7 Ways To Stand Out During Your Summer Internship

19 07 2016

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Congrats! You’ve just landed the summer internship of your dreams!

Though don’t be too quick to sit back and relax – the journey to your dream career is only just beginning.

Internships are a fantastic way to put the skills you’ve learned in the classroom into good use. An internship will boost your CV, give you the chance to build lasting professional connections, and could potentially lead you into an incredible full-time job offer.

If you’re hoping to get the foot firmly in the door of your chosen industry, you need to do everything in your power to stand out and make a lasting impression. So how do you do it?

  1. Do your research.

This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at the number of interns who show up to their new role knowing very little about the company they are interning for. Be sure to clue-up on the company’s key elements and culture, as this will not only impress your employer, but it will make you feel more confident and able to join in on conversations in the office. Showing that you are genuinely interested in the role is key.

  1. Network, network, network.

One of the most valuable aspects of an internship is the fact that you get the chance to build lasting connections with professionals in your industry. Make the effort to get to know people and learn from them. These individuals will see first-hand how you work and what you are capable of, and so can be the ones to support you on your way to landing a full-time role.

  1. Become a real member of the team.

If there is one thing you should avoid, it is treating your internship like an internship. If you want to be taken seriously, you must take the job seriously as if it were a real, full-time role. The most important thing to understand is that your contributions to the company will have an effect on other people – therefore, your mistakes will too.

  1. Challenge yourself.

An internship is your greatest opportunity to develop as a professional individual and step out of your comfort zone – and although it may seem like a daunting prospect, it’s the best way to learn. This will ultimately enrich your professional portfolio.

  1. Approach tasks with optimism and enthusiasm.

Whether you are asked to take on a big project or are simply asked to make photo-copies, get coffee or do other menial work – you should approach each and every task with optimism and enthusiasm. This way, your employer will begin to put their trust in you and will want to remember your name.

  1. Ask questions.

Never be afraid to ask questions about something you’re unsure of. Your employer will be more than willing to take the time to explain something in detail to avoid mistakes being made. Just be sure to listen carefully when a process is being explained, to prevent someone having to explain themselves repeatedly.

  1. Ask for feedback.

One of the best chances to learn during an internship arises from receiving feedback. It is likely that you will receive some form of formal feedback when your internship comes to an end, however don’t be afraid to ask for more regular feedback. For example, if you complete a big task, ask your employer how they think you did, what you could have done better, etc. Be prepared to take constructive criticism on board – your willingness to continually learn and improve will always impress your employer.

****For this excellent post, Campus to Career thanks Katy Mairs!!****

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About the author: Katy Mairs is blog editor at Unibaggage.com – the No.1 Student Shipping Company.





This Is The Cost Of Being An Adult

5 07 2016

Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions you make as an adult. But it’s not the only one. Once you’ve jumped on the adulting train, you’ll have to make countless choices. And many of them will involve money.

In order to do what’s best for you, you need to know about your options, including what different career opportunities pay and what basic necessities actually cost. The infographic below — created by PathSource, a career exploration solution — will ease your transition into adulthood by breaking down major milestones and the money that comes or goes along the way. Some highlights include:

  • Young adults with at least a bachelor’s degree make an average of $45,500, but the average salary for young adults with only a high school diploma is $28,000.
  • While the average monthly rent for young adults in New York City is $1,793, it’s just $956 in Houston.
  • 83% of young adults own their own car and spend an average of $329 a month to drive and maintain it.
  • 29% of young adults own a home and spend an average of $1,739 a month on their mortgage payment.

Check out the full infographic to find out what it really takes to make it as an adult!

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What are some other tough choices you have to start making as an adult? Let us know in the comments!





3 Questions to Ask Yourself after Graduation to Get Momentum

28 06 2016

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Graduation can be an exhilarating time. All of the work you have put in over the past few years has finally paid off. You are finally able to step into the working world and put to use all the information you have been taught. The world is your oyster. Every opportunity is at the end of your fingertips. But for some reason that light at the end of the tunnel has become distant again. Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed, underwhelmed or just plain stuck. What you need is more than the inspiring cliches like Nike’s “Just do it” or “Leap and the net will appear”. What you need is momentum!

Momentum means you’re moving, and things are happening. It means you’re making progress, and it feels good! While it is human nature to wish and hope for things, you have to be willing to take initiative and answer the hard questions to get you to where you desire to be. Here are three questions to ask yourself that will get you closer to attaining the momentum you are seeking as you transition from graduation.

What is really stopping you?
Take an honest look at where you are in this transitional season of life. What is holding you back? Are the people you count on for support not showing up for you? Are your goals attainable? Or are you simply drained from busting your tail for the past few years and you need a breather?

Once you answer this question, take it to heart and put to action what it is you need to move beyond the barrier. Whether you need to find a new support system, redefine your goals or indulge in a little R&R to become rejuvenated and refreshed, make it happen!

What do you want to be known for?

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”  – Shannon L. Alder


This is a big question to answer. Take some time today and think about the legacy you want to leave behind. Do you want to be a memorable leader? Do you want to be known for your compassion for others? Once you clarify your vision and declare the direction you are headed, you will soon uncover the momentum you are in need of and desiring for yourself.


Who can you learn from?

“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” – John C. Maxwell

Whether we need to get out of our own heads or are seeking guidance, mentorship is crucial in advancement. Finding a mentor or someone who can provide insight and lend a listening ear can be very beneficial in many aspects of life, especially as we are in the midst of transitions through life stages. Many times when we sit down and talk to someone about where we are and where we want to be, we hear a story from someone who has had the same issues and sometimes even bigger hurdles to jump than we have had to face. Hearing that they had it hard and made it, helps us recommit to the work ahead.

While getting momentum may sounds simple, the work isn’t easy – but it is always worth it. The time is now! Answer the through questions and break through the inertia that’s keeping you from your dreams! Get momentum and go!

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Jason and Jodi Womack met in the front row of history class in college. Jodi asked to borrow Jason’s notes. He said, “No.” That was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Jason’s “No” quickly turned into a “Yes” and 23 years later they’re still partners in work and life –  running their own international consulting firm, The Womack Company, where they help busy professionals be more productive through coaching, consulting, their Get Momentum Leadership Academy, and now their book, Get Momentum: How To Start When You’re Stuck. (Wiley, May 2016)





Acing the 400hr Interview

21 06 2016

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You read that right. A 400 hour interview. Before you start freaking out, let me break it down for you…

The standard internship period these days is approximately 10-12 weeks, predominately focusing on the summer months. Most internships are full-time positions (40hrs/week), hence the result of a total of 400hrs (40hrs/week x 10 weeks = 400hrs.) Internships are no longer about temporary summer help at the office. Instead, they’ve become proving grounds for future employees. Think of it as an extended interview. In this case, a 400hr interview!

On the corporate side, the ultimate goal of the internship is to convert the intern to a full-time position after college if the intern performs well. For the intern, that could be the same goal or the goal could simply be to expand your knowledge base and level of experience so that you’re better prepared for the world of work post-graduation.

So, how do you set yourself apart from all the other interns?? There is a LOT of intern advice out there. It all seems to boil down to the following points:

Ask Questions! You might be saying, “but, they hired me because of my skills. I should know how to do the job and how to do it well!” WRONG. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’re not expected to know everything on the first day. Jump in, ask questions, seek feedback (but not so much that you annoy the boss…there’s a fine line) and try not to assume anything. Let your curiosity flow!

Get Out of Your Cubicle! As an intern, you have some AMAZING access to executives and individuals who will later be more difficult to reach. Take advantage of this opportunity and connect with people outside of your work group, division, etc. Most companies hold several intern mixers throughout the internship period, so you’ll have the chance to interact with your fellow 400hr interviewees. Focus on your work and projects first, but don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor for the opportunity to meet or job shadow with people in your areas of interest.

Seek Out Mentors! Would you rather enter uncharted territory and try to blaze your trail blindly or would you rather have a few tips/tricks to help you succeed in your journey? If it’s the latter, then be sure to seek out a mentor during your internship. You might be asking, “where do I even start??” Never fear! A lot of today’s internship programs have carefully selected executive sponsors and mentors for their interns. After all, they want YOU to succeed! Other places you go for mentor assistance include your university’s career services or alumni offices. They should be able to help get you connected. If you prefer the DIY method, check out LinkedIn’s Alumni tool (click My Network, then Find Alumni) or create a simple Boolean search (ie: “awesome company ABC + Syracuse University”) and see what pops up. Be sure to connect using a personalized request like this.  Once connected, set up a short meeting, share your goals, ask for help and where you can potentially help as well. Remember, the mentor relationship goes both ways!

Do Your Homework! Ugh. Homework. Don’t you have enough of this during the regular school year?? The reality is that homework never really goes away. When you graduate, it simply goes by different names like research and preparation. As an intern, be sure to do your research and create your plan of attack so you can ROCK your presentation. Not a fan of public speaking? Check out this link for some tips on how to avoid common mistakes.

Tell Us About Your Experience! Now, hopefully your experience is a good one. Tell your friends about the things that were so great (like the culture, your team, the work, the company’s mission, etc.) AND tell them about the things that weren’t so great. You can do this in a tactful way. Sites like GlassDoor provide individuals with the opportunity to share their experiences anonymously. I’d recommend checking this site as you do your “homework” researching potential target companies for your career. Here’s why you should tell your network about your experience: personal referrals are more powerful than any corporate recruiting spiel. It’s the truth! Wouldn’t you want to get the inside scoop on the overall experience from someone you know or someone you know has had a similar college background?

PS. Vanilla Ice has something to say about internships. Click here.:)

Now, go out there and ACE the 400hr interview! You’re going to do great.

Anything you’d like to add? Feedback? Leave a comment! As always, thank you for reading.

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6 Questions to Ask About Benefits

7 06 2016

 

It’s very exciting to receive a new job offer, but there are still many questions that must be answered before actually accepting and starting a new job. Certain information may not have been discussed in an interview, and are critical for a new employee to successfully adapt to a new job and environment. If you are ready to start a new job, but aren’t sure what questions to ask, here are a few to know.

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What is the Company Culture Like?
Once you’ve received a job offer, it might not hurt to ask what the company culture is like. It’s both helpful and necessary to understand how adaptable and flexible a company is when it comes to requesting time off, scheduling activities outside of work, and other things like dress code and in-office behavior.

Overall Leadership Type?
It is important to know what kind of leadership is common throughout the new company and to understand what kind of work environment you’ll be spending your time in. Some companies may favor a fast-paced, high-energy work environment, while others may have a more gradual or quiet work space.

May I Have a Hard Copy of the Job Offer?
Asking for a formal, hard copy of your job offer can also be useful for a number of reasons. If your job suddenly includes new tasks that were not included in the original job description you were hired under, you will now have proof of it. This could help out a business lawyer if you find you need to seek one out for compensation issues, or if you decide to ask for a raise.

May I Have a Hard Copy of the Benefits Package?
After receiving a job offer, the very first item you should ask your employer or Human Resources representative for is a formal, hard copy of the benefits package. Asking for detailed benefits information in an interview is often considered rude or presumptuous. Asking once the job offer is made, however, is critical. Some employers offer unique benefits, such as tuition reimbursement programs. Asking for a full copy is necessary in order to understand all the perks that come with your new job and to know what you can work toward in the future.

How is Compensation Structured?
Another critical question that should be asked is whether or not your compensation plan includes bonuses. Some companies offer bonuses, but only if specific requirements are met, which vary greatly. It’s important to know exactly how your compensation plan is structured and what it takes to achieve bonuses.

What is the Corporate or Business Philosophy?
One last question you should ask is what the overall corporate or business philosophy of the new company is. Inquiring about the company’s short-term and long-term goals will help you determine if you’re a good fit and how you can adapt more to the overall atmosphere and culture.

Securing a job offer can be very exciting. The Ottinger Law firm recommends having a list of things to consider before actually starting a new job though. Understanding your new benefits package, your new job’s compensation structure, and the company’s philosophy are all critical pieces of information that will help you successfully adjust to your new job and employer.

Photo credit: Evan Dennis, Unsplash.com





CVs and Résumés: Get Them Right to Get the Job (Infographic)

24 05 2016

It’s as simple as this: without an excellent résumé, your prospects of finding employment are slim to nil. Your résumé is your first impression on a recruiter, and with so many others like you also trying to make a distinctive first impression, it will need to be particularly strong to warrant further attention from the recruiter.

In that case, it’s well worth taking the time to analyze your résumé and make sure that it is word perfect before submitting it to a recruiter. That might seem insultingly obvious, but the stark truth is that a large number of applicants fail to do this. Recruiters are constantly sent applications with glaring errors such as spelling mistakes, sloppy layout, inconsistent or even false information and buzzwords which were clearly pulled from the Internet and slapped incoherently into the résumé.

Australian payroll and contractor management company Ayers has identified the main aspects of excellent résumé writing by honing in on three categories.

Spelling/Grammar: When you’re finished writing the résumé, proofread it carefully. Ensure that you use the correct spelling for the region in which you’re applying, e.g. if you’re applying for a job in California, use the American spelling of words such as ‘labor’ and ‘aluminum’. Then proofread it again. Only use capital letters at the start of sentences or in proper nouns. When all that’s done, it’s time for another proofread. In fact, get another person to proof it for you in case you’ve missed anything.

Layout: A résumé is a professional, formal document, so use black type throughout and adopt a neutral font such as Arial or Times New Roman. The snazzy fonts and colors belong elsewhere. Ensure that your résumé is consistent in its layout and favor the use of bullet points, as this will make it easier to read than chunks of text where the recruiter is straining to determine what are the most pertinent points.

Content: This is the most important aspect of the whole lot. This is your audition for the role being advertised, so make it count. Talk yourself and your achievements up as much as you can without delving into lying territory. If the job application asked for specific skills or qualifications, address these accordingly. Support any claims you make with concrete evidence.

Follow these rules and your résumé is all the more likely to grab a recruiter’s attention. Read the infographic below for further advice.

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5 Things to Do on Your First Day at Work

26 04 2016

For most of us, navigating the work environment on our first day at the job is much like riding a roller-coaster. The excitement of meeting your new colleagues and getting familiar with on-site duties blends with the anxiety of making a good first impression.

Learning the ropes may take a while. As such, getting a good head start makes all the difference. On top of all the effort you’ve put into landing that much-desired position, there’s still a lot more prepping and planning that needs to be done in order to secure your spot in the company and make sure you will be there for the long term.

Here are the top five things to do in your first day at work to make sure you’re in it for the long haul.

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1.      Go in Ready to Learn the Culture of the Company

The first day at work may be tantalizing if you go in unprepared. Take the time beforehand to prepare relevant questions for your future colleagues, even if you know the standard answers to some of them. Letting the day pass by quietly will shine an unfavorable light upon you. Asking relevant questions to the people you meet is the first clue that you’re a proactive person, eager to learn.

As the first few weeks on the job are really just an extension of the interview, use them wisely. Use the first day to kick start a self-centered campaign during which everything you do is intended to let the qualities you were hired for in the first place show.

2.      Prepare the ‘Elevator Pitch’

People are curious. As you are the new face around, some of your colleagues will ask about you and your role in the company. Be prepared to answer such questions without hesitation. They’re meant to genuinely find out more about you, your role and start up a conversation.

Just in case you were not aware, this particular phase takes a bit of preparation, as well. Let’s say you’ve just landed an awesome position as a product developer at Target. On top of all the research you’ve already done about the job itself and what the application process entails, you’re going to want to explore the relationship dynamics within the company and how you can fit into that environment as naturally as possible.

One easy way to do that is to simply go on LinkedIn, research people who are already working at Target and try to start up a friendly conversation with them. This will give you a bit of insight on the types of people that are already working there and even give you the opportunity to make a few friends before the actual starting date.

If your new colleagues seem too busy to welcome you, don’t shy away from introducing yourself. Talk to everyone you meet. Eventually, it will pay off.

3.      Relax and Smile

Your first day at work will be a breeze to navigate if you’re relaxed and friendly. People appreciate an open person with a relaxed yet professional attitude. Everyone has been on their first day at work at some point. As such, nobody’s out to get you.

The stress caused by trying too hard can only get in your way. Keep in mind that the first impression matters yet that you have already passed the interview and you’re there for a reason. Let the process naturally unfold one step at a time. Once you learn the ropes of the work environment, you’ll have more chances to shine.

4.      Observe, Listen and Learn

Despite feeling the urgent need to affirm yourself immediately, the wisest option is to observe, listen and learn. Refrain from stating strong opinions about one topic or another. Instead, listen to what your colleagues have to say and learn why.

A wealth of valuable information is readily available directly from the people you meet during the first day at the job. Thus, this is the perfect opportunity to get a better grasp of the big picture, learn about decision making in the company and how ‘political capital’ is built along with relations with people who may become your best friends.

5.      Figure out the Unwritten Rules of the Office Environment

This isn’t a joke. No matter how professional the environment your work in, there are habits and small things that make people go irrationally mad. If there is a kitchen, ask about the Dos and Don’ts related to this common space. Some are annoyed by the improper use of the fridge. Some have their personal corners where their coffee mug reigns undisturbed. Whatever it is, you need to figure out the unwritten rules starting day one. It will make your life easier.

All in all, the first day at work should encompass a balanced approach to letting others in on your personality and role in the company and learning to navigate the work culture and environment as soon as possible.

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****For this helpful post, Campus to Career thanks Thea Millard!!****

Thea MillardAbout the author: Thea Millard is an HR Manager and a part-time consultant, dedicated to helping people find satisfying careers and incorporating the best resources possible for maximum work efficiency

 







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