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.  

One Team, One Goal – Reaching Out to Elon Alumni

By Katie Franck

Elon alumni can be an extremely valuable resource for as you look to expand your professional network or seek advice from someone who has “been through it all.”  However, it can be extremely tricky to figure out how to approach an alum… where do you find them and what do you say? LinkedIn is one of the best ways to connect with alumni.  When you form a connection with an alumni on LinkedIn, you can (and should) send them a message introducing yourself and asking if they would be willing to talk with you for about 5 to 10 minutes.  This is a good way to ask ask questions about their company or learn about their experience. Some Elon alumni have even designated themselves as “Elon Mentors”, which simply means they have chosen to be a resource for you and are ready and able to help.  

Communications alum Zach Bocian ‘17 said that the motto “one team, one goal” is “very applicable to life after college and more so in staying connected with alumni and present students.”  If you don’t already have a LinkedIn account or if you are unsure how to use it, this article can provide some excellent tips and guidelines to creating a noteworthy profile.  

So you’ve searched LinkedIn and found some alumni who you’d like to reach out to… now what?  Always start by introducing yourself and telling the person why you want to connect with them.  Just like with other social media platforms, if someone requests to follow you, you’re immediately going to look for the “Elon University” on their profile or some other factor you have in common before you follow them back.  A simple way to message someone may be,

“Hi Nicole!

I see that we both attend(ed) Elon University and that you currently work in PR.  I am a current student and PR is my intended field, I would love to connect with you to learn more about your experience. Thanks so much!

Katie Franck, Elon University Class of 2022”

If you have specific questions, use your initial connection to ask if they would be willing to answer them.  Additionally, this article has some great advice and templates for how to write an appropriate message to anyone you may want to connect with, alumni or not. 

When messaging alumni (or any professional) it is important to remember that they are busy and may not be checking their LinkedIn account on a regular basis.  Always be patient, and you can send a follow-up message. As always, professional language is expected and appreciated, and you should always keep in mind that they are taking time out of their day to help you.  While most Elon alumni (especially Elon Mentors) are excited and willing to talk with students, you should always thank them for their time and for any help they give you.

Good luck!

A Story: Successfully Networking

Internships are about learning, networking and great experiences. Jillian Jacobson, who is interning in Maine this winter is taking full advantage of every opportunity.

She recently attended the Maine Biz Forum as part of her internship with Spurwink, a nationally accredited non-profit with behavioral health and education services for children, adolescents, adults & families. While networking may be difficult, Jillian took a courageous step in setting herself apart from the rest. Just by asking a question, she was able to start conversations and successfully network. This is what Jillian had to say about her experience at the Maine Biz Forum.

“I was able to network with lots of professionals in the industry and make some connections. Attendees ranged from business professionals to communications professionals in Maine. The speaker was an economist from The Fed who spoke about economic predictions in the next year. The panel then spoke about how this could impact their local businesses in Maine. There was also a Q&A section and so I went up the microphone in front of 300+ people and introduced myself and asked why I should get my first job in Maine after graduation. The room seemed to be very impressed by my question as I was given many business cards after and many people came up and talked to me. It was a great experience even though I was intimidated being the youngest one there by many years.”

Networking paid off for Jillian because she stepped out of her comfort zone and took a chance!