What to do AFTER the Interview

By: Meredith Stutz
Phew. You did it. The interview is done. Congratulations!
But now what?
Before you start pacing anxiously awaiting that phone call or email update from your potential internship employer, here are some tips for what to do in the meantime.
1. The Thank You Note
Yes, this is still a huge deal. It’s time to pull out that stationary and put it to good use. I am a fan of the written thank you note because it means that you took the time to personally thank your interviewer(s). In a digital age, a written thank you note stands out and shows you care about investing in the company and its people. Now, if email is the only option you have, that’s fine, too. Just make sure you have a thank you note in the mail or their inbox within 48 hours of the interview.
Speaking of the thank you note, what should go in it?
Great question.
Write, to the person who conducted the interview, how much you appreciated the opportunity for an interview. Include specifics like if they provided a tour, introduced you to specific people, or gave you an opportunity to demonstrate your skills, etc. The goal here is to make your note is as personal as possible. Include at least one line about why you should be strongly considered based on their stated priorities during the interview. At the end, include your contact information so they can contact you for any follow up.
2. Networking
Look for opportunities to connect with company employees such as alumni, family friends or by attending public company events.  Also, professional organization (PRSA, SPJ, RTDNA, etc.) events are a good way to learn about opportunities and to meet industry professionals.  Then, you can connect with them on LinkedIn and/or ask for informational interviews, which provide more insight on company culture, business practices and how to best apply.
3.  Keep Looking
Most of us have that dream internship, but it’s important to not put all of your eggs into one internship basket. Check in with the School of Communications Internship Office to continue to seek out internship opportunities in other cities and companies.
4. Keep Focused and Breathe
We’ve all been there. It seems like everyone around you is getting an internship and you are still figuring things out, applying and interviewing. Before you continue reading…take a a deep breath. Whatever the outcome, it will be fine. You are still a valuable person and candidate no matter what happens to the people around you. Just stay focused on the outcome and don’t be afraid to reach out for help and get more internship ideas for this summer and beyond.
The waiting game after the interview(s) can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be your demise.
To recap: Hand write a detailed intentional thank you note, network in appropriate ways, keep expanding your options, and stay focused. No matter the outcome, it will all work out. You are not alone in this process, especially in the Elon Communications Community!
Best of luck!
For more information on what to do after an interview check out these sites:

Music Internships

By: Mack White

It seems people only think of jobs related to the music industry as producers, engineers, and artists. It was shocking to learn that record labels have entire teams of publicists and project managers to promote albums and tours of their artists. If you’re focused on strategic communications, a music business internship is definitely for you. Thanks to the public’s constant desire for live music, the industry requires press releases, interview requests, album write-ups, and so much more. Without a dedicated team of strategic communicators, labels cannot be successful.

If you’re from a media analytics background, it’s no surprise to you that social media is the future. So, you will collect the number of followers, likes, tweets, and other assorted information for each of the artists on the label. The development of social media has allowed for a whole new form of communication between the artist and the listener, and there is still plenty of room to be explored.

People focused on media analytics should also consider a music business internship since music is a recession-free business, as people will always be looking for ways to purchase the latest earworm album they heard on the radio. There are also phenomena like the recent revival in vinyl record sales. No one in the music industry could have predicted the vinyl comeback, so media analytics are essential in choosing the best strategy when an unforeseen phenomena and niche sales area comes into play.

Whether you have a background in media arts, entertainment, new media, or cinema, you have to realize how essential video is as the backbone of record labels, promoters, and so many more music-related fields. Labels are signing artists all the time, and absolutely need help in promoting them to fans of the label who have never heard of the artist. Frequently, this is done through a video introducing the artist, showing them live, and having them talk about the new album. There are so many parts that come into play in the production of a video project, and an internship in the music industry absolutely gives you that first-hand experience in deadline-oriented video production.

The best part about having a music business-related internship is that you get to talk about music with people who are just as knowledgeable of your favorite artists as you are; therefore, it’s so easy to meet and talk to people. Music business employees have to follow music periodicals for their living, so they’re always up-to-date on the latest happenings. You’ll feel welcome due to the ease of conversation since everyone has a favorite artist, song, or genre. And, if you’re someone who says they don’t like music, a music business internship is still applicable to you. As evident by the music industry lately, music isn’t stopping anytime soon, regardless of whatever curveballs get thrown at it.

You may not realize how badly you want a music business internship until you fall in love with the people, atmosphere, and responsibilities. All forms of communication come together in the music business, so look up local record labels, promoters, radio stations, or any place that is all about getting music in the hands (and ears) of the people who appreciate it most; and let your music business odyssey begin.

How to Deal With Multiple Internship Offers

By: Melissa Hanke

Congratulations! You have been offered an internship and you are thrilled. However, you have not yet heard from your dream company and you begin to panic…

Don’t worry! This is a common problem that many students face when applying to numerous internships. Below are some helpful tips on how to approach this sticky situation:

  1. Don’t accept the internship right away.

 If you are still waiting to hear from your top choice for an internship, do not accept the internship from your second or third choice right away. The worst thing you can do is to impulsively accept an internship and then have to go back and tell them no. You don’t want to burn any bridges in the professional world!

  1. Inquire about your timeframe.

Of course state how happy you are about their offer, but make sure you figure out how much time you have to either accept or decline. Don’t feel like you need to accept the offer right on the spot. Instead, be gracious and thank them, but tell them you would like to get back with them. They’ll usually let you know about a timeframe, but if they don’t, you should respond within at least 2 weeks.

  1. Follow-up with your dream company!

It is encouraged that you contact your #1 choice for an internship about when they will reach their decision for selecting their interns. When following up, you may say that you’re still very interested, but you have received a competitive offer and would like to know how soon they will be reaching a decision.

  1. Make a decision and stick with it.

Making a decision about where you would like to intern is sometimes difficult, but it is also very exciting! Below are some related articles about how to deal with multiple internship offers (what a happy problem to have). Good luck Elon interns!

What To Do When You Get Multiple Internship Offers


Ultimate Guide to Dealing with Multiple Internship Offers


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:

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.