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  • Audrey Tsaima 8:17 pm on February 22, 2014 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , internships, ,   

    Navigating a U.S. Department of (Fill-in-the-Blank) 

    “Just a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world…She took the midnight train going anywhere…”


    Maybe not so much.

    But moving from a relatively small unknown state like Oregon (pronounced Ore-uh-gun for the East Coasters) is a big change. From the quaint, hipster, semi-bustling city of Portland to a “not-so-lonely-place” called Washington, DC, there are plenty of changes to deal with, especially at the workplace.

    Now this is the second time around for me. I’ve interned before at a public charter school in DC, however a government job is different, and let’s face it, kind of A BIG DEAL (not to brag).

    The great news though is that this “midnight train” can take you anywhere. There are so many opportunities for growth and development once you get your foot inside the U.S. Government (hopefully for good reasons). o.O

    Don’t expect these government internships to be all about paperwork, running copiers, buying coffee, etc. etc.

    The more interesting the department you are appointed to, the more you will actually get to learn and gain hands on experience (such as the Office of the Chief Information Officer). Not to mention, a lot of these government institutions actually offer training, networking, and volunteering opportunities for their employees (which congratulations! you sort of count! :D)

    (More …)

  • Zach C. Cohen 4:18 am on June 27, 2013 Permalink
    Tags: , internships, telecommuting,   

    8 tips for telecommuting 

    My past two internships have been in an office, where I’ve had a morning and afternoon commute, had a limited lunch break, had to wear a suit, etc.

    Doesn’t sound that appealing.

    But working from home has its own difficulties and opportunities.

    (More …)

  • Brittany Horowitz 2:34 am on March 21, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , internships, ,   

    This isn’t what I signed up for 

    I am lucky enough to say that I have never had a bad internship experience. My positions have always met or exceeded my expectations, and the types of work I have been assigned have always been educational and interesting. However, in high school, I did have random after-school jobs that did not always live up to the job descriptions I was first given by my future bosses, so I know what it is like to feel unhappy about a new position.

    It’s awful when you expect your job to be an educational and beneficial experience, and then you end up having to get employees coffee or make pages after pages of copies for your boss. I have heard horror stories.

    The good news is, there is a solution! It is unfortunate when it comes to this point, but even as an intern you have the right to speak up. Of course, I don’t recommend rushing into your supervisor’s office and complaining/yelling/whining/crying. Instead, you can voice your concern in a professional manner. Explain what expectations you had for the position, and carefully outline the types of tasks you thought you were going to be given. You shouldn’t be demanding or bossy, obviously.

    Your supervisor might not realize that you are unhappy with the tasks that you have been given thus far, so if you don’t speak up changes will not be made. Internships are supposed to be for learning and for gaining experience before you enter the job market, so make the most of your position. You won’t learn anything from sitting around unhappily counting down the minutes until your day is over. Instead, learn how to speak up. That in itself is a learning experience.


  • jv9968a 5:31 pm on December 11, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , internships,   

    Final Reflection 

    Dear Future Intern at Riot Act,

    Congratulations! You have landed yourself in an internship right in the center of Washington DC’s entertainment industry. Riot Act is DC’s first Comedy Theater and that means there is always a million things going on and even more things to get accomplished. Here are my tips to making the most of your internship:

    Take initiative. On my first day, I was completely overwhelmed by all the new people and their openness to my ideas. I was used to being told what to do and completing it. At Riot Act, they trust you. If they hired you, that means that you are cable and they don’t want to waste your time. I was put on the team that worked with social media and Riot Act’s online presence. I was put in charge of writing and sending out Riot Act’s social media press release and I quickly learned that online, a picture grabs attention a lot fast then a page of words.
    Don’t be afraid to fail. The first event Riot Act hosted with an outside company, we experienced a ton of issues. This was the first time we had to collaborate with people outside our staff and while the event was not a disaster, there were small details that were overlooked. Who was in charge greeting people as the entered? Where is the best place to serve food without overcrowding? What the incentive for people at this even to come back to Riot Act and see a comedy show? We ended the event with a meeting where we listed what was to happen next time we hosted an even, and the next time we did, it ran a lot smoother. Everything is a learning experience.
    Traditional PR should never be forgotten, but it is not the only tool. I spent many days simply walking into hotels and business’s introducing Riot Act. Most people were receptive to this kind of commitment. A press release can do wonders, but people remember a friendly face over a nicely worded emails. We established connections just by making it through the door and handing out free passes to invite people to experience Riot Act first hand. It’s refreshing to know that what you are marketing is worth while. Once Riot Act got people to come once, it was almost a guarantee they would come back because of their great experience. (More …)

  • jv9968a 6:47 pm on December 6, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , internships, making connections,   

    Making Connections 

    As the semester winds down, I am forced to look into my future plans. While I have greatly enjoyed every minute of interning for Riot Act, I will not be able to work with them next semester due to my schedule. Regardless, I will maintain contact with them because of the wonderful team I worked with and because they can help me when I graduate. Even though I have decided I probably would be happiest at a PR Agency, it doesn’t make my connection to Riot Act any less important. I know that if they ever have a lead or a contact, they will let me know. They also worked fairly close with me, and if and when I need a reference, they are the first people I will call. Maintaining connections takes work. I will stay in contact by email, but I also plan on dropping by Riot Act at least once a month: to catch a show, get lunch, or simply say hello. Life moves fast and people come in and out of that building everyday. It is my job as the intern to make the effort, not the other way around. My thank you card was only the beginning of the appreciation I plan on showing the people at Riot Act. Whatever does happen in my future, I want to be able to thank Riot Act for preparing me for what lies ahead. So, thank you Riot Act. It’s been wonderful.

  • nn1702a 4:46 pm on November 29, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , internships, , , ,   

    The Era of Social Media In the Work Place 

    I have been learning a lot while interning, especially through utilizing social media sites for promoting the company I intern for. I am given the task every week to update our Facebook group by posting current events and which opportunities are available for American businesses to take advantage of in the Middle Eastern market. My organization not only uses Facebook, but Twitter and LinkedIn as well.

    It is obvious that in today’s world, social media is the new and most efficient way to communicate. You can reach so many people and have them keep up to date with what is going on, so it makes sense why literally everyone and everything has a Twitter or a Facebook page. I’m really glad that I have been having the opportunity to work with social media at my internship because it has made me put it to good use, rather than being on Facebook for fun or being on it as I procrastinate.

    I’m actually an administrator for my internship’s Facebook page and I constantly post links to their events and press releases, which has really helped me to better my social media skills. I have realized to be more careful and aware when typing by not doing so in slang and fully spelling words instead of using abbreviations. I think it has also made me more conscious when communicating online, especially through emails because it shows a sign of professionalism. Only with friends will I write informally, so I have learned to separate my form of communication by remembering who my audience is.

    Consequently, I have definitely understood the extent to which social media is a crucial marketing tool for businesses and organizations. It really is a key technique of promoting a site or business and a powerful strategy that will get them links, attention, and massive amounts of traffic. Since it is the most popular way to communicate in today’s society, I think everyone should try and learn how to use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ for professional purposes rather than for pleasure. It is a great skill to acquire and to put on your resume. I know that when I was applying for internships this past summer, many asked for “good communication skills.” This not only means writing skills, but that potential candidates should have experience and a lot of knowledge when utilizing social media, but for professional purposes. So I’m sure all of everyone’s time spent on Facebook will eventually pay off when they will be working or interning!

  • Amanda Osborn 8:31 pm on November 22, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: internships, , opportunities   

    Sometimes Things Might Not Work Out How You’d Think They Would, But That’s Okay 

    Last summer when I was applying for fall internships I applied to a company that I would love to work for. Unfortunately, I was told that while they would love to hire me as an intern, my availability wouldn’t work for the rest of the office. While I was disappointed, it is better that the reason why you aren’t chosen is because of (un)availability rather than lack of experience or enthusiasm. It means that there’s hope to work with the company in the future because they still like you as a future employee.

    Fast forward to this fall, when I was applying for spring internships. I applied to be an intern at this company again, and things were looking promising until it turned out that again, my availability was incompatible with everyone else’s in the office. It might be discouraging that a second opportunity to work at the company didn’t work out because of the same reason as the first opportunity, but I chose to look at the silver lining: they still wanted to hire me. They kept me updated throughout the entire application process and made it clear that they chose another candidate because of scheduling reasons, not because of my credentials. I’m hopeful that I will have the opportunity to work for this company in the future; this experience has simply shown me that now is just not the time.

    However, just because it doesn’t work out with one company doesn’t mean that it won’t work out with them in the future, nor does it mean that it isn’t going to work out with every single company out there. There are always amazing opportunities out there; you just need to know where to find them. I was lucky that I had several amazing internship opportunities to apply for and chose from when it came to selecting an internship in the spring (I’m currently in process of confirming my spring internship position). Have a little faith, and things will always work out in the end!

  • nn1702a 7:01 pm on November 18, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , internships   

    Getting The Chance to Intern Next Semester 

    I’m really grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to have an internship this semester. Since Thanksgiving break is near and so are finals, time will definitely fly and it will soon be over. So at the moment, I am currently at my desk and I am making most of what I have left to do at the office. I have learned so much and I hope that everyone can do an internship whenever possible.

    The way I got my internship was seeing if it would fit into my schedule, which is crucial because if you don’t have the time to commit, it will not work out. Then, I made an appointment at AU’s Career Center and this was the best thing that I could have done for myself. An adviser will show you the tools and resources you can use to find your “dream” internship and editing your resume so that it’s in tip-top shape. Afterward, once you identify the online resources that will help you find internship opportunities, you need to apply to more than one. I would say at least 10, which will allow you to have options, just in case you don’t get the one you want…it’s better to be safe than sorry. It can sometimes feel overwhelming and it may remind of you filling out college applications all over again!

    When you apply, most organizations ask for you to email them your resume, cover letter, and a short writing sample. Some of the competitive positions ask for your unofficial transcript. I learned that it was best to apply early because you have a head start among the other students not just from AU, but also from all the other schools in DC. I also realized that it best to address your email and cover letter to a specific person and not just “To Whom it May Concern.” It gives you an advantage because it shows that you went out of your way to find out who is in charge of the internship program at the company/organization. You can simply call the location or send an email, but most times it may say the person’s name on the website.

    Yes, it will take time, so be prepared and organized. But, it in the end it’s all worth it to see whether or not your next semester at AU will include you being an intern. After applying, all you have to do then is to wait and see. Hopefully the whole process will work out for you, just like it did for me! So, I’m sending you all best wishes 🙂

    PS: Start applying now for internships for Spring 2012!

  • Amanda Osborn 2:39 pm on November 18, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: internships,   

    Unpaid Internships: Are They Worth It? 

    I came across an article on NPR today titled “Unpaid Interns: Real World Work or Just Free Labor?” While the article is focused on unpaid internships in the film industry as a way to break into Hollywood, it made me think about my experiences as an unpaid intern.

    Prior to my current internship at Amnesty International, I was an intern at Voice of America. Both of these positions are unpaid, and I did not do either of these internships for credit (although I did have the option of doing so). Which leads to the following question: is it worth taking on unpaid internships?

    In general, I would say that yes, unpaid internships are worth it – but only up to a certain point. Internships are a great way to “test” what it would be like to work in a field professionally. Depending on what field or area you want to work in, sometimes an unpaid internship is the way to go, particularly if you don’t have that much previous work experience. An unpaid internship doesn’t necessarily mean your duties primarily consist of making copies and fetching coffee. Rather, it just means that, well, you aren’t getting paid. It doesn’t automatically mean that your employers will value your contributions to the office any less. I’ve had positive experiences as an unpaid intern at both Amnesty International and Voice of America. I’ve gained real-world experience and have had great relationships with my employers.

    However, unpaid internships are not always worth it in every circumstance. Sometimes, you just need to make ends meet, and working for free isn’t going to help pay rent or buy groceries. In that case, clearly an unpaid internship is not the best option. Other times, it might feel like you’ve paid your dues in the industry you’re pursuing. For example, an unpaid internship during senior year for a student who has held three previous internships might not be as enthused about an (unpaid) internship offer as a first-semester sophomore who’s never interned before.

    Like anything else in the (working) world, determining whether or not unpaid internships is best done on a case-by-case basis. But if you don’t feel like your contributions will be valued in the office, the majority of your duties will consist of administrative duties and not “actual” experience, or the costs of interning (time, transportation, etc) are too much without a paycheck, then maybe it’s a good idea to rethink the position of an unpaid intern.

  • Divya 2:50 pm on October 25, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: campus organization, , internships, ,   

    Finding the right internship 

    Prior to starting at Legacy , I worked at a recruiting firm in McPherson Square called HireStrategy. My internship was more HR/Admin focused, but I believe that the skills I learned at HireStrategy really helped me to market myself for other internships. I worked full-time during the summer of 2011 and got a feel for what working life is really like. Definitely not glamorous, but it was nice to have extra money and I honestly felt very accomplished when I could talk about all my progress to co-workers and potential internship supervisors.

    I loved doing HR and I’m glad I held the position because it gave me a transferable skill set, but I felt like I needed something more related to my major if I wanted to pursue a Communications job in the future.  I would definitely encourage people to try a position in a field that they don’t study in school because it could set you apart in the future. I learned some amazing skills for the future such as interviewing etiquette, database management, and how to deal with clients and candidates on a daily basis. Never be afraid to learn something new! During my free time I searched for internships for fall 2011 on the AU Career Center and Job Corps websites. I remember sending in 15 applications in one day and hoped for the best. Suddenly (more like after a week of few replies), I remembered my sorority advisor telling me last summer that her company has a wonderful internship program. I looked up the company’s website and I found myself really interested in the work of the organization. I wanted to know more so I e-mailed my advisor my resume and told her that I was interested in the position. I went through a formal interview process and met with multiple people on the Communications Team. It was really nice to have her as a connection because she knows what type of a worker I am and she could vouch for me as the best candidate for the job. Though it is nice to know someone at the company, it’s important to not fall back on them too much. You have to prove to their co-workers that you can handle yourself and the position at hand.  

    Everyone may not be in a club/organization on campus, but you never know where an opportunity may pop up. Pay attention to professors who mention current or former workplaces. As terrible as it may sound.. USE PEOPLE- don’t be afraid to seek out opportunities  if you think there is a potential for job or internship placement. People WANT to help you, but they can’t do anything if you don’t ask them!

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