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  • Paul Lopreiato 10:00 pm on August 18, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: energy, , journalist, new york times, official, washington post   

    Are We Officials? 

    This recent Washington Post blog post goes into an investigative report on the energy industry from the Aruthur Brisbane of the New York Times.  One of their previous articles referred to emails published from C. Hobson Bryan, an ‘official’ who went on record for the story and made several comments. After it was found that this Official was really an Intern, the Post blog described how it was received in the Times:

    A generational dynamic may explain Brisbane’s disdain for the interns. He’s a lifelong journalist — decades in the biz. Perhaps he views an “official” as someone with comparable experience. Or perhaps someone with a benefits package. Brisbane himself won’t say what might qualify. That’s because “The public editor’s general policy is not to comment outside of his published material. Hopefully this is understandable.” That’s from Brisbane’s assistant, who may or may not qualify as a “newspaper official.”

    That’s where the Post article brings up an important point – why can’t interns be considered Officials and real sources in an article? It feels like the last few years have given interns more work for less pay and more ‘credit’ with the University. If you’re working hard for less pay, shouldn’t you get a real title and respect that comes with your work load?

    Onward with the point about generational gaps: The world is being transformed by kids in college, just out of college, in grad school, in internships, and so on (See Zuckerberg, Brin, Page). Young people these days aren’t waiting for old people to give them the nod before becoming “officials.” They’re just moving ahead with their plans to change the world.

    He’s right. Should we keep changing the world or stop and attempt to get equal respect from more established workers? I have a feeling we won’t have to worry about those who think us less-skilled because of our age.

    [The intern]managed to get involved in some consequential deliberations at the Energy Department. Had he not, the New York Times wouldn’t have been interested in his work. No wonder that he was promoted to full-time engineer in March 2011.

  • Paul Lopreiato 10:00 pm on August 18, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , the game,   

    Internship Application Gone Wrong 

    We’ve all had the experience of applying for internships online. Sometimes through Twitter. Almost every single time, these internships are completely legal and worth it. In my past posts, I’ve written about potential legal issues with internships, but this most recent problem is slightly more public:

    Things You Probably Shouldn’t Do on Twitter #23: Tell your followers that if they want to be your intern, they should call a phone number that belongs to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Sounds obvious, right?

    Unfortunately, The Game did exactly that to his 593k+ followers on twitter.

    The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department says that the calls delayed responses to genuine emergencies, including a spousal assault, two robberies and a stolen car, with Captain Mike Parker telling the LA Times that the prank was “beyond irresponsible… The deputies’ ability to answer the phones and dispatch personnel to help these people was significantly impeded.”

    One can assume how much of a problem this is for any applicant.

    So, three lessons are to be learned from this whole experience: Firstly, a lot of people want to intern for The Game. Secondly, you shouldn’t let someone else tweet as you for fear of legal problems. And thirdly, always beware the simultaneously self-aggrandizing and self-pitying rhetoric of someone who refers to themselves in the third person.

    And consider waiting until your prospective employer puts out an email address to contact – particularly if your prospective employer has been nominated for major music awards in the past and famous.

  • Paul Lopreiato 9:30 pm on July 27, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , experiences, , , soccer,   

    Interview With an Unpaid Intern 

    A follow-up to this interview with someone who manages interns. I’ve known Brendan since seventh grade. Even though several other writers on this site are involved in unpaid internships, I’d like to know exactly what makes this one tick.

    me: Brendan, in what industry do you intern?

    Brendan: I am currently interning at YSC Sports which is a youth sports complex. It is also affiliated with the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer.

    me: What kind of person does an unpaid internship? What kind of person doesn’t? (More …)

    • Jennifer Carignan 1:18 pm on July 28, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for an insightful interview, Paul. I thought I’d add another perspective to the “who takes/doesn’t take an unpaid internship” response.

      It’s important to keep in mind that unpaid internships, while a nice learning experience for students, are not always a possibility given the financial constraints of many enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. It may be the case that some folks take paid internships because they are attracted to the paycheck, but I suspect that this is more the exception than the rule. From my perspective, there are many students who would love to do an internship like this but simply might not be able to afford to work several hours a week for no financial compensation. This is less a case of “caring more about getting paid than actually gaining useful experience” and more of needing to keep their finances in mind when making tough decisions about how to spend their time.

      Just my $.02, and perhaps others have opinions too.

  • Paul Lopreiato 9:30 pm on July 13, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: analytics, , , overkill   

    Bus Rides, Google Analytics 

    I know I focus a little too much on bus rides, but there’s so much there to analyze. Click to see at full size. (More …)

  • Paul Lopreiato 9:10 pm on July 13, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , labor dept,   

    Better Know Your Unpaid Internship 

    After reading this well-written blog post from one of my peers, I looked into the unpaid internship more.

    Are there any regulations on unpaid internships?

    My first point of reference: the U.S. department of labor. This is the first big test to see if your unpaid internship is legal. (More …)

    • Sarah McIntosh 10:50 pm on July 13, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Interesting that you blogged about this…I didn’t know there were regulations either, until my boss talked about them at the beginning of my internship (I’m a paid intern as well).

  • Paul Lopreiato 9:10 pm on June 29, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    Be an Intern on the Bus 

    Photo by sciascia

    Look for the paper schedule that shows when your bus will arrive. Only find the schedule for some obscure bus that goes from where you are to the middle of nowhere. You don’t have a data plan on your cell phone so you can’t look on the website. Feel too awkward to call the bus schedule that you have to speak to – everyone else is silently standing looking toward where they hope the bus will show. (More …)

    • David Fletcher 2:55 am on July 2, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I can identify with your experience. Using public transportation is humbling and mortifying in equal parts. Relying on the efforts of another to transport you where you want to go is an act of faith that they can get you there safely and on schedule. When I lived in Los Angeles, if I did not feel like riding my bike to work, I took the bus. No one my age or ethnicity was riding. Sometimes the bus driver and I would talk about baseball, but more often than not I was mute and by all outward appearances antisocial. As I have gotten older I have developed the ability to talk to anyone but, like you, the discomfort of chatting it up with strangers on public transportation has never gone away.

      I would be interested to hear your thoughts on elevators!

  • Paul Lopreiato 11:05 pm on June 22, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: ,   

    A gChat Interview 

    I’ve known Shane for a while now. I’ve witnessed his transformation to the other side – once an intern himself, he now supervises several of his own. Since all of the writers for this blog blog solely represent the intern perspective (myself included), it couldn’t hurt to hear from someone who’s crossed over. Right?

    me: So tell me, Shane: What industry do you work/do you help with the hiring?

    Shane: I currently work in the communications department of a political committee. Unfortunately, I do not have any input in the hiring process.

    me: What a shame. Let’s move on to your personal history. Were you ever an intern at any point in your life?

    Shane: Yes, I worked as an intern each semester of my final two years of school. (More …)

  • Paul Lopreiato 9:17 pm on June 15, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , receptions   

    Times When Networking Wasn’t About Receptions 

    I didn’t know about networking receptions until sophomore year at AU. After a freshman year that left me feeling too petrified to attend one, I became desperate enough for employment that I bit the bullet and went. Unfortunately, I already discovered how useful receptions were[1] several years before without knowing it. (More …)

  • Paul Lopreiato 9:19 pm on June 8, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , recipes, , ,   

    A Recipe for Growing as an Intern 

    Start out with 2 cups of slowly learning to contribute at meetings. After you spend the first week scared to say a word, know that your contributions don’t have to be solid fact. Sometimes your opinion alone is all that’s needed for the conversation, as long as you can back it up with some reasoning. Even when you’re completely wrong, your co-workers are patient and will help out.

    Add 1 tablespoon of bitterness over the other intern who criticized you publicly. Remain unsure if there’s some sort of code about that. If desired, add an extra teaspoon of “I’d like to see him try to criticize his boss if he’s so smart. He probably thinks he’s so great.” Stay cautious of this person for the rest of the summer unless they say something nice about your next idea. (More …)

  • Paul Lopreiato 9:30 pm on June 3, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , lifestyle, paint   

    A Baseball Card Introduction 

    All (two) women in my life knew what company they wanted to work for. They established a goal, educated themselves, and worked to get to it. Currently, both are where they want to be.

    I am the opposite. I have no shining corporation on the (metaphorical) hill that I want to join. I think that makes me somewhat like the person I imagine reading this post. I’ve got professional interests – communication and marketing – and I’ve got a strong sense of who I am. It’s sort of a flowchart for life. (More …)

    • Francine Blume 6:35 pm on June 14, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      What a great post! A person really does need to know who they are before they can start pursuing a specific career path. You have to answer to yourself more than anyone else. You have to make yourself happy and fulfilled. So you’ve got a great attitude and good luck with the process! Love the baseball card by the way.

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