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InternshipRatings.com - Take Note - Expert Advice from Industry Professionals

From Internship To Full-Time Job

Hey Interns,
 
We all know that there are many benefits from interning during your college semester or summers off. However, what it comes down to is getting your foot in the door and landing that job. Below you will find some advice from GlassDoor.com on how to turn that part-time internship into a full-time job.
 
Good luck!
-InternshipRatings.com 
 
Here’s a link to the full article: http://www.glassdoor.com/blog/turn-internship-fulltime-job/

Consider a Company’s Motivation

By Michael Benstock

Chief Executive Officer

Superior Surgical

So you want to be an intern? You call the human resources department of a company and ask, “Do you hire interns?” They say “yes.” What do you do next?

Most likely you hang up and immediately begin to prepare your cover letter and resume without a second thought. However, you may have ALREADY forgotten a key component in preparing to present yourself to this company.

Consider this: before hanging up with the human resources representative, ask him or her “What is the company’s motivation for having an internship program?” I am assured by my senior director of human resources and by my own experience of 30 years that this question is (almost) never asked. It is probably the most important second question a perspective intern can ask as it will help you determine if you are a correct fit for the company’s program and if the company is preparing to offer a real learning experience or if they are more interested in receiving cheap (or sometimes free) labor. Also, if you get a thoughtful answer to that question you can better present yourself properly in the cover letter and to those who will interview you.

As you may already know, or as you’ll learn from asking the above question and experience, internship programs serve companies in many different ways. Sometimes it is how a CEO feels he can reinvest in the youth in his or her community– perhaps an opportunity offered to him when he was younger was life changing and he would like to offer the same for another person. Often times it is simply a means of filling jobs during peak periods (i.e. summer or holiday season). For many companies it is a recruitment tactic to help identify superstars, while other companies may offer internships to children of employees to increase employee loyalty. Whatever the reason, and there are many, it is imperative that you understand a company’s motivations if you want to be successful.

An internship is an opportunity to learn, to be part of a world that you might want to be a part of after you graduate and to be evaluated by people within a company so that you might actually land a job upon your graduation. It is an opportunity to hone your skills as an employee in a field that might be your chosen career. At the very least, the job you might be offered at the end of an internship once you graduate from college can be your safety net. However, before any of that can happen, you must get your foot in the door and get the internship. Here are some other tips for landing your dream internship:

· Put together a professional resume. You want to give the impression that you are actually looking for a job. There are plenty of writing tools on the Internet that will help you put together a great looking resume. When you send in the resume (whether e-mail or snail mail) don’t use emoticons or IM language in your emails.

· Follow-up. Make sure to call the company where you’ve sent your resume within a week of sending it. Companies often keep track of how often you call and how interested you seem. If they call or e-mail you, make sure to answer voice mails and emails promptly. Standing while you talk on the phone will often help you enunciate and avoid mumbling.

· Be proactive. If all else fails and you are unable to acquire an interview through normal processes, show up at the company’s door and ask if you can talk to the HR Department. Make sure to have your resume with you, dress in a manner that is appropriate for the world you are trying to enter, be professional, be cheerful, be positive, don’t be outwardly aggressive.

· Present yourself in a professional serious manner. It’s okay to be cheerful but don’t giggle. Prepare questions that make you sound interested in the job you are hoping to get. Research the company and the people who are interviewing you before you go into the interview. Google is a wonderful thing – use it! Bring copies of your resume with you; you never know if your interviewer has already seen it and he/she will appreciate you thinking ahead.

· Dress appropriately. As a matter of fact overdress a little bit, but not like you are going out clubbing. If showing the hair on your chest, your boxers, your thong or your cleavage could help you get an internship, then would you really want that internship? If you said yes to this question then don’t bother reading on since your chances of success are so remote. Dress conservatively and keep your areas of self-expression to an absolute minimum. Do not draw attention to yourself because of your eleven piercings, your tattoos or your face jewelry or your incredibly jelled spiked appearance or your belly ring or belly for that matter.

· Give a firm handshake and make eye contact. If you don’t know how to give a firm handshake then practice it with your friends or your parents. Look people in the eye when you shake their hands and look them in the eyes when speaking. It’s okay to blink, but it’s not okay to look out the window when they are talking to you. Sit up in your chair during the interview in fact lean forward a bit in your interview – it shows you’re engaged.

· Bring a pad and a pen with you. Take notes. Interviewers like people who are interested enough to write things down. Interviewers believe they are important and if you write down what they say they will know you also believe they are important. Don’t expect them to know that you have a photographic memory and don’t require taking notes (don’t tell them that either, it will sound too much like teenage bravado). Presumably you have been in school for a couple of years (whether you attended classes or not) so it is expected that you know how to take notes.

· Say the right things. You don’t have any experience…yet, but you have a lot of other great qualities. Tell the interviewer what they are. They probably aren’t going to ask whether you are resilient, have high energy, take direction well, can work independently, whether you are inquisitive (prove it by asking questions), that you learn quickly, that you are extremely adept at mathematics, finance or that your favorite class was psychology or statistics. Tell them, they want to know these things. They don’t care if you skateboard or excel at beer pong. Don’t call the interviewer dude. Ask them what they are seeking in a candidate.

· Write a hand-written, personalized thank you note. Make sure you do this for each interviewer immediately following the interview and send it that evening. They are interviewing more than one person for the job they are filling, set yourself apart from the competition. It’s ok to send an e-mail in addition to this, but do not send an e-mail instead of a hand-written note.

Lastly here is my advice to every intern, to every new employee and to my three kids who by the way all had incredible internships and now have great jobs. Do what you say you are going to do, always. That could be the subject of the next article some unsuspecting CEO might want to write about.

Educational and Work Experience of Distinction: College Internships Abroad

By Melissa Cech

AustraLearn Internship Department

The classroom is but one of many places to obtain an education and real life skills. Students can opt for a broader experience by participating in college internship programs. Internships for college graduates and undergraduates alike provide valuable work skills vital in today’s competitive job market. Students can even earn college credit for participation in some programs.

When evaluating the available opportunities, students seeking an experience above and beyond the norm can chose to participate in an internship abroad. Of particular note are New Zealand and Australia internship programs. These offer distinct benefits beyond work and educational experience.

The Benefits of Australia and New Zealand Internship Programs

There are several compelling reasons why college internships in the South Pacific are a great choice for students seeking a college experience of distinction.

Cultural Immersion—An internship abroad in Australia or New Zealand provides more than work experience. It allows student to live and work side by side with Australian or New Zealand nationals, providing a unique glimpse into the culture and society. The experience leaves a lasting impression and affects the students’ perspective on the world and their place in it. Participants in New Zealand and Australia internship programs find the experience better equips them to communicate and relate to people of different cultures with ease. It also imbibes a greater appreciation for cultural differences and similarities.

Professional Development–College internships are an excellent option for recent graduates as well as undergraduates. They provide the training needed to succeed in a career, as well as practical experience critical in qualifying for gainful employment. While an internship in general provides the opportunity for real-world experience, an internship abroad in the South Pacific includes experience in a global setting; truly a distinctive addition to any resume.

Appreciation of Natural Splendor–A summer internship in Australia is a fantastic way to experience the beauty of Australia in a much deeper way than you might if you were to visit for a short vacation. Being able to take the time to explore all of the wonderful scenery and sites available, such as the deserts, rain forests, and beaches, is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity that is possible through Australia summer internships.

Affordability–It is expensive to attend college, but if you would like to experience a foreign country, then an Australia summer internship can be a cost-effective way to spend time in a new area of the world and experience it for yourself.

International internships offer students amazing opportunities to gain professional work experience while learning to be adaptable and understanding of other cultures. These characteristics improve the marketability of an individual and are a great way to build a resume for gainful future employment.

For more information:
AustraLearn

12050 N. Pecos Street

Suite 320

Westminster, Co. 80234

USA

Toll Free: 1-800-980-0033

studyabroad@australearn.org

www.australearn.org

Freelancer’s Tip: Getting Hired 101

By Jenny Yerrick Martin

YourIndustryInsider.com

@JennyYM

In the “new” economy (as opposed to the economy we older people experienced while you were children where people had stable jobs and showed up and did what was expected of them and collected steady paychecks), which journalist Tina Brown has dubbed “The Gig Economy,” more and more people are going from project to project without a permanent position.

There are pros and cons to this. The pros are a more stimulating work life and rewards based on successful completion of tasks, not trading hours for dollars as so often happened in that “old” economy. The big con to this one is the instability of the work life. As you embark on your career in the “gig economy,” here are five questions you should ask yourself:

1) Are you the first person they call to see if you are available?

2) Do they sincerely thank you when you are done working with them?

3) Do they refer friends and associates to you when those people need to hire someone?

4) If you have a job, are you the one they call to refer them to a friend because they trust your judgment?

5) Do they often say they want to hire someone “just like you”?

Having the answer to all five questions be YES is the surest way to make sure you stay employed and moving toward your ultimate career goals.

Jenny Yerrick Martin is a veteran hiring executive in the entertainment industry and the creator/writer of YourIndustryInsider.com, a website providing information and inspiration to students, recent grads, and others on breaking in, moving up, and making it in entertainment. She is also a professional resume writer and career consultant (www.momentumadvantage.com)

Cruel to be kind: Check how you treat your interns

By A.L. Harris

Freelance publicist and writer

AlHarrisPr.com

The story of this post today is how NOT to treat an intern, and I write this from two perspectives-

1. The perspective of a 4 time ex-intern and

2. The perspective of “Hey, I just hired my very first intern” !

To be honest I just completed an internship not but 3 weeks ago, I terminated myself because I knew that the position was going nowhere.  I figure if the person you are working for, and supposed to be learning from, stops calling you all together, and when you try to check in just to make sure things are “OK” and “status quo” {yet you still receive no answer} then it’s time to jump ship and go somewhere else; if that is how communication is handled in the beginning it only stands to reason that once the person gets to know you better and feels more comfortable, it will only get worse.  After this past internship, regarding my age {29},education level {MBA}, and having had considerable professional positions including Freelance PR & Marketing projects, I figured it was time to stop stalling and go it alone, instead of backpacking from one non-paid position to another.  Yes, I gained knowledge from this last internship, but nothing that I wouldn’t have learned on my own anyway.  I can do that at age 29, “go it alone”, but those who are still in school and still in their teens or early 20’s probably won’t be willing to take that leap, so they stick with the internships, awesome!

Now, to my point. I always read lists and lists of things that interns should and should not do while on the job, but how come I never see lists and lists of things that employers should or shouldn’t do?

In my estimation, as much as you see companies {large and small} looking for interns, the unpaid, coming-of-age, masses who flock to these positions should be noted as importantly as a regular paid employee and treated almost the same {yes, almost…they are still interns so more grunt work will be envolved, but let me finish…}.  Interns are/can be the backbone or eb and flow of a company, they help ease the stress and strain that would most likely be put on an overworked regular employee, and for that reason alone interns should be applauded. This post is not written to say that their aren’t thousands upon thousands of companies out there that don’t treat their interns with grace, but for the few who don’t…this is just for you!  Here is my list of 7 things employers should or should not do to their interns, and why.

1. BE KIND!!

I make this #1 because it is truly to the benefit of the employer to be kind to their interns, lest they find themselves outed on their horrible habits and practices by word of mouth {what? you think interns don’t talk?} and/or social media…check out sites like InternshipRatings.com.  PLUS, it’s just the right thing to do.  Kindness is not synonymous with weakness, so it’s OK to say “Hi” and smile or maybe get your intern some coffee once and a while.

2. Be Open

I was about to say “be flexible” but in all honesty, they are interns so they should bend to your schedule, that’s why they are there.  BE OPEN means, when they are around, and you see they might be having trouble, or they come to you to ask a question…BE OPEN…just like that.  I do not believe in interns having to be afraid to ask anything…save that for the employees who have paychecks to lose and who should already know this stuff, or know several ways to figure it out.  Interns are there first to learn and then to help, so help them help you.

3. Don’t involve interns in petty arguments or gossip

I can’t tell you how awkward it feels to come into an internship and immediately feel compelled to have your guard up against a CLIENT or employee that you’ve never even heard of before, much less met in person, to formulate your own opinion.  Yes, do give interns the skinny on what clients do and don’t like, how to address and greet clients, even how many lumps of sugar they take in their tea…but leave out how clients are hating on other clients, who is a back stabber, who had sex with who etc. If you just can’t help yourself, at least wait until after your intern has had their first day on the job!

4. Give interns “Controlled Choices”

Of course you have a business to run, NOT a daycare…understood. It is also understood that you do not have time or money to waist if you give an intern the controls on a project and they mess up…but, it happens! To avoid this, give your interns “Controlled Choices”.  Controlled Choices are when you know what the outcome will be of either path the intern chooses, and both paths are covered, but you let THEM decided on which path.  Like my mother used to do when my siblings and I were children, she would make dinner and make 2 different vegetables, the point was, we were going to eat vegetables and get the nutrients we needed whether we liked it or not, but we had a choice in which vegetable we wanted to consume…that way everyone wins!

5. C-O-M-M-U-N-I-C-A-T-I-O-N

I cannot stress this enough…COMMUNICATION! Everyone else swears by it, why shouldn’t you!  Yes, it does give interns a feeling of accomplishment when they are able to figure out a cryptic message like “Email Sharon”.  Sharon, who??? Do they have a last name, are they in the company directory, is it a client, a cat, WHAT!?When they figure it out, it’s great, but it could help save them the angst and probably save you some man hours if you say “Email Sharon Smith from Company X, tell her to call me”.  Short, fast and to the point…no hand holding involved, just simple communication.

6. Teach

No, the office is NOT a classroom, but there is more to the phrase “on the job experience” than just 4 words.  You can teach while still going about your day. Many of your interns are in school or have at least been through high school so they know how an open forum works…so let your office be one.  Let them talk it out, give them a project and let them find their way through it, just like taking a practical. Interns are smart {more often than not} with a little help they can figure things out, but be sure to add on a little extra info while they work, so they can take that knowledge back to the classrom or use in their next work experience.

7. Understand that Slavery {in America anyway} is over

Since they are old enough to be just out of reach of child labor laws, and since they signed on as an “intern” for a company they would probably die for if someone asked them to, interns kind of slip through the cracks when it comes to knowing the difference between interning and running a free maid service. Most, will do anything because the company is so fabulous they don’t want to ruin their chances of getting a letter of recommendation, or the next big project, or even a job! Sooo, Employeerrrs, knowing that the majority of your interns have that mentality it is then YOUR job as the “matured professional” to act on your professionalism, and not exploit them!  Sure, long hours and grunt work are, and should always be a part of an internship, most interns already know this going in, it’s how you prepare for the real thing, because the work doesn’t get easier once you start getting paid for it! So, yes, send them to go get coffee a few times for 12 people down the street in the rain, and yes, make them scour the Internet for research and stuff 500 Swag bags, it builds character and it’s what makes them great and potential future employees. It is NOT, however, okay to ask them to do all of your work for you while you surf Facebook all day, or have them get your laundry, or help you pack your apartment {yes, I had someone ask me to do that}, you asked them to intern for your company, NOT be a personal assistant…those folks get paid out the WAZOOOO, and for good reason!!- most interns work for free.

6 Tips To Make Your Internship Pay Off

By Allese Thomson Baker
Community Manager
Wesabe

Internships. A word of many colors for the college student; potential job, waste of time, stimulating taste of the “real word”, an endless hell of envelope stuffing, networking extravaganza, unpaid misery.  I’ve had plenty internships, luckily more that fit into the positive rather than negative category. Still, finding an internship that’s not only worth your time, but pays off your time, is not an easy task.

I can attest to this as during my last year at UC Berkeley, I quit my very well paying job as a waitress (that is, well paying for a college student- tips! tips!), to take an internship at an Internet start up. At the time I struggled with the pay cut, but upon graduation, was offered a comfy salaried position, with job-description way more interesting than any entry-level job I could have hoped for.

By searching for an internship where I could showcase my skills and think outside the box and then doing everything I could to be a valuable asset to the team, I was able to maximize my internship experience. I believe anybody can do this, and to virtually any internship. Here are few tips that I believe we’re central to my success.

Consider applying at a start-up
While working at a new company may not have the same name-brand appeal as working for an established company, start-ups are a lot leaner and chances are you’ll get to do much more “real” work. Also, because the company is trying to get its feet off the ground, the work you do makes and impact and the “big bosses” can see it. During my Wesabe internship, I interacted with the CEO (and most everyone else in the company) nearly every day, and attended company meetings.

Do Your Homework
Prior to your interview, research your potential new company (spend time- I am talking a few hours, not a few minutes- on their web site or see where their product is at in a store, read up on competitors, etc.). Takes notes and keep all this information in a notebook. During your interview, give some thoughts/feedback that shows you know, (1) a lot about their company and (2) to do research and have analytical skills. Transform the interview into dialogue by asking thoughtful questions.

To ease those nerves and help with prep, I would suggest brainstorming a list of questions in your notebook about your prospective position and the company in general. During your interview and ask those questions- remember you’re interviewing them too.

Be The Go-To Person At All Times
When you start, aim to be that responsible go-to person that can efficiently and quickly accomplish any task asked.

When I started at Wesabe, the CEO left me at my new desk and said he’d email me my first task. The subject line read: Competitive Matrix. I opened it. The contents: “Please use this model as the basis for your list. Best, Jason.” Attached was a list of the competition.”

That was it. I friggin’ freaked out. What the f$%^ was a competitive matrix? There was nothing else, no direction, no how-to, no example. So, I got resourceful, began googling, called everybody I knew about that might know what a competitive matrix. I checked out the competition. I pieced things together. When I had a grasp of what this competitive beast and our competition, I headed back to his office and asked if I was headed in the right direction. Turns out I had some things right and some things wrong. But my research made me look capable, responsible and like self-starter.

Be innovative: Think before you ask
Before you say, “I don’t know” or “I need help”, think, where could I find this answer? What other resources could help me answer this? Every single time, I do this before asking a question, I almost always find it’s something I could answer myself.

Additionally, “I don’t know” questions are always better, when you posed as, “In response to x task, I checked a, b, and c, resources and found d, is this the direction you’d like me to follow?”
Think like the CEO

When in doubt, think about what you could do that would best benefit the company. Really think, brainstorm, about how you expand your duties to help the company succeed, and then do it without being asked.

Take Notes and Always Have To – Do List
Whenever you meet with your boss, bring a pen and notebook and take COPIOUS notes. After your meeting has finished, recap the major points/deliverables to your boss, so you can make sure your both on the same page.

After the meeting, I often summarize the contents of my notes and then try to think outside the box. Given these priorities, what else can I do to help the company succeed?  I add these to my to-do list.

If you’re going to take an internship, put in all you’ve got and chances are you’ll get it back two-fold. If you don’t feel you can do the extra work to maximize your internship (researching one that’s worth your time, preparing for the interviews, going the extra mile when hired), than it probably won’t be worth your time or not being paid. Putting that extra 110% means your actually exploring a career and building a foundation and network for your own career. And, that, I believe, is absolutely worth it.

Allese Thomson Baker is the community manager at Wesabe (www.wesabe.com), an online money management tool and community. Allese graduated this past May from UC Berkeley with a degree in the History of Art and transformed her student Internship into a full time job. She now lives in San Francisco and is usually found raving about contemporary art and social media, buried in a book or playing with her dog, Riley.

Beyond the Handshakes: How to make your Internship experience work for you after departing the workplace

Samuel Talbott
The University of Iowa
B.A. History, expected December 2009

One of the best parts of having an internship while still in college is the connections you make with people in the workplace and beyond. But, one of the most important steps to take after leaving your internship is to keep these relationships and your network strong—not the easiest task while managing an academic calendar and perhaps a part-time job.

The hard part was getting the internship that you did, but your work is not through. You spent the time at your workplace taking in everything you possibly can in meetings, over lunch or coffee, around the office, happy hour with co-workers, every chance you got to grow you took it.

As your time winds down at your internship start to think about what you plan on doing down the road. Before the time for you to leave work arrives, make sure that you have contact information for your coworkers and supervisor and additionally for people you met while interning—believe it or not some of the best connections I made at my summer internship were formed in the elevator from our lobby to the office. Write thank you notes to all of the people in the office who had a part in shaping your experience. Not only will they be touched by your polite gesture but it also gives them another reason to remember you 6 months down the road if they can look at your note and recall the hard work you did.

It is also a great idea to give people your personal contact information as it is likely that you wont have access to work email when you return to school. This can be done in several ways. I am a big fan of personal business cards as they too leave a great impression and its nice way to keep track of people’s information. If you haven’t handed out business cards during your internship, no need to worry (but keep it in mind in the future), just keep a list of people’s contact email’s or phone number. After departing from your internship, keep in email contact with people you met during your stint. Build upon that first handshake a relationship that can work to your benefit as you enter the job market. Also be aware that many people may not remember you off hand so some foundational sentences are always good when starting correspondence:

“Dear Mr. X
You may not remember me but we met while I was an intern at XYZ and I wanted to write to say that I enjoyed working with you. As a student at Univ. Anywere I have been really interested in your line of work and was wondering if you might be willing to speak briefly to get any insight or advice you may have. I hope this finds you well.
Best,
Student”

Stay in touch with people who’s work interests you or who’s personal experience motivates you in some way. Take advantage of the web 2.0 world in which we live and once you have a comfortable relationship with them, try to connect on LinkedIn or Facebook (are your pictures job search appropriate?), or follow them on Twitter.
Most importantly, be sincere in your correspondence, don’t send an email every couple of months to say ‘hi’ if you don’t have a genuine connection, as that could sour the relationship. Just remember that the bridges you build and friends you make as you expand your network are only as strong as the effort you wish to put into them and the more time you take to foster relationships the more likely they are to help you out in the long run.

Sam Talbott is a senior at the University of Iowa from Santa Barbara, California pursuing a BA in history. He was named one of the American Express Foundation’s Nonprofit Leaders of America while interning at the Pan American Health and Education Foundation in Washington, DC in the summer of 2009. After graduating a semester early in December he hopes to work in development for higher education.

Looking for Internships: Company First

By Karla A. Stevenson
PhD Candidate
Department of Communication Studies
The University of Iowa

Sometimes a career in something you love could be right under your nose! It’s ok not to know what you want to do with the rest of your life right now – but interning is a great way to explore career options while not making huge, life-changing decisions. A good place to start is thinking about the brands you like, media you consume, and non-profits you support.
If there is a company you like, a product you use, a brand you can’t get enough of, or a cause you donate your time to, you might want to think about interning there. Even if it is not in the exact field you are getting your degree in, it’s a foot in the door and may give you the option of doing a second internship or getting an entry level job in your chosen field with that organization. After all, they will know you, know your work ethic and know that you have already acclimated to their company’s culture. So explore different possibilities within the same organization – it might lead you down a new career path!

For example: Say you’re a Marketing major and HUGE Miami Dolphins fan. You might want to explore possibilities with that organization, but even if all they have open is an internship in Sales, you might want to consider taking it. While you are there, give 110% to your sales internship responsibilities but also make friends with the staff in the Marketing Department while you’re at it. When the time comes for applications for Marketing interns for the next semester or summer, you will have contacts AND a knowledge of the organization that other applicants won’t have.

Plan of attack

1. Look on the company’s website and see if they have an internship program. If they do, follow the directions and apply. If they don’t, then call the human resource department and ask if they take applications for internships and if so, in what areas of the company. Also ask who the person(s) is that you address your cover letter.

2. Assuming you’re on Linkedin – you can search by company and see if you have any mutual contacts. If you do – ask them to arrange an introduction. If you don’t, spend some time looking closely at employee profiles. Find out where they went to school, what their majors were, and what groups they are members of. It’s ok to be nosy! There’s even a Linkedin application that allows people to post what books they’re reading. Use all this info to figure out what qualities you possess that they value!

3. Taylor your resume to the intern position in question, tweak your cover letter to argue that you are a great fit for interning there, proofread your resume and cover letter, convert both docs to a PDF and send that baby off! If you are mailing it in, remember to use nice, thick, expensive feeling resume paper.


If you don’t hear back in a week or so, follow up with an email or phone call.

So You Want to Go to Law School?

Brian K. Bokor

Attorney

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

If America is a melting pot, law school is the stew.  Law school students come from every walk of life and for good reason: there is a not a set path that law school admission offices seem to prefer when considering an application.  However, most law school students have a background in history, English, political science or business. If you are majoring in one of these, you likely have already considered law school.  If you are not majoring in one of these, don’t fret - you are just as likely a candidate for a career in law.

When is the best time to go?
Many students go straight to law school after completing their undergraduate studies, while some work for several years before returning to school.  If you already know that law school is the next step in your life, you will need to take the LSAT and get your application ready well in advance.  The LSAT is the standardized test that law schools require as part of admission.

There are numerous review courses and study guides that can help you prepare for the LSAT.  Check with the law schools that you are interested in to determine the deadline that you must complete the test to be eligible for admission.

Law school admission offices vary in what they require during the application process.  You can likely find and download the school’s application online. The application is the only correspondence that you will have with the admission office, so make sure that it is in perfect shape before submitting it.  You will need your college transcript to send with your application.

If you are unsure if law is the right career choice for you, work in a law firm or in the legal field for a year or two.  This will give you a good understanding of what attorneys do on a day to day basis.  This type of work experience will help to confirm whether you want to proceed with law school.

What could I be doing now?

If you are contemplating law school, meet with your advisor to discuss your interest.  Your advisor can help you determine what law school(s) could fit your background and skill set.  Also, many schools have a pre-law society.  If your school offers such a group, attend several meetings or events and join the society if you feel it will be beneficial.

Can I get an internship at a law firm?
Law firms typically do not offer summer internships for college students.  If you are able to find a firm that does offer then, having experience working within a law firm could be a wonderful resume builder.  Chances are, however, a great portion of your summer will be filled with filing and copying.  Law firms usually hire current law students to work during the summer.  This work is often substantive and complex, (and under the supervision of a practicing attorney). Often, these “summer associates” are offered full time positions to return to the firm after completing law school.

What classes should I try to take moving forward?
Obviously you need to take all the classes that are required for graduation. In addition, take courses in political science, pre-law, government, and business.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, its affiliates, or its employees.

How your Twitter account may be undermining your internship search

By Dan Klamm
Outreach & Marketing Coordinator
Syracuse University Career Services

As a Career Services professional at Syracuse University, I work with lots of intelligent, creative, capable students who would make wonderful interns at a variety of organizations.  They come to me seeking to strengthen their resume, tailor their cover letter, or formulate the perfect response to “What is your biggest weakness?”…yet sometimes they undermine all of this hard work with the content of their online social network profiles.

When I tell students that many employers “Google” them as part of a background check, they are surprised; some students call it “stalking.”  I would disagree - in fact, I think it’s a surprisingly cheap and effective way for employers to get a quick snapshot of a potential intern before investing resources in hiring and developing his/her talents.

Google your name; see what pops up among the top search results.  For many students (and non-students), it is their profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other popular networking sites.  Does your content on these sites reinforce the message that you are a smart, reliable, low-drama potential intern?  Put yourself in an employer’s shoes.  If you’re faced with hiring Internship Candidate A (who has a clean online image, and maybe even some positives like a well-written LinkedIn profile or a newspaper article about one of his accomplishments), or Internship Candidate B (who has a public Twitter profile which talks about smoking pot and regularly blacking out from alcohol consumption) - who would you hire, all other qualifications being equal?  Most would go with Candidate A, who appears to be less of a liability and more likely to perform reliably on the job.

So before you pour time and energy into making the perfect resume or crafting the ideal answer to interview questions, take a look at what your online presence is saying about you.  If an employer Googles your name, will they be impressed or turned off?

Some simple steps to building an internship search-friendly online presence:

-          Don’t post online about illegal activities that you’re involved in…especially on public sites which pop up first when someone Googles your name.

-          Utilize the privacy settings on your Facebook account.

-          Use Twitter to post smart and relevant content; if you’re posting questionable stuff, privatize your account so only friends can view it.

-          Create a LinkedIn profile to show off your educational/professional accomplishments and ambitions.

-          Start a blog to display your subject area expertise and writing skills.

I was a college student just over a year ago; I know what it’s like.  Having fun and doing some crazy things are part of the college experience.  However, posting about these activities (particularly the illegal ones) can have a significant negative impact as you look for internships (and in the future, full-time jobs).  Don’t let something as small as an off-color tweet be the reason you don’t get hired for an internship.  If you’re putting attention and work toward the other parts of the internship search, it’s time you devote just as much energy to your online presence.

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