Internship Workshop Transcript
Hello, I'm Sherrie. I work in Career Services at the University of North Georgia. Today, I'll be talking to you about internships, answering all the questions that you may have about the internship process. So, what I'll do is I'll go over the actual internship, what it is, how to gain academic credit, and why is it beneficial to you in your academic career. I'll begin with a quote, "Every experience in your life has being orchestrated to teach you something you need to know to move forward," by Brian Tracy. If you've ever played any sports or competed where you had to compete mentally or physically, you understand the concept of practice makes perfect. That's the same thing for internships. The more you're involved with the internship, the more you're involved in that professional environment, the more likely you are to be able to respond and actually learn before you graduate and be able to apply those skills to your future career. So, what is an internship? An internship is an invaluable opportunity to apply knowledge learned from the classroom from your professors and to apply it to a professional setting. It allows you to be able to go to work, work with colleagues, understand how that field works, taking your knowledge from the classroom and being able to use that on projects and group assignments. The internship that you enter into is specifically related to your major or your minor. Therefore, the knowledge that you have is directly going to help you gain entrance into that field before you graduate, or after you graduate. It's an opportunity to work directly with experienced professionals. It allows you to talk to them to see what process they went through in their undergraduate career. How did they get to the point where they are today? What steps did they take to become a director or a leader? How does this field help them make happy choices in life? Things like that will help... will be able to expose you to that while you're in a internship. So, what's an internship again? Basically, it's allowing you take your classroom knowledge and apply it to a professional setting. In order to participate in an internship for academic credit you'll need to have earned at least forty-eight credit hours. Most often juniors and seniors are the ones who participate in an internship for course credit because at that point you have had enough major courses to make you knowledgeable to understand certain jargon to work in that professional setting while you're earning your course credit. There are options for noncredit, meaning that you will not have to go through the University to gain academic credit for the internship. You'll seek out internship opportunities online as you would for credit. However, you will not be allowed or required to submit documentation saying you're going to intern for this company for a certain amount of time. So, basically it's just for experience and not credit. I know you may want to know, well am I paid for this internship, if I'm not paid for it. If I'm paid for credit or not for credit. Internships are most often paid for today because in recent events it has been brought to light that if a company is benefiting from the student, and the student is benefiting from the company then the company should be obligated to pay that student for their experience while in that internship. There are a few categories in which a company is not required to pay an intern. If it's the federal government or nonprofit agency, most often they're exempt from paying you as an intern. However, they realize how valuable this experience is for you and that most often students are juggling more than just courses, they're also juggling their lifestyle, so they may offer you pay or a stipend which will cover your time while you're in the internship for that semester. When an internship is available to you, most often you want to take it in either the Fall, Spring, or Summer semester. Now, for academic credit you have to remember that this internship is considered a course. So, if you're taking it over the Fall and Spring, you'll have to meet financial requirements in order to gain financial aid to pay for this course. So, if your minimum course numbers is twelve hours then the internship will count as one of those courses. So, you'll still have to be enrolled in courses in order to take an academic internship. So, over the Fall and Spring most often it's shorter as far as the hours you work a week. It goes between twelve to fifteen weeks, so the course of the full semester. You most often work between fifteen and twenty hours a week because of the fact that you're taking other courses. So, you're not only just going to work, but you're going to class, you're doing class projects. So, therefore they understand that you are unable to complete forty hours a week during the internship. Now, over the Summer it's a little bit different. So, you still have to maintain your certain number of financial credit hours in order to gain financial aid so, the minimum is six credit hours. Your internship course will count as one course and then you'll take an additional course to meet those credit requirements. But the thing about the Summer is the beauty of online courses. So, even though you're required to register for courses, you may be able to take a class online allowing you the freedom to leave where you are to do your internship so, you may be able to do your internship abroad, another state. Even though you're still taking classes, you're taking classes online so you have that freedom to move, and then over the Summer the internship hours can typically be a lot longer between thirty and forty hours a week. So, you have the option of whatever fits your best need for taking an internship. Most often companies offer internships every semester, so it's about the company you're trying to recruit...trying to work for, and when they offer internships. So, you want to know, I'm in school for a four year degree, isn't that enough? Why do I need to participate in an internship? Won't my degree justify me to gain employment once I graduate? True. However, employers are looking for the ones who stand out and above. Internships allow you to take that classroom knowledge, apply it, so once you graduate you can say I've had six months to a year of experience working in this field meeting most of the minimum requirements for most positions, not all, but for some. But the neat thing about an internship while you're an undergraduate is that it gives you real world work experience in your field. So, you're able to dress the part. You are able to go to work. You're able to understand how to go to work on time. That you are not only relying on yourself, you're relying on a team. Others are relying on you to be to work on time. To be able to handle this project, which is why most often you participate in one in your junior or senior year, that way they can give you an assignment. They want this project done by a certain amount of time then you have knowledge you can pull and complete that assignment with minimal help. It also allows you to network with professionals. So, you'll meet professionals in the field, through meetings, through organizational group activities. You'll get to tell them that this is my major, I'm intending to do this once I graduate, how did you get to the point where you are today? What more can I learn outside of this internship to prepare me for this field once I graduate? You'll be able to build your skills and competencies in the field. So, you'll learn the new and latest trends in that field, because not only are you in the classroom, but you're working there. So, you'll get to see what new things are happening, how it's been applied, what are some of the things that are happening in the world that may affect you after you graduate in this field. So, it's a great way to build those skills, and then you can have those conversations about what it is that you know that's going prepare you for your future. It also helps you build your resume, and we all know a resume is the one thing you need to have once you graduate before applying for positions. So, in order to have your resume show that you have experience in the field an internship will allow you to do that. How else will the internship help you? It'll help you discover if you like this field or not. It'll help you know what you like and what you don't like working in a professional setting, what helps you to be a great employee, how you get along with others, how you're able to help with projects, and what's your strengths and what's your weaknesses. So, it helps you to kind of discover yourself outside of the academic setting, but help you discover yourself as a future working adult in the professional world. So, it's not just the actual course credit, it's giving you life experiences that you may not have received only going to class every day. It helps you learn about the professionals and their path. Helps you get involved with professional organizations. Go to conferences, you get to see the latest trends and tools that are being used in that field. You can that back with you to your classroom, talk to your professors about it, and see what they know, and how they can help you gain better grades or do better in your courses. It also increases your marketability in the field before graduation. You want to be marketable. Having a degree is one thing, but being marketable to an employer is very, very important. An internship will allow you to become marketable and be able to say that "I have gained skills outside of the classroom while earning my four year degree." You're also able to hopefully, quickly align yourself to a full time position upon graduation. Securing an internship your junior and senior year, hopefully participating in one twice, may help you see when a position comes available with that company. If you really like working for that company, then you can apply for that position. They know you. They know your work ethic. They know your skills. They know you're able to perform this job adequately. Therefore, that puts you in a great position to be offered that employment opportunity after you graduate. So, you decide that I know an internship is important. I'm ready to participate in an internship. Where do I look? How do I find internships? We have various sources we can help you with as far as making an appointment with a Career Services Specialist in Career Services to go over the internships as far as how to find them. And I will go over a few sites with you that shows you where to look for internships. We have what's called the UNG, in the Career Center we have the Job Board. So, in the Career Center when you make an appointment with a specialist we'll go over the database with you, we'll give you sites of where interns have worked in the past who are also UNG students, and graduates. That way you can connect with employers who are familiar with the program, familiar with the students and the University, and they're able to help you gain an internship. They know where you're coming from. They know what things are required for that position for that internship course credit. And they're familiar with the process. We also host information sessions on campus where employers will have an hour to talk to you about their internship program, how they recruit, what they look for, what makes you a great candidate for the internship position. So, you can begin to follow that company to make sure you put yourself in a position to be offered an internship. One other option we have is the UNG Job Board. The Job Board is a great place where all employers post positions that they want students to apply for here on campus, any of the campuses. So, once you have your student ID you can create an account for free on the Job Board. You can search for internships based on location or based on your major, and this will give you companies that have posted on the Job Board looking for students to fill their positions and internships. So, this is the second way that you can look for internship positions. A third way is to look on LinkedIn. You want to create an account, and if you need help creating an account on LinkedIn, we can assist you with that. We can go over what makes a LinkedIn account important, how to make it professional, and how to search for internship positions that companies may only post on LinkedIn. Once you have that then you can go ahead and begin to apply for the internships. Another way to look for internships, ask your faculty members. They may have internships available in their office, in their department, that you'll be a great fit for. You also want to make sure that your family and friends and peers know. Let mom and dad know, "I am looking for an internship this semester, if you know of any colleagues that you work with that have an internship position available let me know so I can apply for it." Let your friends know that "I'm in the process now of looking for an internship. If you hear about anything in my certain field, let me know so that I can apply for it." You can look at the local Chamber of Commerce. This is where most businesses who are new to the area or who are in the area, they usually are members of the Chamber of Commerce where they can talk about different things going on the in the community, where they can also find out how to recruit individuals for their company. This way you will see if they post positions on their website. Another great site to go to is indeed.com. Indeed.com allows you to search for internships all over the country, as well as the world. If you're looking for international internships Indeed will allow you to search for positions in that language in that country. So, you're able to kind of target those key words that will be needed to apply for those positions. So, you're not limited to just the area that you're in. International internships are very abundant as well as local internships, so you want to be able to find the internship that you need to fit your academic requirements if you are a IA major or a major in a foreign language. USAJOBS.GOV, this is a federal government site. It has two sides to it, employment as well as things for students and recent grads. So, internships for them are listed on this site under the student and recent grad section. These internships may last more than a semester. They can last up to a year. It's a great way to find internships that allow you to transition from a student into a full-time employee once you graduate. So, this is something you may want to consider if you are on your senior year. You may have already had an internship and you want to kind of hone in on your skills more. USAJOBS.GOV is a great site to connect with federal companies who are looking to hire you for at least a year or more, and transition you to full-time employment after you graduate. And also, be creative. You don't have to find internships on the internet. If you know of a company or a family friend that has their own business in a field that you want to work in, you can help them create an internship program for you. Therefore, you can work with them to actually create the internship process, get the necessary documents needed to create academic credit. This allows you to be creative and help make your internship process streamlined and meet what you're looking for to graduate and to grow professionally in your field. Other places to look for internships are: the CIA if you're looking to work federally the CIA is a great place for internships, the FBI, the Chamber of Commerce, Department of Education, State Department, Non-Profit Agencies, and of course, studying abroad for an internship. So, how do I begin? What you want to do first before you begin applying for internships is to come by Career Services and begin to create your resume. You want to have a functional resume, a working resume, that shows your skills, shows courses you've taken, and shows how you fit into this company's mold, and fit this position for the internship. Together, we'll sit down and go one-on-one about how to build your resume, what would be a great format for you for this position, and how to build up on that resume as you go through your internship. Not only will a resume be important, but you also need a cover letter. You may not know that a cover letter and a resume typically go hand-in-hand. Most often when you apply for a position, the employer wants you to submit a resume and a cover letter. The neat thing about a cover letter is that it allows you to be more expressive and to kind of state why you feel that you're a really good fit for this position. You can talk about life experiences, things that you've been involved in that have prepared you for this internship opportunity. So, it takes away some of the time, the skills that you put in your resume and allows you to expound upon them in the cover letter. So, when you create a cover letter, we can sit down and go over it with you to make sure it reads well, it's not too personal, but that it's a really good read and the employer will get an understanding of who you are before the actual interview. Of course, you have to have at least forty-eight credit hours if you're looking to do the academic internship. You want to talk to your faculty department about their internship courses to make sure not only are you satisfying the requirements for the forty-eight credit hours, but what else do they need? Are they going to need you to register for the course on your own, or is the course going to be registered for you once you've secured an internship? Now, I can say that most departments here it is course registered by the actual faculty member or that department. So, after you have interviewed for an internship, you've been offered the internship position, then you will do the paperwork that's needed to actually register for the internship course and they'll register you for it. The reason being, let's say you registered for the internship course for the Fall, you do your internship search and you aren't able to secure one for the Fall. Well now you're registered for a course that you're not able to do an internship for, and you may have missed drop/add, now you have no way of getting academic credit for this course because you're not enrolled into an internship. Therefore, most departments will enroll you into the internship course after you have been offered a position to do an internship for that semester. You also want to meet with a career specialist to make sure you have all the things you need to do the internship. So, those are the things you want to take advantage of before you begin actually searching and applying for your internship. So, you say, "Okay, I've done that. I know that I want to apply for an internship. I met with Career Services. How do I apply for internships?" Well, internships are typically the same process you would apply for an actual position. You will have to complete an application process, either if it's by email, if it's by the applicant tracking software for that company, you have to apply for the internship position, so they can review your credentials and your experience and consider you for an interview. So, most often the application process is online. There are very few times when you actually do a paper application. So, you want to make sure that you are taking the application process serious because everything that you put onto that site will be read by that employer. Some companies will allow you to only submit your resume and cover letter by email. That may take more time or it could take less time depending on the size of the company. But when you apply for a position online, you have to be mindful that you're not the only one applying. They may have an open and close date, so you want to make sure you fit with the net window so you don't miss the opportunity to be considered for that internship opportunity. You want to research the organization. You want to make sure that they fit what your major is, and what you're trying to actually accomplish, what skills you want to gain. Make sure it's a good fit for you. Is this the internship that you want to participate in? Are you going to like working here? Is this company meeting what you actually know? So, look at the company or organization before you apply for the internship. You want to submit a resume per application instructions. So, if it says only submit by email, don't submit by email and then send a company in the mail, and then attach it through some other means. You want to only follow the application instructions when applying for the internship. Then before you even begin to apply you want to try to have a mock interview. And you want to know, what's a mock interview? A mock interview will allow you to sit into and get into the role of interviewing with another person as an employer, ask questions, and have questions asked of you that will make you eligible for this position. So, in Career Services we allow you to have as many mock interviews as you need to feel confident enough to go into an interview and do well. Not every interview is going to be the same. You may have a panel interview. You may have a group interview. It could be one-on-one. It could be over the phone. It could be over the internet or it could be through Skype. So, we help you determine what will be the best method for your mock interview based on the position you're applying for. The main thing to do in the mock interview is allow us to find out what questions will be asked of you. So, we look at the position you're interviewing for, or the field you're going into and we develop questions that will be asked of you in the interview process. So, we'll go through the interview as if you're in an interview session. We'll allow to answer the questions without interrupting you then we'll ask, "do you have questions for us?" If you have questions, you can ask those questions. And at the end of that process then we kind of go back and forth to see what you should work on, how you did, if you want to schedule another one, or if you feel confident enough that now I'm ready to participate in an actual interview. So, don't forget about the mock interview as you're going through the internship application process. One thing we encourage you to do is review the internship FAQ's on the website, so it's ung.edu/careers there's a selection on the left hand side that says "internships" scroll over that and to the right you will see a section that says "FAQ's for faculty, students, and employers." Review the student section. Things I'm talking about right now are also reiterated on that section in the FAQ's. It tells you about academic credit, how to apply, what do you need, who to contact, and the whole process of looking for an internship. Also, at the beginning of each semester I send out what's called "Tips for a Successful Internship." So, if you register for an internship course that semester you will receive an email from me prior to the beginning of that semester giving you tips on how to prepare for the internship and make it a successful one for you as well as for the organization. So, it goes over great tips about arranging meetings, courtesy, leaving your cellphones at home or locked up, not using Facebook while you're on company time. So, great tips to make sure that you are doing what you need to do professionally while you're on the internship. And then the big thing, the Internship Learning Agreement. So, if you are receiving academic credit, you're registered for the course, well how do they know you're participating in an internship? Well the ILA, it's also called the Internship Learning Agreement, is a required document needed to participate in an internship for academic credit. So, you interview for the internship, the company offers you the position, at this point you want to bring the ILA to that employer and say, "I need this form completed between the both of us to ensure that I am going to be able to submit this and get academic credit for my internship." The ILA has a section for you to fill out your information, for the employer to fill out their information which includes the supervisor’s name, phone number, email address, the internship location city and state, a section for the faculty adviser, and two boxes, one talking about what duties you're required to have and do while you're in the internship, and the second box is about what outcomes will you gain from this internship. This section should be completed between you and the supervisor. It's not something you should do on your own. You should be able to talk to the supervisor, so you can be aware of what's expected of you while on this internship and what you can gain at the end of it. Once that is complete, you'll take it to your department, to that faculty adviser who is over the internship course and submit it. That gives them time to review it to make sure it's applicable to your major and then register you for the internship course, and make sure it is approved. You have to get this Internship Learning Agreement to that faculty professor I would say at least a couple of weeks prior to drop/add, the final drop/add for that semester. This allows them to have time to review the Internship Agreement, contact the employer if they need to, and make sure it's a good fit for you. Also, what you can expect from me in Career Services is that you will receive an email before the internship, you'll receive one halfway through, asking, "Are you getting what you thought that you would gain in the internship? Is it beneficial? Are there any concerns you have?" We don't want you to have concerns in your internship and you wait until the very end to bring those up. "If there's a concern, are you not getting what you need? Is something happening that is preventing you from learning to your full potential?" Let us know, Career Services or your faculty adviser as soon as it happens. So, we send the halfway email out to kind of remind you like if something's not right go ahead and let someone know, and we can assist you in any way that we can. And then we'll send out an email at the end of the internship, a few weeks before it ends, to request you to complete an evaluation. Now the evaluation request depends on the department. Not all departments request evaluations, but the majority of them do. So, you will receive an email, your supervisor will receive an email with an attached evaluation asking you to complete it. You'll want to complete the evaluation together, supervisor and you, that way you can go over your questions with the supervisor and they can go over theirs with you. This allows you to recap the internship, talk about what you gained, what were your strengths and weaknesses, what did you like about it, what did you not like about it, is there opportunity for you to come back and do an internship again? It's a great wrap-up that lets you see what all you gained from this internship. And then at the end of that you'll submit the evaluation and I'll submit it to the faculty adviser which will be used in helping give you a grade for that internship course. Also, you have support. If at any point the internship is stressing, or you have concerns, or you want to talk about your enjoy of the internship, we're there for you. At the end you will also receive an email talking about the spotlight. So, if you had a great internship program, internship process, you gained a lot of skills, the employer was very encouraging, very opening, allowed you to do things that you didn't think would happen in an internship, we want you to share that with us, as well with other students. That way other students can see what company you worked for, what you've gained, and they may be interested in doing the same thing. So, don't take your joy and keep it, make sure you share it with others through the spotlight as well. That's it on the Internship Presentation. You can see our information at ung.edu/careers on the webpage for any questions about the internship process, always make an appointment to come in that way we can talk to you one-on-one about this process, and remember to follow us on LinkedIn, it's LinkedIn UNG Career Services, and follow us on Facebook. Thank you.