major. Emmanuel has a lot of internship work as well as relevant on campus involvement in communications organizations. He has interned at Starz Network, Hearst Magazines and Fox Sports.  

Turning your internship into a job or return offer

By Kirsten Chase

The hard part of your summer is nearly over: you secured a competitive internship, gained new technical and communication skills through your projects, established meaningful connections with your co-workers and completed your final wrap-up presentation. So, what should be your next move? Set-up a final exit interview with your manager to express your interest in returning? Or, send out LinkedIn requests and immediately start looking for your next position?

If you find that you’re enjoying your internship and the culture of your company and would want to return in the future, there are several ways to make yourself stand out and secure a return offer.

Make your intentions known.

It should be clear within the first few weeks if you can see yourself working at a company full-time and agree with their mission. Set up a meeting with your supervisor and clearly express your goal to return, and how you can best perform to reach that goal. In addition, set up a meeting with a representative in human resources and share your intent with them. They’ll be the first to know about new job postings, and keep you in mind.

Show your supervisor your work ethic and engagement.

No matter how large or small the project, enthusiasm and proactiveness are key. Step up and ask for more responsibility and always ask for feedback. Attend informational sessions and keep an open mind as you navigate all your internship has to offer. Others will notice and also appreciate your genuine interest in the company.

Identify areas of interest.

Internships are great ways to evaluate what interests you the most within a specific company, and can solidify your potential career path. It can also help you build your personal brand as you begin professionally marketing yourself. Do you enjoy doing research or analyzing data? Do you enjoy working with the media? Finding out which roles excite you will help you better articulate what team you would want to be placed on in the future.

Express eagerness.

Often, students find that stepping outside their comfort zone and expressing interest in returning can be a scary thought. But, companies will not magically assume that you want to come back, even if that’s your intention. Express your enthusiasm at every step of the internship and remain eager for new opportunities. “I know sometimes it’s a bit tough because there can be so much going on—and it can be intimidating to ask for help—but it’s a very valuable skill set to have,” says Muse Full-Stack Engineer, Shlomo Dalezman.

Find your advocates.

Lauren Berger, CEO of InternQueen.com said, “At many companies, the internship program is essentially a six- to eight-week long job interview.” It’s important to seek out relationships with mentors throughout the company who will advocate for you later on. When it comes down to which intern the boss should hire, your work relationships will come in handy.

Using these tips to assist you will help set you apart from other interns and demonstrate your intent to return to a company you love. The relationships you build will play a key role in helping you ask for what you want, and securing a position you’ve always dreamed of.

Sources: https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-ask-for-full-time-position-after-internship-email

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/how-to-make-sure-your-internship-ends-with-a-full-time-job

 

How to Use Connections or Acquaintances to Help You Find an Internship

By Daria Sprague

Obtaining an internship can seem like an impossible feat when you are first getting started. Between crafting the perfect resume and cover letter to preparing for each interview, it can be exhausting to find the perfect internship. That’s why it is important to reach out to your connections to help you.

Who do you know either through school, family, or friends? Are there alumni at the companies where you want to apply?  What is the best way to connect with them? There are multiple channels of communication that you can use to reach out to these connections: LinkedIn, email, and phone calls, to name a few.

Don’t be nervous about reaching out.  Your acquaintances and alumni want to help you succeed, and may pass along your information to Human Resources to help you.

When crafting your messages to your connections, it is important to act professional and tailor your message to each person. In The Muse article, 3 Better Ways to Start a Networking Email Than “Remember Me?”, three email templates are outlined in order to help you craft the perfect message.

It can be daunting asking for help, especially from someone that you may not know well, but it is worth it in the end. You are not asking for a job, you are just asking for some guidance.

Just think about if you were in their position, you would also want to help the person reaching out to you!

What to do when you’re not getting any internship offers

By Sophia Theriault

The entire internship process sometimes can be daunting and overwhelming for students. Researching companies, writing cover letters, applying, and interviewing are all important steps that are in your control. But, there comes a point in the process when all you have to do is wait for a response from the employers about the status of your application and whether you were selected for the internship or not.

What do you do if time keeps passing and you hear nothing? Well, from my experience it is important to keep track of every single application you submit and research the timeline of their application process. Following up on your application status is a good idea especially if it’s radio silence from the other end.

When I was applying for a Summer internship in New York City, I started the process in January and didn’t obtain an internship until June. To say I was stressed would be an understatement. I ended up applying to over 100 internships and programs and I have a spreadsheet to prove it. It seemed like it was taking forever for companies to get back to me and reach out about a decision. Or, I would get the standard, “Thank you for applying to our internship, but we decided to go with another applicant. We will keep your resume on file for any future employment.” I felt more and more defeated after each one of these responses.

By late May, I was convinced I was not going to have an internship. However, I decided to reach out to staff and faculty at Elon for their advice. At the Global Education Center, Assistant Director for Global Internships Victoria Lo gave me helpful tips and offered some companies that were looking to hire Elon students as interns. I decided to apply to an internship at Catholic Charities in New York, but was not too enthusiastic about it because it did not seem like the right fit.

SophiaTheriault1

Fast forward a month later, I was having a wonderful internship experience at Catholic Charities in New York after accepting their offer! I advise everyone applying to internships to remember that everything works out and falls into place and reaching out to those around you can be extremely helpful. Many of the faculty and staff have worked in the industry and still have contact with professionals and alumni who can assist students. Our family and friends may also know someone who can help. So, don’t give up, reach out!

 

Professional Email Etiquette

By Sami King

In the professional workplace, emails are one of the most popular forms of communication between your client, and colleagues. Emails can be used to communicate project updates, ask important questions, schedule meetings or events, make announcements and more. It is vital in the workplace that your content  is clear and accurate because mistakes can create the wrong impression and misinformation. 

Below is the general structure of how to compose a professional email:

1 – Greet the Recipient & Introduce Yourself

Always address the person you are writing to with Mr. or Ms. before their last name (unless the recipient allows you to call them by their first name). Then, include one sentence about who you are if this is your first time reaching out.

Examples:

  • “Ms. Ling, My name is John Smith and I am a Sophomore majoring in Communications.” 
  • “Mr. Townsend, My name is Katie Fox and I am a Communications Intern at Edelman.” 

2 – Explain what you are doing/ who you are then state your purpose

Make sure your purpose is explained as concise as possible. If you are explaining something more complicated, add in bullet points to break up your content. 

Examples:

  • “I’m writing to inquire about your research on the video game behaviors of kids ages 12-15.”
  • “I’m a local radio producer looking to schedule a live interview ahead of your performance in Washington D.C. next week.”
  • “My architectural firm is in need of expertise on city apartments, and several colleagues tell me your insight is unrivaled.”

3 – Closing Remarks

At this point of the email, it is very important you thank the recipient for their time and help. 

Example:

  • “Thank you so much for your time and consideration, I greatly appreciate it.”
  • “Thank you for your time and help, I look forward to hearing back from you.”

4 – Ending your Email

Close your email with your first and last name. 

Example: 

  • Best,

Robert Jones

  • Sincerely,

Betty Bell

  • Thanks Again,

Amy Ross

Tips:

  • Do not include emoticons
  • Remember to attach any documents or files, if needed before sending 
  • Reread your email to make sure there are no errors
  • Make sure you have the correct name and email address 
  • Avoid slang words or abbreviations such as “LOL” or “20 bucks”

Additional Professional Email Samples:

Sources:

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/how-to-write-and-send-professional-email-messages-2061892

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/professional-email-in-english/

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/how-to-write-a-professional-email

The Growing Industry of Healthcare Communications

By Katie Franck

What is healthcare communications?

Healthcare communications is a fast-growing industry with many opportunities.  According to the Institute for Healthcare Communications (IHC), “Patients’ perceptions of the quality of the healthcare they received are highly dependent on the quality of their interactions with their healthcare clinician and team.”  Healthcare communications can take many forms, from educating healthcare professionals on how to effectively communicate with their patients, to advising a pharmaceutical company on how to communicate drug prices to the public.

Why is it so important?

According to Elizabeth Comtois at FleishmanHillard, healthcare communications is crucial for patients and members of the healthcare system.  As a healthcare communications professional, you may consult with a hospital or drug company to help them identify their message and get it out to the right audience.  Clearly communicating a hospital’s message can greatly reduce the risk of misunderstandings between healthcare companies and their patients, and provide the public with valuable information.

What can I do now to be competitive for a career in healthcare communications?

The best thing to do now is to get involved on campus!  If you are specifically interested in healthcare communications, joining both communications organizations and health-related organizations can give you valuable experience that future employers will appreciate.  Additionally, look for healthcare communications internships! Many PR firms have healthcare clients, so asking to help with those accounts can be a great way to get your foot in the door.

If you think healthcare communications may be right for you, I encourage you to check out the IHC website, which has lots of great information about the field.