Juggling Multiple Internship Offers?

By Adam (AJ) Roshfeld

Congratulations! You have been offered an internship, by multiple companies… so now what? You’ve spent countless hours scouring the Communications Hotlist, networking, and searching for the perfect internship, but you never thought you would have to TURN DOWN an offer.

It is very important to keep your connections strong and untarnished, so if you do find yourself needing to pull your application from a company, or decline an offer, it is key that you do it in an amicable way. You never know if you are going to cross paths with the organization again, or the people in them.

Always be appreciative, and stress that you are honored that the company selected you. Thank them for taking the time to consider you. Believe it or not, the hiring process is just as tricky on their end as it is for those applying. Be honest. Companies, and the people working for them all understand that the professional world is a competitive one.

Never accept multiple offers. Rescinding on an offer is very poor professional etiquette, and reflects poorly on Elon and your fellow peers. If you need time, ask for an extension. Most companies understand that students apply to many places. Again, be honest and work with them, but be wary that they also need to fill the position, so be considerate of their timeline.

You are in for a world of learning and growing. There is no better way to hone your skills than by being on the front lines doing real world projects. Ask questions, try new things, and always keep an open mind.

You’ll find more specifics here:

http://www.womenpoweringbusiness.com/how-to-handle-multiple-job-offers-with-grace/

http://chronicle.com/article/The-Best-Problem-Dealing-With/138957/

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/05/21/how-to-juggle-multiple-job-offers

 

Informational Interviews are Very Helpful

By Nicole Ackman

One of the best ways to learn more about internship opportunities and careers is the informational interview with people in those industries. And who better to interview than Elon alumni? You can find them in the Elon Job Network (Mentor’s tab).  Hundreds of alumni have signed on to help you, and welcome the opportunity to talk with you.

The best thing you can do for an informational interview is to prepare well for it. So make sure to have a list of questions ready to ask your interviewee. Here are some great questions you can ask to start a conversation:

1. What does your average day look like? Asking this question can reveal a lot about the actual work and provide insight about the company’s culture. You can also get a great sense of how much variety that job offers.

2. What is most appealing about your job? This is a fairly obvious question, but for a good reason. It’s a great opportunity for your interviewee to tell you the good things about the job and the company.

3. What is your biggest challenge about your job? Knowing the downsides of a job and company is perhaps even more important than knowing the good aspects.

4. Which skills are needed for this internship? The answer to this question lets you know what you need to work on between now and graduation. Your interviewee might say you need to develop skills with a particular software, or just to develop a professional quality, like organization.

5. What is your company looking for in an intern?  One of the only ways to discover the answer to this question is to ask someone who works there. It’s one of those topics that you often cannot find answers to in online research.

6. What advice would you offer someone coming into this field? What advice would you offer for someone applying for this internship? Make sure to pay attention to his or her response and use whatever he or she says.

Don’t forget: If you’re meeting someone for coffee or lunch for an informational interview, you should always offer to pay. Plus, follow up with a thank you note or email afterwards.

For more information on informational interviews and ideas for questions to ask, check out these websites:  How-to-land-and-ace-an-informational-interviewNon-awkward informational interviews

How To Keep In Touch With an Employer After An Internship 

By Simone Jackson

So you’ve successfully finished your internship and your employer tells you to “Keep in touch.” What does “keeping in touch” really mean? How often should you reach out to this employer? What should you contact them about? Here are 5 tips on how to keep in touch with employers, especially as you come close to the organization’s hiring months:

Tip 1: Write a handwritten Thank You note to your employer at the conclusion of the internship.

Email is quick and easy, but nothing comes close to the thoughtfulness of a handwritten note. Thank your employer for offering you the opportunity to intern at their organization and recite something you enjoyed or learned during your time there.

Tip 2: Follow the company and industry leaders on social media to keep in touch with the industry.

It’s not only important to try to keep in touch with your internship employer, but also to stay abreast of the industry. Remain relevant with new technologies and developing trends in order to converse intelligently with an employer and other industry professionals.

Tip 3: Email the employer relevant articles about the industry or client-related materials.

Sending an article that is relevant to the employer’s work shows that you are thinking of the business in a tactful way (and that you’re thinking of them, too!) For example, let’s say you interned for an advertising agency’s new business department. Sending an email to this employer about a recent new business the agency has won shows that you are keeping up with the work they’ve done and congratulating them on the company’s success.

Tip 4: Visit the office, if possible.

Simply, nothing beats face time. People often don’t remember names, but they will remember faces!

Tip 5: Do not bombard the employer with messages.

Touch base with them every few months and more often, if you are communicating with them about a future opportunity with their organization.

Keeping in touch is all about strategically showing an employer that you are up-to-date with what is happening in the industry and are interested in pursuing future opportunities with their organization.

Finding an Internship in the Crowded Media Industry

By David Perell

The media landscape is a competitive one. Large news publications like Time Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today have struggled to adapt to the digital landscape due to legacy business models built for analog distribution systems. The combination of esteemed reputations and cost cutting measures including layoffs make it increasingly difficult for students to find internships.

Fortunately, smaller, resource constrained startups are on the rise. The media world never sleeps. All pieces of a media business require thorough upkeep from the day-to-day grind of journalism to trying to meet ad inventory guarantees. The unwavering grind of media startups is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for proactive internship seekers.

Small media companies do not have the resources to actively recruit interns. As a college student, it is your responsibility to make a connection with the company, stand out as a candidate and prove yourself. Each step requires a significant time commitment that should be justified as an investment in your future.

Step 1: Stand out by maintaining an active and professional Twitter account

Twitter is a hub for journalists, entrepreneurs and professionals in the tech industry. It is the best way to engage directly with C-Level executives, startup founders and respected journalists. Twitter is a place to grow your brand, connect with the companies you seek to impress and identify trends in an industry. Actively engaging with professionals on the service is an unparalleled opportunity for networking and learning.

My advice: Follow journalists, analysts and other college students who share your passions. Do not follow major brands because you will not be able to connect with them directly. Big brands receive thousands of social media mentions per day, most of which are ignored.

Instead of reaching out to brand accounts, focus on connecting with your favorite journalists, social media managers and lower level employees who can advocate for you.

Step 2: Publish on Medium

The community of media and technology professionals publishing on Medium is unprecedented. Medium profiles link directly to a user’s Twitter and Facebook accounts. Medium’s most influential users leverage their existing networks to “go viral” and build their brand on the website. With one viral post, an industry professional reading an industry blog in their free time may discover you.

Additionally, Medium is easier to use than Weebly, WordPress or any other content management system.

Step 3: Establish strong connections with adults

I cannot stress this one enough. Throughout life, you never know whom you will see again and who will prove to be important. The people you will meet on Twitter may someday help you find an internship or a job later in life. The golden rule is to treat new connections like they are your

friends instead of professionals in the industry who can get you an internship. Nobody likes to feel used, but everybody enjoys helping people they care about. Establish a friendship, learn and engage.

These tactics helped me receive two internships. I applied for my internship with Skift after seeing a tweet on my Twitter feed. I replied immediately, interviewed with the company twice over Skype and received an opportunity as their first intern within a week. Today, they are the largest industry intelligence and marketing platform in travel, providing news, information, data and services to all sectors of the world’s largest industry.

I received my second internship by texting a friend who worked at Intent Media as their Director of Global Talent Acquisition & Human Resources. I met Ash while I was traveling to Canada during the summer of 2013. We met at an airport restaurant when he worked for Facebook. We exchanged phone numbers, connected on Facebook and I received a tour of Facebook one month later.

My connection with Ash is one of friendship before networking. Become close friends with any professional you meet and build rapport with them before asking them for help. Most professionals have connections but will only use them when a relationship has been established. Ash is still a very close friend of mine.

Best Practices for Approaching Company Representatives at Job Fairs and Other Networking Events 

By Caroline Morelock

A great way to find information regarding potential internship opportunities is to attend networking events offered on campus throughout the year such as job fairs and alumni panels. However, it can sometimes be nerve wracking to approach company representatives. Below are some tips to hopefully make this process a little easier and to make these networking events work to your advantage.

An enthusiastic introduction

Starting off with a strong introduction can clear the path for a productive conversation to follow between you and the company representative. Greet them with a strong handshake, eye contact, and introduce yourself by clearly stating your name so they remember it.

Engage in conversation

After meeting a company representative, do not just hand her your resume and walk away. Your conversation should be memorable to help you stand out from the other attendees. These types of events are great because they give you the opportunity to show the representative who you are without the stress and formality of an interview setting.

With that being said, remember to research the companies in attendance before the event. This background knowledge about the company will give you insight on how you would fit well within the company’s culture. Once you know more about the company, it can act as a guide for conversation. Talking points can include why you are interested in the company, its most recent accomplishment, and how you would enjoy the work there. You can also prepare questions about the company and its expectations, the representative or the interested position.

Ask for a business card

When closing the conversation, leave them with your resume and ask for their business card. By having their business card this means that you will have their contact information to send a follow-up email thanking them for their time. Following up with the company representative is important because it reinforces your interest in the company and lets them know you look forward to hearing from them.

These few steps can help lead you to finding your perfect internship!

For more information, especially for the shy person: http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/professional-networking/networking-tips-for-shy-people-hot-jobs/article.aspx http://www.careerealism.com/network-tips-shy/

Open Minds and Casual Networks

By Lexi Williams

Upon coming to Elon and learning about the internship program, I was constantly reminded of one thing: always network when you can. I had always assumed that networking was confined to attending networking events (which thankfully, Elon provides plenty of those kinds of opportunities, so please attend). However, last year, I learned that networking actually could be a lot less complicated, and even a bit more casual.

In late December of 2014, I was talking to a long time family friend who is a Broadway producer. We were talking about the upcoming Broadway season. Then, all I said, “I’m hoping to get an internship in New York.” At that point, I was telling anyone who would listen to me about how much I wanted to find an internship in New York, as working in the city (particularly for Broadway) has been one of my biggest dreams since I was fourteen. My friend simply nodded and asked me to send him my resume. Four weeks later, I had an internship. I ended up working for AKA NYC, which is an entertainment advertising agency, whose vast majority of clients are Broadway shows. It was the perfect fit for me. I was able to take the skills I had learned at Elon – creating multimedia content, understanding the public relations and advertising field- and apply them to something I loved so passionately as musical theater. Ultimately, I had a better experience than I could have ever imagined.

I had dreamed of interning in New York City for a long time. By my senior year of high school, I had planned exactly where I was going to intern, and what I was going to do once I was there. If I’m being perfectly honest, AKA wasn’t necessarily on my radar, and I was not keen on the idea of veering away from my plan. In the end, my internship experience went in a completely different direction, and I’m more grateful that it did than I could explain.

When looking and applying for internships, I feel that it’s too easy to get wrapped up in big company names or positions. Through my internship, I learned that it’s best to keep an open mind at all times. I also learned that networking doesn’t necessarily mean handing out business cards to strangers. It can also be something as simple as having a conversation with people you know, who can then help you find options you weren’t even aware existed.

How to Show Off Your Personality in the Application Process

By Amanda Garrity

Filling out internship applications can be tedious — but it doesn’t have to be boring. Getting your information and best self across to future employers is key, and the only way to do so is to effectively showcase who you truly are. Employers are sorting through an application pool of people as qualified and talented you, so what sets you apart?

Here are three tips onhow to best show your personality in the application process:

  1. Kick off your cover letter with an anecdote.

Most people start off their cover letter with “My name is _____ and I’m interested in applying for the position of ________ because _______.” Here’s a tip: Stay away from a stale first sentence like this. Use the first few sentences to tie-in a personal story or passion that makes you a unique (and qualified) person for the position. For example, if you are applying for an internship at lifestyle PR agency, talk about an ad campaign that had an influence on your life. Or, if you’re applying for a job at MTV, share your favorite MTV memory. Be sure to keep this anecdote short and sweet — employers don’t want to read your autobiography; they just want to get to know you a little better. In doing so, be sure to keep your audience in mind; what might work for one company, may not work for another.

  1. Add a personal touch to your e-portfolio and resume design.

Something as simple as the color for your e-portfolio background can tell a lot about your personality. Use this to your advantage. While these materials must aim to look professional, there is nothing wrong with showing some personal flair. The same goes for your resume — but research your employer to ensure she will appreciate it. Use your best judgment in this situation.

  1. Make your passion evident.

Passion, people and persistence: the buzzwords that you should showcase in your application. Passion, especially, goes a long way in the job market. Employers want to know why you (yes, you) want this position. Use this as an opportunity to express why this position would best fit you — not every other qualified college student looking for a summer internship. Before applying to this position, take a moment to sit down and think about what you can offer this internship and in turn, what it can offer you. Instead of rushing to apply, your thoughtful and intentional words will likely make you a stronger candidate for the position.

For more information on balancing personality and professionalism, visit http://www.internqueen.com/blog/2014/03/how-do-i-write-cover-letter-that’s-professional-yet-passionate