Top 10 Reasons to Get an Internship

By: Katie Ginsberg

Not fully convinced an internship is right for you? Here are 10 reasons why it is a vital step in your future:

  1. Gain hands-on experience: Interning presents helpful skills and lessons that cannot be learned in the classroom.
  2. Learn more about your industry: Internships provide a snapshot of your typical day and present the different types of projects you would be working on.
  3. Learn more about your interests: Through this experience, you will learn both your likes and dislikes, which will help you to figure out what career you truly want to pursue.
  4. Realize your strengths and weaknesses: You will be working on a variety of projects that will highlight your strengths and the areas in need of improvement.
  5. Make valuable connections: Effective networking is key these days! The relationships you make with fellow employees can significantly help you when applying for jobs.
  6. Gain confidence: There’s no denying that you will be presented with stressful situations, but through this experience you will gain confidence in dealing with problems and working with professionals.
  7. Learn about professionalism in the workplace: Your internship will teach you how to appropriately behave in the working environment.
  8. Improve your social skills: Whether it’s during the interviewing process or simple daily interactions, you will improve your communication skills with professionals.
  9. Learn about the company culture: Each company has its own personality, behavior and core values. You will realize if the company is the right fit for you, or what aspects to look out for in future company searches.
  10. Get one step closer to a job offer! You never know – your internship could lead to a future position at the company. So, go apply, work hard and have fun!

How to Write a Great Cover Letter

By Sara Russell

As a student, one of the hardest tasks when applying for internships is writing a really good cover letter. You want be a competitive candidate without sounding like you’re boasting about your talents. Here are some tips to follow:

  1. ALWAYS proofread your cover letter.

The worst mistake anyone could do is accidently send a letter addressed to the wrong company. Employers say this often happens, but don’t let it happen to you. My Media Writing professor says that a good way to proofread is to read backwards. Read the last line, then the line before that and so on. This is helpful because oftentimes when we re-read our own work we know what we want to say and our brain may accidently insert words that aren’t there. Reading backwards forces us to look at the sentences individually to spell and grammar check.

  1. Say what you can do for them.

We can sometimes get caught up in telling companies how much we would benefit and love to work for them. They already know this, that’s why it’s an internship. Tell the company what you can offer them. This could include your extensive knowledge about a topic that relates to the company, or skills you have developed in class or through student media. How can you contribute to the overall success of the company? That’s what the employer doesn’t know about you.

  1.  Show your research skills.

To really make your cover letter stand out among the rest show that you are aware of the company’s recent projects/trends. One way to do this is to congratulate the company on its recent accomplishment. Or, for a news station, you could mention how you liked the coverage of a particular story. For an advertising/PR firm, you can share why you liked their an ad or campaign. Basically, show in your cover letter that you actually took the time to do some basic background research on them, and you appreciate their work.

  1. Focus on the positive.

I don’t have previous internship experience, what should I say in my cover letter? No worries, if you haven’t had your first internship yet! Write about your communication classes and how they have helped you become a strong writer, meet deadlines and work as a team player. Focus on your soft skills. They are important to an employer. http://jobsearch.about.com/od/glossary-s/g/soft-skills.htm

Finally, remember that your cover letter should tell an employer what they wouldn’t see in your resume’. Talk about what you are doing on campus that has enhanced your passion for your craft.  Whether it is Live Oak, The Pendulum or Win Stuff, you are learning skills that are transferrable and valuable at an internship. For more help with your cover letter, see our Communications Career Counselor, Marianne Brigola.

Staying Stress Free: The Guide to the Application Process

This article was written by Amanda Garrity, Internship Office Student Assistant.

The new year has now arrived with the murmurs of summer internships growing louder with time. Applying for summer internships can be an overwhelming process from first glance. Applications have the reputation for being time consuming and stressful, which quite frankly is a terrible combination. However, there are some ways to make this process a much smoother experience.
1. Sit Down & Daydream
What does your dream summer internship look like? Is it at a big or small company? Where is it located? What type of work do you want to complete? Consider these questions and write down your answers. Before beginning the internship search, it is essential that you know what you are looking for. In addition to your dream internship, you should also re-examine and write down a more realistic option. This will give you some flexibility when applying for positions.
2. Research
The next step can be exciting or terrifying. One piece of advice: Don’t let internship postings overwhelm you. If you find that you don’t know where to look or where to begin, make an appointment with Nagatha Tonkins, Communications Internship Director. She will help you to get started in the right direction. You will be able to use various resources in the Internship Office to find a variety of internships that focus on your interests.
3. Stay Organized
Once you find internships that interest you and you begin applying, it can be easy to get lost in a maze of dates, names and information. Keep it organized. Similar to the college application process, it is extremely beneficial to create a spreadsheet with key categories for the position type and details, company name, contact information, application deadlines and materials required. Having it in plain sight in one location will be much easier than a number of bookmarks or tabs on your browser.
4. Be Positive
“If you believe, you can achieve.” While this quote is a bit cliché, it is very true. The internship process can get discouraging at times. Just because you may not land the ideal internship at the major company in New York City does not mean that you are not capable of landing an amazing internship elsewhere. Remain optimistic and continue to work hard to ensure that something great will fall into place.
For more information about remaining stress free during the internship process:
http://www.internqueen.com/blog/2012/02/how-organize-your-internship-search
http://www.forbes.com/sites/investopedia/2013/06/24/7-tips-to-help-land-that-internship/

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!